Singing Seeger, Berkeley-Style

by Steed Dropout
Feb. 9, 2013
Berkeley, Ca

Inside, listening to Seeger 'sold' out memorial concert from lobby, Monday; outside looking in. Two insiders on stools, staring at outsiders--weird. Photo by Ted Friedman.

One thousand Berkeleyans wanted in for the legendary folk club–Freight and Salvage–tribute, Monday, to Pete Seeger, a Berkeley legend–inspiration to a plethora of Berkeley folk-singer-activists…but there was no more room at the inn. View from the Freight lobby, where some were able to listen to the on-stage concert from the lobby while have-nots hovered outside.

But why were two weirdoes gawking at them from inside?

Local Folksingers sing Seeger in Freight lobby before main show from stage.
Photo by Ted Friedman.

If you had arrived as early as six hours earlier, you might have participated in this Seeger sing-along in the lobby before the main on-stage blow-out.

Lone protester with muddy message; Seeger Celebrants snake around corner of Addison to Milvia. DSCF 3588 (below) shows this line moving to Center and beyond.
Photo by Ted Friedman.

The longest downtown Berkeley line since El Topo screened here in 1970, three blocks to El Topo’s meager block and a half–snaked around the corner and up another street–three blocks. The “protester” in the street may have been looking for the “How Berkeley Can You Be?” event, long gone.

Photo by Ted Friedman.

Early in line. Some, reportedly, showed up as early as six hours before the lobby opened.

Last minute tickets. Photo by Ted Friedman.

Last tickets.

Photo by Ted Friedman.

Outsiders stage their own ceremony. Street was closed before the concert by Berkeley police and four officers dispatched for crowd control. I ignored the warnings of the Freight’s house manager and went outside for photos. As I chatted up the cops, I noted that I might need a police escort to get back in and was not far off, as I clawed my way back in, showing my hand-stamp, which did not endear me to the outsiders.

Trying to sing their way into 'Sold-Out' Seeger at freight, Monday. Photo by Ted Friedman.

Folkies singing at the door, hoping to get in.

After Wavy-Gravy opened Seeger Celebration; Ronnie Gilbert, 4th from left; Holly Near, event organizer, 6th from left. Photo by Ted Friedman.


Outsiders trying to break in. Photo by Ted Friedman.

The let-me-in situation warms up. “If I had a hammer”…I’d hammer my way in.

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