Saturday, January 09, 2021

Diamonds and No Rust: Joan Baez 80

Well, I'll be damned
Here comes your ghost again
But that's not unusual
It's just that the moon is full
And you happened to call

And here I sit
Hand on the telephone
Hearing a voice I had known
A couple of light years ago
Heading straight for a fall

As I remember your eyes
Were bluer than robin's eggs
My poetry was lousy you said
Where are you calling from?
A booth in the Midwest

Ten years ago
I bought you some cufflinks
You brought me something
We both know what memories can bring
They bring diamonds and rust

And there you stayed
Temporarily lost at sea
The Madonna was yours for free
Yes, the girl on the half-shell
Could keep you unharmed

Over Washington Square
Our breath comes out white clouds
Mingles and hangs in the air
Speaking strictly for me
We both could have died then and there

Now you're telling me
You're not nostalgic
Then give me another word for it
You who are so good with words
And at keeping things vague
'Cause I need some of that vagueness now
It's all come back too clearly
Yes, I loved you dearly
And if you're offering me diamonds and rust
I've already paid

Joan Baez
Europe, 1976-77

Palais des Festivals
Cannes, France

01 Oh! Happy Day
02 Joe Hill
03 Gracias a La Vida
04 The Ballad of Sacco & Vanzetti
05 Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
06 Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around
07 Diamonds and Rust

Total time: 23:51

Joan Baez - guitar & vocals

master mono off-air FM master reel, slightly remastered by EN, January 2021

Hammersmith Odeon
London, UK

01 Help Me Make It Through the Night
02 Farewell Angelina
03 Honey Love
04 Scarlet Ribbons
05 Virgin Mary Had One Son
06 Michael
07 Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word
08 Blowin' In the Wind
09 The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
10 Sweet Sir Galahad
11 Kumbaya
12 Imagine
13 Let It Be
14 Joe Hill
15 Amazing Grace

Total time: 51:50

Joan Baez - guitar & vocals

master off-air FM master cassette, slightly remastered by EN, January 2021
both shows zipped together; these were mastered to play contiguously
384 MB FLAC/January 2021 archive link

Another day, another super milestone birthday for another legendary player.

How many people can say they played the 1963 March On Washington... and also once had a song covered by Judas Priest?

It's funny, as I worked on these sets to get them a little less muffly and match them as best as I could sonically, I thought wow... at one time, a world based on inclusion, dignity and justice, as alluded to in many of these classic and timelessly anthemic songs, actually seemed possible. Maybe not likely, but possible.

In honor of Joan Baez's 80th b'day today, I'll try to convince myself that that can still happen, given the completely unhinged circumstances of the moment.

I don't have to type the damned numbers at the bottom of this here -- which means that this edificially towering warrior for social justice over the last 60 years of Civil Rights mayhem is still alive and kicking down the doors in that pure soprano -- so there's a start.--J.

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