Hi, my name is Bill and I’m writing about our groups’ experience at the Peter Yarrow and Noel Stookey (of Peter, Paul, and Mary) concert at Longwood Gardens on Friday, August 30, 2013. Our friend Linda Panetta, who is a photography professor at Cabrini College, led our group that also consisted of Dave, and Phil. Linda got us tickets and passes to photograph the evening’s concert. The venue was kind enough to allow us to shoot from the orchestra section, giving us the best seats in the house.
Although it was my first time seeing them in concert I knew most of the songs that they played that evening, and even when I didn’t it still felt as I had been listening to them my whole life. Peter and Noel, who were also accompanied by bass player, John Miller, put on a beautiful concert that evening and it was sure worth the wait. They were booked earlier in the year, but the first concert was rained out. They played most of their hit songs such as Leaving on a Jet Plane, 500 Miles, and others. Peter and Noel haven’t lost a step since the ‘60’s.
Dave was just as excited as me to have a chance to see them in concert because he’s been a fan of Peter, Paul, and Mary since he first heard them play back in the mid 1960’s and he had this to say: This was the second time I had the pleasure to see them in concert, the first being at the Valley Forge Music Fair back in the ‘80’s. It was so nice to hear all of the songs I grew up listening to and being able to sing along with them all night. The most memorable song of the evening for me was when they did a rendition of Blowing in the Wind. The only thing missing was the presence and voice of Mary Travis, who I’m a big fan of, and I sadly miss. What made it just as good as the first concert was I knew all of their songs and also had the pleasure of meeting Noel and Peter after the concert. I now have pictures to go along with the memories of meeting musician’s that I have looked up to and admired for decades.
The only thing that was missing for me too was Mary. I have never had the pleasure of seeing or hearing her live in concert, but I wish that she was there along with them; I’m sure she was in spirit. Peter and Noel both spoke about her in the kindest of terms and the way that they spoke she is surely missed by them both. As I listened to them in concert it seemed in my heart that she was right alongside with them.
Another thing that struck me about the concert and performers were their interest in social issues of both past and present. Our professor, Linda, has really opened my eyes to many social issue including those about homelessness that I was unaware of, and it was striking that that was one of the issues that Peter and Noel spoke of that evening. Unlike most other bands today, Peter and Paul continue to address social issues on and off the stage. Maybe the influence early on was part of their generation as they became aware of the hundreds of thousands of people who were dying in wars and others starving to death in far off lands. But I believe their success and worldwide impact was a result of their deep concern and compassion for others.
The highlight of the evening for me was getting to meet all three band members and having our pictures taken with them. The concert couldn’t have been any better, it was a beautiful evening, in an intimate setting, surrounded by gorgeous gardens; the venue seemed as if the concert was being held just for you and a group of close friends. It was an evening that I still haven’t stopped telling people about and one that I’ll never forget.
- Bill P. (speaking on behalf of the group)