Richie Havens, First Artist to Play Woodstock, Dead at 72
Quote:Richie Havens, the renowned New York folk singer who will forever go down in history as the man who opened the Woodstock festival, died of a heart attack Monday at his home in Jersey City, New Jersey. He was 72.
Back on August 15, 1969, Havens was originally slated as the fifth act on the opening day of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, which took place on Max Yasgur's farm outside Woodstock, New York. But Havens was enlisted to be the emergency festival-opener when the first scheduled band on the day's bill, Sweetwater, got stuck in traffic. Havens, along with two other musicians who were already on the festival grounds, helicoptered their way to the Woodstock stage with two conga drums and two guitars, kicked off the show, and performed a legendary three-hour set while other artists were still en route. After Havens ran out of encores, he improvised a song based on the old spiritual "Motherless Child," which became "Freedom." And the rest was history.
What politics from both sides wants to teach us is that things are never complex. If you have your little package and something doesn't fit into that package, You don't know what to make of it so you want to dismiss it or then you will have to do the work of reconsidering your assumptions. - Michael Malice