"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Friday, May 01, 2009

"This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender"

Seeger has long been one of my heroes and he was the first Spiritual Leader of the Moment back when I had my first webpage on Geocites over a dozen years ago.

This 1967 performance was Seeger's first appearance on television in years following his blacklisting in the 50's -- and they still censored him, chopping out his mid-set rendition of "Waistdeep in the Big Muddy" and sparking a controversy. He was invited back to perform the song, which did finally air, but the show was cancelled soon afterward, despite high ratings, and replaced with HeeHaw.

I've had the privilege of seeing Pete Seeger perform twice and as I've often said, I'm glad he's on our side. Give him five minutes in front of a crowd and he can make them do just about anything he wants. Thankfully, he has always used this power for good. While Woody Guthrie was a rambling, gambling, hard-travelling, hard-drinking guy who collected a handful of wives in his time and whose guitar "killed fascists", his travelling partner, Pete Seeger was a teetotalling, pacifist who married a Japanese girl during World War Two and did time briefly for refusing to name names to Joe McCarthy. The insigna on his banjo said "this machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender."
As I reckon these things, he's probably one of the greatest living Americans. Happy Birthday Pete!

More interviews here, and knowing all his history, if this latest work of his doesn't bring a tear to your eye, then the problem is with you, not Seeger. For more music, tune into Radio Woodshed, where I'll be playing Pete Seeger stuff all day long.


skdadl said...

Thanks for waking me up with such a breakfast concert, guy.

I could listen to Pete forever. What an inspiration.

Simon said...

Thanks for that excellent round-up Rev. Because Pete Seeger is my hero too. And Which Side Are You On? is one of my FAVOURITE songs...

Unknown said...

oneof the things I have in rotation on radio woodshed as part of the pete seeger extravaganza is an album he made last year "89" (his age at the time) that is terrific and sad - terrific for the content, sad because it will probably be his last since his hearing is going fast.

Anonymous said...