Popular Capricorn Sun Sign People
Joan Baez, Musician and Anti-War Activist
Joan Baez—1/9/1941—is a well known American folk singer, songwriter, musician, and has been a prominent activist in the fields of human rights, peace and environmentalism over the years. She was born in NY, from a Father born in Mexico, and a Mother from Edinburgh, Scotland. Joan had two sisters. The Baez family converted to Quakerism when Joan was young, and she still identifies with its traditions of pacifism and social issues. Since her Father worked for UNESCO, the family moved all across America, but also lived in England, France, Switzerland, Spain, Canada, and the Middle East, most notably Iraq. So Joan had a broad outlook on the world for a woman so young, and quickly chose her course of involvement with civil rights, non violence and social justice.
Baez Uses Fame as Platform for Social Unrest
Her family moved to MA when her Father began to work at MIT, and it put Joan in the heart of the up and coming folk music scene in Boston and Cambridge. She performed in coffeehouses while accompanied by her acoustic guitar, and her appearances drew much attention and praise. She was dubbed, “the barefoot Madonna with the otherworldly voice.” Joan’s career took a leap forward at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1959, and she soon recorded her first album, a collection of folk ballads and blues numbers. Joan speaks fluent Spanish, and also records and releases albums in Spanish. Her 2nd two albums, Joan Baez Volume 2 and Joan Baez in Concert, Parts 1 and 2 went gold, making her a star.
Baez was also responsible for making the then unknown Bob Dylan a star, giving up some of her sets to him. It was precious stage time she gave him, as then men dominated the music scene. They were romantically linked from 1962-1965, but she wanted Bob to join her in her anti-war and social work, and that was not the life he wanted to lead. Baez does a lot of cover songs from other artists, particularly Dylan. She recorded an album for her husband David Harris in 1969, after he was imprisoned for resisting the draft during the Vietnam War. He introduced Joan to Country/Rock, and Joan appeared at Woodstock. Once the documentaries of Woodstock came out, Joan got much more fame and began writing more of her own songs.
Joan Baez Continues Her Social Work
Her beautifully distinctive voice and social activism had a big impact on popular music at the time. Joan Baez was one of the first to use her celebrity as a means of social protest. Joan performed at George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh, actually one of the first “charity” concerts. Joan Baez was given an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Antioch and Rutgers’s Universities in 1980, for her political activism and the universality of her music. She played a big part in the Live Aid effort for African famine relief, and still travels to sing to protest various causes. Joan went to the Middle East in 1987 to sing songs for peace for the Israelis and the Palestinians. In 1989 she performed in then Communist Czechoslovakia, and met Vaclav Havel, the future president, and she let him carry her guitar so he could avoid arrest. Joan was greeted by an excited crowd, but the electricity was shut down, so Joan sang a capella for the 4,000 people who came to meet and great her.
Baez Played Role in founding Amnesty International
Joan’s work has mainly been re-mastered and re-released so the sound is much better. She lends her gorgeous voice to any worthy cause, one for Mothers who have lost adult children in war. Baez marched with Cindy Sheehan when her son was killed during the W. Bush administration, when bereaved parents wanted a little recognition that their beloved ones died for our country. Joan met Martin Luther King Jr. and marched with him in Selma, Montgomery. She has always been linked with the song “We Shall Overcome,” as she sang it on one of King’s civil disobedience marches. Baez was invited to the Obama White House and sang a lovely rendition of the song for the newly inaugurated President and his First Lady.
Baez played a big role in founding the US Chapter of Amnesty International. She finally formed her own Human Rights Organization, Humanitas International in the 1980’s, to help fight oppressed people wherever they were. While touring in Brazil, Chile and Argentina, she received death threats. After the Tiananmen Square Massacre, she wrote the song “China,” to condemn the Communist Chinese Government for its bloody killing of thousands of innocent students who only made a stand for democracy.
Joan opposes the Death Penalty, sings Amazing Grace and other spiritual songs with that remarkable voice at rallies, and at age 70, still appears at many events in support of the LGBT community to support them. She has sat in large redwood trees to bring attention to poverty and the destruction of redwoods that are hundreds of years old. Although Joan supports so many political causes, she never endorsed a candidate before Barack Obama. She has said, “He reminds of an old friend, MLK.” Baez has also been involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement. She was honored by Amnesty International at their 50th anniversary in San Francisco for Outstanding Inspirational Service in the Global Fight for Human Rights. One of her most lovely and haunting songs is “Blessed Are” and although Joan Baez is a class act, she is surely one of the Blessed Ones herself, giving so much of herself for others who need help
Edgar Allen Poe
Edgar Allen Poe
Edgar Allan Poe—1/19/1809—10/7/1849—is best known for his stories and poems of mystery and the macabre. Poe was a poet, editor, and mostly known as a literary critic. He was an early writer of short stories, and considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre. He also contributed to the then emerging genre of science fiction. Poe was the first successful American writer to earn a living through writing alone. He was born Edgar Poe in Boston, MA, but became an orphan young when his Father left and his Mother died. He was taken in by John and Francis Allan of Richmond, VA, but although they let him live with them and use their name, they never adopted Edgar.
