Richie Havens RIP and memories of Newcastle City Hall 1972

Richie Havens Newcastle City Hall 1972
richietix From the programme: “Richie Havens has a way of singing songs that makes people listen to them as if they’ve never heard them before. Taking as his material his own songs and the compositions of today’s greatest popular songwriters: Lennon and McCartney, Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot…. – Richie gets right inside the meanings of them in a way that corresponds exactly to the way he and his audiences feel about the songs, the stories in them and the world around them. Whereas many musicians re-interpret songs by surrounding them with symphony orchestras, swamping them with the thousand strong choirs, Richie’s method is exactly the opposite. richieprog Using a minimum of sideman, accompanying himself with his rhythmic and forceful guitar technique (for which he uses an unorthodox open E-tuning). Richie relies above all on the strength of his own personality to get the music across. And it works.” The Woodstock film brought world wide fame for a number of artists such as Richie Havens. His passionate performance in that film introduced me to his music, and drew me to see him in concert at the City Hall in 1972. I remember this gig well for his deep and personal treatment of some of his own songs and a selection of classics. The set included versions of Maggie’s Farm; Fire and Rain; War; Here Comes the Sun; Eleanor Rigby and Freedom. Richie was trashing away at his guitar, using his thumb across the frets. He would wander around the stage, and was dripping with sweat by the end of the show. Support came from the excellent Linda Lewis. I have just read that the great man passed away yesterday, aged 72. He will be greatly missed.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Rob on April 23, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Saw him a few years ago at the Big Chill festival. He was excellent ant went down really well with the audience. He then spent an hour at the side of the stage talking to fans. A true gentleman.


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