Buffy Sainte-Marie Its My Way SP

Buffy Sainte-Marie’s ‘It’s My Way!’ at 60: Maybe Not Entirely Her Way!

For decades, Buffy Sainte-Marie was celebrated as America’s most famous Indigenous musician. Recent revelations force a reconsideration of her music.

It's My Way!
Buffy Sainte-Marie
April 1964

No Context

Buffy Sainte-Marie, a highly regarded and multiple-award-winning singer-songwriter, has performed various styles of music for the better part of a century: folk, country, pop, rock, experimental, and mixtures of these genres. Sainte-Marie began her recording career with a stunning, still-fresh folk album, It’s My Way!, released by Vanguard Records in January 1964.

For some people, even some who love the record, an appropriate way to acknowledge this classic album’s 60th anniversary would be to ignore the anniversary.

Perhaps they’d pretend the album doesn’t exist. Maybe they’d not listen to it. Possibly, instead of paying attention to the music and its original context, they’d focus on its creator. Or perhaps they’d pretend that the music’s creator doesn’t exist. Some people call that canceling, and indeed some are canceling Buffy Sainte-Marie in 2024.

This state of affairs would have been so different for most of last year. (Was it only last year?) Things changed for Sainte-Marie and her legacy in 2023.

As long ago as 2022, it would have been easy to celebrate the collection as a pathbreaking statement by a Native American folk singer and songwriter who became a cultural and countercultural icon. Instead, in 2024, even a devotee of Sainte-Marie’s music needs to confront a legacy that’s now profoundly complicated, tainted, and in some ways trashed. It turns out that, despite her claims and acclaim, Sainte-Marie is not biologically Indigenous. The woman’s public persona and life’s work are so connected with her ethnicity that it’s hard to convey how jaw-dropping this revelation is. In case a comparison helps, imagine if, three decades from now, it turns out that Rufus Wainwright was pretending to be gay.

It’s not for someone like me, a middle-aged white US citizen of German and Polish ancestry, to judge the merits of the case against Sainte-Marie. There’s nothing at stake for me apart from unease where the woman and her work had previously yielded pure pleasure, admiration, and inspiration. However, like any other listener, I must consider the facts and ascertain the truth instead of embracing the woman’s work naively.

In 1980, the writer George W.S. Trow playfully coined the phrase “the context of no context”. Trying to place anything outside all context is like trying to separate nature from nurture. So here’s some 2024 context for looking at a 60-year-old classic.


In November 2022, a US television network, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), aired a documentary, Madison Thomas’ Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On, as part of its highly respected and influential American Masters series. Thomas’ film powerfully argued that Sainte-Marie broke ground in multiple ways as an Indigenous person, an artist, and a woman.

Born in 1941, Beverly Jean “Buffy” Sainte-Marie grew up in Massachusetts. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and embarked on a career as a folk singer and songwriter. First Nations communities and songs decrying the fates of Indigenous peoples in North America were part of Sainte-Marie’s identity years before she signed with Vanguard Records and recorded It’s My Way! In brief, Sainte-Marie maintained that she was born to Cree parents on a Canadian reservation, was taken by government hands to Massachusetts, and was adopted by a white couple, Albert and Winifred Santamaria, whose ancestries were Italian and English. (The Santamarias had changed their last name to Sainte-Marie to avoid prejudice against Italian Americans.)

For six decades, Buffy Sainte-Marie was celebrated as the most famous Indigenous musician. She championed Native causes, recorded various types of roots-related and intellectually stimulating, emotionally rewarding, and challenging music, appeared as a regular on the PBS children’s program Sesame Street (and, in 1977, become the first woman to breastfeed on TV), won both a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award for best original song, won numerous JUNO Awards (including ones for Best Aboriginal Album), received honorary degrees, and so on. 

But lifting your head can get you looked at or worse, and the PBS documentary prompted journalists to examine Sainte-Marie’s origin story. In October 2023, an investigative report by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) revealed that in the 1960s and 1970s, members of the Santamaria/Sainte-Marie family had tried to debunk Buffy’s story publicly. Sainte-Marie clung to her identity—even to the point of threatening legal action against her family members. If her brother didn’t stop speaking out, she intended to retaliate by revealing to the world that during childhood, he had sexually abused her; he and the others stopped speaking out.

