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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » New Phil Ochs movie (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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landmark
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There’s a new full length documentary about Phil coming out in New York January 5th. It’s produced by his brother Michael, and includes lots of unseen footage with interviews and commentary by Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Billy Bragg, Sean Penn and others.

You can go to this website to find out more info and see trailers of the movie. Pass the word around.

http://www.philochsthemovie.com/index.html
Whit Haydn
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"Well, I'm just a typical American boy from a typical American town. I believe in God and Senator Dodd and keepin' Old Castro down..."
Al Angello
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"I've got something to say sir,
and I'm going to say it now"

Good to hear from my friend Whit, a man my age, who can quote Phil Ochs

MERRY CHRISTMAS
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Woland
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...and when it came my time to serve I knew better dead than red, but when I got to my old draft board, buddy, this is what I said . . .

(I no longer share the sentiments, but I still remember the song. A catchy tune.)

Woland
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On most of his records, and when he performed in concerts he performed solo, with just his piercing voice, and those unforgetable lyrics. Phil Ochs is well represented on my ipod. Woland, and Whit have quoted from the famous Phil's song "Draft Dodgers Rag"
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Woland
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I also remember the haunting melody of the opening to "I aint marching anymore," ("I marched to the battle of New Orleans,at the end of the early Civil War....") and the refrain to "Love me, love me, love me -- I'm a liberal." (He was using the term disparagingly, I guess he considered himself a "radical" or a "revolutionary" rather than a "liberal.")

Woland
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Woland, you're full of surprises.

Quite right, liberals were looked down upon by Ochs as folks who would fold when push came to shove.

"Once I was young and impulsive,
I wore every conceivable pin;
Even went to socialist meetings
Learned all the old union hymns!
But I've grown older and wiser--
And that's why I'm turning you in!!!
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal."
Jonathan Townsend
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Is Pete Seeger with us to enjoy this?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
MagicSanta
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You mean is he alive? Yes he is alive.
Woland
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Don't get me started about Pete Seeger . . . .

Woland
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Seeger is, arguably, besides Louis Armstrong, the most important 20th century influence on US music. But certainly a complex, contradictory man who has gone through much evolution. There are several good recent biographies of Seeger.
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Pete Seeger is an essentially unrepentant Stalinist whose political message, such as it was, followed every twist & turn of the Stalinist line. (Try to find a copy of the bitterly anti-FDR, anti-war album he released in early 1941, only to have the Party order its hasty suppression when Stalin's ally Hitler double-crossed him and invaded the Soviet Union in June.) Had Seeger been an adherent of National-Socialism rather than Communist Socialism, it is doubtful that his reputation would have survived as well as it has. The mass-murders of Stalin and his ilk are more palatable to modern "liberals" than those of the National-Socialists, although Stalin butchered, starved, and executed more innocent victims than did Hitler.

I write this as someone who was brought up on the "heroic" saga of the Peekskill Riot and the rest of the agitprop that surrounded the Seeger brand. I learned to play the banjo from his booklet, and spent a couple of childhood summers around the campfire with the children of the communist intelligentsia. I don't remember for sure, but it seems to me that Pete put in an appearance himself, as it was only down the road apiece from his old family manse.

There is however no doubt that the folk movement (also in large measure fostered by communists such as the editors of the "People's Song Book" and "Sing Out" magazine) had a tremendous impact on American music. The work of Alan Lomax, Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, and the other early collectors and popularizers of vernacular American music should be respected and honored.


Peace Out.

Woland
landmark
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Camp Kinderland, Camp Kinder Ring?
Woland
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No, it was the camp operated by staff of TLRS and E.I.

Woland
Al Angello
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Here is an example of the great Phil Ochs singing.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulTmmTIlM_o
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Al Angello
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Phil Ochs moved to New York to be the greatest folk singer of his generation. After he met Bob Dylan Phil decided to be the second best folk singer of his generation, and he was IMHO.
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landmark
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When I'm Gone

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQd_zLZevzQ

They played this one at the New York memorial for Phil shortly after his death, a spotlight on an empty chair with Phil's voice over the speaker system. There was a rumor that Dylan would show, but he never did. However, Abbie Hoffman, who by then had been long underground and was rumored to have undergone extensive plastic surgery, was there; he was in the audience, looking pretty much as he always had.

Anyway, the song starts about 28 seconds in, and with regards to another thread here, makes the case for not waiting for the afterlife . . .
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Landmark
I just downloaded that one.
Thanks
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landmark
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Quote:
On 2010-12-24 17:17, Woland wrote:

Pete Seeger is an essentially unrepentant Stalinist whose political message, such as it was, followed every twist & turn of the Stalinist line. (Try to find a copy of the bitterly anti-FDR, anti-war album he released in early 1941, only to have the Party order its hasty suppression when Stalin's ally Hitler double-crossed him and invaded the Soviet Union in June.) Had Seeger been an adherent of National-Socialism rather than Communist Socialism, it is doubtful that his reputation would have survived as well as it has . . .
Peace Out.

