Pete Seeger Experiences His Own Newport Folk Festival-Style Technical Difficulties at Bryant Park Event
“You have disobeyed me!”
Pete Seeger interrupted co-editor Rob Rosenthal, who was reciting an anecdote from their upcoming book Pete Seeger: His Life in His Own Words, to scowl out into the crowd and point his finger at a television journalist with his camera on a tripod. “Get to the back.” Mr. Seeger repeated this until the man begrudgingly complied and sulked to the back of the sizeable crowd in Bryant Park like a child humiliated by his teacher in class.
The embarrassed cameraman had been warned. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer had been welcomed to the Word for Word reading and signing last Wednesday by a standing ovation from about one hundred fans. Drowned out by the whoops and whistles, the 93 year old was handed a microphone.
“You should all be sitting. Everyone with a camera should stand at the sides. Everyone should be able to see,” he said.
Then, just as Mr. Seeger finished ensuring that everybody could see, nobody could hear—all of the microphones lost power.
With a great sense of community (and no acknowledgment of the infamous, apocryphal story of Newport Folk Festival incident, wherein Mr. Seeger was rumored to have pulled the plug on Bob Dylan’s recently electrified sound), the show went on and questions and answers were repeated loudly by a chorus of front-row audience members for the benefit of those further back, a la Occupy Wall Street’s “human microphone.” Read More