Sunday, August 16, 2009

Joan Baez at Woodstock then and now in Bend

This morning I'll be driving over the Cascade Mountains to Bend, where I'll stay the night with my cousin after we attend a Joan Baez concert at the Athletic Club there Sunday evening. As you can see in the chart below, it will be exactly 40 years since her performance at Woodstock. Highly unlikely, since she has a new album coming out next month to showcase, but what a trip it would be if she'd sing the set she did on that stage at Woodstock (set list available at the Wikia link below).

This will be the third time I've seen Joan Baez perform live. The first time was at the Civic Auditorium in Portland sometime around 1982. It was about 21 years later that Mike and I saw her perform for free in Albany, Oregon, at a small outdoor venue where the audience was separated from the stage by a narrow man-made canal. Behind the stage area was a large open area where her medium-large RV was parked. The awning had been extended from the door of the RV and her crew had set out a table and chairs. About 1/2 hour prior to the concert, Ms. Baez emerged from the RV looking luscious in loose pants and flowing top with vibrant splashes of orange/fuschia/green/navy blue. She was so mellow, so warm in her interactions with those traveling with her. They all sat at the table and talked, sipping iced tea. Her smile was an indication that it would be a special evening. And it was.

It is six years later now. Joan Baez is 68, ten years older than I because we share the same birthday separated by a decade. This might be the last time I will see her perform live and it chokes me up thinking it........

Here she is at age 28, singing her heart out at Woodstock, August 16, 1969.
I'll let you know if she mentions the auspicious anniversary during her concert in Bend, August 16, 2009.

The following information is from Wikia:

The female counterpart to Bob Dylan, folksinger and anti-war protester Joan Baez, was the last act on Friday evening. She started at about 1:00 am. Appropriately, she wished everybody a good morning. Her perfectly arranged set combined with her beautiful and skillful voice was a fine finish for a chaotic and exhaustive first day.

After her performance it started to rain heavily.


Performed on: Day 1
Started at: 1:00 a.m., Saturday, 16th
Played for: 60 min. (approx.)

Prev. artist: Arlo Guthrie at 11:55 p.m.
Next artist: end of day 1



distracted by shiny objects said...

Hope you have a wonderful, fabulous time. I'll be thinking of you this evening and chanting, "No rain, no rain..." :>)
What a great memory and night for Ms. Joan. I believe she was very, very pregnant at Woodstock. I imagine her years have sped by quickly also. Enjoy it all!!!

YogaforCynics said...

I took my mom to see her this Fall, just over a week before the election, and loved the way she radiated calm rather than firing up everybody's anxieties. Gotta say she's in remarkable shape for a woman her age (as I told mom, "I bet she does yoga") and the voice is still crisp and clear...enjoy the show!

Hattie said...

Terry and I saw her at a Berkeley concert in 1963. Her voice was like clear glass then. She was barefoot and so lovely with her long dark hair, Yes, she was a magical person.
Enjoy the concert!

Darlene said...

I may be from an older generation, but anyone who ever heard Joan Baez sing became an instant fan. I am no exception.

We are still trying to Overcome. I wonder if it will ever happen?

Enjoy the concert, as I am sure you will.

Looking to the Stars said...

By the time you read this, you will be back from your concert. What a wonderful chance you had to go hear her again. She is a wonderful talented person. Looking forward to your sharing about the concert :)

Lylah Ledner said...

How husband was one of those sitting in the rain at Woodstock 40 years ago....

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

I'm not really familiar with her - but i hope you have a fantastic time and that she plays at least some of the set.

Most artists are focussed on selling their new cd, but will usually recognise that they have to please the long term fans too.

Hope you have a good time either way xx

Geoffrey said...

I hope you had a wonderful time, Lydia. I'm looking forward to your review.

Geoffrey x

Lydia said...


Thank you for your fun and meaningful comments.

Please excuse the group reply. I'm home after a wonderful time in Bend and at the concert. I have some not-great photos to post and a grainy video that I'm going to post just because the audio is special.

Of note is the first comment above by Distracted, as she mentioned Joan Baez being pregnant with her son while on that Woodstock stage. He (Gabriel Harris) was a member of her brilliant band last night, so that was a unique juxtaposition to the Woodstock story.
Also, she did not mention Woodstock or the night being 40 years since her appearance at the festival.

Must unpack and the animals are each demanding attention!

Owen said...

Hi Lydia, wow, lucky you ! Can't wait to hear more about the show, what she played and everything. Sounds great...

I saw her at the Philadelphia Academy of Music in the late 80's, and again in Paris probably about ten years ago or so.

I think Michener extrapolated from her with the folk singing character in The Drifters who loved Child's folk ballads...

And then of course Diamonds and Rust...

Melinda said...

Hey Lydia,

This was a wonderful post--and I have been immersed in Woodstock all weekend! Les and I have been up in Maine, where there is blissfully no television. We do *have* a TV to watch movies with--and we brought the film Woodstock with us and so enjoyed watching it (it had been years for both of us). We also listened to "Back to the Garden" on NPR, which was so enjoyable. I loved Joan Baez so much when I was young--and played many of her songs on my guitar when I was first learning. Your post was a wonderful tribute to her and I enjoyed reading it very much!


Lydia said...

@Owen- Seeing her in, that would have been special. I don't know the Michener character you mentioned and now I must remedy that lack of knowledge soon.
She sang Diamonds and Rust, and, as always, it brought tears to my eyes. See post following this one for details.

@Melinda- Your Woodstock remembrance in Maine sounds ideal, really. You and Les sure know how to do a celebration in a special manner.
I'd love to hear you play a Joan Baez song....or any song for that matter!



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