Baez Furious At Military Gig 'Ban'
LATEST: Folk singer JOAN BAEZ is fuming she was prevented from performing for wounded US soldiers last week (27Apr07), branding the ban "a strange irony".
The star, a staunch anti-war activist, was invited to perform alongside rocker JOHN MELLENCAMP at the Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C. but organisers refused her a stage slot just days before the gig.
Now Baez is accusing officials of a deliberate snub based on her outspoken views against the war in Iraq and anti-Vietnam war songs like Blowin' In The Wind.
She says, "I have always been an advocate for non-violence and I have stood as firmly against the Iraq war as I did the Vietnam war 40 years ago.
"I realise now that I might have contributed to a better welcome home for those soldiers fresh from Vietnam. Maybe that's why I didn't hesitate to accept the invitation to sing for those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
"In the end, four days before the concert, I was not 'approved' by the Army to take part. Strange irony.
A spokesman for Walter Reed Medical Center claims Baez's appearance was "not in the agreement".