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RICHIE HAVENS PASSES

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1 RICHIE HAVENS PASSES on Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:13 am


The great Richie Havens passed away a couple of days ago from a heart attack. another home-grown New Yorker, his voice was unique as was his styleof guitar playing. I was extremely blessed to spend some time with Richie back in 1970 at Electric Ladyland studios when he was recording the Cat Stevens track Fathers and Sons for his new album at the time. My bass guitarist's sister was his personal secretary back then, and that's how I got invited to the session. That was my first time in a real recording studio, and to be in the one which was built and owned by Jimi Hendrix is a very special memory for me in my book of memories. RIP Richie Havens - You will be missed !





NEW YORK — Richie Havens, the folk singer and guitarist who was the first performer at Woodstock, died Monday at age 72.

Havens died of a heart attack in New Jersey, his family said in a statement. He was born in Brooklyn.

Havens was known for his crafty guitar work and cover songs, including his well-received cover of Bob Dylan's "Just Like a Woman."

His performance at the three-day 1969 Woodstock Festival, where headliners included Jimi Hendrix, was a turning point in his career. He was the first act to hit the stage, performing for nearly three hours. His performance of "Freedom," based from the spiritual "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child," became an anthem.

Havens returned to the site during Woodstock's 40th anniversary in 2009.

"Everything in my life, and so many others, is attached to that train," he said in an interview that year with The Associated Press.

Woodstock remains one of the events that continues to define the 1960s in the popular imagination. Performers included The Who, Janis Joplin, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and dozens of others, and the trippy anarchy of Woodstock has become legendary. There was lots of nudity, casual sex, dirty dancing and open drug use. The stage announcer famously warned people to steer clear of the brown acid.

Havens had originally been scheduled to go on fifth but had been bumped up because of travel delays. Festival producer Michael Lang said in the book "The Road to Woodstock" that he chose Havens "because of his calm but powerful demeanor."

His performance lasted hours because the next act hadn't showed up.




"So I'd go back and sing three more," Havens said in an interview with NPR. "This happened six times. So I sung every song I knew."

Havens' website said that he had kidney surgery in 2010 and that he never recovered enough to perform concerts like he used to. He performed at Bill Clinton's presidential inauguration in 1993.

Havens, who released his breakthrough, "Mixed Bag," in 1967, released more than 25 albums. He sang with doo-wop groups on the street corner in his Brooklyn neighborhood at an early age. At 20, he moved to Manhattan's Greenwich Village, where he performed poetry, listened to folk music and learned how to play the guitar.

"I saw the Village as a place to escape to in order to express yourself," he said in his biography.

Stephen Stills said he remembered hanging with Havens in Greenwich Village and experiencing the singer's talent.

"Richie Havens was one of the nicest most generous and pure individuals I have ever met," Stills said in a statement, adding that Havens was unique and could "never be replicated."

"When I was a young sprite in Greenwich Village, we used to have breakfast together at the diner on 6th Avenue next to The Waverly Theatre. He was very wise in the ways of our calling. He always caught fire every time he played."

Havens' last album was 2008's "Nobody Left to Crown." He also started his own record label called Stormy Forest in 2000.

"I really sing songs that move me," he said in an interview with The Denver Post. "I'm not in show business; I'm in the communications business. That's what it's about for me."

Havens also became an actor in the 1970s and was featured in the original stage presentation of The Who's "Tommy." He appeared in the 1974 film "Catch My Soul" and co-starred with Richard Pryor in "Greased Lightning" in 1977.

Havens was the eldest of nine children. He is survived by his three daughters and many grandchildren.

A public memorial for Havens will be planned.




Peace, TED

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2 Re: RICHIE HAVENS PASSES on Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:26 am

Yes a Great Star
He will be missed.


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3 Re: RICHIE HAVENS PASSES on Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:18 pm


Here's another obit that was just put out by the NAMA association . My guitarist is music director for the annual festival and his niece is the founder of the organization.



NATIVE AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



Folk Singer, Woodstock Legend & Blackfoot Indian
Richie Havens Dead at age 72




Havens at NAMA Press Conference in NYC & performing a Hendrix Tribute at First Awards Show



New York, NY – Famed folk singer, activist, and Woodstock performer, Richie Havens, who was part Blackfoot Indian, has died of a heart attack on April 22, 2013, Earth Day, at the age of 72.

