This morning the world woke up to sad news. Pete Seeger, folk singer and hero of the working class, has died. He was 94.
If you don’t know it already, everyone ought to learn today about how Pete Seeger was dragged before the House Un-American Activities Committee and refused to testify but offered to sing. About how that act of good-natured defiance got him indicted–and convicted–for contempt, and got him blacklisted. And about how, nonetheless, he never went away. Pete Seeger insisted on remaining relevant. He did it grinningly, ingratiatingly, wittily, defiantly. Calculatingly, when you think about it, but mostly just insistently. The documentary about his life, Pete Seeger: The Power of Song, ought to be required viewing.
We found out about his passing this morning via Facebook, and the Seeger sketch by legendary Texas punk Tim Kerr you see above. Kerr played in the Big Boys, Poison 13, Jack O Fire, the Monkeywrench, and Lord High Fixers. He also produced a good deal of the albums on venerable garage rock label Estrus Records. He’s a Texas punk icon.
Kerr still plays music in Austin, and in recent years has made quite a name for himself on the art scene. His Facebook tribute speaks to the depth and breadth of Pete Seeger’s influence and, starting today, his legacy. He was a folk singer songwriter able to touch the heart of one of Texas’ OG punks. Kerr’s full sketch to and remembrance of Seeger after the jump
“[Pete Seeger] was a true believer and teacher of the power of music. I think a lot of people think of him from the songs they learned in elementary school and don’t realize how much he ‘stood up’ to, and how much he had to deal with. He really was quite the ‘bad ass’ in a Zen sort of way. I never got to meet him and, to be truthful, did not realize all he had done, above the music contributions, til’ later in life. I just don’t think people realize, for the most part, the depth of what all he did in his life that has affected us in some way or another. They really should be flying the flags at half mast for the passing of the man.” – Tim Kerr
Video of Tim Kerr working in his Austin, TX, art studio below.