Really Want To See You

Richie Havens was best known for an improvisation, a prolonged riff on “Motherless Child,” which he spontaneously transformed into a new tune subsequently dubbed “Freedom.”

This “Freedom” he in-the-moment created and the manperformed when the hapless organizers of the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival more or less ordered him to remain on stage for more than three hours, as the artists scheduled to follow him were hopelessly stuck in snarled traffic.

More normally, however, Havens was a careful-craftsman inspired-interpreter of songs originally penned by others. That was his career, for more than 40 years. Until his heart retired—beating elsewhere now—on April 22. Below is my favorite medley of his. Go well, Mr. Havens. Into the light.

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1 Response to “Really Want To See You”


  1. 1 Alexa April 24, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    love it! thank you so much for this . . . lots i did not know, but what an amazing talent. may he rest in peace.


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When I Worked

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