Peter, Paul & Mary
1966 TOUR PROGRAM
TEN THOUSAND MILES
There is an international language, and the people who understand it always
find one another. It is a language of attitudes, the love and openness
and vulnerability of people who are reaching out to share their experiences.
Audiences all over the world, English-speaking or not, have responded to
these qualities in Peter, Paul and Mary. If the words sometimes are unfamiliar,
their message is unmistakable: we are alive, we feel, we care.
Folk music is an expression of the same attitudes, born out of the need
for people to communicate their struggle and sorrow, love and despair.
"The music humbles you after awhile," says Peter. "You want to go abroad
and say these things because that is what the music says."
the famed Olympia Theatre in Paris, cool concertgoers, unaccustomed to
whole concerts by a single group, rewarded the trio at the end of each
song with rhythmic clapping which went through the group like shock waves.
In France they re-met old friends, too, like singer Hughes Aufrey whom
they knew from the days when they were all appearing together at the old
Blue Angel in New York; and they made new ones such as Françoise
Hardy, top French singing star who looks a bit like Mary, and found themselves
talking not in clichés but about personal truths, all the more moving
because they had been arrived at by such restaurants, went to discotheques
and bought clothes at Cardin, antiques at the Flea Market.
At the Eiffel Tower they struck up a friendship with some visiting school-children
who taught them a song and in turn learned a game of folded hands in follow-the-leader
fashion from Paul, all without benefit of an interpreter. Then Peter borrowed
a pair of roller skates and took a turn about the plaza. To the children,
they were just a few crazy Americaines: to PP&M it was one of
the times of their lives.
traveled at an exhausting pace, playing to capacity audiences in London's
festival Hall, in the resort town of Blackpool ("gray, gray") and six other
English cities. They shopped on Carnaby Street and in the stalls of Portobello
Road, struggled with the left-handed traffic and admired the mod girls
with their long hair and short skirts ("overwhelming," said Peter). Mary
posed for a leading fashion photographer and Lady Caroline Codogan posed
for Peter in a London art gallery. They met the Beatles in the same gambling
casino where the old man had his day in A Hard Day's Night; and
experienced the mystifying English reverence for the supercool. They abhorred
the passive acceptance of class distinctions, and adored the luxurious
old buildings and exquisite English countryside.
In Tokyo, a Japanese interpreter read each song aloud as a poem before
PP&M sang it; often there were no comparative words for the English
meaning, but the group's voices and expressions made them self-evident.
Japanese audiences were touched to find PP&M sharing their ethic about
war, and in a press conference revealed keen interest in the song, "Where
Have All The Flowers Gone."
Peter observed the observers, characterizing the Japanese as "watchers
and absorbers... not attention-getters as we are in the West." They met
a young Japanese singing group called Peter, Paul & Mary, who sing
their songs and imitate their beards-and-blonde style proudly; and the
became Japanese food fanciers, especially over Kobi beef and Tempura (deep-fry as mother never made it.) Paul, already embarked on a second
career of designing clothes, had a tailor make up one of his designs for
the first time (a dress which his wife Betty subsequently wore to a White
House party for U Thant), and enjoyed playing golf attended by lady caddies.
The group went to Japanese nightclubs ("the most expensive in the world")
and tasted a still postwar of "everything available at a price."
The geisha hostesses surprised Peter, who found himself spellbound in
spite of himself (they don't talk until they have something pertinent to
say, and then they charm you totally").
They met young people of English descent involved in civil rights for the
Maori natives. While working to educate the natives: they had become involved
in the Maori culture, learning and doing dances in which the eyes roll
and the tongues wag ("beautiful once you get used to it").
This leg of the tour included Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane Perth and Canberra.
PP&M found the Australians warm and friendly and accepting of such
exuberant behavior as Peter's climbing a tree
on the main avenue because he was feeling good ("they just smiled up and
kept going"). They look healthy, "like Californians only without neuroses,"
and are very outspoken.
