2009-05-03 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY (Clearwater Concert)

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Info & Setlist | Venue

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Springsteen, Joan Baez, Dave Matthews, Tao Rodriguez-Seeger and Pete Seeger. Photo: Chad Batka



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03.05.09 New York City, NY, intro to “The Ghost of Tom Joad”
“One, two…(?)…can you give me a little more voice out there, thank you…well, as, uh, as Pete and I traveled to Washington for President Obama’s inaugural celebration (crowd cheers) he told me the, uh, he told me the entire story of “We Shall Overcome,” how it moved from a labour movement song and, with Pete’s inspiration, was adapted by the Civil Rights movement and, uh…that day as we sang “This Land Is Your Land,” I looked at Pete, the first black President of the United States was seated to his right and I thought of, uh, I thought of the incredible journey that, that Pete had taken, you know, my own growing up in the ‘60s in a town scarred by race rioting, made that moment nearly unbelievable and Pete had thirty extra years of struggle and real activism on his belt, he was so happy that day, it was like Pete, you outlasted the bastards, man (chuckles)(crowd cheers) that is so nice…it is so nice…at rehearsals the day before, it was freezing, fifteen degrees, and Pete was there, he had his flannel shirt on, I said “Man, are you gonna wear something besides that flannel shirt?” he says “Yeah, I’ve got my long-johns on under this thing” (chuckles from Bruce and the crowd) and I asked him “How you wanna approach “This Land Is Your Land,” it being near the end of the show?” and all he said “Well, I wanna sing all the verses” (laughs from the crowd) I wanna sing all the ones that Woody wrote, especially the two that get left out, you know, about the private property and the relief office…and I thought, uh, “Of course, that’s, that’s what Pete’s done his whole life, he sings all the verses all the time, especially the ones that we’d like to leave out of our history as a people” (crowd cheers) and uh…at some point…at some point Pete Seeger decided he’d be a walking, singing reminder of all of America’s history, he’d be a living archive of American music and conscience, a testament to the power of song and culture, to nudge history along, to push American events towards more humane and justified ends…he would, uh, have the audacity and the courage to sing in the voice of the people…now despite Pete’s somewhat benign grandfatherly appearance (laughs from the crowd) he’s a preacher of a stubborn, defiant and nasty optimism (crowd cheers) he carries…inside him he carries a steely toughness that belies that grandfatherly façade and it won’t let him take a step back from the things he believes in, at 90 he remains a stealth dagger through the heart of our country’s illusions about itself (crowd cheers) Pete Seeger still sings all the verses to all the songs…and he reminds us of our immense failures as well as shining a light towards our better angels on the horizon where the country we’ve imagined and hold dear, we hope awaits us, and on top of it, he never wears it on his sleeve, he’s become comfortable and casual in his immense role, he’s funny and very eccentric, you know, the song that, uh, I’m gonna bring Tommy out and the song Tommy Morello and I are about to sing, I wrote it in the mid-‘90s and it started as a conversation I was having with myself, it was an attempt to regain my own bearings and its last verse is the, uh, beautiful speech that Tom Joad whispers to his mother at the end of “The Grapes of Wrath”…which is, uh, “Wherever there’s a cop beating a guy or wherever a hungry new-born baby cries, wherever there’s a fight against the blood and hatred in the air, look for me, Ma, I’ll be there,” well, Pete has always been there (crowd cheers) so for me…for me, that speech is always aspirational, for Pete, it’s simply been a way of life, the singer in my song is in search of the ghost of Tom Joad, the spirit with the guts and the toughness to carry forth and to fight for and live their ideals, I’m happy to report that spirit of the ghost of Tom Joad is with us in the flesh tonight but beyond this stage momentarily it’s gonna look an awful lot like your granddaddy with his flannel shirts and funny hats (laughs from the crowd) he’s gonna look like your granddad – if your granddad can kick your ass (laughs from the crowd) (crowd cheers) so this is for Pete, come on here, Tom – Tom Morello is here to join me on this…”

Compiled by Johanna Pirttijärvi


All performances at this venue:
  1. 1973-06-14 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  2. 1973-06-15 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  3. 1975-05-09 - FELT FORUM, MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY (cancelled)
  4. 1978-08-21 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  5. 1978-08-22 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  6. 1978-08-23 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  7. 1979-09-21 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY (M.U.S.E. Benefit)
  8. 1979-09-22 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY (M.U.S.E. Benefit)
  9. 1980-11-27 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  10. 1980-11-28 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  11. 1980-12-18 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  12. 1980-12-19 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  13. 1983-08-02 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY (Jackson Browne)
  14. 1987-12-13 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY (All Star Benefit for Homeless Children)
  15. 1988-05-16 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  16. 1988-05-18 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  17. 1988-05-19 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  18. 1988-05-22 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  19. 1988-05-23 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  20. 1988-08-24 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY (Sting)
  21. 1993-06-26 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  22. 1997-02-26 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY (Grammy Awards)
  23. 2000-06-12 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  24. 2000-06-15 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  25. 2000-06-17 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  26. 2000-06-20 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  27. 2000-06-22 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  28. 2000-06-23 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  29. 2000-06-26 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  30. 2000-06-27 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  31. 2000-06-29 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  32. 2000-07-01 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  33. 2002-08-12 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  34. 2003-02-23 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY (Grammy Awards)
  35. 2006-06-22 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  36. 2007-10-17 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  37. 2007-10-18 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  38. 2009-05-03 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY (Clearwater Concert)
  39. 2009-10-29 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY (Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary Concert)
  40. 2009-10-30 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY (Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary Concert)
  41. 2009-11-07 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  42. 2009-11-08 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  43. 2011-12-01 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY (Bob Seger)
  44. 2012-04-06 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  45. 2012-04-09 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  46. 2012-12-12 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY (The Concert For Sandy Relief)
  47. 2013-11-06 - THE THEATER AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY (Stand Up For Heroes)
  48. 2014-11-05 - THE THEATER AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY (Stand Up For Heroes)
  49. 2015-07-31 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY (U2)
  50. 2015-11-10 - THE THEATER AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY (Stand Up For Heroes)
  51. 2016-01-24 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY (rescheduled)
  52. 2016-01-27 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  53. 2016-03-28 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
  54. 2016-11-01 - THE THEATER AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY (Stand Up For Heroes)


Page last edited by d_vdlinden on Jan 28, 2014 3:52 pm
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