To all the ships at sea, approximately two months ago I did a program at B&H Photography called all things in photography are a compromise. The one thing I would like to make perfectly clear; that is not an excuse for me not to do my best. For that matter, it should not be an excuse for anyone to not do their best. Sometimes your best isn’t really up to code. Attached to this blog is a link to a short film on the great, beautiful, Pete Seeger. It was a work in progress and it was never designed to be published in its present format, but given the fact that Pete has moved to the next level of consciousness, please forgive my one-handed blind shooting. No, I did not intentionally cut his head off but the real sin is the microphone was not tweaked as it should have been. Translated: I had no assistant, no sound man, no PA, and no tripod. However, none of those things are an excuse. https://vimeo.com/85390064
What I’m about to say is my opinion, not fact. Pete Seeger will not rest in peace. He’ll be going to the pearly gates and will be carrying his banjo and singing and will never stop. As a matter of fact, he may try to reorganize part of Heaven. Personally, I’ve never met anyone who ever had a bad word to say about Pete. The reason for this is he was truly a gift to the world. A true visionary before it was popular to be one. There are very few men who would have the audacity, and nerve to march into Washington and stand up to the bureaucracy. I for one am not sure I’d be able to do it.
I have always been in love with Pete and what he stood for. I did a short film with Pete and like all films I do, there was no script, outline or storyboard. I took the advice of Albert Maysles and I was a fly on the wall. As I was filming this 90 year old man picked up a sledge hammer and it whistled past my ear. I got on two knees and tried to frame him winging that hammer. Now it may have only been 6-14 inches from me but I thought to myself Pete please don’t make a mistake and I certainly was not worried about my camera. Like everything Pete did, he was just right on. He went back to his microphone and didn’t miss a beat finishing up his song. What I thought also thought interesting, was that he showed up with his entourage – him and his truck and left the same way. There are no proper words in webster’s unabashed dictionary to describe Pete Seeger. God made just one and there will never be another that will take his place. With all due respect to Dylan, Springsteen, Sinatra, Presley, and John Lennon, they all might eventually be replaced but that will never happen with Pete. I consider myself an extremely lucky man to have spent time with such a true American Hero. I will make an honest attempt to put together another very short film on Pete.
So Pete keep playing your songs and when you need to break a sweat chop some more wood. Subconsciously I think that’s why I love to chop wood myself.
There are times when words are not enough to express the loss and sorrow of somebody that you love. Unfortunately, that will become all too evident in the next five days. my heart, my prayers, and tears go out to my friend Pete Seeger. God bless.
There comes a time when my words are just not important . The last time I saw Toshi Seeger was June 9th at the Strawberry Festival in Beacon. She looked absolutely beautiful next Pete’s side as she’s been for almost 70 years.
I did not know Toshi but respected her. In an interview on Thursday Pete Seeger called his wife of almost 70 years “the brains of the family” and said it was she who figured out how to turn his artistic concepts into a commercial successes. “I’d get an idea and wouldn’t know how to make it work, and she’d figured out how to make it work,” he said.
My dear friend Jerry Beaver who is the director of the Black Bear Film Festival and owner of the Milford Theatre, after a Pete Seeger concert at his Theatre came across a piece of rolled up paper with words on it by Toshi, which he believed belonged to Pete. He knew how much I loved Pete and gave me this piece of paper on loan to be used for a future blog. When he gave it to me he did not know it would be used for my blog tribute to Toshi Seeger. I am posting it for the world to see.
Last night I was pleasantly surprised to see my old friend Pete Seeger looking young and vibrant. I met Pete for the first time in 66— oops, I’m only 29— somebody’s not telling the truth. There is an expression that is overused, and that expression is “he or she is one-of-a -kind.” Let me be perfectly clear; there is only one Pete Seeger, and there will never be a second. He is truly one of the greatest human beings God put on this earth. At 93, he sounds like he’s 53.
To all the ships at sea, get a glass of wine, a beer, or cup of coffee, and sit down and listen to a a little bit of Pete Seeger’s music. By the way, he’s got a new book coming out and I certainly will be purchasing one