<< Go Back to the Main Page


Monday, January 24, 2005

Richie Havens on Johnny Carson

RIP Johnny:

Richie Havens, folk musician. "Handsome Johnny."
I played "Handsome Johnny" in my first of more than a dozen appearances on The Tonight Show ...

The live audience was mostly made up of visiting tourists from the Midwest. I thought they might not like "Handsome Johnny" because it spoke sharply about the war [Vietnam] we were in. To my surprise, the audience understood perfectly what was being said about war in general. They stood and applauded until Johnny Carson went to commercials, and they stood and applauded through the commercial break. They were still applauding just as enthusiastically when we came back on the air. The moment was unmistakably powerful.

Most people watching at home had no idea that the applause never stopped, but Johnny saw firsthand what was happening and spontaneously walked over to where I was standing and invited me back to perform again the next night and to do another song right then and there. Later he told me that the only other performer he ever invited to play on consecutive nights was Barbra Streisand. But she had another concert and could not make it back. (New York, 1968)

From "They Can't Hide Us Anymore," by Richie Havens with Steve Davidowitz (Avon Books, 1999)

Richie Havens - Handsome Johnny.mp3 (4.2 Megs)


More Richie from my archives.

<< Go Back to the Main Page

Feel Free to scroll up and check out my Archives! Thanks for stopping by!

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?