Woland

No doubt that Seeger was long an apologist for Stalin, though as far as I know he never made a pro-Stalinist statement after 1956. It's not quite accurate though to say that he was unrepentant; he left the party by the early 50s and expressed his regrets about supporting the Soviets under Stalin in his 1993 autobiography, and indicated his dissatisfaction with Soviet-style communism way before that. He was a big supporter of the Polish Solidarity movement.

Around 2007 he wrote a song Called "Big Joe Blues"

"There is no ambiguity about the words of Seeger's final judgement on Stalin's murderous reign. 'I'm singing about old Joe, cruel Joe./ He ruled with an iron hand./He put an end to the dreams/Of so many in every land./He had a chance to make/A brand new start for the human race./Instead he set it back/Right in the same nasty place./I got the Big Joe Blues./ (Keep your mouth shut or you will die fast.)/I got the Big Joe Blues./ (Do this job, no questions asked.)/I got the Big Joe Blues.'

Seeger admitted to an old banjo pupil of his, Ron Radosh, who had criticised his long silence on the horrors of Marxism-Leninism, that when writing the song he had been "thinking what Woody might have written had he been around" to see the end of the Soviet Union. In a letter responding to Radosh's complaint that he had repeatedly sung about the Nazi Holocaust but failed to acknowledge the millions killed in Stalin's death camps, he wrote: 'I think you're right - I should have asked to see the gulags when I was in [the] USSR.' "

http://www.newstatesman.com/society/2007......c-seeger

Quote:
Had Seeger been an adherent of National-Socialism rather than Communist Socialism, it is doubtful that his reputation would have survived as well as it has.

Well, there's the little matter that Hitler declared war on the US and Stalin was an ally. And there were certainly many well thought of Americans, Congressmen and businessmen, in awe of Hitler, including Lindbergh and Ford who were strong defenders of fascism. Their reputations seem to have survived, as has Seeger's.

Quote:
The mass-murders of Stalin and his ilk are more palatable to modern "liberals" than those of the National-Socialists, although Stalin butchered, starved, and executed more innocent victims than did Hitler.

Don't know who you're talking about. Care to give a modern-day example? I can't think of any "liberals" who feel this way. After Khrushchev's 1956 speech, the extent of Stalin's crimes became well known.
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Landmark,

I appreciate your knowledgeable and temperate comments. It is excellent to discuss these matters with a thoughtful and scholarly colleague.

Of course it is a matter of judgment, but I think that the lyrics you quote are an endorsement of the "ideals" of Stalinism, although a mild repudiation of Stalin himself. Although criticizing Stalin for "ruling with an iron hand," Seeger still sees the Stalinist project as "a chance to make a brand new start for the human race."

A thoughtful reader of the "Black Book of Communism," Solzhenitsyn's "Gulag Archipelago," or much better, Varlama Shalamov's "Kolyma Tales," would see things differently from the get-go.

Do the thought-experiment for yourself: imagine that Seeger had been singing about Adolf Hitler in similarly mild terms, lamenting the fact that Hitler had missed the opportunity to do so much for humanity because he "ruled with an iron hand." I doubt that Seeger would be receiving the sort of glowing accolades from the press and the academic elite that he receives today.

Seeger's namby-pmaby, wishy-washy response to Ron Radosh, which you quote above, starkly underscores his woefully inadequate response to a regime that was every bit as hellish as Hitler's.

The elite intellectuals who make up our university faculties and who have trained the journalists who dispense our news and opinion, still believe in communism as an ideal, still believe in the idealism of the communist elite, and still believe that the fact that the communist societies of the Russian Empire, of Eastern Europe, China, Cuba, North Korea, Mongolia, Zimbabwe (and every other communist state) were all hell-holes is due to local accidentals and not to the essential nature of communism itself. So in that sense, I continue to assert that communism is very palatable to leftists and "liberals" today.

Despite the fact that my parents and their friends were "NMSH" communists ["No More Since Hungary"] who dropped out of the Party after 1956, they continued to follow a pro-Soviet line, and the "Peace Movement" of the 1950s and 1960s in Western Europe and the United States was based on the KGB-sponsored myth of a "peace-loving Soviet Union" against whom the evil capitalist plutocrats had pointed their evil ICBMs.

In the worldwide sense, Pete Seeger and Phil Ochs were not merely promulgating an anti-establishment, pacifistic line, they were in fact promoting a line of cultural propaganda that was being deployed all over the world to weaken the opposition to communism and to make it impossible for the West to oppose the worldwide spread of communism, by vitiating the ability of Western youth to even conceive of an armed defense against communist aggression.

However, you are right about the fact that Communist-Socialism and National-Socialism are viewed differently in the United States because of the fact that the National-Socialist state was an enemy of the USA, and the Communist-Socialist state was, at least temporarily, an ally. (Though Churchill had no illusions about that.) In fact, I would say that FDR was fortunate to come into the war on the same side as "Uncle Joe," since that guaranteed FDR the support and cooperation of Hollywood and the press!

Peace Out.

Woland
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