Roger McGuinn – I Want to Preserve the Songs
ND: Do you have a wish list of future collaborators?
RM: I was hoping to involve Hamilton Camp, who used to go by Bob Camp, of Bob Gibson & Bob Camp of Live At The Gate Of Horn fame. I was going to get him, but we didn’t have time to do anything for this one. I’m not sure of other names right now, but there are some other people that I’d love to get in there.
ND: It’s not like you’re going to run out of songs…
RM: (laughs) No, there are thousands and thousands of them out there. Wonderful songs, great melodies, great stories…
ND: Do you already have tunes in mind for the next go around?
RM: I can’t really tell, you know? I have to do the Folk Den for August here in a couple of days, and I don’t even know what I’m gonna do for that. I just kinda fly by the seat of my pants.
ND: So you don’t really decide until the last minute?
RM: Within a few days. There’s one due at the beginning of every new month, and I’ve been pretty faithful to it. I’ve only missed by a few days here and there.
ND: How has the response been to the Folk Den?
RM: It’s all very positive. All the major news organizations have covered it at one time or another. It’s not much of a novelty anymore because the internet isn’t that new, but when I first started doing it five, six years ago, it was a big deal. The New York Times reported on it, all that.
II. A VISIT TO SANTA CLAUS…
ND: I was especially tickled by your reference to visiting Pete Seeger, characterizing it as a visit to Santa Claus. His Children’s Concert At Town Hall was a staple in our house in the early/mid-’60s; my own kids have made it a favorite again. How much does the real Pete Seeger resemble the favorite uncle that comes across in public appearances and on record? Is he really that kind and gentle?
RM: Yes he is — he’s the same guy on and offstage. He’s one of the most benevolent people I’ve ever met. He’s just, uh, he’s all good — he doesn’t have a selfish bone in his body.
ND: Do you know the story of his lost/returned banjo?
RM: Yeah, evidently he put it on top of his car and just drove away. It was on the ground for a long time, and then somebody discovered it. It was in a soft case, and had identification inside it, so they called him up a couple of weeks after he lost it. I think he gave him a reward, but the guy didn’t expect it or anything.
ND: It says a lot about both of their characters. If it had been, say, a Keith Richards guitar…
RM: …It’d probably be for sale on e-Bay by nightfall (laughs).