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Anthology Scrambles After Havens Cancellation



    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.