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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 1, No. 6, June 1976 - July 1976
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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 1, No. 6, June 1976 - July 1976 - Page 6. June 1976 - July 1976. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. May 27, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4211/show/4196.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(June 1976 - July 1976). Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 1, No. 6, June 1976 - July 1976 - Page 6. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4211/show/4196

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 1, No. 6, June 1976 - July 1976 - Page 6, June 1976 - July 1976, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed May 27, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4211/show/4196.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 1, No. 6, June 1976 - July 1976
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date June 1976 - July 1976
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
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Title Page 6
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File Name femin_201109_518f.jpg
Transcript Baez talks woman -to- woman Alice Rickel, KPFT Women's News Director, interviewed Joan Baez during her May concert tour stop in Houston. AR: I've taken so much of my energy from your music—I really feed off of it—and somehow it keeps on coming from you. How do you maintain yourself psychologically, going around from city to city on all the tours and concerts? JB: Well, I would say I probably feed off it as well. And also I don't go out that much. I would prefer to sit at home and write books and play with my kid. I don't really travel Led Zeppelin style by any means. When I commit myself to something like Rolling Thunder, I go there to work. I work and A enjoy. It's a different gear you set yourself into. You pack your bags, you move, you get in the bus, you go to the concert and you move again. That's ok for six weeks, as long as I have my sanctuary of a home to go back to, which I do — and a beautiful child. AR: Does he travel with you? JB: He came on the first three weeks. I don't like to leave him at his age for more than a month. So we saw to it that he came with us at the beginning. He had an absolutely rip-snorting time. He brought a friend with him. We do lessons and stuff in the morning—mainly to keep a semblance of order to their lives. And then they got to horse around—play ping pong, go to concerts, race around and be gypsies. I think it couldn't do anything but be a learning experience for them. AR: Do you think it's difficult for him being the son of such a famous woman? How does he incorporate that into his life? JB: All of that is going to depend on David and myself. It's not just me-David is running for Congress. I think that the key to it must be that if the child develops his own identity, his own little ego and 6 JOAN BAEZ IN CONCERT his own little person, then maybe he has a chance of combating what his mother or daddy is. What we've concentrated on is trying to get him to the right kind of school where they understand that stuff. We build him independent of us as much as possible. He really comes first in our lives. I say 'our'— David and I are very close in regard to Gabriel. AR: Do you take turns caring for Gabriel? JB: Gabriel is based with me because his dad realizes that he couldn't launch his own career and have Gabriel as much. What happens is that daddy becomes a treat. David will call and just say 'I'm missing Gabe'. He'll talk to him and Gabe will say 'I want to go stay with Dad for a week.' So he packs his little blue bag and goes off to his Dad, who's only 20 minutes away. I'm not pretending any of it was easy. We had terrible, stupid ego fights at the beginning. And then we really realized the kid was more important than we were. I give a lot of credit to Gabe for learning how to deal with all the different lifestyles. He's a good gypsy. AR: Did you or do you see yourself as a gypsy any more? JB: I was more of a gypsy when I was younger. Now there's a lot of different kinds of responsibility and there's a lot of dumb complexes I have to get over- thinking I'm going to be perfect at all the things I want to do. On the road I'm definitely a gypsy, but a worker ... I think a better word would be trouper. AR: Whaf s it like being on the road with Bob again? JB: I enjoy working with him. He's absolutely unpredictable. You never know when he's going to change a song right in the middle or change a tune or a rhythm or anything. But that's fun. I like lip-reading and mind- reading and being challenged on the stage instead of having something planned out ahead of time. It's tremendously exciting—the show is extraordinary. It's a medicine show—basically a bunch of crazy people—and I include myself in that. AR: There was a time during which you were only playing really political concerts or benefits. How does the Rolling Thunder revue fit into your politics? JB: I'm a political entity and will probably be that way until I die. About a year and a half ago I began thinking that I'd better take a break. And rather than screaming around the streets I felt it was an important period in my son's life to spend time with him—and I wanted to write a book, which is what I'm doing. I also realized that my musical career was completely on the rocks and decided to put some energy into that—out of it came Diamonds and Rust. I, financially, was not making it anywhere. I had some decisions to make—in other words, slow down and concentrate on other th^qs for a while. Bob called anu jid 'do you want to do this thing?'