Kris Kristofferson, Zac Brown Band, Merle Haggard,
The Eagles, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Brad Paisley,
John Mayer, Willie Nelson, Vince Gill, AC/DC,
Jeffery Steele, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Def Leppard,
ZZ Topp, Bob Seger, Johnny Cash, Aerosmith,
Richie Havens played nearly three hours to open Woodstock, then had to break the news to his bass player that he missed it all. Havens was supposed to be fifth on the bill but other musicians were stuck in traffic, so he went on stage and kept on playing. He made up his signature song, "Freedom," because he had sung everything he knew.
I was lucky enough to spend a couple of hours with Richie in Munich back in the early 80's. He was doing a show that night. I didn't know much about Richie, and he knew it. Turns out, it gave him the chance to talk about his life. His music. Richie was spiritual about the music. It was his religion. I was blessed to have him shine his light on me for just a brief moment. He will always be part of who I am.
Havens died yesterday of a heart attack in New Jersey.
He was 72. R.I.P. Richie.