Image result for richie havens here comes the sun images

The Beatles Cover Song of the Day is “Here Comes The Sun by Richie Havens. The a few evenings ago Turner Classic Movies had played the four hour “Woodstock- The Director’s Cut”- I have seen this documentary at least a half dozen times but I had to watch again for a few reasons- mainly the anniversary is coming up and also I have been writing this year about 1969. I have been asked throughout my life a number of times-probably because I am such a music fan -“Were You at Woodstock?”- NO! I was only eight years old at the time. I always add this- if I were 18 or 25 or whatever age where I could have gone I wouldn’t have. I would have had serious problems being among that many people. Big crowds make me feel claustrophobic. Back to Woodstock. The first performer I think of when I hear Woodstock is Richie Havens. He was the first performer at the concert and he rose to the occasion and gave an electric performance. It was a career maker. He made a living the rest of his life from his appearance at the festival.  I have mentioned this before about Havens but I will mention it again. I have a friend who over the past two decades has organized concerts at local schools where he has taught. I’ve talked with him about the acts he’s worked with- and I asked him “Who was the nicest person you worked with as far as an act? He said most of them were decent folks but the one who stood out as far as being the friendliest and most cooperative was Richie Havens. He also said Richie was a very humble man.

Richie Havens covered a number of Beatles songs and did them all well- putting his Richie Havens stamp on them. My favorite Beatles cover by Richie is of one of my favorite Beatles songs- George Harrison’s “Here Comes The Sun” off of Abbey Road. I wouldn’t say I prefer Richie’s version over the original but I do love it and the energy he brings to it. Haven’s single of “Here Comes The Sun” went to #16 on the Billboard Hot 100-his only hit.


    • I could be wrong but I think that is the key to a good cover- remake. Make it your own. I recall Todd Rundgren doing Good Vibrations and he wanted it as close to the original as possible. Why? Give it your own interpretation.

    • Good example of Todd’s version…Whats the point?
      That is why Ray Charles is so good at Beatle covers. He remakes them in his own style.

      I think Bob Dylan does “covers” of his own songs. That is why he works so well live and breathes life in his older songs by remolding them.

    • some complain about Bob reworking his own songs- but i look at it through his eyes- he has been playing some of these songs forever- he could play it safe and play Like A Rolling Stone like the record- but why? It can’t be interesting for him that way- I like what he does in concert- makes them sound fresh. Plus it is more work for him and his band- he’s not making it easier on himself.

    • I agree he has to be tired of them You nailed is fresh for him and for everyone now. How many times have we heard Maggie’s Farm or whatever. I’ve seen the faces on his band before shocked…looking at each other trying to figure out what song he is starting…I love that…it keeps it exciting.

      I think also Hans that if he played the songs the same everytime there would not be as much of interest there. Why see him again and again if he does the same show. No two shows have been a like for me. He does what he does best…keeps people guessing.

    • I haven’t seen Paul since 1989- so its been 30 years but I am hearing complaints that his shows are becoming all too familiar in recent times- same songs same in between songs talk…

    • I saw him in 2010 and 2014 I believe… yes same Jimi Hendrix story etc. he added and subtracted a few songs… that is it.

    • As some have said- many are seeing him for the first time etc… but for those who go back everytime he comes around… You’d think he’d change things just for the sake of doing something different.

    • It’s not like he has a shortage of songs…he could do more of an acoustic set. I think he believes…and he is unfortunately probably right for the masses…he has to do them just like the record.

    • I think in my dream word- if i am a rock star i go out every concert with a different set- if i have a band behind me that has been with me a long time.. sure there are certain songs you will do due to popular demand every night- example every time i have seen Steve Earle he plays Copperhead Road- Galway Girl and Guitar Town… last week i had to laugh there was a woman in front of us yelling for Copperhead Road from the first minute he was out there- he played it around the halfway point in the concert- then her and her husband got up and left….he could have saved those sitting near her some grief by playing it right away and getting rid of her.!!

    • LOL…I mean who goes to a show to hear JUST one or two songs and leave? Make you wish he would just open up with it. Time to thin the herd. I hate to bring him up again but…

      I think Dylan has thinned the herd in years in his own way. There is no guarantee he will be doing Like A Rolling Stone…Imagine all of the people that has left during his shows wanting to hear an oldies act.

      Bob is one step ahead yet again. But to be fair… Could Paul get by with changing his songs too much? I believe Steve Earle, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen can but some acts…I don’t know if it would work.

    • I think Van and Bob especially and there are others- Neil would be too- who ‘this is how I do it”–if you don’t like it well…. Paul on the other hand is the ultimate crowd pleaser- he wants people to walk away happy- give the people what they want.

  1. First time hearing this. I love the energy of Richie’s version ❤ I watched that Bob Dylan's 30th Anniversary celebation video for the first time last week and Richie sang, "Just Like a Woman" and he did that up right also. I notice his hand is so big he just puts his thumb on the strings. Seems like it would be awesome to be able to play it that way.

  2. I remember watching that Woodstock documentary and I was blown away by Richie Haven’s performance. I admired his ‘Just Like a Women’ rendition at Bob’s 30th anniversary concert. He was also very good in the ‘I’m Not There’ singing Tombstone Blues.

  3. I find Eric Burdon is like these other stars too. He never sings songs the same way twice, at least in my experience. I have seen him several times over the decades, and he always shows me something different. He’s had a few bombs, but mostly he delivers, which is why I love him.
    One night in Winnipeg’s Playhouse Theatre, he arrived very late because of bad weather. Not everyone waited for him to appear. For those who stayed, he promised to play until he couldn’t play no more, and late into the night (and early next morning) he was still belting out his music like only he can do. I pity the folks in Regina, his next show the very next day. I cannot see how he had any energy left to give them, but I bet he tried his best.

    Ritchie played at the Winnipeg Folk Festival in 1986, and he blew the crowd away. He has an amazing voice, and amazing energy. A delight and an honour. (He also played 2006, but I wasn’t there anymore.)

  4. The original is one of my favorite George Harrison tunes, so I think I’m with you, hanspostcard, and prefer that one. But, wow, what a cool cover by Richie Havens. I don’t believe I had heard it before!

    • I was surprised that the cover of Here Comes The Sun was the only Havens song that made the Hot 100 singles chart- ever.. I know he wasn’t a big hitmaker but I figured he had a few on the charts at least.

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