Most damning was the birth certificate found in Massachusetts that documented Buffy Sainte-Marie’s biological parents as Alfred and Winifred. Yes, she had later been adopted by an Indigenous family in Canada’s Piapot First Nation, whose current chief maintains that she belongs to them by right if not by birth. But her claims of Indigenousness preceded that adoption. Had an Anglo stuck feathers in her hair and faked her way into an identity?

Exhibit A, whether in service of the defense or the prosecution, is the cover of It’s My Way! The huge, painterly photo of Sainte-Marie on the front (design: Jules Halfant; photo: David Gahr) has become an iconic representation of her persona. With her jet-black hair and eyebrows framing her downcast brown eyes and sculpted brown features, and with a mouthbow—a stringed instrument made from a tree branch and ornamented with multicolored feathers—resting on her shoulder, Sainte-Marie looks more Native American than, say, Italian and English. 

In retrospect, the small, black-and-white photo on the back cover might suggest an Italian neorealist movie. But if no one had ever said that Sainte-Marie wasn’t Indigenous, why would anyone have looked skeptically at that shot?


In the absence of an explanation from Sainte-Marie, we can try to imagine the situation and impulses behind her image creation. Envision her as a young person in Massachusetts feeling like an outsider. She looks in the mirror, trying to find herself, and at some point, she sees a Native American. Maybe people had told her she looked Native American. Perhaps she came to believe it, or it seemed like a good story, a way to differentiate herself, a victimless crime (this was the mid-20th century, remember, not 2024), and over time, it stuck. Now she’s stuck in it, or halfway in and halfway out. 

Not just being Indigenous, but the image itself has been part of Sainte-Marie’s artistic self-presentation. Image manipulation has been a tool lyrically, visually, and conceptually. For example, she moved into country music with the 1968 album I’m Gonna Be a Country Girl Again. She hadn’t been a country girl in the first place. Seeing that album title and the cover photo of Sainte-Marie smiling under her Stetson hat, with not a feather in sight, no reasonable, knowledgeable person would have expected Sainte-Marie actually to be from the country.

Put on a hat, and there you are. Performers go through changes, phases, characters, and identities all the time. One of the most famous image manipulators in popular music was also one of Sainte-Marie’s early champions in the Greenwich Village folk scene of the early 1960s. Yes, it’s none other than Bob Dylan, though who exactly he is often prompts speculation. “Many people hate Bob Dylan because they hate being fooled,” the critic Ellen Willis wrote in 1967. Yes, 1967!

In 1964, Dylan’s and Buffy Sainte-Marie’s audiences would have overlapped substantially, but by 1967, the two had traveled different paths away from their folk-music beginnings. Listeners who still followed both of them would have been well-versed in chameleonic behavior. However, many still found the performers’ transformations jarring—in Dylan’s case, even infuriating, disillusioning, and forever alienating.

“I used to care,” Dylan might have responded, “but things have changed”. He wrote those lines in 2000, decades after shaking off the dust of his native Minnesota, changing his name from Robert Zimmerman, reinventing himself as a Woody Guthrie‒style troubadour, then shifting musical styles and perspectives so many times that haters and devotees treated his changes like a drinking game. In February 1964, he released his third album, the most socio-political collection of his career, The Times They Are a-Changin’. Six months later, he released the completely un-socio-political, relationship-themed, even confessional Another Side of Bob Dylan. Which side represented the real deal?

One constant in Dylan’s work is the blues as a source and inspiration, and there’s a strong degree of fauxness in a Jewish-born Minnesota boy’s singing the blues. Luckily for all of us, Dylan never claimed to be Black. He has embraced Todd Haynes’ 2007 movie I’m Not There, which fictionalizes Dylan’s life by, in one section, portraying him as an 11-year-old Black male named Woody Guthrie. So Dylan’s in on Haynes’ joke, but joking aside, what about all the white performers who’ve sung blues, soul, funk, disco, and so on and tried to “sound Black”?

Consider, too, the midwestern/western twang that New Jersey-born Bruce Springsteen adopted when his songs moved out of their urban and open-road locales and into the vastness of the plains. Or consider, as Springsteen has noted, it’s pretty funny for the writer of “Born to Run” to live not far from his hometown. But we expect the Boss to sing the song, not to be the character. The piece is aspirational for him and us. When he takes on the persona of a Vietnam vet in “Born in the USA”, we don’t reject the fauxness because we acknowledge the fiction.

