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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Musicians Remember Pete (and His Final Days)

NYT piece just posted  extensive memories from Bruce, Bonnie Raitt, Arlo, Steve Earle, Roger McGuinn, Steve Martin, Judy Collins,Mellencamp, Ry Cooder, Tim Robbins.   Judy Collins visited him in the hospital in the final days but the fullest account comes from Peter Yarrow.  Below, Judy Collin with Pete in mid-60s.
“His son had called me and said that Pete had maybe a couple of days, and then texted me and asked me to bring my guitar. His family was there, and we sang union songs, Spirituals, sloop songs, ‘Where Have All the Flowers Gone,’ ‘If I Had a Hammer.’ He was aware, and it seemed as if he was trying to sing along from time to time. Of course, there was some sadness, but there was more of a sense of celebration of being together. And it was emblematic of who he was.
“He was the one who really showed all of us folk singers how to combine music with advocacy, and let the music bring people together. For him, music was not about escaping, or entertainment. It was the soundtrack of what he cared about – the world, the nation, the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, anti-apartheid, the environment, anti-fracking. It was a way of being, and we all learned from him. I got to finally just kiss him on the head and tell him I loved him. I went away from the hospital with a full heart.”

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