Singer Richie Havens Dies At 72; Opened Woodstock

WASHINGTON (April 23, 2013)—Singer Richie Havens played nearly three hours to open Woodstock, and then had to break the news to his bass player that he missed it all.

Havens was supposed to be fifth on the bill but other musicians were stuck in traffic, so he went on stage first and kept on playing until the other acts arrived.

He made up what turned out to be his signature song, "Freedom," because he had sung everything he knew.

Havens told AP Radio in a 1999 interview he believes Max Yasgur's farm is "sacred land" that either had or has acquired its own "magnetic resonance."

He said whatever the weather, every day people are sitting on that field.

Havens died Monday of a heart attack in New Jersey at the age of 72.


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