NEW YORK -- It is time, Joan Baez said yesterday, to put aside the political activism for which she has long been a national symbol and concentrate without distraction on her music.
"If there was a march on the borders of Czechoslovakia, I would drop everything and go," Ms. Baez said from her home in Woodside, Calif., in describing her life for the last three decades. "I never made my career, my records, concerts or my voice my first priority."
Now 51, the icon of the 1960s peace movement is coming to Manhattan for two performances tomorrow at the Bitter End. "I am going to five small places in this country and Europe before a major tour, to try out a new band, new material from my new album," she said.
Asked how the songs on the album, "Play Me Backwards," released last week by Virgin Records, differed from those of the past, she said: "That is hard to describe. There is nothing that resembles a protest song.
"It is just what came out of me, out of the depths."