. I didn't know what it was, but I was, needless to say, flattered that he asked and was interested in going. While I'm on Rolling Thunder, I enjoy it. I try not to impose much of my politics into it. But there is definitely a spark of it here and there during the show, during my own set. One of the songs I do comes out very feminist sounding. I try to do it with a sense of humor, you know, so it doesn't frighten people. It's gone over very well. AR: How do you see the women's movement as affecting your life as a singer? At a point when I was really involved in it, I was looking to women singers with whom I could identify—and at that time, you were very involved in David and the draft. JB: Yeah—right. Alienating the women's liberation up and down because I was married and having a wonderful time having children—and all the things you're not supposed to do. I've had difficulty with the feminist consciousness, because I worked as an independent entity for so many years and because I've never taken a nationality, never taken a nation. Brown power people have come up to me and said 'don't you feel like a Chi- cana?' And I say 'not any more than I feel like a Scotswoman'— you know, my mother was born in Scotland. 'Don't you feel like a feminist?' 'No, not any more than I feel like a human being.' On the other hand, the things that the feminist movement lists as being wrong are wrong. But the attitudes and most of the tactics have been things that make me uncomfortable. And I'm talking to black power and brown power and red power, as well. Maybe I'm just a dreamer but human power has to somehow seep through. If the women could teach the men how to be a little softer, without asserting themselves so that the men are petrified, then maybe we could get somewhere. The most intelligent parts of the feminist consciousness are the things like day care centers that are set up to free women's time. Things like that, that are tangible and that aren't militant, screaming things that really frighten people and put people off. AR: I can hear everything you're saying and agree with it but I am and I have been, one of the "screaming people" and I think I know where that's coming from. If s a sense of dire frustration at just really not knowing how to change things that need to be changed. JB: Well, I understand that, too. But I never had to ask for a contract—I never had to ask for much of anything. The Lord or somebody gave me a set of vocal cords and I try to use them as well as I can. As a woman, I didn't have to put up with what a lot of women have had to put up with—looking for a job or being the last one on the list to get a job. So I have to at least be broadminded enough to try and feel what it would be like to stand in those shoes. I'm aware of those things but it's hard to relate to them because I haven't had to deal with them. I think that's one of the problems. I've been a screameTT God knows. I started soap-boxing when I was 14—then it was bomb shelters. So I know what that's like—to be loud—when you just have to do it and you get out there and do it. I don't know how many people I must have alienated along the way. I think it's part of the thing why I want to lay back for a couple of years and listen. Rarely do you find someone who listens very well. It's always a shock and you can't believe they're really listening, partly because you don't think what you have to say means much. We've all been trained to think we're stupid—from our primary education all the way up. I have the public school education which was 'be an individual'— which they don't mean a bit. They say 'be an individual' and they line you up in twos and march you down halls and ring bells in your face. And they basically tell you that you don't know anything—your parents know it, God knows it, Sunday Schools know it and the teachers and principal know it—and you better line up and get that straight. You sometimes think, 'if I get my PhD, then I'll know it, then I can talk'. AR: I don't know if there will ever be a time when I or my peers will feel confident enough "to talk." You are a vocal person in my society. There are very few role models for us. JB: I'll give you one clue—don't pretend you know anything before you start talking. I was thinking of Bob who sings these extraordinary things that he's been writing all these years—and mystical words come out like ticker-tape. I'm just grateful that he's willing to share it on the road with a bunch of wild banshees and crazy musicians and stand up there and sing for people. I don't think he can concern himself about accumulating knowledge before he gets up and does what moves him. I just look on instinct. If you have the instinct and you feel that you have to go out and scream for the things you want, I say do it. Whatever strikes your heart. Don't wait around until you think you've gathered up all the information. Usually the more information you feed people the more boring you are. The more you speak from your heart, the more interesting it is.