Friday, July 4, 2014

indigo girls, joan baez, and twenty years

It's twenty years, give or take a week or so, since I first heard an Indigo Girls song - I guess they weren't really big in Britain, then - but one of the best moments of my life was when Lisa Durkee and a couple of other graduating seniors at Bread Loaf sang (in what was, in those days, a very small and very informal graduation ceremony) "Closer to Fine," and Patti Smith's "Paths That Cross" and Melissa Etheridge's "I've Been Talking to my Angel."  I went back home and tried to find these magical three songs - not as easy as it would be now, since it was a pre-Google age - because quite apart from anything else, they spoke to my very strong sense, that summer, that some of my own paths taken were not, perhaps, the best choices in the world.  Somewhere down the line, the Indigo Girls helped propel me out of my (dis)comfort zone.

All the same, I couldn't have predicted that twenty years later I'd be sitting watching the Indigo Girls perform, before - and then together with - Joan Baez (and her dog Ginger - in case you thought that looked like a dog over on the right, it is) - a stone's throw from my own back yard in Los Angeles, at the Greek Theater.  And Joan Baez had, of course, been a flat-out favorite of mine ever since I borrowed her albums from Hammersmith Public Library, and played them on my parents' terrible record player, and taped them with a microphone attached to a reel to reel tape recorder: all eleven and a half minutes of her version of "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands" played over and over again fueled a good deal of A level history note taking. 

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