At one concert Peter got the audience to sing "Rock My Soul," and the
noise of stamping feet at the end of the song, a sign of high approval,
woke up Mary's husband Barry napping in the dressing room, who thought
a riot had broken out. Australians are just beginning to have a folk consciousness
and kept requesting that the group sing Australian songs. They bought back
Gary Shearston's "Sometime Lovin'," now on "Album".
Summed up Mary, "It's great to go abroad and see how different people
live, eat different foods, buy native products. But the best, and saddest
part, is making friends. Beautiful people. You get home and there's a Saturday
night with nothing planned and you think how you'd like to see Tosh, or
Tosh would like this, but he's ten thousand miles away. Makes you twice
as lonely. Sometimes I wish there were one wonderful place where everybody
we like would want to live so we could be together all the time."
THE LONG MARCH
On August 28th, 1963, 500,000 Americans of every color and background converged
on Washington, DC and walked from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln
Memorial in an expression of unity and will to preserve the rights of all
free men. Prophets of riots and violence tried to discourage preparations
for the march; few could anticipate the incredible aura of that day. Said
Mary, "When you walk in a room where somebody has died you can feel the
sorrow, or where there is frustration you can feel the anger. That day
you could touch the hope and love in the air. It was breathable and intoxicating."
Half a million minds projecting good will towards men had a power that
subdued all opposition.
The March on Washington was just the beginning. That afternoon was marked
by a sense of history; senators and congressmen were respectful witnesses
to this unforgettable commitment by the people. Compared to what was to
follow, said Paul, "It was the difference between performing at a USO club
behind the lines and being in the trenches." Less than two years later,
PP&M participated in the march from Selma to Montgomery, the state
capital of Alabama. Upon arrival in Selma on the eve of the march they
were escorted into a bus with the other performers under police protection.
The group was transported to a mud field where 30,000 people were waiting
- all of them Negro, most of them impoverished - to hear them perform.
The sound equipment, however, had failed to arrive. PP&M manager Tom
Law arranged to borrow some from the US Army, and two hours later the concert
at last got underway.
Because of the shaky quality of the sound transmission it was necessary
to sing very slowly and rhythmically, so the words could be understood,
and the effect was magical. As PP&M, Dick Gregory, Tony Bennett, Nina
Simone and 40 others talked and sang, the audience was transformed. Weeping
and laughing, their open response made it mean more than a paid performance
for the participants. "We were allowed to give more than an audience will
usually permit performers to give," said Peter. After the concert, the
performers went to a Negro bar and grill for dinner, the only place they
were welcome. The entire situation was fraught with danger, and Mary, who
was pregnant at the time, was concerned; "but were never happier." It is
this kind of shared experience which makes PP&M's work meaningful for
them, and which they feel keeps them together.
The following day on the road to Montgomery, they passed an all-Negro
primary school. The children were forbidden to leave their classrooms,
so they all put their hands out of the windows to wave and cheer the marchers.
Even hecklers were too awed by the spiritual strength that pervaded the
group to sustain their hatred. In St. Jude, a town outside Montgomery ,
a police official bowed his head during the singing of "We Shall Overcome,"
tapping his flashlight against his leg in time to the music.
As a result of their involvement in these events, PP&M were picketed
when they gave a concert in Tulsa ("Communists Go Back to Selma"), a stink
bomb was thrown in the theatre, and anti-PP&M articles appeared in
Southern newspapers accusing them of provoking trouble. FBI men were present
and there was real fear, but the group received a standing ovation from
the audience. The Governor of Kentucky invited them to campaign in his
state because of their attitude of affirmation rather than finger-pointing.
Having acquired respect in the South through their art as performers,
they chose to use this influence there. Actions can be changed by legislation,
but attitudes can be changed only with love. "We did not go to the South
for the Negro. We went for people whose dignity had been violated,
because we felt a violation to our own dignity. It was an act of self-preservation."
Richard Kniss, Most Valuable Player on Bass
Management: Albert B. Grossman and John Court
Musical Director: Milt Okun
Program Book Credits:
Art Director/Editor: Milton Glaser
Designer: Vincent Ceci
Photographs by: Barry Feinstein
Text by: Myrna Muskin Davis
Printed by: The Astoria Press