Sunday, 3 May 2009

Happy Birthday Pete!

Happy 90th, Mr. Seeger. You have been a true inspiration to musicians, activists, environmentalists and social commentators the world over. May we look back and celebrate with you today a life fully and joyfully lived with admiration, respect for convictions, and art shared with all. Musical celebrations are taking place the world over today, not just in NYC. Concerts and shows scheduled include Australia, Boston, Toronto, Scotland, Richmond Va, Knoxville Tenn., Dayton Ohio, Rockville MD, Bellingham Wash, Seattle, and Ithaca NY. Some interesting Seeger facts.
  • Awarded the Mid Hudson Civic Centre Hall of Fame. Pete loves this type of not for profit stuff.
  • Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
  • National Medal of the Arts from the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • Kennedy Centre Lifetime Achievement Award
  • The Harvard Arts Medal
  • Induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • 2 Grammy Awards-most recently this past year for his album At 89
  • The Letelier-Moffat Human Rights Award

Pete is still performing. He was onstage at the concert commemorating President Obama's inauguration, sang a few weeks ago at Earth Day celebrations, and jammed at Preservation Hall in New Orleans last month. While his voice is a bit quieter and his fingers a little slower, the passion is still readily apparent and the music still there in abundance. Yesterday, Older Son asked me what my fascination with Mr. Seeger is all about. (I think that he secretly worried that I might turn into some creepy stalker lady!) I told him, quite bluntly, that every musician that he admires draws some influence from Pete. One only has to review the long and eclectic list of artists honouring him tonight at Madison Square Garden, to see that perspective. Simply put, the man is the best. How can one not admire and be fascinated by the best? Was he perfect? Certainly not. Did he make mistakes? Absolutely! But the music speaks for itself and cannot be denied. Happy Birthday, Mr. Seeger. Many more to come. 

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