Though he never played a note, Richard Havers, who passed away on New Year’s Eve, was a rock and music industry legend.
Tributes from The Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys and many others have been flooding in, recognising the extent to which Richard contributed to tracing the life and times of the music industry’s greatest, often adding new twists to their stories that had hitherto gone untold.
Richard was The Rolling Stones’ preferred interviewer and biographer, not least because he had a unique empathy with superstars which he could combine with encyclopaedic knowledge of their legendary careers.
Richard recently moved to Exmoor following many years with his wife Christine at Ellemford. He was working on a new book for The Rolling Stones that saw him in and out of Los Angeles and New York. The book ‘The Stones On Air in the 1960s’ (Virgin Books 2017) was Richard’s last major published work.
In earlier days Richard produced concerts and toured with artists including Paul McCartney, The Beach Boys, Chicago and America; he wrote Bill Wyman’s ‘Blues Odyssey’ which won The Blues Foundation Award for Literature in 2002; he compiled and edited ‘The Rolling Stones 50’ the band’s official 50th anniversary book published in 2012 and previously many other Rolling Stones books tracing their incredible history.
The diversity of Richard’s work is such that he authored Gary Barlow’s autobiography ‘My Take’ and one of his last assignments was a series of interviews commemorating the life and works of Ella Fitzgerald. He authored a number of books with Strictly Come Dancing’s Len Goodman.
Richard was a passionate advocate for the Lammermuirs and their heritage and heavily engaged in local life. He was an early critic of the landscape effects of inappropriate wind farms and celebrated the history and traditions of the area both online and whilst writing and editing many editions of Lammermuir Life.
Richard fought a short but brave battle against cancer diagnosed in September 2017. He leaves his wife Christine, two daughters and four grandchildren, the youngest born just hours before he died.