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Joan Baez makes aging sound awesome

Joan Baez plays the Atlanta Botanical Garden tonight. In an AJC Q&A, she talked politics, music and memoir, but I particularly loved this part of the conversation:

Q: After 50 years, how have you changed as a performer?

A: I’ve grown into my own skin in way that I certainly never thought I would be able to when I was younger. It’s a joy. When I was young and had stage fright and also had on my mind so many things I had to do — or thought I had to do — I really couldn’t enjoy it the way I do now.

Q: You dedicated this CD to your 96-year-old mother. Living with her must teach you important life lessons.

A: Well, I think you’ve got to learn them, especially about getting old in a country that’s so scared of it. I’m going to keep these wrinkles if it kills me. (Laughs) I saw myself in this documentary that was just made, and the producer said, “Now you’re probably going to wake up in the night, and your stomach’s going to be churning about something. You’re going to see your childhood and everybody you knew.” And I thought, “Oh, god.” So I was awake half the night, and I didn’t know what it was. And in the morning I thought, “Oh, geez, it’s the wrinkles!” But you know, you got to live with it.

By the way, here’s a short (shaky) video from a Joan Baez show earlier this month. Wait for the Bob Dylan impression at 2:59:

Details: Joan Baez plays at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1345 Piedmont Ave. NE in Atlanta. Tickets are sold out. More Atlanta Botanical Garden events.

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2 comments Add your comment

Jamie Gumbrecht

July 23rd, 2009
10:37 am

Hi Bobby! Alas, I wasn’t at this show. I was working on another story last night, which should be posted later today. I should point out, too, that this wasn’t my interview, but rather an interview completed and written by an AJC freelancer as a preview to the show. (If I do the interview, it’s typically announced in the headline with capital letters.) I hear, though, that we’ll soon be launching music and arts blogs, so hopefully those folks will be able to focus more of their time on criticism and music-specific discussions. Meanwhile, what was the best moment of the show? Anything that particularly got to you? Wish I could have been there.

bobby c

July 23rd, 2009
9:13 am

i am wondering why/where the article is opining how the concert went?
i was there. where were you? customarily there would be some type of write up regarding the local take on the world traveled “star”. while i enjoy your interview, where is the acclaim, or the critism of the songs, the presentation, the stage presence, the fact that the precussionist is her son? i guess it was a busy news night in mid town atlanta, i missed the crime, punishment, wrecks, hold ups, and saw a pretty nice lady present a pretty good song table and was wonderful.
bobby c.