By Dan Evon
Folk legend Pete Seeger passed away last night at the age of 94. The iconic musician’s death made waves across social media sites as artists like Arlo Guthrie and They Might Be Giants wrote farewell messages to the folk singer.
Pete Seeger was a folk musician but his influence was felt across many genres of music. Musicians like Arlo Guthrie appreciated Seeger’s playing while rockers like Tom Morello and Rage Against The Machine saw the folk musician as an iconic voice against oppression.
In fondest memory of Mr. Pete Seeger, the man who exemplified “stick to the music” better than anyone else. The struggle continues!
— They Might Be Giants (@tmbg) January 28, 2014
RIP Pete Seeger. Absolutely the best that humans can aspire to be. A courageous, kind, fearless soul. At his 90th: http://t.co/Gqh5fsfOrm”
— Tom Morello (@tmorello) January 28, 2014
Seeger’s uncompromising badass testimony before The House Un-American Activities Committee: http://t.co/tfgUuPdVeX — Tom Morello (@tmorello) January 28, 2014
Seeger was a storyteller, a singer, and a protester. He used song as a tool of protest and was one of the leading singers during the folk music movement in the 1960s. Of course, Pete did more than just sing. In 2011 he joined Michael Moore and several others during the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York.
It’s Oct 2011, I’m on a NYC street, I look up & here comes Pete Seeger leading an impromptu Occupy march down B’way! pic.twitter.com/T2OCdio55b — Michael Moore (@MMFlint) January 28, 2014
Pete Seeger. What can I say. He said it and sang it and lived it all. Our paths crossed many times, and I am the better for it. RIP
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) January 28, 2014
Pete Seger’s music has been covered by The Byrds and Joan Baez. His message has been mimicked by musicians like Tom Morello. For more than 70 years people have been listening to his music. Arlo Guthrie, the son of Woody Guthrie, shared his thoughts on the iconic singer today on Facebook.
Arlo wrote that Seeger was a mentor, father figure, and most of all a friend to him during his life.
“I usually do a little meditation and prayer every night before I go to sleep – Just part of the routine. Last night, I decided to go visit Pete Seeger for a while, just to spend a little time together, it was around 9 PM. So I was sitting in my home in Florida, having a lovely chat with Pete, who was in a hospital in New York City. That’s the great thing about thoughts and prayers- You can go or be anywhere.
“I simply wanted him to know that I loved him dearly, like a father in some ways, a mentor in others and just as a dear friend a lot of the time. I’d grown up that way – loving the Seegers – Pete & Toshi and all their family.
“I let him know I was having trouble writing his obituary (as I’d been asked) but it seemed just so silly and I couldn’t think of anything that didn’t sound trite or plain stupid. “They’ll say something appropriate in the news,” we agreed. We laughed, we talked, and I took my leave about 9:30 last night.
“Arlo” he said, sounding just like the man I’ve known all of my life, “I guess I’ll see ya later.” I’ve always loved the rising and falling inflections in his voice. “Pete,” I said. “I guess we will.” I turned off the light and closed my eyes and fell asleep until very early this morning, about 3 AM when the texts and phone calls started coming in from friends telling me Pete had passed away.
“Well, of course he passed away!” I’m telling everyone this morning. “But that doesn’t mean he’s gone.”