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Richie, I Missed You Along The Way [Video]

I went to the doctor the other day. Doctor man say “what’s wrong”? I say “hurts when I walk”. Doctor says  “Why”? I say ” Cuz I kicked myself in the ass too hard”.I do that a lot since the day I realized it isn’t who you were with or  where you’ve been, it’s the things you missed along the way. One of the things I missed was Greenwich Village. I would have liked to spend a year or so there. R&R friends tell me the place was full of musicians, artists, actors, and songwriters. My kind of people.

One of these people was Richie Havens. Lots of folk singers in Greenwich Village, but what set Richie apart was his unique style of guitar playing. He corded with his thumb as opposed to fingers. He “felt” his music, and when he got his groove on, he’d start to shake. His feet be shakin..and his arm, and his head..his hands, all the body parts  going different ways..looked like he had a  case of St. Vitus Dance.

Richie developed a large following because of his voice and unique style, and got invited to Woodstock. He was put up in a hotel with the other artists, but left earlier than the others,  headed for Max Yasgur’s farm (the site of Woodstock). Promoters expected maybe 50,000 to show up. They expected wrong, in fact so many people showed up, the road was blocked for seven miles and the artists at the hotel couldn’t get to the concert.

Woodstock was over three hours late in starting, and the promoters pleaded with Richie to open the show.  He went from a coffeehouse in Greenwich Village one day, to the opening act of Woodstock the next. There were 400,000 people there that afternoon. Not bad. Now that I think of it, I would’ve liked to sit down and talk with Richie for a few minutes. He’s another one “I missed along the way”.  Hold on a minute, I have to go kick myself in the ass again.

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