I attended a small Q & A session held with Pete Seeger a few years back at the Jazz Festival in New Orleans. I have rarely been so moved by the sheer honesty, humor, and humanity he displayed in talking about his long life filled with family, music, and political activism. He was on the right side of history in every cause that he undertook. We need many more to emulate him.
Just a little while ago, he was on The Colbert Report.
RIP indeed. He deserved to be one very proud banjo man.
What a wonderful man. He’s really going to be missed. Everyone ought to watch an episode of “Rainbow Quest” today, in honor. (There are at least a couple of full episodes on Youtube, too.)
This is a song that really touches me (he was 91 in this video):
Rest in peace.
A great public station up here in NY is spinning a set just after 9 EST for their “Question of the Day”.
Discussion of songs for the set, memories in their blog comments section here:
There is a link at the top right for streaming the station on the Interwebs.
He was my first musical influence as a child, and my first concert (1980 with Arlo Guthrie at a High School auditorium)-- ten years later I saw him at another High School auditorium that he had packed, and he was just as energetic and able to connect with the audience on a really honest, personal level.
“This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender.”
It’s 6:00 A.M., and the rest of my day is ruined.
Deleted off topic, instigation comment and replies. Stay on topic.
I never got to see Pete and it’ll be something I regret until I die.
I’m not ashamed to cry.
What a life.
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Czk2hj4VISg (pbs documentary)
JonasEggeater, there used to be a version on youtube from the Beacon Sloop Club, but I can’t find it anymore. Forty, fifty people in a room, banjos, guitars, harp, an upright bass, everybody singing.
“When I sing with younger folk, I can never give up hope God’s counting on me, God’s counting on you” and his happy face in this crowd of mixed age.
Can’t stop crying. He really did it. What a great man he was.
If I could only find that video to link to it.
Which was a response to Woodie Guthrie’s guitar sign afaik
Here’s a pic:
“This MAN surrounded hate and forced it to surrender” would be a good epitaph.
On the right side of history in every cause he undertook? Let’s hope not!
I knew when I came to this site today there would be a thread filled with love, respect, and remembrances.
In his 60’s he went through a rough patch medically: I saw him at a concert then and feared he wouldn’t have much longer to live. That was over 30 years ago. Maybe there really is a god after all.
Yes. He was a registered communist, and also anti-war for his entire life. However, you fail to mention that he signed up for military service during WW11 and soon renounced his former association with the communists. He accepted his mistake and paid for it dearly with dire consequences to his career and blacklisting for a long period, although he was clearly never a threat in any way.
One foolish mistake does not in any way negate a lifetime of service and positive work for good causes.
Supporting the Soviets in 1917 was the right side of history. Supporting the USSR in 1937, not so much. By the time the purges came around, ethical and well informed leftists should have become anarcho-syndicalists, left-communists, or at least Trots. Perhaps one of the reasons good people found it so hard to leave the US CP was that during the Third Period (late 20s and early 30s) it was further left and more militant than most of its opponents. Ending the NEP, collectivizing agriculture, investing in industry, supporting black liberation, building independent communist trade unions outside the AFL, opposing reformism, planning for actual revolution, all made Stalinism look super radical and inspiring. The CP had built up enough far left credibility, particularly in contrasts to the West’s state of economic depression, to maintain members through the popular front gestures toward reformism and liberal/nationalist alliances, the purges, and even the Hitler-Stalin pact and the insane flip-flops in Party Line.
Seeger never renounced communism, only the Communist Party. Which is all well and good, but hindsight being 20/20, he aught to have left the Party sooner.