I had been listening to Joan Baez for quite a while when she came to Portland in 1963 to perform. My good friend Margaret and I walked down to the box office after school and bought two mid row front section seats. Excitedly we arrived and settled into the auditorium.
What we experienced was a startling duo of Joan and a shaggy haired mumbling guy named Bob Dylan. Clearly they were in love. Or at least Joan was smitten with Bobby. I think the picture above taken in 1963 shows their dynamic pretty accurately. But who really knows the inside of any relationship?
The evening was electric. Not literally, of course. Dylan was still playing an acoustic guitar, as was Baez. Her soprano voice sang out across us and he muttered right along. She loved old sad ballads about lovelorn maidens and heartbreaks. He just loved being in front of an audience. I guess you could predict where this relationship was headed.
Fortunately, Baez got several good songs out of the doomed affair, especially “Diamonds and Rust.
“Well you burst on the scene
Already a legend
The unwashed phenomenon
The original vagabond
You strayed into my arms
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”
Doomed love affairs should always leave us with such good writing material!