Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mimi Baez Fariña Melvin's Big Sur Wedding.












In 1968, Mima Baez Fariña donned a flower crown and wed her second husband, record producer and radio announcer Milan Melvin, in dreamiest late summer/early fall wedding ceremony during the Big Sur Folk Festival.  

"Melvin was tall and gaunt, almost Abraham-Lincoln-like, with long black hair. Before meeting Mimi, he had been in a relationship with Janis Joplin. The connection with Janis apparently caused some bad blood between the two singers. Mimi also began to hang out with some of Janis' friends, including Linda Gravenites, a designer who roomed with Janis and also made dresses for Janis' stage act. The last straw, for Janis, came when Mimi asked Linda Gravenites to make her wedding dress. Linda created the appliquéd lace with a beaded lace train that is seen in all the photos of Mimi's wedding with Melvin. 
Their wedding took place at the Big Sur Folk Festival on September 7. Inspired by the sight of Mimi in her wedding dress, Joan wrote one of her first and best songs, "Sweet Sir Galahad," about their courtship and marriage. Home-movie footage of the wedding appears in Celebration at Big Sur, with Joan's performance of the song (from the next fest, in 1969) providing the soundtrack as Mimi and Milan prance in the grass. 
During her second marriage Mimi settled into the role of housewife and was not active musically--only one credit to "Mimi Fariña Melvin" appears on record, on Joan's David's Album, where the sisters sing "Poor Wayfaring Stranger." The marriage did not last. Many sources say Mimi and Milan separated after two years, while Mimi stated that they were married three years and broke up when she was 25. Milan moved to England in the summer of 1970, so perhaps that marked the end of the relationship. Mimi later came to regard the marriage as "a cop-out:" "I was rescuing myself from having to face life alone again.... It was just at that time that my life finally began developing on its own. Suddenly, and miraculously, I began writing songs and finally got a driver's license and started to get around." She also returned to the surname Fariña--perhaps a symbolic act. "I'll always love Dick," she recalled years later. "He was an impossible act to follow." 
 -- From the Mimi Farina Biography site

Image source:  Here



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