When Richie Havens died this week, I took it very personally.
It took some studious reflection to figure out why it affected me as it did, but I finally realized that it was because I discovered his music during my formative, late-teen years, when I was trying to figure out the world around me and my place in it, while hoping like hell I wouldn't be drafted and wind up in a jungle in Southeast Asia. Richie Havens, through his music, became part of the fabric of my life.
It all finally clicked into place when I read a quote from producer/musician Joe Henry about Havens. "He changed me. He changed you too, know it or not."
• The Richie Havens legacy
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