Pete Seeger, 1919-2014

Ken emailed late last night with the news that Pete Seeger had died. I found out this morning. We both feel incredibly lucky and blessed to have spent time with Pete, talking about Woody, their time on the road, “1913 Massacre” and all sorts of musical and historical topics.

There was no such thing as a brief visit or a short interview with Pete. Once he got talking, telling stories and playing music, time just opened up and the thought of leaving never entered your mind.

The Times obituary does a pretty good job of telling his life story. I doubt Ken or I have much to add when it comes to the details.

Instead, here’s some unedited footage of Pete.

Pete singing “Soldier and A Lady” — the tune Woody borrowed for “1913 Massacre.”

“The Star Spangled Banner,” sung the way it was supposed to be sung.

A story called “Us and Our Little Teaspoons,” which Pete introduces as a “metaphor” he likes to use when people feel that their efforts to make things better are in vain.

Pete Seeger was so alive and he made so many others come alive. The world is a better and more beautiful place for Pete’s having been in it. It’s hard to believe he’s no longer around.

“‘Well,'” writes Arlo on his Facebook page, “‘of course he passed away!’ I’m telling everyone this morning. ‘But that doesn’t mean he’s gone.'”

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