There’s always some degree of translation from a person to the person’s art, if not in the creation, then in the reception. Is it more than surprising—disturbing, disappointing, something worse—to discover that the writer of Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s “Born on the Bayou”, John Fogerty, was from California? Does it change your sense of the song, the singer, Creedence Clearwater Revival? Or how about the Band‘s Robbie Robertson, a Canadian whose mother really was Indigenous, writing “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”? Such examples—all drawn from among Sainte-Marie’s contemporaries, just to keep setting the scene—stand for all the writers and performers throughout history who have ventured out of their experiences and cultures.

Perhaps, if we want to feel comfortable listening to Sainte-Marie lament the plights of her people, or “her people”, we must keep such fictions in mind.


Another possibility for guiltlessly listening to Sainte-Marie is sorting through her work, separating the vast amount of material unaffected by the 2023 revelation. Surely, appreciating the weirdness of her electronic, proto-Goth Illuminations album from 1969 or the romantic buoyancy of the song “Up Where We Belong”, which she co-wrote in 1982 and later recorded, doesn’t entail dealing with the artist’s ethnicity. 

But what if you feel that you must have purity in the artwork you consume? In terms of listenership and purity, the heart of the matter is identification with the artist. In other words, how much does the person matter? When you listen, must you feel as though you’re connecting directly with the performer? In some instances, there’s a one-to-one connection between the singer and the song. Those rare instances vary from performer to performer, recording to recording, one type of music to another.

Buffy Sainte-Marie drew on an American folk tradition that didn’t expect singers to convey their personal experiences. For example, in 1964, Joan Baez was the queen of folk music in America and Sainte-Marie’s most immediate model at Vanguard Records. Baez wasn’t singing autobiographical material; she didn’t write songs. She sang traditional folk songs straightforwardly, in a style that some found affectless.

Then Baez discovered Bob Dylan and his blend of influences, from Guthrie to the blues to the Beats and beyond. Not only did she incorporate his material into her repertoire, but she brought him to a broad audience and crowned him as king. Dylan proceeded to transform not just American folk music but popular music and audience expectations—some of those audiences and some of those expectations, anyway.

By the time Sainte-Marie arrived on the scene, the compositional field was now wide open: The personal, the socio-political, and the topical could freewheelingly mix with the traditional. Unlike Baez, Sainte-Marie was a writer as well as a song interpreter, a combination that fueled the fire of It’s My Way!

The album was produced by Maynard Solomon, a credentialed musicologist who founded Vanguard Records with his brother Seymour in 1950. Before It’s My Way!, Solomon produced a handful of recordings: one by the folk group the Weavers, several by the actor Charlton Heston reading from the Bible, and most pertinently and influentially, a sequence by Joan Baez at the start of her career.

Although Baez and Sainte-Marie were very different singers—Baez’s voice crystalline and Sainte-Marie’s gritty and full of a jackhammer-like vibrato—Solomon may have seen Sainte-Marie as a Native American Baez. At the same time, he probably pictured her as extending the folk tradition by writing material that seemed both of its time and timeless. He says as much in his liner notes for It’s My Way!, where he places the artist within the tradition and differentiates her from it:

To be a poet and a singer in the oldest and most rigorous sense was to speak for the community as though it were an individual or to speak as an individual on behalf of the community. It is not accidental that Buffy Sainte-Marie’s is almost entirely first-person music. The “I” may be character, observer, questioner, or narrator, but in every case, it comments on its own condition in terms of a larger relevance. more than the merely subjective frame of reference. [At the same time,] the “newness” of Buffy’s portraits seems to set her apart from the folk tradition.

Solomon was preparing listeners not to expect personal experience necessarily but to look for a different kind of authenticity, an expressiveness that generalized. Even when the songs played with or broke out of their traditional models, the album’s presentation of Sainte-Marie and her music—from the cover image to the spare arrangements (“accompanying herself on guitar,” the back cover announces) to the close-miked vocals—encouraged audiences to expect the real thing.

In its totality, It’s My Way! delivers aspects of Sainte-Marie that she needed to get out. The album’s urgency partly explains why it’s so painful now to think of her performing the material with at least a double consciousness. Listening now, it’s hard not to wonder what was going through her mind as she concentrated on making the strongest possible artistic statement.


