My Mom was a fan of Pete Seeger so I listened to his music before I had my own musical identity.
And then when I was maybe 10 or 12 (late 1970s), I saw him sing at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. He talked from the stage about protesting nuclear power at NOPSI and I realized that the protest location was walkable from my house. I begged my Mom to let me go. Probably, wisely, she didn’t let me go. But I still think about it.
More recently, Pete appeared at Jazz Fest just before his 90th birthday. You could tell his energy wasn’t high, but his grandson was a great sideman. Even better was his interview the next morning at the Alison Miner Music Heritage Stage. He talked about being angry with Bob Dylan going electric and the importance of smashing things to let our anger out. (He chopped wood for his therapy…at age 89.) And it ended with all of us singing him Happy Birthday. Truly, one of my best JF memories (and I have a LOT since my parents started taking me around age 6).
He was truly an amazing man and I feel blessed to have been in the same space with him more than once. I’m posting a couple of videos. I’ve been singing Little Boxes since I was a toddler…and well before I understood a word of it. I just liked the melody, comprehension came later.
Enjoy this video from 1970 of Pete on the Johnny Cash show; Thanks Eira.
What a duet album these two could have made…
No need to wish Pete to Rest in Peace…He lived in Peace and I’m grateful to have had him touch my life in a small way.