Liner Notes by Richard Fariņa
Fariņa wrote the liner notes to the following albums:
(listed in chronological order)

Dick Fariņa & Eric Von Schmidt: Dick Fariņa & Eric Von Schmidt (1963) Folklore F-LEUT/7

Eric von Schmidt: Eric Sings von Schmidt. (1964) Prestige 7384
Richard wrote a short poem for each of the songs on this album. All songs are by Von Schmidt, and they all have lyrics, but where you would expect the printed lyrics on the back, you find instead poems by Fariņa (although the relation between the song and the poem is not always clear). Thus, this was, like the proposed illustrated novel, another innovative Fariņa/von Schmidt collaboration fusing two genres--but this one was actually completed. There is also a poem called, "SOME NOTES, A LONG TIME COMING: for Kay," that doesn't go with any of the songs. The liner notes are dated Dec. 1964. The album had two different covers, both illustrated by von Schmidt.

Apparently there was also a Japanese CD: P-VIN, 1999 (UPC: 4995879053058)

Richard and Jim: Folk Songs and Country Sounds (1964) Capitol T-2058.
Richard Lockmiller and Jim Connor recorded their first album on Folklore Records in London, and Fariņa met them through Tom Costner, who produced both the Richard & Jim album as well as Dick Fariņa & Eric Von Schmidt. Through this connection, Fariņa wrote the liner notes for Richard and Jim's second album, pictured here. Fariņa's notes consist of a brief biography of Richard and Jim told in a southern style, along with a few comments on some of the songs. Fariņa mentions that Richard and Jim "headed West just in time to make a wedding on the coast and give the guests a chance to hear what they were up to. They'd carried an old wrought iron kettle all the way from Alabama. They gave it to the bride and groom, said so long and sang their way right into the Capitol recording studio." This curiously irrelevant wedding tangent evidently refers to Dick and Mimi's own wedding in California.

Because this album is somewhat rare, I've include a bigger picture of the cover. Click here for more details.

Mimi & Richard Fariņa: Celebrations for a Grey Day
Richard & Mimi Fariņa: Reflections in a Crystal Wind

Fariņa of course wrote the liner notes of the two albums he recorded with Mimi.

Judy Collins: Fifth Album (1965) Elektra EKS-7300
Fariņa wrote a nice poem for the back cover of this album. It was not included in Long Time Coming and a Long Time Gone, although I think it's one of his better poems. It is included on the CD reissue.

Various Artists: Singer Songwriter Project (1965) Elektra EKS-7299.
For this album Fariņa wrote a longish essay on the evolution of poetry into folk music as experienced by his generation. He showed a McLuhanesque awareness of the power of the new electronic media, similar to Peter Stampfel's comments in the liner notes to the Holy Modal Rounders' first album. The Singer Songwriter Project essay was reprinted in Crawdaddy magazine (vol. 1, no. 3, March 28, 1966) under the title, "Your Very Own Name," and fortunately it was also included in the CD re-issue.

Mark Spoelstra: Five and Twenty Questions (1965) Elektra EKS-7283
(Reissued by Collector's Choice in 2006)
Mark Spoelstra was an old friend of Joan Baez; they dated in high school. Fariņa met Spoelstra at the Big Sur Folk Festival where Richard & Mimi performed their first professional gig in June of 1964. In these liner notes Fariņa recalls his meeting with Spoelstra at a "seminar on the how-comes of New Folk Music" that attended the Festival, and he praises Spoelstra's political and musical integrity. Cover photo by William S. Harvey.

Paul Arnoldi: A One Note Man (1966) Kapp KS-3478
Fariņa wrote biographical notes as well as a poem for Paul Arnoldi's album. Paul has graciously allowed me to reprint the poem here, and he even sent me a copy of the manuscript!

Click here to see the manuscript of this poem.
Click here to see the back cover and a detail of the front cover.

Note: Fariņa was also a Pisces (born March 8th, 1937), which he called the "smiling sign" in the last line of the original version.

Paul Arnoldi is a Pisces.
When the signs of Saturn,
Mercury, and maybe Mars
are in his fish's favor,
and the night is swimming rings
around an easy earth,
you can find him eating violets
in the darkness,
even leaping in a loincloth,
dancing on the cobbles
of another's mind,
singing songs of childhood,
blue balloons,
cars that grin like cheshire cats,
and marble moons,
and things that go unseen
to colder eyes.
He knows a dog
that flies;
and when he cries,
the tears are crystal stars--
which unlike ours
fall out and up
instead of foolish down.


He wanders like a clown
who lost his carnival
among the suburbs
of some western town,
but doesn't care
who finds it there.
He has a house called Daydream,
a piglet for a friend,
a phoenix on his arm,
a flower in his shoe,
some heather in his hair,
a hobbit who's not there,
an owl that fails to stare,
a most peculiar bat
who whispers where it's at
when salesmen come to call
and linger in the hall
before they ring the bell
that makes no sound at all.
At all at all at all.

--Richard Fariņa


Paul Arnoldi's website is at www.paularnoldi.com

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