The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #21038   Message #223391
Posted By: georgeward
05-May-00 - 03:32 AM
Thread Name: Pete Seeger's Birthday - 81 today
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger's Birthday - 81 today
Another real original - a one-of- his-kind artist whose name pops up in these threads - once said to me (almost out of nowhere, as I recall it), "The easiest thing in the world would be to become a parody of myself."

Pete has never done that. At eighty-one he is still soaking up and spinning out ideas, shaping them into songs, bringing audiences together, living his ideals (and being willing to accept the consequences -good or bad - of having those ideals), being -sometimes-outrageously playful. He's still engaged in engaging US.

I picked up my NY Times Thursday, and there he was, first page of the arts section in the weekend-events banner, doing a free concert at Cooper Union in NYC on Saturday. My bet is that he will find a deft way to snap those who go seeking nostalgia into whatever present presently has him fired up. He usually does.

And, best I can tell, his discomfort with his own celebrity is absolutely real. A Pete Seeger Day is a great idea - at least in a grass-roots, informal way. But I'd fully expect to find Pete far from the center of it, deep in a discussion of the need for action on an issue, or starting a spontaneous jam someplace, picking up the trash or picking up a new idea (leading us, by example, to do the same). That, come to think, is something I've learned from him.

"Oh! Had I a golden thread..." Peter, you have. If you haven't bound up this whole sorry world...well...neither has anyone else. But you have taught us the importance of trying.