It’s My Way! opens with “Now That the Buffalo’s Gone”, one of Sainte-Marie’s signature pieces, a lament—from “an Indian Cassandra”, Solomon writes—for past and continuing mistreatment of Indigenous peoples:

Oh, it’s all in the past you can say
But it’s still going on here today
The government now wants the Iroquois land
That of the Seneca and the Cheyenne
It’s here, and it’s now; you must help us, dear man
The “dear man” isn’t anyone specific; it’s everyone who’s not among the persecuted peoples, you and me perhaps.

“Now That the Buffalo’s Gone”

Ken Burns’s 2023 documentary The American Buffalo carried on Sainte-Marie’s work here, as though nothing had changed after six decades. His film burned with rage in conveying how the fate of North American bison was intertwined with the fate of Native Americans, both having been nearly eradicated by rapacious settlers and businesspeople. 

By contrast, Sainte-Marie sounds not pissed off but surprisingly sweet, full of equanimity. She employs such control because letting loose would unleash uncontrollable feelings. The starkness of this performance is relieved by the jazzy counterpart of Art Davis’ bass, which makes its only appearance on the record.

We now know that the problematic aspect of Sainte-Marie’s telling is her, or her narrator’s, use of “us”.

In “The Old Man’s Lament” (“based on traditional material”, Solomon notes), the first-person narrator sets the scene, where an old man rocks the cradle of a baby that belongs to his wife and “calls me his daddy / But little he knows that he’s none of my own. For perhaps, he tells the infant, “your own daddy might never be known”. This touching scenario now raises the question of Sainte-Marie’s consciousness. Is this tale of cuckoldry and mysterious parentage a kind of breadcrumb that, in retrospect, leads us to themes of ancestry? 

The music, meanwhile, will make fans of early Baez, early Joni Mitchell, and Richard Thompson feel at home. Sainte-Marie’s occasional hoots do a sophisticated job of conveying the old man’s cries.

“Ananias”, adapted by Sainte-Marie, ventures far from North America. The singer addresses the title figure—according to Solomon, any one of the three Ananiases in the New Testament—asking “what kind of man” Jesus is. In propelling this blues, Sainte-Marie employs much freer strumming than on the previous tracks, plus more attack in the vocals. Imagine a biblical revision of Blind Lemon Jefferson’s late 1920s blues “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean”. The full effect proves that Sainte-Marie is an inhabiter of songs.

More proof comes in the exotic form of “Mayoo Sto Hoon”, a brief tale of two lovers who see each other for the last time, one of them subsequently never reappearing. Only the liner notes clue us into the lyrics’ meaning because Sainte-Marie sings in Hindi, her voice approximating the bends of sitar notes.

“Cod’ine” predates John Lennon‘s “Cold Turkey” by five years (and our opioid crisis by decades!) but delivers an equally or more powerful vision of drug addiction. Sainte-Marie’s version of her much-covered song also prefigures the acoustic intensity of Lennon’s “Working Class Hero”, on his confessional masterpiece, 1970’s John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. In “Cod’ine”, the contrast between chopped chords and drawn-out vocal lines makes you stop what you’re doing and sit, stunned. Holding notes until her breath runs out, Buffy Sainte-Marie digs deep into her register, conveying the lyrics’ statement that the opiate will make you “forget you’re a woman”.

Where in “Cold Turkey”, Lennon focuses on withdrawal, Sainte-Marie, reportedly drawing on her own experience with a painkiller, conveys drug abuse as an ongoing condition:

An’ my belly is cravin’, I got shakin’ in my head.
I feel like I’m dyin’ an’ I wish I were dead.
If I lived till tomorrow it’s gonna be a long time.
For I’ll reel and I’ll fall and rise on cod’ine.


Solomon calls this astonishing achievement (especially astonishing for a 21-year-old to have written) “a macabre waltz which teeters on the edge of the grave”.

“Cripple Creek” shifts gears entirely but builds on the androgyny of “Cod’ine”. In performing this anonymous folk song, which is not the Band’s “Up on Cripple Creek” or Neil Young‘s “Cripple Creek Ferry”, Buffy Sainte-Marie takes a male perspective, singing about “Going up Cripple Creek to see my little girl” and “have a little fun”. She puts aside her guitar and strikingly employs the percussive mouthbow as the song’s only instrumentation. She also puts on an Ozarks accent to convey the character.

