Goodbye Richie

What every true artist should aspire to be

The first time I ever saw or even heard of Richie Havens was when I watched the movie “Woodstock” at, of all places, my high school auditorium. That was close to 40 years ago. The whole reason I couldn’t wait to see the Woodstock movie was because of Jimi Hendrix, my childhood guitar hero who remains one of my primary musical inspirations to this day. But when Richie Havens walked out on that stage, just him and that worn acoustic guitar, and God the passion…

And then, when he was through, he turned around and kept playing all the way off the stage, the back of his long orange shirt drenched in sweat. Watching him perform was to watch someone possessed by his art, someone who had abandoned all self-control and turned it over to the spirit that guided his muse.

Giants they do come in all sizes, but to each and every one the Earth is a dwarf standing in the shadow of their dreams and prayers.

Cross-posted on The Black Liberal Boomer.

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Writer and musician.

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