Guitarist Paul Deano Williams

Guitarist Paul Deano Williams

Guitarist Paul Deano Williams

Happy birthday
July 12, 1946
Guitarist Paul Deano Williams
Richie and Paul Deano Williams on The Mike Douglas Show, March 5, 1969 (with Rodney Dangerfield and Edie Adams). Richie was invited back again 11 days after Woodstock
Guitarist Paul Deano Williams

Richie Havens

The Facebook page, Live Music Head wrote in a July 12, 2013 entry, “For better or worse, some musical careers are defined by a single searing moment in time and for Richie Havens, who died on April 22 [2013], his career will forever be linked to his appearance as the opener for the Woodstock Festival in 1969. Because the band Sweetwater, who were supposed to open, was caught in traffic, it was Havens, percussionist Daniel Ben Zebulon and guitarist Paul ‘Deano’ Williams who went on at Max Yasgur’s farm near Bethel, New York, at 5 pm on Friday, August 15th 1969. It was Haven’s improvised number, ‘Freedom,’ which he interspersed with bits from the tune ‘Motherless Child,’ with sweat staining his tunic and his feet keeping rhythm, all of it captured on the film of the festival, which will forever be his shining moment in music history.” Watch out for Paul ‘Deano’ Williams flashing the peace sign in this video [at approx 34 seconds]…

Guitarist Paul Deano Williams


Guitarist Paul Deano Williams
Daniel Ben Zebulon and Deano on Woodstock field

Paul Williams is one of those many Woodstock Music and Art Fair musicians whose life story the internet has seemingly and surprisingly not included.  A google search reiterates what we already know: Williams was an integral part of Richie Havens’s early music.

And I suppose that is enough.

The West Virginia Surf Report site had a what-ever-happened-to type of piece in which  a “Tilt” replied in 2013 to another reply: About 8 years ago, I was transporting a tractor on my ramp truck to Vermont from Maryland. On my way home, I stopped at a rest stop in upstate New York. An old black guy decked out in a country/cowboy getup, had the hood of his van up. His van was packed with musical equipment. I loaded up his van on my truck and hauled him to eastern New York, somewhere above New Your City. (I may be able to find it – He gave me an address and phone number, which I can’t find at the moment..) Along the trip, he explained that he was Paul Williams, and that he now plays bass in a two piece band, playing country music in bars. He was rather old (60’s or 70’s) and I don’t know if he is still kicking or not. He told me to look him up if ever in the area again, but I haven’t been back that way since then.

Guitarist Paul Deano Williams

6 thoughts on “Guitarist Paul Deano Williams”

  1. Long live Deano. His incredible fills were never showy, just pure emotion spilling out. He handed me his guitar once when he took a break while Richie continued to play, while sitting in a bar in the next room in NJ twenty years ago, and it continued to vibrate in my hand. I had the incredible privilege to not just hear but feel what an open E tuning does to the air around it, like a tanpura perfectly tuned. But what he did with it was like moths to changing hues of flame, with endless and never-repeated variation. Tell me where he plays these days, somebody

  2. Richie Havens Live at The Cellar Door from ’72 is one of the most beautiful acoustic based albums I have heard. The accompanying guitar of Williams is a key ingredient. I hope he is well. At least the music will live forever!

    Thanks for this article.

  3. Piękne czasy wspaniali ludzie i żal że pomału odchodzą po cichu bez rozgłosu jak bym chciał eby coś było po śmierci żeby spotka c się z nimi [Beautiful times wonderful people and it’s a pity that they are slowly leaving silently without publicity as I wish there was something after death to meet them]

  4. to paul deano williams,
    we met at meadowlands racetrack, a while back. we had a nice
    discussion about your guitar playing with the late great
    richie havens. we talked about our time at woodstock, and
    a little horse racing too. hope to see you friday june 9th. at
    the meadowlands.

  5. I got to know Deano when he accompanied Richie to his ever returning gigs in Michigan. He was rather shy & self-effaciñg– not wanting to upstage his boss.

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