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Richie Havens: Mixed Bag

Richie Havens Mixed BagRichie Havens Mixed Bag Back
Richie Havens: Mixed Bag
(Verve FTS 3006)

Side A:
High Flyin' Bird
I Can't Make It Anymore
Morning, Morning

Side B:
Three Day Eternity
Handsome Johnny
San Francisco Bay Blues
Just Like A Woman
Eleanor Rigby

Original Liner Notes:
by Jerry Schoenbaum

Richie Havens was born in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York in 1941. His earliest recollection of musical sounds came from his father, a musician who played piano for many bands throughout the country.

At the age of 6, "Star Time, U.S.A." -the cradle of such stars as Connie Francis and Bobby Darin- found that Richie had great musical talent. But despite his family's desire to further his musical education, they were faced with the frustrations that hamper the children of the poor.

While children in the depressed Bedford-Stuyvesant area found other avenues of "play," Richie Havens organized groups of youngsters to sing on neighborhood street corners.

He started his professional singing at 14 with the McCrea Gospel Singers, and continued singing with groups because of his love for harmony.

Years later, Richie moved to Greenwich Village -the gathering place for the new young writers, musicians, performers. It was in this creative milieu that Richie Havens found what he does best. He picked up the guitar, taught himself and began to play in E-Chord open tuning, a unique sound which Richie loved and decided to stick with.

And so we present Richie Havens, and unusual talent -professional portrait artist, writer (read his poem), and a great singer of today's songs.

Poem by Richie Havens

I think of time as it was then,
something to speak of in tangible terms,
when I am young,

when I was young
ans knew not false within my
the things so well involved,
that lurked just outside my
frosted shell,
a modern thing,
already cracked,
upon entering the
decompression chamber.
Which still to me through
breath , yield daylight visions,
in the most vivid detail now,
When I was young and thought
not much of time
for it evaded me in transparent
barefooted, laughing and dancing
through my youth
disguised in the floral gaiety of
reality unknown
what I know now to be either the
feelings of exhilarated vibrations
(which is all we are at the point of
complete freedom and awareness)
or on another plateau, -
the words of knowing or doing
(which is parallel to the previous,
to the same end.)

When I was young
discovering and plucking from trees
the bitter and the sweet fruit
to place upon my tongue
the experience of both
to lend to self the highest shadow
illumined by the sun and the moon,
wind and rain, nigh and day,
to dwell beyond environment (physical
and mental) seeking all other's way,
individual under gods.
Having made ready the acceptance of
the immediate trail.
To add to love
the vastness of is,
the vality of was,
the solidity of now,
When I was young
I spent my eyes
in noisy places, only seeing
and recording every vision
within the illusion
true and false it mattered not
But that it was
that day to be
as I went on investigating
the in-between worlds.
my thoughts most inverted,
whispering underneath my mind's ears
"Oh the fate of mankind,
the most disastrous
of time and space,
the epitone of forever,"
When in the brightest darkness,
below, above, about
wherever we lie, and/or
stripped of moral behavior patterns
and cleansed of physical chains
that bound or minds
to physical means, (Adam
a petty thing within us be).
How I am young
when I am the realization
of the universe within
a single thought,
which traced an infinite
string over the edge of
individuality into the realm
of heaven (realm ofn ideas)
for the first time without
fear of death,
Adam's folly.
Desecrating his temple (body)
with age
as it it were not a part
of his soul, never aging.
And worshipping it as if
it were master
and watching it all die in
a silver eye, the steadiest
sea, upon the wall,
How I am young,
when I realized
the universe within
the actuality of all
that is.
All that yet beyond
me, save acceptance.
All that is withoue
and all that is within
me, where all is
and cannot help but
who tells you who you are?
How I am young
as I am the master
of my ship, its rudder,
its gale, its port from
which it no longer needs
to sail. Which is today, this
very moment, now
- by Richie Havens


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