Legandary folk Richie Haven passes away
Another Baby Boomer artist dies.
Ok…I confess…I didn’t know who Richie Havens was until I saw him play on the movie screen in that famous documentary: Woodstock (1970). Havens was one of the alumni from the Greenwich Village folk scene. Bob Dylan’s manager Albert Goldman discovered Haven at the Club Wha? Way back when Dylan needed a bath and shave.
After seeing Havens on the movie screen, I became an instant. Fan. His guitar style could be classified as speed folk. He used an opening tuning on the guitar and employed his thumb and pinky to create bar cords. He had this melodic throaty voice, which was pretty good for somebody who had no upper teeth. I’m pretty sure he didn’t any teeth. Havens had a lot of personal secrets he never talked about like his teeth and he relationship with folk queen Buffy Sainte Marie whom he lived with on the Island of Kauai.
Havens had quite a life. In the 50’s, he sang doo-wop on the street corners of Brooklyn. Then he got in the folk scene, finally got swept up in rock stardom. He was not ashamed to doing cover tunes of other artists. He was in Bill Board standards a one hit wonder. He covered George Harrison Beatle song: Here comes the sun. He performed it in his open tuning style. It worked and hit the top 40 in 1971.
I saw him play in the mid-70 at the Golden Bear club at Huntington Beach. He had a cold and put his used tissues in the o hole of his guitar. Strange. He put on a good show despite his illness.
Like many musicians of his generation, he also was a painter. He also was a sculptor. He is sample of his creations
Richie had a heart attack on April 22nd 2013, he was 71 years old, technically he was not a Baby Boomer but he had the hearts of our generation. Here’s to you buddy! You will be missed.