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East Village icon David Peel in critical condition after heart attack

David Peel

David Peel

We’re saddeneed to hear that David Peel (born David Michael Rosario) is in critical condition in the Manhattan VA hospital after reportedly suffering a major heart attack. The approximately-72 year old “Marijuana” musician and John Lennon collaborator is a familar face and East Village icon (maybe you have his business card?). The NY Times caught up with him in 2012:

“A lot of people come up to me and say, ‘Peel, I thought you were dead,’ ” said David Peel, who is not only alive but basically living the same life he led 40 years ago, when he was a muse for the Yippie and hippie movements in New York City.

At 68, Mr. Peel is past conventional rock ’n’ roll retirement age, but why retire if you can rock? He still has his acoustic guitar, his three chords and his festive, irreverent marijuana shout-music.

And lately he has found new relevance, and new listeners. He was a regular last fall at the Occupy Wall Street movement’s Zuccotti Park encampment, and now shows up in Union Square to jam with the Occupy protesters there.

“Not many of them know who I was, because it’s a new generation,” he said. But the old-timers like Kenny Vena, 72, certainly do. “Man, David Peel — you were an East Village icon,” he said upon spotting Mr. Peel strumming in the park one recent weekday. “ ‘The Marijuana Song,’ right?”

Get well soon, David!

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David Peel & the Lower East Side – Up Against the Wall
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Hippie From New York City (David Peel and The Lower East Side)
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