Last week, to celebrate legendary folksinger Pete Seeger's 90th birthday, family, friends and the folk-music world threw a party for him at Madison Square Garden. We sang, we cheered, and we raised money for his Clearwater Foundation, a project to clean up the Hudson River. The music and the musicians were terrific -- Bruce Springsteen, Joan Baez, Ani DeFranco, Kris Kristofferson, Roger McGuinn, Ruby Dee, Ritchie Havens, Bruce Cockburn, Arlo Guthrie and Bernice Johnson Reagon.
Dar Williams, one of folk's best singers, and her husband Michael, invited me along. It was thrilling to meet old friends and great musicians and join the festivities. But it was more than a party; it was a celebration of the grass-roots struggle for justice and peace.
"It is better to have struggled and lost, than never to have struggled at all,” Pete once said. His life has been a long nonviolent campaign, using the weapon of music, for civil rights, disarmament and social justice.