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February 27, 2009 5:30 PM   Subscribe

Paul McCartney and Donovan - 1968, 1969 + Donovan talks with David Lynch & sings "The Hurdy Gurdy Man" for Maharishi + David Lynch Sings + Medley Beatles di Donovan
posted by vronsky (34 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

Wow, I would've thought "Dear Prudence" would've been a bomb-proof song... evidently not.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 5:33 PM on February 27, 2009

It's also Lynch singing in the Inland Empire trailer.
posted by xmutex at 5:35 PM on February 27, 2009

This is a video with the full song of "Strange What Love Does."
posted by sonic meat machine at 5:45 PM on February 27, 2009

Excuse me, "Ghost of Love" is the official title...
posted by sonic meat machine at 5:46 PM on February 27, 2009

I really like Donovan.
posted by elmono at 5:52 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'm a big Donovan fan too.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:58 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

I mean, he's really good!.
posted by elmono at 6:05 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

And let's not forget Donovan's encounter with Mr. Zimmerman, in which Donovan performs a passable but somewhat unremarkable little number of his own, for Dylan and assembled guests, followed by Dylan upping the ante (duh) with his then-recently-penned It's All Over Now Baby Blue. From Don't Look Back.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:09 PM on February 27, 2009 [3 favorites]

The best version of There is a Mountain is this one with Bobby Gentry. which flapjax turned me on to years ago :)
posted by vronsky at 6:15 PM on February 27, 2009

Good lordy mercy, he really covered those Beatles tunes, didn't he? With a shroud.

And I do believe that's the first green acoustic guitar I've ever seen.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:17 PM on February 27, 2009

Donovan vs Jeff Beck
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:21 PM on February 27, 2009

Hail Atlanta!
posted by evilcolonel at 6:22 PM on February 27, 2009 [2 favorites]

OMG OMG Donovan-centric post.

dies of happiness
posted by nonmerci at 6:22 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Some good ones:

Lalena. Josie. Turquoise. The Trip. Someone Singing. Summer Day Reflection Song. Cosmic Wheels &c.

I could go on and on.
posted by nonmerci at 6:39 PM on February 27, 2009 [2 favorites]

That green acoustic guitar is named Kelly. I saw him in concert several years ago and he talked about how the guitar itself is supposed to be related to the Book of Kells, but my google-fu is failing. He's very, very fond of that guitar and it has become a sort of signature.

His farewell tour (click Gigs) will be 2009 - 2010, so if you haven't had a chance to see this incredible being perform, do yourself a favor and catch one of his shows. Though I'm only 22 I've managed to see Donovan twice in concert, and they have been the best shows of my life. I even got a hug and a picture in one instance, something I will cherish forever.
posted by nonmerci at 6:43 PM on February 27, 2009 [2 favorites]

I love this one.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:04 PM on February 27, 2009 [3 favorites]

I am a huge, huge Donovan fan (suck it, haters). This is awesome.
posted by naoko at 8:01 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Yeah, PeterMcDermott, Season of the Witch is a groovy track.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:05 PM on February 27, 2009

Flapjax - that Dylan slamdown of Donovan was seven shades of awesome. Wow.
posted by Nick Verstayne at 8:11 PM on February 27, 2009

Whatever, just more proof that Dylan was a huge asshole. Here's a 20-year-old kid (or 21, not sure exactly of the time of filming) who totally fucking idolizes you and your music, and what do you do? Publicly humiliate him. Yeah, that's totally awesome!!
posted by nonmerci at 8:16 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Yeah that Don't Look Back clip deserves its own fpp flapjax. awesome.
posted by vronsky at 8:37 PM on February 27, 2009

Here's a 20-year-old kid (or 21, not sure exactly of the time of filming) who totally fucking idolizes you and your music, and what do you do? Publicly humiliate him.

It's pretty tough to make out from the sound levels, and I didn't get it until my second watching, but I think Donovan actually requests Baby Blue (2:17 in the clip posted by flapjax, headphones probably required). I wish the edit didn't cut to Dylan taking the guitar so abruptly, so we could see what exchange happened that prompted him to stand up (was he asked for a song, or did he take it on himself to sing one?) but in any case, I think it's more a general than a specific meanness on Dylan's part. Donovan's realization that it's hard work being the opening act to this guy, and Dylan's refusal to soften the blow in lieu of giving the audience (and Donovan) what they wanted, is what causes the reaction. Of course, Dylan wasn't more than 24 or 25 there himself.... (He was still totally a jerk, of course, and it is a painful scene, but I point these things out in the interests of being fair.)
posted by roombythelake at 8:40 PM on February 27, 2009

I love that one too Pete McD. Good find. I used to play that in my car when i was a kid.

Isn't that Jimmy Page on guitar?
posted by vronsky at 8:40 PM on February 27, 2009

I must say I lean toward nonmerci's thinking on that one. I mean, Dylan knew how good he was, he knew what a badass song It's All Over Now was, and a little bit of reveling in the moment would've been expected, but it's true, he was a bit more of a jerk there than you'd like him to be... obviously, humility wasn't quite part of his modus operandi in those days.

