Way back in 1968 at the Democratic Party Convention in Chicago, I listened to the great Richie Havens play at a fundraiser. I had a press pass and was able to snap a shot from very far away. You can see it here.
In February 2009 I heard he was playing at the Aladdin Theatre in Portland. My plan was to try to get a copy of the photo to him backstage. I spoke to his manager and she said “He will be out here soon. Why don’t you give it to him yourself.”
The concert was amazing as we had hoped. If anything, he was better than ever. And I discovered how tall he was (6’6″)!
So Amethyst and I waited in line to meet him. When I got my turn I told him I had a gift for him. When I pulled out the photo, a huge smile came across his face and he put his head in his hands. “Oh, I remember that exact moment. What a great memory.” He signed a poster for me and we shook hands. Such a wonderful man. It was a great pleasure to meet him after 40 years!
Amethyst took these memorable photos on her iPhone!
And now he is playing with the Angels. I am so blessed to have finally met him. His music remains a great legacy for all of us. A few of my favorites are linked below from YouTube.
Speaking Freely: Richie Havens [27:31]
This is an episode of Speaking Freely from July 30, 2002. Richie singing as well as talking about his life.