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Mike Regenstreif Pete Seeger's last concert (175* d) RE: Pete Seeger's last concert 19 Sep 04


The world premiere of "Isn't This A Time," followed by a
short performance by The Weavers (Pete Seeger, Ronnie Gilbert, Fred
Hellerman and Erik Darling with Eric Weisberg)was a very special,
awe-inspiring night.

The film is a documentary about the tribute concert, held in November
2003, in honour of Harold Leventhal at Carnegie Hall. The featured artists included Arlo Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Leon Bibb, Theo Bikel, Peter, Paul & Mary, Tao Rodriguez Seeger, Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, and The Weavers. Jim Brown, who directed "Wasn't That A Time," about the Weavers' 1980 reunion, did a spectacular job of capturing the concert and a lot of wonderful off-stage moments. And more than just a concert film, it also tells the story of Harold Levanthal's lifetime involvement in folk music and how he defied and masterminded the end of the McCarthy-era blacklist. This is a film not to be missed by anyone who loves folk music.

After the screening, Harold was introduced, said a few words and received a richly deserved standing ovation.

Then the Weavers came out and sang "When the Saints Go Marching In,"
"Music In My Mother's House" and "Wimoweh." Although I've seen Pete
perform on dozens and dozens of occasions, and Ronnie on several, this was the first time I've ever had the opportunity to experience the Weavers, as a group, in person. They were inspired and inspiring. After a standing ovation, they returned to the stage and led us in singing "Goodnight Irene." I can now say that I've sung "Goodnight Irene" with The Weavers.

At the party later on, I was chatting with Pete Seeger, and telling him how much it meant to me to have been there that night, when Roger Ebert walked over and said the same thing to Pete.

Nora Guthrie introduced me to Harold Leventhal, who I was able to thank for being a great role model for those of us non-performers involved in folk music, and to Fred Hellerman, who I'd never met before, but whose music has inspired me since childhood.

It was one of those events that remind us why we do what we do, and why what we do is so important, particularly in these times.

Mike Regenstreif


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