An honest answer: Joan Baez on artistry, music & fame

The folk songs that Joan Baez sang in the early 60s made her a star. Baez has stayed true to the songs that made her a star, true to the ideals she nurtured and true to her voice, which still rolls with a beautiful vibrato to this day.

GM: How has your relationship to music changed over the years?

JB: It’s changed in my never-ending search to find something fresh. It’s more important to me what remains constant. It’s what goes with my voice and what it creates for people beyond just music. That remains the same. As for the differences, I guess the phases that I went through as the years went on. Everybody who has ever been called a star reaches a point in his or her life when there is suddenly this great dip. You were something and, all of the sudden, you are still that something and the world is going on around you and not paying that much attention. (laughs) That is a crisis for everybody – and I mean everybody— Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Dylan…Those years are difficult. They were difficult for me. I finally, after many years, got past them. I was singing the whole time, but I had to come out on the other side knowing that I still create something that is unique in this world. It is valued and I want to stick as close to what I do best as I can.

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About genemyers

Gene Myers is a New Jersey poet, music journalist and columnist who learned to walk twice. His weekly column is called The Joy of Life. He was awarded first place in Arts and Entertainment Writing by The New Jersey Press Association.
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