NEW YORK - JUNE 04: Richie Havens attends the "Woodstock 40th Anniversary" Blu-Ray release party at Hard Rock Cafe - Times Square June 4, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Richie Havens
Anthology bookers had to scramble this week after folk legend Richie Havens canceled both shows on Saturday because of a viral infection that affected the singer's voice, but the local music landmark thinks it found a way to keep Havens' fans happy.
The club rescheduled both show for Oct. 23rd, 2010, and all May 15 tickets will be honored for that performance, the venue said via a news release. Ticketholders can also get a refund at the box office.
In the place of the Havens performances Saturday, Anthology booked 4 Way Street: A Tribute to Crosby Stills Nash & Young for a single performance from 7:30-9:30 p.m Ticketholders for both shows can attend the 4 Way Street performance for free, according to Anthology.
Before the show was canceled, SoundDiego's T. Loper had the opportunity to chat with Havens, a down-to-earth kind of guy who said he doesn't have to go looking for a song, the songs find him -- Ed.
SoundDiego: How did you first get into playing music?
Richie Havens: I think I inherited it from my father, who was a pianist. He could hear any song and play it back to you. He did that not for a living, but for his own joy
SoundDiego: You started out in the Greenwich Village folk scene.
Havens: I played folk songs and spiritual songs -- songs that educated me. I couldn't call it anything but Mixed Bag (1967) at first, but I continue to learn like that. [Music] is a place to be educated about the world around you.
SoundDiego: How did you end up playing the opening slot at Woodstock?
RH: By a freak of nature! There wasn't one person there who went on when they were supposed to.
SoundDiego: When you went up there, did you know that Woodstock was going to be a household name for the next forty years?
RH: No, the interesting thing is that most of the people who were there on the stage, were there by contract. It blossomed, and everyone saw that they were a part of something. There were grandparents who brought their kids the week before it all went down because it was going to be like the Newport Folk Festival. [Woodstock] had something for every one of us.
SoundDiego: Can you tell me a little about your writing process?
RH: I actually don't go looking for songs. They absolutely find me.
SoundDiego: You've been pretty prolific. Do songs come to you often?
RH: Now they do. A sound comes through: the melody. And then if I just sit and watch it, and just listen to that sound over and over again, the next line is written for me, and then I know exactly what I'm going to be singing.
SoundDiego: Are you working on anything new that might make its way into the setlist in San Diego?
RH: It's possible. Because wherever I go, I either get something or I don't. That's the way it works. I don't go looking for it. It has to pop out.
T. Loper is a writer for the San Diego music blog Owl and Bear.