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Richie Havens, Folk and Woodstock Legend, Dead at 72
Published on Monday, April 22, 2013 by Common Dreams

Richie Havens, Folk and Woodstock Legend, Dead at 72

- Common Dreams staff

[Image: havens-woodstock.jpg]

Richie Havens opens the Woodstock Music & Art Festival in August 1969.

Richie Havens, the folk singer who was the opening act of Woodstock, the legendary 1969 music festival, has died. He was 72.

He died today of a heart attack at his home in Jersey City, New Jersey, according to his booking agent, The Roots Agency.

The Roots Agency represented Richie Havens for many years and regrets to post of his passing on April 22, 2013.

RICHIE HAVENS was gifted with one of the most recognizable voices in popular music. His fiery, poignant, soulful singing style has remained unique and ageless since his historic appearance at Woodstock in 1969. For four decades, Havens used his music to convey passionate messages of brotherhood and personal freedom. Billboard Magazine writes, "This acoustic soul giant truly seems to be getting more inspiring and graceful with age."

From Woodstock to The Isle of Wight to Glastonbury to the Fillmore Auditorium to Royal Albert Hall to Carnegie Hall, Richie played the most legendary music festivals that ever were, and most of the world's greatest concert venues. But even when performing in a Greenwich Village coffeehouse or a small club or regional theater, he was eternally grateful that people in any number turned up each time to hear him sing. More than anything, he feels incredibly blessed to have met so many of you along the way.

[Image: richie-havens.jpg]Richie Havens, 1941-2013
"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
Buckminster Fuller
Sad. Havens was great as a singer and as a person. Very sad. I remember his Woodstock performance. I was there. That now seems like an event that must have happened on another Planet than the one I now live on.
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
One of the things common in today's culture that bugs me is the denigration of folk music.

I take pride in Woody and Arlo Guthrie, Judy Collins, John Prine (illegal smile even I learned to play) and all the heritage from what and where today's music evolved.

When Richie Havens sang of feeling like a motherless child sometimes, well I knew what that was about. The country was abandoning a generation - abandoned to duty and war, abandoned to a society that condemned anything not a product of Madison Avenue. The age of hate-politics had arrived. The GOP and Nixon were coming after us with the Feds. The threat was elsewhere, from inside the Wall Street Empire and inside the Beltway.

Country "music" abandoned the folk-mountain music of its roots. Those of the Waylon Jennings bunch didn't take trips which is fine but bad jacketing the youth was a disloyal idea of the MSM. Op Chaos in full flower and at cost to this society.

Only John Cash spoke for the abandoned youth from the "Country/Western Music" morass. He had the internal courage to speak truth to the People.
And the various folk singers sang too. More than coffee house anachronisms if one could listen to the words of the music.

Tin Soldiers and Nixon were already present and the M1 Garands were locked and loaded only waiting for the election primaries in May 1970 to be unleashed for the sake of votes and stoke the flames of the MSM and Op Chaos. Full Metal Jacket deployed on citizens again.
Neil wrote about it and "4 Dead in Ohio" is American Folk Music to me that came of the conflict on our streets.

I toast the voices that tried to tell it like it is. And Richie Havens was one of those voices. One of the antidotes to the mind poison.


This land is [still] your land, this land is [still] my land
from California to the Gulf Stream waters
this land was [still] made for you and me....
Read not to contradict and confute;
nor to believe and take for granted;
nor to find talk and discourse;
but to weigh and consider.
Logging into DPF this evening, I kinda suspected that Keith would have started a thread on Richie Havens.

I wasn't disappointed.

Keith - in the words of Richie's song:

I Was Educated By Myself

I can't buy the lie and it don't matter
Even though I try to keep my health
It all seems the same, such a silly game
Played by silly fools who don't even follow their own rules

But oh, when the sunshine follows me around
Lifts my feet and takes me from the ground
High enough to see the shelf
And know that I was educated by myself
"It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
"Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
"They are in Love. Fuck the War."

Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

"Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war
His voice was more than folk, he was a voice against the war machine. (Actually most of folk is just that).
RIP. Another gone too soon.

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