Poe Was the First American to Make a Living As A Poet
Unable to support himself, he joined the Army as a private, saying he was 22 when he was only 18. Poe released his first book that year, 1827, Tamerlane and Other Poems. It received no attention. He served the Army for 2 years and tried to get released early, and with John Allan’s help, Poe received an appointment to West Point. Right before he reported for duty, Poe released his second book, Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Other Poems. He wrote his third book while at West Point, simply called Poems. His fellow classmates chipped in money to pay the expenses and he dedicated it to them. But Poe hated it at West Point, and deliberately got himself kicked out.
It was a hard time to be a poetry writer when Poe first started out, and he began to write prose instead. In 1835 he married his 13 yr. old cousin Virginia Clemm. Once Poe began writing prose, he got jobs working for literary journals and periodicals, and became a respected literary critic. Poe’s best work is Gothic, but he just wrote it because it sold. The themes he most visited in his writings are questions of death and its physical signs, decomposition, worries about premature burial, the reanimation of the dead, and mourning. Capricorns do have a sense of humor, but it is dry and unexpected when it appears. Poe also wrote satires, hoaxes, and humorous tales (though humorous to him may not have been considered humorous by others).
Poe Wrote a Lot About Death
Poe was a caustic literary critic, and people used to dread his opinions. He became known as a fiction writer, and one of the first 19th century American authors to be more popular in Europe than America. Poe’s early detective fiction opened doors for other authors, such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who said, “Where was the detective story before Poe breathed life into it?” The Mystery Writers of America name their awards for excellence in the detective and mystery genre as “Edgars.” Poe’s work influenced Science Fiction too, especially Jules Verne, who wrote the sequel to Poe’s The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. Many artists have imitators, but Poe had claims by clairvoyants and psychics that they were “channeling” poems from his spirit! One of those was Lizzie Doten, who published Poems From the Inner Life, insisting she “received” them by Poe’s spirit.
Poe was interested in cryptography, inviting admissions of ciphers in the newspapers so he could solve them. The public liked the subject, and Poe had keen analytical abilities, much more than the ignorant public. He used simple substitution cryptograms which were easy for him to solve, to put himself at an advantage. The historical Poe has appeared as a fiction character, often as a “mad genius” or “tortured artist” as he exploited stories of his personal struggles. He also enjoyed using his mystery solving skills as described in The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl. No childhood home of Poe’s is standing, but there is an Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, VA in a building called The Old Stone House. The earliest surviving home he actually lived in is located in Baltimore, preserved as The Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum. He is said to have lived there with his wife, Virginia Clemm (they remained together and had another wedding ceremony when she was of age), and its upkeep is the job of a group of students called The Raven Society. Poe apparently also lived for a time in New York’s Upper West Side, and a plaque suggests he wrote The Raven in a bar there.
Janis Lyn Joplin—1/19/1943—10/4/1970—Janis was an American singer and songwriter born in Port Arthur TX. Janis was always a nonconformist, her hometown was boring to her, and she felt like an outcast there. She had the usual skin problems young people do, but in addition to that, admired blues singers like Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Lead Belly, and Elmore James. This was considered odd in a conservative southern town, and Janis, liking to read, paint, and have black friends, just wanted to get away. She did get admitted into the University of TX, but left to explore the scene in Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco.
She arrived in 1966, and her blues singing grabbed the attention of a psychedelic acid rock band called Big Brother and the Holding Company, who was starting to gain a following in Haight-Ashbury. Janis always had a rebellious personality, but many thought her performances were electric. She fell into a heroin habit almost immediately when she got to CA. She met Country Joe MacDonald of Country Joe and the Fish, and they lived together for a few months. She did a charity performance called the Mantra-Rock Dance, performed at the Avalon Ballroom, for the San Francisco Hare Krishna Temple, along with the Grateful Dead (who lived close by Janis), Allen Ginsberg, Moby Grape, and also played at the Filmore West and the Hollywood Bowl in LA. Their breakthrough performance was at the Monterey Pop Festival. Janis did a rendition of Big Mama Thornton’s Ball and Chain, and people were amazed. She did tour with Big Brother in NY at the Anderson Theater, with Jimi Hendrix, Paul Butterfield, Richie Havens, Joni Mitchell and Buddy Guy, at a Memorial Concert for Martin Luther King Jr.
