Joan Baez Bong Photo with Jimi Hendrix Is a Deepfake

Joan Baez backstage with Jimi Hendrix in 1968 and the doctored smoking bong image (via Getty Images/Bettmann)

Not every musician is a pot smoker. Look no further than Joan Baez, whose doctored photo of her hitting a bong in the company of Jimi Hendrix is making another viral run through social media, mostly on Facebook. The "shopped" version of the photo first appeared in 2013.

The original photo was taken backstage at the Biafran Relief Benefit show at The Scene in Manhattan on Aug. 29, 1968. It's owned by Getty Images/Bettmann. It's unclear who took the photo. A print sells for $2,295 on eBay.

People immediately began to comment.

Peter Rosenfeld: "Obviously fake as Baez was anti-marijuana. Also, I doubt a glass bong like that even existed at that time. Most bongs up to the mid-'70s were bamboo and such. Glass came later."

Clint Werner: "She was snobbily antimarijuana. I remember when the Dead had her perform at their New Year's show and later she snottily, negatively said how she doesn't smoke dope but they do, a lot. Counterculture snob."

Werner is close to right. In 2012, Baez told CBS's Tony Doukapil about her lack of marijuana use:

"I didn't smoke – zero. To this day I try it periodically because people say it's a great way to relax or whatever, but it doesn't work for me... It's one of the reasons that I'm not lumped together with my musical peers. I feel that distance and I know at lot of that is because I wasn't in that moment with them."

Not even at Woodstock where Baez was one of the few female performers on stage. Perhaps the photo popped up again today because it's the 54th anniversary of the legendary music festival that took place in Bethel, NY on Aug. 15-17, 1969.


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.