Bruce Springsteen sings Pete Seeger * "Good Night, Irene" in Kolkata * Bush's Third War?
Interesting article about The Boss in the Sunday Observer/Guardian. "Over on Ocean Avenue, a patron sits with a lunchtime shot and beer in the Wonder Bar, which advertises a dance party with DJ Jersey Joe. Down the block is the Stone Pony, the nightclub where Bruce Springsteen, the Jersey Shore's famous son, made his name. Its marquee advertises a show by Nils Lofgren, guitarist for Springsteen's long-time collaborators the E Street Band."
Reading about Springsteen's new album, a tribute to Pete Seeger, brought back memories of the old troubadour. I listened to Pete Seeger strum his guitar and sing in Calcutta (Kolkata as it is known now) in the late 1960's. Didn't know much about Pete Seeger those days but someone gave me a leaflet that contained brief background information. The Vietnam war was raging and I had strong feelings about America's role. Reading that Pete Seeger was part of an anti-war movement was enough for me and a few friends to show up for the performance. Of course, the USIS wouldn't touch him with a ten-foot pole. His appearance was privately organized. It was standing room only at the Rabindra Sadan auditorium. The audience (mostly Bengalis) enthusiastically joined Pete Seeger in what he called "a hootenanny" when he sang Good Night,Irene; We shall overcome; and Where have all the flowers gone.
The New Yorker, in its issue of April 17,2006, has a profile of Pete Seeger. I spent more than an hour trying to negotiate the New Yorker's poorly designed, user unfriendly web site to get a link to the article before giving up. According to the New Yorker Forum there are others who find the web site frustrating. Wonder if the designers intentionally made it so.
Seeger is 86, he was born in 1919. "He doesn't cultivate publicity. That isn't what he does. He's far more modest than that. He would never make a fuss. He's just standing out there in the cold and the sleet like a scarecrow. I go a little bit down the road, so that when I get him in view again, this solitary and elderly figure,I see that what he's written on the sign is 'Peace'."---The Protest Singer by Alec Wilkinson,The New Yorker.
The Boss has done his share of making music against the war in Iraq, and Neil Young has recently issued an anti-war album which includes a song titled "Impeach the President". More power to them.
A lot is being written about Iran's nuclear program and President Bush's threats of war. Arthur Schlesinger Jr.in the Post
on Bush's Thousand days
: "There stretch ahead for Bush a thousand days of his own. He might use them to start the third Bush war: the Afghan war (justified), the Iraq war (based on fantasy, deception and self-deception), the Iran war (also fantasy, deception and self-deception). There is no more dangerous thing for a democracy than a foreign policy based on presidential preventive war
." Frightening to think of the power that lies in the hands of a few megalomaniacs, and I don't mean Ahmadinejad and his aides.*****