Joan Baez – Music of the Baby Boomers’ Generation

Those who knew me back in my singer/guitarist days will understand what a thrill it was for me to see Joan Baez perform last night.

Joan Baez - Music of the Baby Boomers GenerationJoan Baez was one of my main musical inspirations for about 10 years of my life.  I listened to her, sang her songs and was so excited to see her perform in London ‘back in the day’ when I was a young backpacker.

It seems I wasn’t the only one!  Last night at her concert in Brisbane the audience was enthusiastic, full of energy and most decidedly of a certain era.  In the hour before the show started the theatre was full of baby boomers sipping wine and catching up with friends.  There was a lovely atmosphere, even strangers chatting over their common bond of being a Joan Baez fan for so many years.

Joan is now 72.  You’d be unrealistic to expect her voice to be exactly as it was when she was 30, or even 50.  But the distinctive tone and the beauty of her voice were there, even if the high notes are no longer effortless and the clarity is a little diminished by time.

She made discrete references to her fascinating life, some of which would not have been understood by those who hadn’t followed her career.  She performed her version of “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” but in the middle of the performance she sang two lines in a distinctive Dylan voice, even mimicking his body language.  The audience loved this acknowledgement of her past.  It was a bit like chatting with an old friend in front of others and making a seemingly innocent comment, with only the old friend recognizing it as a revelation of past experiences that only they know about.  You know what I mean? 😉

So many precious songs brought back floods of memories.  For me the songs took me to thoughts of old friends, to exhilarating days and times of deep sadness, to singing with others in many wonderful times and places.  “We both know what memories can bring. They bring diamonds and rust……And I’ll take the diamonds”

Most of all it made me wonder why I ever stopped playing that guitar and singing….and could I start again just for fun?

By Jenni Proctor


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Jenni Proctor

Hi, I'm Jenni Proctor from Boomers Next Step. Remember when the formula for success in life was simply to strive for good marks at school, gain qualifications, get a great job, work hard and save for your retirement? Yes, I believed it too! For years my husband David and I wanted to develop a business that we could operate anywhere in the world, but both of us were educated to be employees.  We had entrepreneurial dreams and ideas, but still had employee mindsets. 14 years ago I took the giant leap!  I left my job in Education to start a business as a Career Counsellor and Coach, helping mature adults transition from one career path to another, and particularly from employment to entrepreneurship.  I had studied long and hard to gain new qualifications but sadly I hadn’t learnt how to market my new business. About 12 years ago we realized that we were not tracking well towards having the sort of retirement we wanted. We’d saved; we’d invested; and like so many other people we’d also lost some money along the way. It didn’t help that my business was not bringing in as much as I had been earning as an employee. Our dreams of extensive travel and helping our family were being replaced by a growing concern that we would outlive our savings. It seemed that a traditional retirement would not allow us to maintain the lifestyle we wanted. I love helping people plan the next phase of their lives, but we realized that was not going to be enough.  We needed a way to create an income stream that would pay for the travel and other lifestyle luxuries we wanted, that would provide mental stimulation, and would interest us both.

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