Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pete Seeger 1919--2014

My old college roommate Peter Eisenstadter reacts to the sad news far better than I could.

I hear this morning about the death of Pete Seeger, who was a personal hero of mine. Today the world would be immeasurably poorer if it weren't for the fact that we will have his music forever. That's first. Then we will always have the example of his social conscience, his never-ending activism, and his belief that we are all in this together and should regard ourselves all as part of the same community--humanity. We have all this--but the man is gone. As I once said elsewhere: when a great tree falls in the forest, it may or may not make a sound, but it certainly leaves a great space in the forest canopy.

One more thing: I'll bet that if he could, he would echo Joe Hill: "Don't mourn for me; organize."

To which I can only add Pete's classic "Living in the Country"...

...which remains the greatest folkie instrumental of them all (and an obvious influence on Jorma Kaukonnen's "Embryonic Journey" (from Surrealistic Pillow).

And, of course, The Byrds' version of his sublime "Turn! Turn! Turn!."

A song for which, of course, if nothing else Seeger will remain one of the immortals, and deservedly.


Elroy said...

You should change the "2004" in the title of the post to "2014".

Very nice sentiment from your roommate.

steve simels said...

Done. Thanks.

steve simels said...

That's the not quite true stereo version, BTW. Originally done for the FORREST GUMP soundtrack.

The reason they had to do it with the vocals on one side and the band on the other is because somebody stole the original 8 track master.

They know who it is, too, BTW, according to a friend of mine who supervised the remastering of the entire Byrds catalogue. My understanding is that he's still holding out for more money than Sony is willing to pay,