Joan Baez and Bob Dylan made beautiful music together starting in the early 1960s—both professionally and personally. The two musicians were introduced in 1961 while making names for themselves in the New York folk scene, then dated and toured together for several years until ending their romantic relationship sometime around 1965, per USA Today.
Even after their split, they joined each other on stage to duet on classic songs such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Water is Wide.” Their final bill together was a 1984 European stadium tour that did not end well.
In her 1987 memoir “And a Voice to Sing With,” Baez revealed that she was promised equal billing and the chance to duet with Dylan every night on stage, but those promises were not met. She later quit the tour after an awkward backstage encounter with Dylan, according to Rolling Stone.
Decades later, when they were both signed on to play at the 2010 White House Civil Rights concert, Baez admitted she avoided Dylan. “The chances of him just walking past me would be too awful a scenario,” she said. “It would just bring up feelings that aren’t necessary.”
Bob Dylan Has Said He Regrets How Things Ended With Joan Baez
Dylan has rarely spoken publicly about his relationship with Baez. In the documentary “Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound” (via YouTube), he praised her musical talents.
“She had a very unusual way of playing the guitar, I never heard anybody do it like Joanie did,” Dylan said. “And I tried to practice it but I couldn’t get that style down. She had that heart-stopping soprano voice. I just couldn’t get it out of my mind… And her range of songs was very unusual for that time. Just a combination of all the things she did which were put together, it seemed like in a miraculous way.”
Dylan added that he always liked singing and playing with Baez and that their “voices blended really well.”
“We could sing just about anything and it would make sense,” he said.
In a rare admission, Dylan also expressed regret over the demise of their relationship.
“I was just trying to deal with the madness which had become my career and unfortunately she got swept along and I felt very bad about it,” he said. “I was sorry to see that relationship end.”
Joan Baez Made Peace With the End of Her Relationship With Bob Dylan
While the two music legends had their ups and downs, in 2012 Baez began painting portraits of celebrities, one of them being Dylan. She praised Dylan’s music in an interview with Best Classic Bands.
“In a way, it’s the closest thing we have to a movement when you sing something like that [Dylan anthems],” Baez said. “There’s such a response from the public and such a response from me. It comes from down in my gut somewhere. ”
Baez also revealed that she came to terms with her feelings about her ex through her portraits of him.
“Actually, after all the BS over the years between me and Bob…I never knew how he felt but I started doing his portraits,” she explained. “By the second portrait, I put on all his music randomly and I just cried. I thought ‘Good lord, what am I carping about? I got to know this guy. I got to sing with this guy.’ Any stuff that was still left vanished. Anything that was resentful or stupid just went. What a treat was that.”
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