If by any chance you didn't see it on Facebook, I was in a big discount store today and ran right smack into Richie Havens. At first, I thought, wow, there's a guy here in the discount store that looks just like Richie Havens! Then I saw another guy had come up and started talking to him, and I realized that it indeed was he. I introduced myself -- rather, reintroduced, since I had interviewed him around 1996. I mentioned the interview and he said he remembered it, which was either true or very nice of him to say. We talked a little about Bill Perry, a blues guitarist who had started with Richie, made a big impression with his own band, and died very young of bad health coupled with bad habits. I promoted Bill very heavily when I was first at Blues Revue and Bill had released his first album with a national label. (Bill indeed lived up to my hype, which made me a lot of points at BR, since I started there with basically no music journalism experience except an interview with Peter Stampfel in Folk Roots.)
Anyway, Richie is a super-sweet guy, just a very laid back and mellow guy. And he belongs to a very elite group: he played Woodstock. In fact, he opened Woodstock.
I was not old enough to be at Woodstock (1969), but it was a huge event in the consciousness of every American rock fan. It was the first of the big outdoor multi-day multi-band concerts. And the line-up was outrageous. I believe the Who gave their first US performance. Ravi Shankar performed. Janis Joplin and Creedence Clearwater Revival and the Grateful Dead. Oh, and Jimi Hendrix. So it was kind of cool today to spend a little time chatting with someone who played Woodstock.
I'll sign off for now, since I just got distracted on YouTube and watched a Ruben Blades video. I can see I'll be doing some pool-table bouncing around YouTube for a while. I DON'T HAVE TO GO TO WORK TOMORROW.
Here's the Ruben Blades video, which is a great song on a cheesy set, probably from the 1980s. Well. I can't find the right one. Why I cannot retrieve a list of My Favorite on YouTube (owned by Google) to Blogger (also Google) is beyond me. I have to do a search on YouTube, and often can't get, or am not sure I have, the same version I have saved in My Favorites. WTF GOOGLE?
Screw it: http://youtu.be/nQ_YCctsSWs . This is Ruben Blades doing Camaleon. I haven't listened to him in a while, and he should be listened to. He totally rocks. Oddly enough, I'm pretty sure that the reason I never listened to him more is that I don't understand the lyrics. Duh. I've pretty much listened to nothing but Hindi music for a couple of months now, and I understand way less Hindi than I do Spanish. I think Ruben's going to get back into the heavy rotation at some point.
Well, why don't you all come along on my YouTube tour? First off, I have no idea who's reading this -- Indian movie fans or craft jewelers? -- so I'm just not aiming this at any one. I'm just gonna watch some videos I like.
I just discovered these guys the other day. This is because I am over 25 and new music does eventually get to me, but a little more slowly. They're pretty popular. Their songs are very dance-y and synth, but they're really catchy. And these videos made me laugh my ass off...not surprising. The band is actually called LMFAO. Here's the wild part: the two guys are Berry Gordy's son and grandson (one is the uncle of the other). Berry Gordy founded Motown. I keep thinking I shouldn't like these guys, but I do: http://youtu.be/MBg1SxfCCM8.
MY president can sing an Al Green song! http://youtu.be/T-hDt2E8MoE. Maybe we should elect Al Green in 2012. http://youtu.be/COiIC3A0ROM
That's probably enough for now. I have big plans to stay up late and watch a movie, to be determined.