drwex (drwex) wrote,

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Turn, Turn, Turn


Pete Seeger has died, age 94. If you know who Seeger was then you know what a loss this is. If not, you can read the Times obit which might give you a sense of it.

I grew up in a folkie household. Seeger's music was a nightly staple of my childhood - often his recordings of traditional and folk-based childrens' tunes. I sang Seeger songs and Weavers' tunes to my children growing up, as my father did for me. My father never could sing "Turn, Turn, Turn" to us; I didn't understand why back then but I understand now.

My oldest memory of Seeger is after a concert of his that I attended as a young child. For whatever reason, my father was allowed to go up on stage afterward and meet Seeger and the other adult dignitaries present. I went along, clutching my father's hand and I distinctly recall looking up at Seeger's banjo, the base of which just cleared the top of my head. I think he was the tallest person I'd seen to that point in my life.

My favorite memory of him is from seeing him as an adult, in concert with Arlo Guthrie. The stage held a piano and two bar stools on a rug, one for each of the performers. They'd played their first set and gone off for intermission. As the second set was about to start, Seeger came back on and just lay down on stage, making himself comfortable on the rug. Once he was settled, Guthrie came on and played "Alice's Restaurant." I loved the fact that Seeger enjoyed that song as much as I and the other audience members did.

ETA: I found this recording of Seeger's induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTeTx1TRAfo
Harry Belafonte pretty much says it all, but stay for Arlo Guthrie's coda.
Tags: music, pete seeger
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