Cover image for They can't hide us anymore
They can't hide us anymore
Havens, Richie.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Spike, 1999.
Physical Description:
xiv, 331 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
"An Avon book."
Personal Subject:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML420.H235 A3 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
ML420.H235 A3 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
ML420.H235 A3 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Biography

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In this warm, highly personal narrative, Richie Havens recounts a musical career that began on the streets of Bed-Stuy and matured amidst the creative explosion that was Greenwich Village in the Sixties, where he joined other blazing talents in bringing lush poetry and a social conscience to popular music. From Richie's unique vantage point, we watch the emerging careers of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Jimi Hendrix, Lou Gossett, Jr. (who co-wrote one of Richie's most famous songs), John Sebastian, Cass Elliott, Peter, Paul & Mary, and more. He also describes the friendship that created his foundation for marine study and conservation, the remarkable song that sent him on a mission of peace to the Middle East, his work mobilizing schoolchildren as environmental activists, and the true legacy of the generation that announced its presence through music and is now in the process of passing the torch to its own descendants.

Author Notes

RICHIE HAVENS has been performing and recording for more than thirty years. He has also been active in environmental, young people's, and nonviolence causes. He lives in New Jersey. STEVE DAVIDOWITZ, a longtime friend of Richie Havens, is one of the country's most respected racing writers and author of the seminal guide to handicapping, Betting Thoroughbreds. He is also an amateur guitarist and a photographer who exhibits periodically in New York and the Midwest.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Havens is best remembered for starting the music at Woodstock, the original drugs-mud-and-music bash, in 1969. Oh, the soundtrack album of the documentary film Woodstock leads off with John Sebastian, but in fact, Havens answered the call when the incredible crowd kept other performers from the stage. As he recalls it, his act was "the perfect choice [to open the festival]; there were only three of us and we had the fewest instruments." Legendary hip capitalist Michael Lang arranged to have Havens and band transported to the besieged stage by helicopter. That dramatic entrance struck a chord with Havens: "I had come to Woodstock with a feeling that I was not one of few, but one of many and the moment we touched ground I knew that was true." Thereafter, Havens never attained the pinnacle of pop stardom, but then, that is obviously not the most important thing to a man who cares deeply about the state of the world and the depth of his art. A child of working parents--his mother was a bookbinder of Caribbean lineage, his father a Blackfoot Indian who made formica tables--as well as of Brooklyn's notorious Bedford-Stuyvesant district, Havens waxes eloquent on drugs, politics, and social conditions in his engaging and ultimately satisfying as-told-to autobiography. In his book as in his songs' lyrics, Havens is primarily interested in soulful communication. Its readers will be reminded of some of the best things to come out of the '60s and relive a little of the Woodstock spirit. Just make them give up the car keys first. --Mike Tribby

Publisher's Weekly Review

The first time Havens played a "real" coffeehouse in Greenwich Village, he credited the best song in his repertoire to an unknown folksinger named Gene Michaels. Afterward, a young man came up to him in tears, congratulating him on his beautiful rendition of "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall." The tearful young man, it turned out, was Bob Dylan. Ever since he launched his career in Greenwich Village in the '60s, African-American/Native American folksinger Havens (a native Brooklynite) has assumed the role of the big-hearted ally of the underdog. It should come as little surprise, therefore, that much of his autobiography trumpets the talents of artists such as Fred Neil, the little-known singer/songwriter who scored his only hit with "Everybody's Talkin' at Me," penned for the film Midnight Cowboy. The tendency to focus on the obscure typifies the bookÄand Havens, too. He denies any regrets that the highlight of his career came earlyÄwhen he opened Woodstock in 1969Äclaiming that money and fame are secondary to him. Some readers may lament the absence of superstar gossip, particularly about Dylan, but these reminiscences, mostly of the '60s scene, steer clear of such things. He fondly remembers his heady Village days, describing endless all-night hootenannies and song-swapping sessions. Guitarists will especially appreciate the detailed description, with accompanying photographs, of Havens's unique open-tuning barre-chord method of playing. This is a generous book by an undeniably generous spirit. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

In the collections of music fans of a certain age, albums by Jimi Hendrix often sit next to those by Richie Havens. While Havens lacks the incendiary force that propelled Hendrix into rock'n'roll divinity, his blending of several musical styles, his social activism, and his genuine sense of humanity have made him an important cultural touchstone. In this memoir, he takes us from Greenwich Village, where he learned his chops, to the historic 1965 Newport Folk Festival and to Woodstock, where he played for hours while other acts struggled through the fans to reach the stage. His recollections of brilliant but forgotten singer/songwriters may lead readers to search out the music that mattered, and his memories of the doomed victims of "show business disease," like Hendrix and Janis Joplin, make us realize how lucky we are to have someone still with us to tell the tale. Recommended for all public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/99.]ÄDan Bogey, Clearfield Cty. P.L. Federation, Curwensville, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

James Earl JonesRichie Havens
Forewordp. ix
Introductionp. xiii
Chapter 1 August 15, 1969p. 1
Chapter 2 Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklynp. 4
Chapter 3 It Takes More Than a Villagep. 15
Chapter 4 Greenwich Village, U.S.A.p. 26
Chapter 5 Wha? Wha? What Did They Say?p. 31
Chapter 6 Catching 1,000 Rising Starsp. 50
Chapter 7 From Portraits to Songsp. 58
Chapter 8 Live in New York Cityp. 66
Chapter 9 The Man Who Changed My Lifep. 73
Chapter 10 Turning Prop. 78
Chapter 11 Show Business Diseasep. 93
Chapter 12 Mixed Bagp. 108
Chapter 13 Like a Small Earthquakep. 118
Chapter 14 To Make and Interpret Songsp. 134
Chapter 15 Stormy Forestp. 151
Chapter 16 "The Clock on the Wall"p. 164
Chapter 17 Meeting Michael Sandloferp. 173
Chapter 18 What Does Extinct Mean, Daddy?p. 186
Chapter 19 Getting a "Great Blind Degree"p. 202
Chapter 20 From the Twentieth Floor to Common Groundp. 221
Chapter 21 Miracles in the Middle Eastp. 235
Chapter 22 The Aliens Among Usp. 253
Chapter 23 The Truth About Drugsp. 264
Chapter 24 Back to the Futurep. 274
Chapter 25 They Really Can't Hide Us Anymorep. 291
Acknowledgmentsp. 303
Discographyp. 307
A Parting Word from Steve Davidowitzp. 325
Indexp. 327