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JOAN BAEZ AND ME More than three years ago a film was released on the life of Joan Baez(1941- ). How Sweet the Sound came to television today in Tasmania.1 Baez rose to fame in 1959 when I was 15, and she only 19. I was a person of fame, too, but only in a little town in Ontario, and nowhere else. Her first major performance was at the Newport Folk Festival, the same year I joined the Baha’i Faith. Baez was a Quaker and a pacifist. I am not a pacifist and our forms of social activism are very different. I have always loved her singing from her first albums which appeared in 1960, 1961, and 1962 when I was finishing high school. In 1962, when I began my travelling-pioneering life for the Canadian Baha’i community, Baez had just begun her 2 year romance with Bob Dylan. I had no idea at the time immersed as I was in nine grade 13 subjects with their necessary four hours per night homework. The year 1962 also saw my final baseball and ice-hockey seasons with the Burlington all-stars and in the juvenile league. I was involved in a new Baha’i community, and was kept busy emotionally in keeping a lid on my libido.-Ron Price with thanks to 1ABC1 TV, 3:00 to 4:30 p.m., 7/4/’13. We have a lot in common, Joan, you and I, as we head into that final decade of late adulthood.1 We have an autobiographical bias to our writing……In 1987 you said: “I was made to live alone.”2 As the years went on I felt, increasingly, the same. We both had a public life for half a century…..and you are still going, Joan, while I have retired into a writing life and little public activity……few of endless meetings, wall-to-wall people, and none of the social protest-popularity profile: and you will go down in history. I wish you well, Joan, as evening continues to the last syllable of our recorded time on this plain, and we go into a hole for those who sing and speak no more. What say you, Joan, of the life beyond, & that Undiscovered Country from which no one ever returns to tell of the story beyond? 1 Baez is 72 and I am 69. Some developmental psychologists call the years from 70 to 80, the last decade of late adulthood. 2 Baez’s second autobiography was entitled: And a Voice to Sing With. Mine is entitled Pioneering Over Five Epochs. Ron Price 7/4/’13 to 18/7/'13.
Watching the SBS1 TV doco1 on Franco Zeffirelli yesterday made me think about the comparisons and contrasts between the life of a writer, a composer, and that of a producer and director. Of course, I became especially interested in how his creative activity was similar or different from mine. Each writer, each producer and director, each music composer has a different story, a different way to look at their creativity and the creative process. Zeffirelli will soon be 90 and I will soon be 70; he was an entre deux guerres baby and I was a war baby; he has achieved fame and wealth; I am an unknown, financially comfortable but far from wealthy. My wife would call us poor. -Ron Price with thanks to 1”Franco Zeffirelli,” SBS1, 2:30-3:30 p.m., 5 February 2011. Comparisons are odious,1 but inevitable in life, and more inevitable for some of us as we journey life’s path….Your mother died when you were 6 & mine when I was 33; you went for the theatre in your 20s and I went for university & a teaching career……..You went for Catholicism and I went for the Baha’i Faith!* Homosexuality seemed to be in your bones while the heat of sex turned me into heterosexuality—and both of us kept our sexual-style all our lives…By the 1990s and 2000s you were getting knighted and receiving so many honours and I was retiring from decades of work as a teacher…..... I wish you well, Franco, in your remaining years on the mortal coil that remain with Jesus in the very depths of your spirit as Baha’u’llah is in mine: two men, one spirit.2 1 Comparisons are odious, Proverbs 141; comparisons are odorous, Much Ado About Nothing, act 3, sc. 5; Sir John Fortescue (c. 1394-1476), comparisons are odious. De Laudibus Leg. Angliæ. Chap. xix. 2 Franco Zeffirelli, Wikipedia, 6 February 2011 Ron Price 6 February 2011 Updated for: Young Composers Music Forum on: 19/4/'12