As we continue with our house move, Jack writes – –
Every now and then a strange and magical figure enters your life. Such was the case when River came down here from New York State to live with her brother Mark Cooperstein and his wife Elizabeth a couple of years ago.
River wasn’t her birth name, of course. She adopted the name River Lightwomoon many years ago, and if I tell you that she also lived in Woodstock then I think you probably begin to get the picture.
She was the archetypal hippy and also a wonderful musician, specializing in percussion, and any adjacent surface was a drum for her.
She told me the amazing story of how she was already beginning to play drums and went to a club where the world-famous Jack DeJohnette was appearing. At some point one of his drum sticks ended up at her foot and she returned it to him. She met him some time later and asked about lessons, but they were going to be far too expensive her. However he remembered her and the returned stick, they got chatting and he found out she was expert at tax forms. So, in return for handling his tax stuff she got her lessons!
I was intrigued by the complex rhythms she’d set up whenever she drummed and she explained that she had worked with a mainly female group that played South American influenced original music. A short bit of on-line research and there she was listed on a number of albums!
When our good friend and wonderful singer Barbara Dickson came here to perform, she was completely entranced by River and they shared many a musical moment. But more than that – Barbara also experienced what I had – a very rare and special connection!
RIP River – you will definitely be remembered.