Remembering Richie Havens and Woodstock's Organic Legacy
    • TUESDAY, APRIL 23, 2013

    • Posted by: Madison Murphy

    Yesterday's Earth Day marked a bittersweet end to the life of the honest, organic Richie Havens. The first performer at the Woodstock Music Festival, praised for his effortless blend of blues and folk died of a heart attack in his Jersey City home. Although this blissfully husky- voiced artist first electrified the 500,000 people at Woodstock over 40 years ago, his musical career was only halted last year, due to health complications.

    The 40th Anniversary of Woodstock released some special edition CDS, souvenirs, and even a fancy movie, but the lingering presence of Woodstock and its immortal acts never faded. When I went to the actual site of Bethel this past summer, there was still a sense of camaraderie and untainted tranquility among the green inclines of the spacious fields that cultivated musical history forever.

    Maybe it was just a ridiculously gorgeous summer day, or the joint we rolled for the way there, or our sheer appreciation for the acts who played, or a combination of it all that led me to the conclusion: whether or not you take a liking to the artists from Woodstock, their sounds cannot be imitated, and their legacy will serve as a climax for musicians to come.

    This somber sense of nostalgia has especially crept its way into our minds the past year, with the more recent passing of two other impeccable Woodstock performers: The Band's Levon Helm (April 19, 2012) and Ten Years After's Alvin Lee (March 6, 2013). Like Haven's passing, we've recently been reminded how immortal these musical legacies truly are. Even though Havens only enjoyed one hit in the Top 20 for his cover of "Here Comes the Sun", his free styling legacy of his "Freedom" performance at Woodstock cemented him in the minds of fans and artists alike.

    And, if your musical tastes are like mine, forever etched in the haze of everything the late 60s emulated (besides the brown LSD), you're probably still waiting for your time machine to Bethel. Besides the sorrowful losses of the past year, most of Woodstock's lineup remains alive and well today, so we took the time to exercise some math skills and evaluate the still living history of Woodstock.

    Note: Many of the artists parted ways with mainstream music long ago, and were a bit difficult to find. In a few cases, we noted the last time they were referenced on the internet as still living. If you notice something we missed, please let us know.

    TOTAL ACTS: 31

    DAY 1: 11 acts (19 performers)
    ALIVE: 73%
    DEAD: 8 27%

    1. Richie Havens: dead (2013)

    2. Country Joe McDonald: alive

    3. John B. Sebastian: alive

    4. Incredible String Band
    Mike Heron: alive
    Robin Williamson: alive
    Christina Licorice McKechnie: alive
    Rose Simpson: alive

    5. Sweetwater
    Nancy Nevins: alive
    Alex Del Zoppo: alive
    Fred Herrera: alive
    August Burns: dead
    Alan Malarowitz: dead
    Elpidio Pete Cobian: alive
    Albert Moore: dead

    6. Bert Sommer: dead

    7. Tim Hardin: dead

    8. Ravi Shankar: dead

    9. Melanie Safka: alive

    10. Arlo Guthrie: alive

    11. Joan Baez: alive

    DAY 2: 9 acts (57 performers)
    ALIVE: 58%
    DEAD: 42%

    1. Quill
    Jon Cole: alive (as of 2010)
    Dan Cole: alive (as of 2009)
    Roger North: alive
    Norman Rogers: dead
    Phil Thayer: alive

    2. Keef Hartley Band
    Keef Hartley: dead
    Miller Anderson: alive
    Jimmy Jewell: alive
    Henry Lowther: alive
    Gary Thain: dead

    3. Santana
    Carlos Santana: alive
    Gregg Rolie: alive
    Jose Chepito Areas: alive
    Mike Carabello: alive
    Michael Shrieve: alive
    David Brown: dead

    4. Canned Heat
    Alan Blind Owl Wilson: dead
    Bob The Bear Hite: dead
    Harvey The Snake Mandel: alive
    Larry The Mole Taylor: alive
    Adolpho Fito de la Parra: alive

