WHAT THE HELL

Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Pete Seeger

I couldn’t let the death of Pete Seeger pass without an acknowledgment. He’s been my hero for a long time. I even modeled my young self after him for a while, though I never had to choose between my beliefs and my career like he did. I also forgot to learn how to play the banjo like a son-of-a-bitch.

I saw Pete live at least three times, twice with Arlo Guthrie and once, in a benefit concert for Nicaragua, at the Royal Albert Hall in London. A skinny reed of a man with a guitar or a banjo, who could get thousands of people to sing “Guantanamera” in unison. That’s the power of persuasion!

For the first time in my life, it’s a world without Pete Seeger in it. And, for now at least, it feels a little bit diminished.

youngPete

Image via the Pete Seeger Appreciation Page – http://peteseeger.net/wp/

“The key to the future of the world is finding the optimistic stories

and letting them be known.” — Pete Seeger, 1994.

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10 comments on “Pete Seeger

  1. Pamela Beckford
    January 28, 2014

    Hey, you’re back! Any explanation?

    • Kevin Brennan
      January 28, 2014

      A vague explanation, but no apology! It’s a sh-t happens kind of thing, I guess… 😡

      • Pamela Beckford
        January 28, 2014

        That stinks. But I’m glad you’re back

  2. Gretchen Getsinger
    January 28, 2014

    Pete Seeger was one of my heros, too. I admired the way he stood up to the US Gov’t for his truths. I admire his concern and caring for working people and for the ecology of our planet.

    I saw him once in concert when I was young, when he was with The Weavers. It was a thrill and great to feel part of the music and the scene.

    Years later, I worked for a man who’d been friends with Pete Seeger since they were kids. I met Pete and Toshi Seeger quite a few times at various family functions. I felt so privileged. They were so much like the ‘ordinary’ people I come from;

    I found this Obituary from Arlo Guthrie on the Internet this morning, thought you might enjoy it.:

    ” I usually do a little meditation and prayer every night before I go to sleep – Just part of the routine. Last night, I decided to go visit Pete Seeger for a while, just to spend a little time together, it was around 9 PM. So I was sitting in my home in Florida, having a lovely chat with Pete, who was in a hospital in New York City. That’s the great thing about thoughts and prayers- You can go or be anywhere. I simply wanted him to know that I loved him dearly, like a father in some ways, a mentor in others and just as a dear friend a lot of the time. I’d grown up that way – loving the Seegers – Pete & Toshi and all their family. I let him know I was having trouble writing his obituary (as I’d been asked) but it seemed just so silly and I couldn’t think of anything that didn’t sound trite or plain stupid. “They’ll say something appropriate in the news,” we agreed. We laughed, we talked, and I took my leave about 9:30 last night. “Arlo” he said, sounding just like the man I’ve known all of my life, “I guess I’ll see ya later.” I’ve always loved the rising and falling inflections in his voice. “Pete,” I said. “I guess we will.” I turned off the light and closed my eyes and fell asleep until very early this morning, about 3 AM when the texts and phone calls started coming in from friends telling me Pete had passed away. “Well, of course he passed away!” I’m telling everyone this morning. “But that doesn’t mean he’s gone.”

    • Kevin Brennan
      January 28, 2014

      Gretchen, thanks so much for this. What a wonderful story — I’m totally envious! I’d have loved to meet him and Toshi, but for that matter I’d have loved to see The Weavers too.

      The obit by Arlo is touching and really says a lot about the kind of man Pete must have been. And it’s true: he’s not gone. His music will outlive us all.

      • Gretchen Getsinger
        January 28, 2014

        Before the above-mentioned concert, I only knew Pete Seeger as a person who’d had his conviction overturned for contempt of Congress during Mc Carthy era hearings and the tour he was on with The Weavers was a reunion tour. I was 15 & went with friends because Pete’s testimony to the HUAC struck home with me and I wanted to stand up to what I felt were un-American people for a person who made me relate to being American. So, I was 1st drawn to him politically but after I heard him and The Weavers, I loved his songs and music as well. I hope Pete’s values and music live on for a very long time..

      • Kevin Brennan
        January 29, 2014

        Right on. I’m sure you’ve seen the documentary, “Wasn’t That A Time.” Great look at The Weavers reunion…

  3. John W. Howell
    January 28, 2014

    Nice tribute to Pete. Welcome back to the sphere.

  4. zuludelta45
    January 30, 2014

    My own personal Pete Seeger story……
    http://zuludelta45.net/2014/01/29/a-man-walks-into-a-tent/

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This entry was posted on January 28, 2014 by in Music and tagged , .
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