Credo: Joan Baez, folk singer, 67

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The Independent Online

Being at home is more exhausting than being on tour. When I'm travelling I can put up a "Do Not Disturb" sign, unplug the phone and not worry that I'm responsible for everything. That I like.

For a lot of people, the 1960s are too much of a dream. A lot of young people say, "Oh man, I wish I'd been there." It was an extraordinary time. And guess what? It's over.

Martin Luther King was the most laid-back human being I've ever met. He had a marvellous sense of humour that people, on the whole, didn't get to see very much of. I knew history was happening when I heard him speak.

It's an accident of birth that I happen to be American. But it's an accident of birth that people take so seriously that they go around killing each other for it.

Barack Obama is a statesman and I know that if he was elected, he would not embarrass me. I know I would have differences with him. I mean, he would be the commander-in-chief of the army, navy and air force, and I'm a pacifist.

Folk music was a perfect storm. I liked the honesty of it, and the stories. I showed up, Dylan showed up, the anti-war and civil-rights movements showed up. There was a community of people who worked together during that time.

I managed to get a grip on my stage fright through therapy. It was so intensely unpleasant for so many years, and then I changed. I never really believed that people could make that big a change.

I'm a natural dancer. Dancing moves the body in a way nothing else can. It loosens things up. I like samba and Latin dance.

Nature is important to me. I sleep in a tree house – actually, it's just a platform – all summer long. I like to see the sky and the stars. Sometimes the birds are flying so close to my head I can feel the wind. Those things are heaven to me. n

Joan Baez begins a UK tour tomorrow. For details, visit