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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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Richie Havens has passed away…

Richie Havens in 2009. (Associated Press)
Richie Havens in 2009. (Associated Press)


Good evening, Netizens....


It is with great sadness that I heard that singer/songwriter/poet Richie Havens died today of a heart attack at age 72, and suddenly my world drew a deep introspective breath and held it a long time before letting it go. My God, it hardly seems like a day goes by but what another person falls off the ladder of life, leaving my world a bit less in stature.


I first heard Richie Havens sing in the East Village of New York, then he moved to the West Village as his popularity increased. I made the trip to Woodstock before it was even fully set up, which is how I came to hear Richie Havens at what I believed to be his absolute best. None of the other bands could get their equipment trucks through the dense traffic, and eventually Woodstock promoters asked Havens to play his set first.


I do not recall how many sets he actually played, but I still recall his rendition of Motherless Child, a song that will reside inside my heart so long as I draw breath.


Rest in Peace, Richie...



Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.