Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Pete Seeger's Banjo Head


Item condition:Used

Time left:9 days 12 hours (Jan 29, 201007:49:00 PST)

Bid history:9 bids

Current bid:US $2,000.00

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Other item info
Item number:170434652269
Item location:Port Jervis, NY, United States
Ships to:United States

Item specifics
Condition: Used


This is a relisting of the Pete Seeger's banjo head. We apologize for any inconvenience.

You are bidding on a true, one-of-a-kind, legendary and historic piece that rarely comes to auction. This is the authentic old banjo head from Pete Seeger's long neck banjo. Sitting on a Vega Tubaphone rim for the last 30-35 years, this Vega sized, 10-15/16", banjo head bears Pete's iconic inscription, "This Machine Surrounds Hate And Forces It To Surrender." It has played in nearly every State in the union and around the world. In many countries, many people of many politics, colors, and religions listened the notes trickling from this banjo head. From civil rights rallies, to saving rivers, to saving the planet, to the steps of the White House, Pete's big 90'th birthday celebration in Madison Square Garden, the folks of Clearwater, the Beacon Sloop Club, and the Childrens Chorus of Beacon...indeed this is a piece of history.

It should be noted that this banjo head is seen in many pictures, but especially, is the CD design logo of "Pete At 89" released by Appleseed Music, http://www.appleseedmusic.com/.
The CD is not part of this auction, but is included in the JPEGS for reference.
A handwritten letter, from Pete Seeger, describing a little bit about where it has been, will accompany the banjo head to the winning bidder.

Please go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abnDlDISEbE
This is a short clip that shows Pete talking about this auction and the plans for the money....and holding his banjo with the new crisp, white, unlettered head!

Since this has helped so many people for so long, it is Pete's hope that this auction raises money to help people once again in the form of assisting Wangari Muta Maathai to address the social and economic developmental needs of Haiti. Wangari Muta can be looked up on Wickipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wangari_Maathai. Dr. Maathai was the first East African woman and environmentalist to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 and is known for empowering women, planting trees, and bringing Kenya to a more stable and self-sustaining condition.

Any serious questions should be directed to: Dr. Storm: Propinquity9@hotmail.com
I will do my best to reply as soon as possible!

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UPDATE: 2/9/10

February 2, 2010

Seeger pulls banjo head from eBay auction

John W. Barry
Poughkeepsie Journal

Fishkill resident Pete Seeger has pulled his iconic banjo head from an eBay auction, after putting it up for bid to raise money for charity.

Following discussions with his family, the famous folk singer has ended the auction, plans to find other ways to funnel donations to the nonprofit Green Belt Movement organization, and plans to donate the famous banjo head — which reads "This Machine Surrounds Hate and Forces It To Surrender" to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, which already has one of his banjos in its collection.

The banjo head, which is akin to a drum head, could have fetched $35,000 on eBay.

"The family decided," Seeger told the Journal Monday during a telephone interview, "we don't want to make money out of selling something like this."

And the 90-year-old member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame appears in a video on YouTube to explain everything.

"Dear friends, near and far," Seeger says at the beginning of his YouTube video, "especially those who bid on my old banjo head ..."

Millions of people saw Seeger play his signature instrument, with this banjo head, during a concert in January 2009 as part of President Barack Obama's inauguration. He was joined at that performance by Bruce Springsteen and his grandson, Tao Rodriguez-Seeger.

Many more have seen the famous folk singer play that banjo head at the annual Clearwater Festival in Westchester and at gatherings large and small, on a regular basis, throughout the Hudson Valley.

The writing was put on it decades ago, when Seeger's friend and mentor, Woody Guthrie, entered a hospital with Huntington's disease. Guthrie's guitar had a tiny sign on it that read, "This Machine Kills Fascists."

"That banjo head helped make music, not just all around this country, but in Latin America and Europe and Asia and Africa," Seeger told the Journal.

But time took its toll and R.J. Storm of Orange County, who has known Seeger and worked on his instruments for decades, told him it had to be replaced.

The same phrase has been placed on Seeger's new banjo head.

Storm said he asked Seeger what he wanted to do with the old banjo head. And Seeger, Storm said, told him to keep it.

The two then agreed to put it up for bid on eBay, an Internet auction site, and donate the proceeds to The Green Belt Movement's plan to plant trees in Haiti, an effort launched prior to the magnitude 7.0-earthquake that struck Jan. 12.

Storm said bids reached $6,400, and people contacted him directly with offers.

"That head would have sold in excess of $35,000," he said.


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