Monday, April 22, 2013

Richie Havens, Thank You for the Music

In the summer of 1969, when I was living in Pittsburgh, my brother called me from New York and said that there was this Music Festival in Woodstock and would we like to come join him. Regretfully, we had just made plans to spend the week before Woodstock in Lake George with 2 other couples and couldn't see either extending it or getting away again. Yikes, what I missed. Although, to be quite honest, Lake George was great and Woodstock looked like alot of rain.
The band my brother raved about was Santana, a group I'd never heard of before then, but, I can't remember if my brother told me about Richie Havens, or if I already knew of his work.
I can't think of any better tribute to Mr. Havens than to play his music.
So, here are some of my favourites:

Little Darlin', it's been alright:

At a time when we just couldn't understand why our friends and neighbours were dieing in Vietnam, Richie Havens put our sorrows into song:

And, in those days, who would have believed that Richie Havens could interpret Dylan as well as Dylan could:

According to Richie Havens, he was originally scheduled to be the fifth band up at Woodstock, but with the traffic and all, his band was the first one ready to go on, and so, they opened Woodstock. Further, they were so well received that they kept on playing, kept on playing and kept on playing until Richie Havens said, he played every song that he knew. Here is another one that I loved, and, in my opinion, a better interpretation of the Beatle original, than the Beatle original. Strawberry Fields Forever:

Thanks for the Music Richie Havens.