Janis and Big Brother appeared on TV a few times, and Time Magazine called her, “the most powerful singer to emerge from the white rock movement.” Many were advising Janis to drop Big Brother and get a better band, and they felt she was hogging the attention. They recorded Cheap Thrills together, and Janis was organized and on top of things, in a very Capricorn manner. Her voice had such a raw, emotional sound, it just cut like a knife. Finally she moved on to the Kosmic Blues Band, a more rhythm and blues band, but she was still doing a lot of drugs. Janis did appear at Woodstock, she was promoted as a headliner before she even heard about it or knew anything about the concert. She had to wait her turn to get on the stage, and consequently was high and drunk, but the crowd was too, so enjoyed her performance. Janis was excited and happy to be at Woodstock and see the other performers, but went home to Port Arthur shortly afterward. She then used Full Tilt Boogie as her backup band, and they went to Rio, but when they returned Janis was using heroin again. She also usually had a bottle of Southern Comfort she slugged from while onstage. Janis loved outlandish clothing, like the Boa she wears on the cover of Pearl, and often put feathers and beads in her hair. She liked attention and was her own person. She also lived with Kris Kristofferson for a while. Janis was reportedly bisexual, and there was a woman she was involved with on and off, named Peggy Caserta.
Me and Bobby McGee
Janis decided to go home to her 10 year H.S. reunion, and discussed it on the Dick Cavett show. He asked about her HS years, and she told him, “They laughed me out of the class, out of my town, and out of the state.” She did attend the event with her sister and a few friends, but it was an unhappy experience for her. Although Rolling Stone interviewed her and she was successful, her community was cruel, calling her a “Babylonian whore” and such. This writer is always shocked that people in the Deep South never seem to grow or change with the times. Babylonian Whore? Jesus defended whores, and in some versions of his story, slept with them.
Janis’s last performance with The Full Tilt Boogie Band was in Harvard Stadium in Boston, MA. It got very positive reviews, and Janis returned to LA with them and recorded an almost complete album, with enough tracks to make the full album, Pearl, which was released after her death. Pearl became her best selling record, and Me and Bobby McGee, Kris Kristofferson’s song, was her biggest ever hit single. Joplin wrote Move Over herself, as it was her outlook on the way men treated women. She made her a cappella social commentary on Mercedes Benz.
Janis checked into the Landmark Motor Hotel 8/24/70, near where she was having a fling with a UC Berkeley student, and continued to work on The Pearl, which also became a nickname of hers. When she didn’t show up for a recording session on 10/4/1970, her band manager became concerned, and went to the Hotel and saw her car there. Unfortunately, Janis had already died and was lying on the floor. Tragically, she was only 27, and although people tried to intervene, it did not work. The rock world was stunned, as Jimi Hendrix died only about 16 days before that.
Grace Slick and Stevie Nicks both credit Joplin with opening new doors for women in the rock world. Janis wore body art before it was popular, she had a wristlet and a small heart on her left breast. Her flamboyant hairstyles were unique, and stores she frequented often held aside unusual or funky things they knew she would like. The Mamas and the Papas tribute Janis with their song, Pearl, from People Like Us. Leonard Cohen’s song Chelsea Hotel # 2 was about Janis. Jerry Garcia’s Birdsong was about Janis and the end of her suffering through death. Joan Baez has sung two tributes to Janis, In the Quiet Morning and Children of the Eighties. The Bette Midler film The Rose was about Janis, but they could not call it the Pearl for legal reasons. When Don MacLean sings about “The girl who sang the blues” in his song American Pie, many believe he is referring to Janis. Janis Joplin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, and given a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Too bad it was such a short and unhappy life, she was a very talented young woman, and it is heartbreaking to see how young and vulnerable she really was.
Alan Watts, Theologian and Philosopher
Alan Watts—1/6/1915—11/16/1973—was a philosopher with a Master’s Degree in Theology from England, and was an Episcopal priest, but around 1950 began to study Asian religions. He was a very good speaker and lecturer, and when he moved to California, he began to write books about Buddhism and Hinduism, and to give lectures about them, in language that people could easily understand.
He enjoyed his Ministry, but found that most of his Christian parishioners did not really believe much of the Bible, and eventually realized that he did not either. He did not mean this as a put down, but admits that Christianity is not a religion which is easy to understand, and his books reflect his well thought out arguments and knowledge of the Bible. Alan’s Maternal Grandfather had been a missionary, so he credits his Mom for her influence in his interest in philosophies and religions, and this fed Alan’s desire to learn more about the seemingly mysterious and romantic Far East.
