Richie Havens

Richie HavensRichie Havens, like Country Joe, is alive and well and still performing his unique style of playing the guitar:

…I wanted to learn fast. I wanted my friends in Brooklyn to hear these songs, I thought they might hear what I heard and felt them, And many of them did. Through the years many young people have asked if I teach the guitar, but being on the road since 1967 and still going, I didn’t have the time. So this page is dedicated to all those young guys out there wishing to sing their songs in a couple of days.

Richie is of course famous for his performance at Woodstock with his song Freedom:

When I had sung every song I knew it came out right there on stage. I saw and experienced, like everyone else there, what strength in numbers did to change the status quo consiousness of a nation in need. It was the culmination of what I had hoped to see in my lifetime. A true gathering of human consciousness of every age, sharing like mind for World Peace.

Oh yeah. A classic.

His guitar playing is more about rhythm and technique than skill (though I wouldn’t discount that). From his mystery chord configuration description:

I use it as a resolving chord. don’t really know what it is. it’s a tough one. It is played By holding down the three top strings in a fret with your thumb and the bottom three strings two frets below your thumb…with whatever finger works… and then resolving the chord by playing the 5 top strings and just the bottom one… two frets below the chord… you may need a big hand to play it or a thin-neck guitar… good luck.

Country Joe Is Still Alive

Country JoeCountry Joe’s Place:

An event at the end of the summer of 1969, the Woodstock Festival in upstate New York, became a milestone that forever changed Joe’s career and to a certain extent the direction it then took. After much haggling due to last minute cancellations, Country Joe and Fish were scheduled to play the festival. As is now common knowledge, the roads were clogged, the weather was terrible and due to the estimated 500,000 souls in attendance, it was almost impossible for the artists to get to the site, let alone appear at their intended time.

Everybody now:

And it’s one, two, three,
What are we fighting for?
Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam;
And it’s five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain’t no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we’re all gonna die.