Side one ends not with a dramatic performance but with a return to the voice of “Now That the Buffalo’s Gone”. In protesting war, not just the then-escalating conflict in Vietnam but all war, “The Universal Soldier” broadens the topical, uniting all soldiers despite their differing identities and involvements. The song could be seen as a variation on Dylan’s 1963 “Masters of War”, casting the “masters” as the warriors putting themselves into battle. Because the soldier exists, the song argues, 

. . . he really is to blame,
His orders come from far away no more,
They come from him, and you, and me,
And brothers, can’t you see?
This is not the way we put an end to war,
So let’s just stop being soldiers. End of story—right? (It’s a utopian vision.)

“The Universal Soldier”

Side Two of ‘It’s My Way!’ opens with a howl as “Babe in Arms” turns the tables on “The Old Man’s Lament”. Here, the female narrator holds one baby while pregnant with another, as her man, the children’s father, is “drinkin’, carousin’ / and livin’ a life of sin”. This slice of life presents a vital feminist message through recurring howls.

“He Lived Alone in Town” returns to the controlled delivery of “The Old Man’s Lament”. This ballad relates a mysterious scenario in which a man and woman love each other but can’t be together because he remains in town and she waits for him perpetually in the forest. She has asked him to join her in leaving society and wandering through the natural world, but he doesn’t understand the request. Sainte-Marie sings beautifully at her most Baez-like, her voice blended with two guitars: her own plus Patrick Sky’s making its only appearance on the record.

“You’re Gonna Need Somebody on Your Bond” is a traditional song described by Solomon as “one of the most powerful of the Negro gospel blues”. Advising the listener to have a connection with Jesus when death comes, Buffy Sainte-Marie, as inhabiter, sounds committed without having an “agenda”. In other words, she has nothing to prove except the force of a strummed acoustic guitar and a voice.

“The Incest Song” shifts gears again, this time to a kingdom where the king’s daughter is pregnant with her brother’s child. The prince ends up murdering the princess. As finger-picked notes set a stark scene, the melody echoes that of “Cod’ine”. Thus first-person account meets storytelling as it has been practiced through the ages: Greek tragedy meets Shakespeare meets, or predicts, Game of Thrones.

Solomon describes “Eyes of Amber” as “an incantation . . . a song of love for a spirit-deity [and] simultaneously a love song”. As Sainte-Marie sings a drone, you expect the tabla and tanpura of Hindustani classical music to accompany her. They don’t, but her guitar playing ends with a brief sitar-like run. The lyrics consist entirely of disconnected, shifting images, as beauty appears to the singer in myriad forms:

Eyes of blue or eyes of green, eyes of amber.
Eyes of starlight have come again as they have come before.
Heart of fire light, heart of the flowers of the jungle.
Heart of snow, you come again, and you are midnight wind.

“Eyes of Amber”

Finally, the title track (minus the album title’s exclamation point), “It’s My Way”, feels like a fitting conclusion to the experience of the record. It also looks outward, past traditional folk, and into the world of singer-songwriters. In light of the 2023 revelation, the lyrics present a small minefield. “I wrote this song,” Sainte-Marie declares in Solomon’s notes, “for those young people who are falling into the temptation of patterning their lives after mine”. The singer celebrates being an individual with a singular existence, vision, “path”, “prayers”, “fears”, “tears”, and so on. But not every songwriter would bother declaring 

I’ve got my own kith.
I’ve got my own kin.
I’ve got my own sin.
And it’s my way.

“It’s My Way”

In 1964, listeners would have accepted those lines just as they’d have accepted the song’s other examples of existential responsibility. In 2024, those same lines sound loaded and even suggest a coded confession.  Sainte-Marie slowly, subtly builds up the song’s intensity, then ends with some chopped chords that suggest a definitive wrapping up. If It’s My Way! were a live album, the up till now silently intent audience would burst into applause.

