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Saw John Stewart play last night . . .

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Journeyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-29-07 04:29 AM
Original message
Saw John Stewart play last night . . .
Good show, shorter than usual but then, hes older each time he comes round. A bittersweet reunion as well, here beneath the slowly dissipating clouds of California burning.

And we were all Californians, at least so it seemed at the start, all with that shared bloodline of Southwest heritage. Nothing by which to distinguish us, of course, just a shared background, a common reference. It didnt add to the music but it brought us together, made us appreciate both where were from and our relief at what has passed.

Jesse Unruhs widow was there. Jesse Unruh -- the best Governor California never had. Unruh and Stewart worked together on Bobby Kennedys ill-fated California campaign. In the chaotic moments after the shots, Unruh can be heard yelling at Rosey Grier to grab the gun, break his finger if you have to. Stewart, whod played at many of Bobby's rallies across the land, later released The Last Campaign, an album of songs from and about his experience.

Though much of the music came from albums released in the past few years, there were older tunes as well, including -- surprisingly -- a song from his years with The Kingston Trio. He doesnt play those often in his own shows.

The biggest applause came late in the set, when Stewart unexpectedly said,

You know, hard to believe, but in 15 months well never hear from George Bush again.

He then segued into Survivors, from his 1975 album, Wingless Angels:

    He broke his back
    To put food on the table.
    In Columbus Ohio
    he said to his wife:
    I believe that the flag
    Is more than a rag,
    But the outlaws in office
    Have shattered my life.

    Can you hear me Ohio?
    You are the country
    You are the nation
    You will survive


When finished, he commented it was sad such songs remain relevant but fortunate they dont diminish in import.

And such is the lesson Ive learned in a lifetime of listening to folk music: In unmelodic times, folk music has power to effect change, and if the change cant happen soon enough, we can find in the music strength to carry on.

    We will survive
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progdog Donating Member (435 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-08 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
1. Saw your post and had to respond.
I haven't thought about John Stewart for years. I used to have an eight track of the "Phoenix Concerts". I would play it over and over, in the car, in the house. I saw him in concert about thirty years ago in San Diego. Are we talking about the same John Stewart? "Shoot all the Wild Horses"? If so, I had no idea he was still performing. That's great to hear. It truly takes me back. Wow.
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Journeyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thank you for your response, progdog. . .
Odd, that I should check this forum for the first time in months and see this post near the top.

And yes, this is the same John Stewart. "All the Brave Horses" was originally found on The Lonesome Picker Rides Again album. It was written in part as a response to the murder of his friend, Bobby Kennedy.

Shoot all the brave horses
And how will we ride?
Shoot all the brave horses
And how will we ride?
Shoot all the brave horses
And how will we ride?
And ford the cold waters
How will we ride?


Unfortunately, John died three months after that concert, on January 19, 2008. He suffered a massive stroke early that morning and died peacefully in the company of his family and friends.


John's website is here:

http://www.chillywinds.com /


DU discussed his death here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

There are now quite a few YouTube posts for him:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_ohRBgmOTs&feature=rela...
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progdog Donating Member (435 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 10:59 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Strange things happen when I venture off GDP.
How sad to learn of his passing. His good soul and thoughtful poetry remain, accompanied by many memories of a time in the past. Thank you for the info. After years on DU this was the first time I visited music appreciation. thanks again.
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