Richard & Mimi Fariña

Rainbow Quest Pete Seeger #16

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At the time, this was probably considered just another episode in Seeger's Rainbow Quest TV program. But it's now an important historical document, as it contains the only widely circulated footage of Richard & Mimi Fariña, as Richard died in a motorcycle accident shortly after this segment was filmed. The pair perform very well (though acoustically, and not with the rock instruments that embellished some of their recordings) on a six-minute instrumental and several of their best songs, including "Bold Marauder," "Pack Up Your Sorrows," and "Joy 'Round My Brain." Mimi Fariña, then only 20 years old, is quiet to the point of shyness during the talk segments. But the voluble Richard Fariña offers some interesting comments about his songs and Joan Baez's school for non-violence (in which the Fariñas participated). Pete Seeger, who tends toward the over-talkative throughout the Rainbow Quest series, has some more interesting things to say than usual, particularly in his enthusiastic recollection and endorsement of the Fariñas' performance at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. Seeger has sometimes gone down in history as one of the purist folkies opposed to the new folk-rock blood of the mid-'60s due to his angry reaction to Bob Dylan's electric set at the same Newport festival. Rainbow Quest episodes featuring the Fariñas and Donovan offer evidence of his open-mindedness. More importantly, these are very good performances, filmed in the usual basic but satisfactory, no-frills Rainbow Quest style, enjoyable and instructive for almost any 1960s folk or folk-rock fan.