This short debut feels like a full menu; all its courses are skillfully prepared and very much worth taking in. The topics vary as widely as the locales, scenarios, and characters, and only Sainte-Marie’s musicality and the spare production unite the shifting perspectives. Omit “Now That the Buffalo’s Gone” or take that one as no more Sainte-Marie’s “truth” (or “falseness”) than any of the others, then you’re free to sift through the themes, find overlaps, connect past and present, just as you might with any other music. That this music was made by someone who claimed to be Indigenous by birth could be seen—or not seen, in a blind listening test—as beside the point. The choice is yours.

No Conclusion

I collect vintage vinyl, and for years, I’ve been picking up vintage Buffy Sainte-Marie LPs in used record stores, thrift shops, and online. Like many early Vanguard releases, Sainte-Marie’s early albums are so physically beautiful and gorgeously recorded that they seem tailor-made as analog artifacts. Her albums define why I collect old records.

Old Buffy Sainte-Marie vinyl in decent condition is hard to find because devoted folkies really played those albums. The records weren’t set aside as souvenirs but were well loved, like the Velveteen Rabbit. So wouldn’t it be my luck to obtain a pristine original pressing of the It’s My Way! LP, and to be knocked out by its music a few months before the news broke. Now what to do with that find and the rest of my Sainte-Marie collection and my multilayered sense of her?

During my years-long quest for It’s My Way!, I once did an eBay search that yielded an amusing result. A seller of a Sainte-Marie album had somehow punned on the title of the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, maybe with a nod to Star Wars. Accidentally, the listing named Buffy Sainte-Marie as Buffy the Empire Slayer.

That’s how I’ve thought of this artist for years, and that’s how I hope to keep thinking of her: as a cultural and countercultural warrior fighting good fights against injustices. That’s a hope, though, not a guarantee or a promise. 

I’m on record, elsewhere on the web, as feeling that audiences deserve to know if performers subscribe to extreme belief systems, ones that might prevent enjoyment of the work. Truth matters to me very much. Yet if I’d been the person who found Sainte-Marie’s birth certificate—let’s say I happened on it in a thrift shop, tucked inside an old LP—I wouldn’t have revealed that document to the world. Some things strike me as more important than absolute truth—for example, useful untruths and falsehoods that inspire people. Yes, that conviction constitutes advocacy, not journalism. But perhaps the “con” in that conviction merits forgiveness.

Of course, some transgressions go beyond the bounds of forgiveness. But is Sainte-Marie’s fabrication one of them, even if it makes us uncomfortable?

Throughout her music, I hear a good spirit, a deep feeling, and a thoughtful and generous person. And, of course, she has done important work on behalf of Indigenous people, to whom she has always seemed committed. Still, a good person, even a great one, can be flawed, multivariously, deeply.

My gut sense—and I’m speaking completely for myself here—is that the “lie” wasn’t a career move, even if it ended up yielding rewards for her. If it’s a problem, it’s fundamentally her problem. Simply on an emotional, humanitarian level: What must it be like to be an octogenarian and have your entire legacy, which seemed secure, rattled to its foundation? Many people, especially Indigenous people, have lost a beautiful illusion, but to paraphrase Lou Reed, they’re set free to find a new illusion. Maybe doing so means acknowledging the rights and wrongs of the past while doing the impossible work of improving humanity and saving the natural world.

In terms of identity politics, Sainte-Marie’s claims about her background seem like Indigenous people’s business to deal with. As of this writing, Sainte-Marie’s Wikipedia page lists calls from Indigenous people for many of Sainte-Marie’s awards and honors to be rescinded, the contest results to be rethought, and the Indigenous runners-up to be thought of as Sainte-Marie victims. At that page, the last words on the subject come from the Cree author Daniel J. McLeod, who calls for Sainte-Marie to “apologize, come clean, stop gaslighting us and find a way to make amends”.

So where the Empire Slayer’s story goes from here depends in part on how she chooses to tell it.


So Buffy, Buffy, Buffy, Buffy, who are you, really? When you look in the mirror, who or what, why or when, or how do you see? At what point did you come to believe or hope or pretend that you were not a white girl from Massachusetts?

We’re listening, and we love you. You can tell us. When I say we, you best believe I’m hardly alone. Your fans want to know your true take on your ancestry and history.

Maybe, in your 80s, it’s time for you to create your big confessional artistic statement, your John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, with or without the primal screams. But you don’t have to tell us in song. You can write down your thoughts.