The American folk singer and anti-war activist Joan Baez has returned to a bunker in Vietnam where she spent nine days sheltering from ferocious American air raids in 1972.
She was in Hanoi when it was the capital of North Vietnam 40 years ago as part of a peace mission when American B52s unleashed the so-called Christmas Bombings.
The bunker where she took refuge was forgotten after the war, but was unearthed again in recent weeks.
“It was my first experience of dealing with my own mortality,” Baez explained. “I thought (it) was a terrible cosmic arrangement – ‘It’s OK for everyone else to die, but surely there was another plan for me,’ you know? And so it just came so close so many times, and it changes you.”
Back at the hotel 40 years on Joan Baez was reunited with staff who were working there at the time, including the manager and the hotel’s hairdresser.
They remembered the trip that led to the experimental album ‘Where Are You Now, My Son’ which as well as songs, featured recordings made during the Hanoi trip, including the air raids themselves.