The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #153529   Message #3622407
Posted By: GUEST,Gerry
26-Apr-14 - 07:21 AM
Thread Name: Obit: Pete Seeger (1919-2014)
Subject: RE: Obit: Pete Seeger (1919-2014)
Several posts up, there's a great story about Pete Seeger singing (or, rather, not singing) in Barcelona in the late days of the Franco regime. The story is taken from a book by Scott Alarik. But that book is a novel; does anyone know whether what's described there actually happened? I ask because all my efforts to search for that story on the web lead to Alarik's novel; I'd have thought a great story like that would have been told elsewhere over the 40 years since the events it describes.

The David Dunaway biography of Seeger (How Can I Keep From Singing) discusses the tour of Spain on page 298. It lists three songs Spanish censors prohibited him from singing; it also says "He knew he couldn't sing --- and didn't try --- the songs of the Spanish Civil War...." It says police cancelled his concert at a university in Barcelona. But that's it. No mention of his playing forbidden songs on the banjo, the audience doing the singing.

I also found this on the web, written by Seeger's friend, the Spanish singer Raimon, at http://cultura.elpais.com/cultura/2014/01/28/actualidad/1390945415_202516.html

Quise convencerle, con mi mujer, Analisa, de que viniera a España a cantar. Como muchos de los artistas progresistas que entonces entendían que estando Franco no debían venir, él dijo que prefería no hacerlo; le convenció finalmente el argumento de que si ellos no venían la gente que vivía aquí pensaría que lo que había por esos mundos era el universo cultural carca que nos llegaba en ese momento.

Actuó en Terrassa el 7 de febrero de 1971. Yo estaba programado también, pero solo le permitieron cantar a él. Siguió en San Sebastián, pero lo prohibieron en Madrid y en la Escuela Industrial de Barcelona; pudo actuar otra vez en Sevilla. Yo traduje las letras de sus canciones y se alojó en nuestra casa. Desde entonces establecimos mucho contacto y en 1976, muerto Franco, vino a cantar a Madrid y Barcelona.

My Spanish is none too good, but it's clear that Raimon does not tell the story Alarik tells, and, again, it's such a good story that it surprises me the Raimon doesn't tell it. So, does anyone have any pre-Alarik references to the Barcelona story?