Buzzy Linhart, Singer-Writer-Performer: Heart Attack

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Buzzy Linhart

The following update to this story was posted on Linhart’s Facebook page in June 2018: (It notes that the singer-musician suffered a “heart attack, seizures, and other complications on Tuesday, May 29. He spent four days in CCU, a few days in hospital, then was moved to [a] nursing home in Berkeley, CA.” The poster said that he still hasn’t “been told of the severity of the event with regards to the heart, (damage, blockage, disease, etc.), however, all of the results of diagnostic procedures show excellent brain activity.”

UPDATE: Our obituary for Buzzy Linhart, who died on Feb. 13, 2020

Our original May 31 news item follows:

According to a Facebook post from his son, singer, musician and songwriter Buzzy Linhart has been hospitalized in California after experiencing what’s described in the post as a “major seizure event.” Linhart, who is closely associated with the Greenwich Village folk-rock scene and co-wrote Bette Midler’s song “(You Got to Have) Friends,” has been in the ICU at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley since May 29.

“He is sedated, intubated and resting after a lot of testing today,” said the post that day. “MRI came back normal, so we are hopeful he will emerge from sedation in the morning. Roommate Lenny acted quickly so the care was delivered quickly, so for now all we can do is rest, pray, and fire up the Buzzy Linhart music.”

A followup post on Wednesday stated, “All brain tests have been clear—no signs of damage and no lingering seizure activity,” and a more recent one, dated today (May 31), indicated that Linhart is now breathing on his own and showing signs of improvement.

[Update: At 10:45 p.m. ET on May 31, Linhart’s friend Dave Fisher posted on Facebook: “Buzzy is awake. He’s recognizing everyone and talking. Got him to laugh.”]

Linhart, 75, is credited as a session musician on albums by Buffy Sainte-Marie, Richie Havens, Carly Simon, Cat Mother & the All Night Newsboys, Tim Hardin, Felix Pappalardi, CSN&Y, Stephen Stills, John Sebastian and LaBelle, among others, and has released albums under his own name since 1969, including titles for the Philips, Kama Sutra and Atco labels, as well as several self-released albums.

Related: Jimi Hendrix’s Greenwich Village days

A fund has been established to raise money for Linhart’s medical expenses. Describing the artist, the fundraising page says Linhart is “the last great artist from that era you still haven’t heard of. Known for his energetic long-lasting live shows, Buzzy is a proto-jammer, but his catalog is also very song-focused. Although he had five albums released on major labels between 1969 and 1974, his publishing catalog contains 1000s of songs, many never released. Buzzy has a distinctive and nimble voice, but is also known for his vibraphone and rhythm guitar playing in particular his use of open tunings and early use of Indian raga-style music.”

Listen to Buzzy Linhart’s own take on “Friends”

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4 Comments so far

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  1. zenarcher1973
    #1 zenarcher1973 1 June, 2018, 01:52

    RIP Mark “Moogy” Klingman, co-writer of “Friends”. Get well Buzzy!

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  2. lou hunter
    #2 lou hunter 2 June, 2018, 10:42

    Buzzy.. a unique voice from the classic era of American singer songwriters.. one of the greats. Please donate to his fund at Sweet Relief

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  3. GG
    #3 GG 3 June, 2018, 20:45

    His song “the Love’ s Still Growing” is amazing by Carly Simon on her first album…..his version is awesome as well….look them up!!!

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  4. The Roadie
    #4 The Roadie 30 June, 2018, 22:43

    I was privileged to jam with Buzzy at Peabody’s on the Heights, the Flipside, and the Pirate’s Cove in Cleveland OH back in the 70s. I am honored to have known him as a friend.

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