    5. Grateful Dead
    Jerry Garcia: dead
    Bob Weir: alive
    Bill Kreutzmann: alive
    Mickey Hart: alive
    Ron Pigpen McKernan: dead
    Tom Constanten: alive
    Phil Lesh: alive

    6. Mountain
    Leslie West: alive
    Felix Pappalardi: dead
    Norman D. Smart II: alive (last reported 2009)
    Steve Knight: dead

    7. Creedence Clearwater Revival
    John Fogerty: alive
    Tom Fogerty: dead
    Doug Cosmo Clifford: alive
    Stu Cook: alive

    8. Sly and the Family Stone
    Sly Stone: alive
    Freddie Stone: alive
    Greg Errico: alive
    Larry Graham: alive
    Jerry Martini: alive
    Cynthia Robinson: alive
    Rosie Stone: alive

    9. Janis Joplin: dead

    10. The Who
    Roger Daltrey: alive
    Pete Townshend: alive
    John Entwistle: dead
    Keith Moon: dead

    DAY 3: 8 acts (29 performers)
    ALIVE: 90%
    DEAD: 10%

    1. Jefferson Airplane
    Marty Balin: alive
    Grace Slick: alive
    Paul Kantner: alive
    Jorma Kaukonen: alive
    Jack Casady: alive
    Spencer Dryden: dead
    Nicky Hopkins: dead

    2. Joe Cocker: alive

    3. Country Joe & The Fish
    Country Joe McDonald: alive
    Barry The Fish Melton: alive
    Greg Duke Dewey: alive
    Mark Kapner: alive
    Doug Metzler: alive

    4. Ten Years After
    Alvin Lee: dead
    Leo Lyons: alive
    Chick Churchill: alive
    Ric Lee: alive

    5. The Band
    Robbie Robertson: alive
    Rick Danko: dead
    Levon Helm: dead
    Garth Hudson: alive
    Richard Manuel: dead

    6. Blood, Sweat, and Tears
    David Clayton-Thomas: alive
    Bobby Colomby: alive
    Jim Fielder: alive
    Dick Halligan: alive
    Jerry Hyman: alive (as of 2009)
    Steve Katz: alive (as of 2009)
    Fred Lipsius: alive
    Lew Soloff: alive
    Chuck Winfield: alive

    7. Johnny Winter: alive

    8. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (all alive!)
    David Crosby: alive
    Graham Nash: alive
    Stephen Stills: alive
    Neil Young: alive
    Greg Reeves: alive
    Dallas Taylor: alive

    DAY 4: 3 acts (24 performers)
    ALIVE: 71%
    DEAD: 29%

    1. Paul Butterfield Blues Band
    Paul Butterfield: dead
    Howard Buzzy Feiten: alive
    Rod Hicks: alive (as of 2012)
    Ted Harris: alive
    Phillip Wilson: dead
    Steve Madaio: alive (as of 2011)
    Keith Johnson: alive
    David Sanborn: alive
    Trevor Lawrence: alive
    Gene Dinwiddie: dead

    2. Sha-Na-Na
    Joe Witkin: alive
    Jocko Marcellino: alive (as of 2010)
    Donald Donny York: alive
    Rob Leonard: alive
    Alan Cooper: alive
    Frederick Dennis Greene: alive
    Scott Powell: alive
    "Dirty Dan" McBride: dead
    Chris Donald aka "Vinnie Taylor": dead
    David "Chico" Ryan: dead
    Screamin' Scott Simon: alive
    Henry Gross: alive
    Elliot Cahn: alive

    3. Jimi Hendrix: dead

    OVERALL: 73% of Woodstock performers are indeed alive, and we've unfortunately lost 27% of the artists. I guess the Forever 27 legend is rightfully resurfacing on to this 2013 Woodstock list

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