Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Here's a brief musical introduction to the truncated legacy of this long ago young couple which outstripped most tragedies detailed on VH1s Behind the Music. He'd be dead from a motorcycle accident two months after their one video appearance on Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest tv show from which the above screen captures were taken, widowing the younger sister of Joan Baez on her 21st birthday...

Thomas Pynchon dedicated one of his books to him. He wrote the novel Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me still in publication and made into a film, plus this solo song with the classic British folksong melody of "I Loved A Lass" about the real life innocent child victims of an anti-civil rights bombing, later covered by his sister-in-law Baez.
They recorded two and a half albums together between 1965 and 68, the last posthumous to him, he on mountain dulcimer strummed oddly and aggressively, she on rather adept acoustic guitar, both singing. Both wrote this, their strongest offering lyrically here performed on aforementioned video appearance:

and this one by which a long ago boyfriend fond of substances in teaspoons introduced me to their music.
Their most covered song was never recorded together albeit solo by her. Here it's given proper magnificence by the late Sandy Denny:

Shell-shocked after his death, she briefly remarried and divorced, and sang and played on a few solo and duet releases, but found performing for causes more personally satisfying. Incorporated that sentiment, she founded Bread And Roses, LINK a non-profit foundation providing free, quality live music to those in institutions and prisons, continuing on to this day. She died young herself at 56. Rest in peace Mimi and Richard Farina.

1 comment:

Andy Schwartz said...

See also David Hadju's book 'Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Fariña, and Richard Fariña' (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2001).

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