Watts Studies Buddhism
Alan was not ordained as a Zen monk, but he needed an outlet for all his philosophical thoughts. By now he was married and had Watts described himself as headstrong, imaginative and talkative. He was sent to boarding schools from a young age, and always wondered why religious education was so maudlin and grim. During his teen years he found a mentor who introduced him to Buddhism as they travelled through Europe. He also studied several types of meditation during those years. Once he finished secondary school, but still was in England, Watts read philosophy, history, psychology, psychiatry, and Eastern religions while visiting a Buddhist Lodge. At the age of 21, Watts attended the World Congress of Faiths, heard T.D. Suzuki, and was thrilled to meet this scholar he admired so much.
When he moved to America, he was still trying to work on the Christian religion, but bring new elements he found from Eastern religion into his practice. When Watts wrote the thesis to get his Doctorate in Theology, he could not hide the contempt he felt for religions that caused people to believe out of fear and guilt. Still, he tried out being an Episcopal priest for a few years, but an affair ruined his marriage and made him decide to leave that ministry. So he moved to CA in 1951, and joined the Academy of Asian studies in San Francisco. While Watts primarily was interested in Buddhism, he learned written Chinese, calligraphy, cybernetics, semantics, natural history and the anthropology of sexuality.
Watts Was A Fascinating Lecturer, and His Message is Still Timely
Alan Watts came into contact with many different people in what he called the human potential movement. He had a talent for speaking, and gave many radio lectures on Buddhism, Hinduism, and philosophy, and that was how he came to this writer’s attention a few years ago. I can recall hearing him on shows when I was in High School, but was not listening for his message at that time. When the student is ready, the teacher appears! Watts was always concerned with World Peace, and usually lived in quiet, rural places to contemplate and enjoy nature, and enjoyed the different stages of personal growth. Watts thought that absolute morality had nothing to do with realizing one’s own deep spiritual identity. He advanced social rather than personal ethics. He often said he wished to be a bridge between East and West, between nature and culture.
Capricorn people have a serious outlook on life, and Watts certainly spent much time trying to answer his own questions about life and death, and pass on what he learned to others. He was married three times, and had seven children. Alan Watts writes in a very interesting and engaging style, and I have enjoyed and learned a great deal from listening to his lectures and reading his books. You do not have to want to practice Eastern religions to gain from listening to Watts, you just need to be open to Spiritual growth as a person. Watts lived out the rest of his life in a houseboat Sausalito, CA, and in a secluded cabin on Mount Tamalpais. He had a positive and interesting world view. His son Mark acts as a curator of his Father’s work, much of his lectures are available in books or CD and DVD.
Jason Segal was born on January 18, 1980, in Los Angeles, CA. Most people are familiar with him because he played Marshall Ericksen on How I Met Your Mother for nine seasons, but he’s a talented guy who managed to get a lot of other projects in between filming HIMYM. Segal was raised “Jewish and a little of everything” as he puts it, and has a brother and sister.
His first TV role was on Freaks and Geeks, and he composed a song himself to sing to one of the other characters. Jason had several roles on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and was also Eric on Undeclared. He wanted to get out of his contract in the last year of HIMYM, but was convinced to stay on when promised it was truly only one more season. That seems like something his character Marshall would do; in that show he was usually the most mature one in the group.
Unforgettable in Forgetting Sarah Marshall
His most unforgettable movie scene happened in Forgetting Sarah Marshall in 2008, which he also wrote and produced. In a scene where he thinks his girlfriend, played by Kristan Bell, is coming over because she’s in the mood for romance, Segal’s character Peter jumps out of bed in the nude, only to find out she’s there to break up with him. And you thought you had bad break ups!
Jason also co-wrote most of the music for the 2010 comedy Get Him To the Greek. He often sings songs he wrote himself in his movie roles. Segal was a big Muppets fan when he was a kid, and wanted to make a movie about them for future generations, so the Muppets would not be forgotten. He had a part in Muppets in Space, though is not planning any sequels. Jason was working on a series of YA novels in 2013, based on a storyline he thought of in his teens. He released his first YA film, Nightmares, with Kirsten Miller, in 2014, the first book of a three part series.
End of the Tour
Jason dated his costar in Freaks and Geeks Linda Cardellini after the show was cancelled. He also dated Michele Williams for about a year in 2012-2013. He is currently dating Alexis Mixter,
as the two were spotted at LAX airport in 2014. Alexis is the sister of Real L World actress Whitney Mixter. Jason and Alexis were spotted together while shopping for organic food in West Hollywood.
In the movie End of the Tour, Segal plays David Foster Wallace, based on a series of interviews about him conducted by Rolling Stone’s David Lipsky. Wallace’s suicide in 2008 made it so the interview never ran, but apparently Segal does a great job as Wallace in the movie. This writer has seen trailers of it and it looks like it would be interesting to see Jason in such a serious role. There are transcripts of Wallace’s interviews in the book Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself. Sounds like good stuff.