Judy Collins Interview
PO Box 1296
NY, NY 10025
Contact: Katherine DePaul
Q: How did your newest song, Dreamers, come about and can you elaborate on the inspiration?
JC: I didn't understand what I had at first, and then I was in Seattle in February and my husband said to me, 'You know, you should really sing that song.' I said, 'Well, it's not ready. I'm playing it on the piano and I'm trying.' He said, 'Just sing it a cappella. Just sing it. You need it. We all need it.' So that's what I did, and the results speak for themselves. All of us are immigrants who have come here to escape fascism, religious persecution, crime, dictatorships and in the case of many, starvation. We have been the haven for democracy through our history. Now a tide of hatred, prejudice, name calling and cruelty has infiltrated our nation. The Dreamers and the people seeking asylum in our country have become the canaries in our mine. We must remember who we are and save our democracy.
Q: You and Stephen Stills share such an amazing history, and have been on tour for the past two years with almost 150 shows under your belt. Are you having a good time out on the road?
JC: We're having a fabulous time, and he [Stephen] says that it's the happiest he's been in a partnership. and we're both so happy doing it. The band we have with us is so wonderful, and our crew. There's no reason to stop now. And, you have no idea how much fun it is to be on stage together.
Q: Your collaborative album with Ari Hest, Silver Skies Blue, was nominated for a Grammy in 2017. How did you and Ari connect, and what was it like to receive a nomination after 50 years?
JC: Being nominated for a Grammy was a healthy injection into my career, because then the larger music family notices you and talks about you to promoters, who then get you jobs. But, I discovered Ari Hest about four or five years ago and loved his voice. I’ve never found anyone else I could sing with so comfortably. Writing the songs together for that album was a natural progression. After we worked together on Strangers, Ari and I met up for lunch, and he said he thought we should try to write together. And I said, "Fantastic." It was very unpressured. We had no thoughts about where it would lead. We just did it for the love of it. He lives in New Jersey, and he would come across the river, so to speak, and we would work in my studio. We'd have lunch, talk about our various friends and families, and then we'd go in and sit around for an hour or two with songs. That allowed me to dig into my writing in a different kind of way.
Q: How are you able to stay so prolific when it comes to music and writing?
JC: I'm always making resolutions about my career, and two years ago, I decided to start a "90 in 90" project, which meant I wrote a new song every day for 90 days. Just to keep the wheels oiled. But then [it was suggested] that I do it for the whole year — that way I'd have a book of poetry/songs by the end of the year. So that's what I did in 2016.
Q: Your latest book, “Cravings” details your struggles with addictions? How do you think this book will help people who are struggling.
“Cravings” explores my addictions and how I really worked through them and overcame them. I really wrote the book so that I could help people understand there is a solution and they don’t have to go through all the years of struggle that I went through. We are addicted to sugar, grains, flour, wheat and junk, and they will increase the chance of bulimia, obesity and anorexia. Those (foods) contain alcohol and they set up a craving and a compulsion to have more. I don’t have any cravings now, and for years that was the problem.