Richie Havens offered his support and commitment as a performer with Blackfoot Indian heritage during the formation of the Native American Music Awards. He proclaimed his Native American heritage at press conference announcing the launch of the Native American Music Awards in lower Manhattan on April 22, 1998, exactly 15 years ago. He was also asked by the family of the late Jimi Hendrix to perform a musical tribute for Hendrix’s induction into the N.A.M.A. Hall of Fame at the First Awards ceremony held in May 1998 at the Foxwoods Resort & Casino. Havens gave a magical and stellar performance of All Along The Watchtower that “catapulted the Awards show into something truly spiritual and spectacular” recalls N.A.M.A. President and Founder, Ellen Bello. His mesmerizing and unforgettable performance included a medley of Hendrix songs. The performance will be posted on www.NAMALIVE.com shortly.

Havens said his Native American heritage stemmed from his father’s side of the family who came from Montana and the South Dakota areas. In an interview with National Public Radio he stated, “They were Blackfoot Indian. They came with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, got off in New York City, left the show there and ended up on the Shinnecock Reservation in Long Island then moved to Brooklyn. And that’s how my father was born in Brooklyn and how I ended up being born in Brooklyn as well.”

Havens’ Mixed Bag II Cd released in 1974 on his own label, Stormy Forest Productions, also hinted at his Blackfoot heritage. The song, “Indian Prayer” celebrates and embraces his Native American roots. For a preview of the song visit, http://www.last.fm/music/Richie+Havens/Mixed+Bag+II

Standing at 6 feet 6 inches, Havens was best known for his distinctive, rhythmic guitar style and soulful songs. He recorded 30 albums and toured for over 40 years before retiring from the road three years ago. Those who have met Havens will remember his gentle and compassionate nature, his light humor and his powerful presence.

He told Billboard Magazine that his breakthrough at the 1969 Woodstock music festival came after the opening acts’ equipment got stuck in traffic. He was supposed to be the fifth act. He became the first act and played for almost three hours. Havens remembered, "They're gonna kill me if I go up on stage first. Give me a break. I need those four people in front of me to warm up the crowd. But the people were great. I was supposed to sing 40 minutes, which I did, and from the side of the stage they go, 'Richie, four more songs?' I went back and did that, then it was, 'Four more songs...' and that kept happening 'til two hours and 45 minutes later I had sung every song I know." He played a galvanizing set that included "Motherless Child" that merged into his song "Freedom," which he said came from “a totally spontaneous place.”

Havens’ Woodstock appearance proved to be a major turning point in his career giving him widespread notoriety and his highest-charting albums -- "Richard P. Havens, 1983" in 1969 (No. 80 on the Billboard 200) and "Alarm Clock" in 1971 (No. 29).

Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills and Nash said Havens was an inspiration for the natural gravel in his singing voice. "He lit fire when he started playing within the first song and burned exactly the same way throughout his set. And it never stopped, it never changed" Stills said.

Havens is survived by three daughters, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. According to media reports, a public memorial for Havens will be announced at a later date. More information can be found at Havens's official website, www.richiehavens.com.

Here are some comments NAMA members have to share:


Richie Havens was a sincere and gifted soul with a powerful presence. I am honored to have called him a colleague and a friend. We were fortunate to share the same stage from the Native American Music Awards, Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden. He will continue to inspire us all through his heartfelt and incredible singing and songwriting. – Joanne Shenandoah

Richie's performance of "All Along the Watchtower" was a perfect example of the simple raw emotion the he always put into his performance. No bells and whistles just an acoustic guitar, a voice and a little sweat. Totally pure music. I will surely miss him. - Joe Bello, NAMA Music Director

Such a shame. What a great artist and inspiration! I went to Woodstock. My parents brought me. Well….almost. My understanding is that it was pouring down rain. And we had a Volkswagen Bus. They got it stuck in the mud on the way in. I don’t remember if they actually walked in with me or not. I will have to ask them. My folks were total hippies back then. LOL. At that time, my mom’s hair was as long as Crystal Gayle’s! - Mike Johnson, Foxwoods Casino


www.NAMALIVE.com




Native American Music Awards
511 Avenue of the Americas Suite 371 New York NY 10011
ph 212.228.8300 fax 646.688.6883 email NAMAlive@aol.com


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4 Re: RICHIE HAVENS PASSES on Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:21 am

He moved me in his Woodstock performance.
Sincere and provoking; he marked us.

RIP, Richie.

Regards,


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