January 28th, 2014
Pete’s advice to me was always pretty simple, “You need old folk’s music AND young people’s music. You see, without one you can’t have the other.”
To that point, one year, I think it was 2011, I was trying to find Pete to discuss his annual sing-along finale and couldn’t find him. I got on the walkie and started asking if anyone had eyes on Pete. Just then a member of our security team ran up to me with a crazed look and said someone had climbed the scaffolding on stage left and was refusing to come down. I ran over and sure enough there was Pete Seeger at 92 years old, 25 feet up in the scaffolding watching Gillian Welch & David Rawlings sing with The Decemberists. When he finally came down I asked him what the hell he was doing. He told me he was tired of everyone around him making a fuss and he just wanted to hear some new music.
If asked how to pay tribute, my guess is Pete would say support a cause, join a movement, sing a song or just go chop some wood.
Luckily, we also have this small video of a man who lived a large life, too.
– Jay Sweet, Producer