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Richie Havens
Richie Havens (AP Photo / Stephen Chernin)

Richie Havens

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July 25, 2014
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July 25, 2014
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Please don't submit copyrighted work; original poems, songs or prayers welcomed.

Legacy.com reviews all Guest Book entries to ensure appropriate content. Our staff does not correct grammar or spelling. Privacy Policy | Terms of Use
April 24, 2013
Finding Richie Havens

One splendid night in 1968, Richie
Havens sang two songs on
Johnny Carson's Tonight Show:
Something Else Again
and Don't Listen To Me.
Hearing his rich voice and the
love messages he had to convey
somehow woke up my spirit.

Mickie and I were college sophomores
but we didn't even own a stereo.
The next day after classes, I took two
buses and walked to a downtown Sears
store. To my amazement, in their puny
record department, they had Richie's
album, Something Else Again.
I handed it to the clerk and said
"I'll take this and, um, a stereo."
He gestured toward the Sears
Silvertone stereos and I chose
a boxy blue one with detachable
speakers for forty dollars.

Dad used to send me $60 a month
for food and school supplies. We got by
on Kraft Macaroni and cheese dinners,
canned soup, spaghetti with instant sauce
mix. I knew that this purchase wasn't
going to improve our menu choices.

I carried the huge boxed blue stereo
several blocks to the bus stop, took
the two buses back to Cheektowaga,
walked several blocks to the house,
carried the stereo
up the stairs to our flat,
set it up and put the album on
to play. Mickie and I listened to
that album for six months straight
until we graduated and left Buffalo.

Thirty-four years years later, we
got tickets to see Richie Havens
perform live for the first time at
R.I.T.'s Ingle Auditorium. He was
still a stellar singer - songwriter,
with unparalleled passion, his
rough rich voice cut through all
obstacles, spreading his love gospels.

After the show, he came out to meet
people, sell and autograph his new
CD's. Fans brought albums from
home for him to sign, proud of
how long they'd been his fans.

When my turn came, I got to sit
face-to-face with the masterful,
unforgettable Richie Havens.
He took and held my hand in
both of his, as I told my story
to his squirms and sighs.
We both went back in time.
As much as my finding him
meant to me, he was touched
to silence, with glistening eyes, to
hear about two broke college girls
playing the grooves right out of
Something Else Again.

(c)elaine heveron
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