Pete Seeger
January 28, 2014

Goodbye to the greatest entertainer I ever saw

With the passing of Pete Seeger, John wanted to share some special memories of meeting the folk legend.

  Pete Seeger was a giant among men. Anyone who was ever exposed to his music came away a changed person. Such was the power and purity of his songs that, after hearing his message, you felt like doing something about it.

  I was lucky enough to met Pete at a folk festival when I was twelve and that moment influenced me in ways far beyond music. His enthusiasm and joy for music were undeniable. As Pete would sing about the plight of coal miners, or migrant workers, or the corruption of mighty corporations, he would tap his toes, smile and flail a ringing banjo. A neat trick indeed.

 Back in the seventies, I received a warm letter from Pete with a musical request. Pete had been sailing the Sloop Clearwater on the Hudson River as a way of alerting the public to the pollution that was poisoning the water, and this little ship came to symbolize what “the little guy” could do. In his letter, Pete explained that the passengers did a lot of singing onboard the Clearwater, and that one of their favorite songs was Proud Mary. To help further the environmental message, they were going to publish a little book of songs from the Clearwater and hoped to include Proud Mary. I was (and am) deeply flattered to be included in something so important. I wrote back that he of course had my approval but that he would still have to contact the people at Fantasy Records who (unfortunately) own the song. I had the good fortune to see Pete perform many times over the years. I always felt that this music was coming from a humble and uniquely gifted guy. On top of everything else, Pete Seeger was also the greatest entertainer I ever saw. This world needs more people like Pete Seeger. We will miss him.

3 responses to Goodbye to the greatest entertainer I ever saw

  1. Dear John,
    Pete Seeger was a huge mountain above all men, the kind of ones that will never ever dissappear.
    He changed my life when first I heard him, back in 1989, here, in Argentina, when he recorded a double live album with folk singer León Gieco. He will remain to be a role model to all those of us who´ll never rest for the benefit of all beings.
    SIncerely yours, truly…

    Patricio Braverman

  2. I remember reading a article years ago about John and his appreciation of the music of Pete Seeger. Where have all the flowers gone? “What a great song.
    Rest in Peace Pete Seeger

  3. Hello John … Pete Seeger … A legendary talent and a singular personality. You paid him a very worthy tribute … I met him once and he was (even at his advanced age) a dynamic and inspiring individual. Selfless, and genuine. His love for music was obvious… As is yours. Sorry Pete is gone … His place in music history … Is assured.

    Hope to finally see you in concert somewhere in the next year or so… My brother John (Vietnam KIA .. not a “fortunate son”….dec 15 of 1969) was a huge fan of Creedence CR and introduced me to your music the summer before his fateful trip to SE Asia. Always thought your music was insightful and would stand the test of time … It has, without a doubt. Great stuff. You are a fantastic talent.
    Hope you’ll perform some more stateside in the near future. I know I would enjoy seeing you live … At least once (hopefully, more than once). Have Friends in Fl. Ca. Midwest. And northeast. So … Damn …. You have to have some plans for one of those areas in the next year or so. ….. Right?….

    Very nice of you to acknowledge a true legend … He influenced so many… Goodbye Pete. The world was a much greater place for you having been here. John, take care of yourself …. And hope to finally see you live sometime soon. You’ve a spot in music history as well … Both my sons perform and one has a music studio in Philly. I’m glad they’ve managed to keep music a major part of their lives to this day. Funny thing …. They were raving about “fortunate son” performed by Eddie Vedder when they were in their teens and I had to tell them it was a song their old man liked … Years before … One of your best Mr. Fogerty. They certainly know who you are now. …. That I know.
    Anyway … Thanks for all the memorable music Hope to see you live sometime soon. Thank you for YOUR music.
    Bob Roche. Niskayuna ny.