It should be noted, though, that since you mentioned Donovan's young age (20 or 21), Dylan wasn't much older, maybe only 3 or 4 years, I think, and that, IMO, makes his behavior there a bit less assholish. These were two young singer/songwriters, and naturally enough there was a bit of a 'cutting contest' vibe there. That's the way it often is with young men, no?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:43 PM on February 27, 2009

It's a key scene in the movie though, isn't it. Don't Look Back is all about Dylan moving on from being the old, folkie Dylan who was all kissy-kissy with Joan Baez and Donovan, and people of that ilk, to the new electric Dylan of Subterranean Homesick Blues and Blonde on Blonde. And so Baez gets dumped on camera, Donovan and his last-years-thang, hippy-dippy folk style gets totally dissed.

And although you see it all happen before your very eyes, so to speak, it's hard to figure out how much of it is real, and how much of it is the narrative that D.A. Pennebaker is constructing to fit with his thesis.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:55 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

This is good :) Donovan - Little Tin Soldier "From Album "Fairytale".Originally written by Shawn Phillips. PLEASE NOTE: Found and edited by psychedelic yogi."

also this song Kingfisher is transcendent.

With Shawn Philips who went on to score this 1973 remake of James Hilton's Lost Horizon
posted by vronsky at 9:06 PM on February 27, 2009

Isn't that Jimmy Page on guitar?

Dunno about that but that's definitely Robert Plant on backing vocals on Barabajagle
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:06 PM on February 27, 2009

I am pretty sure it was Page on the studio versions.

(That entire Lost Horizon movie is on youtube. It is really good. Soundtrack by Shawn Phillips and Burt Bacharach.)

"This 1973 retelling of the classic tale of James Hilton's Utopian lost world plays out as a musical production complete with Bacharach pop music.While escaping war-torn China, a group of Europeans crash in the Himalayas, where they are rescued and taken to the mysterious Valley of the Blue Moon, Shangri-La. Hidden from the rest of the world, Shangri-La is a haven of peace and tranquility for world-weary diplomat Richard Conway(Peter Finch). Here there is no crime, no war, no sickness, no pollution, no sadness and a lifetime may be in the 100s of years. His ambitious brother, George(Michael York), sees it as a prison from which he must escape, even if it means risking his life and bringing destruction to the ancient culture of Shangri-La."
posted by vronsky at 9:45 PM on February 27, 2009

The timing of this is very bizarre. I just got an email from my brother who was all excited about having a pint with Donovan in Cork today! Synchronicity, or something, I guess...
posted by OolooKitty at 12:50 AM on February 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

I've been a fan of Donovan since high school when the coolest adult I knew made me listen to some from his old vinyl. His idealistic 60's folk and trippy sensibilities seemed to fit the world view that I most wanted to affect as I entered college. Yes he can get really cheesy at times, but you can't deny the magic in Sunshine Superman or Season of the Witch.

A couple years ago I heard him on NPRs Fresh Air. I was amazed and inspired that this then 60 year old man still had that crazy 60s idealism. In the interview he also explains the source of the Mellow Yellow banana peal myth, and just why Season of the Witch is such a great jam.
posted by doctoryes at 1:23 AM on February 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

I am pretty sure it was Page on the studio versions.

According to Wikipedia, Mickey Most apparently used all of Led Zeppelin on most of the tracks he cut with him.

I never knew before.

I saw him live once. The Bickershaw Festival, 1972. The four tabs of black microdot I'd just taken were just starting to go bad on me, when Donovan hit the stage and turned the whole thing around. (Hey, I was only 16 and they were only 25p a hit. What are you gonna do?)

I never really cared for him until that point, but I've had a soft spot ever since.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:46 AM on February 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the post.
Best Hurdy Gurdy cover.
posted by generalist at 8:11 AM on February 28, 2009

Wow - thanks for that post.
It brought back memories of the sixties.

And I do remember the Sixties. A touch hazily admittedly.
Donovan I remember though. His mate, Mac McLeod from back in St. Albans was staying in the attic of our wee wooden house in Stockholm. He was a guitar player too. Had a few gigs in bars. We often had itinerant musicians staying in our house as I was a busker and liked to help out brother musicians.
Earlier or was it later? - see what I mean by hazy - we had Boz Scaggs there. And at some stage Tom Paley (New Lost City Ramblers) and lots of guys who just drifted through.
Well anyway when Donovan came over to do a weeks gig at Stockholms Grona Lund, we all met up. Then Don did one performance only but when he discovered the venue was not a peaceful park, as he been promised, but more of a noisy fairground with rollercoasters and such. So he broke his contract and stayed the week hanging out with us. His mate Gypsy Dave as well. He played for my kids third birthday in our garden. And daytimes we would cruise the streets of stockholm all piled into a 1930's Fire Engine from Chicago owned by one of my motorfreak friends.
Great days.

We all were very shamefacedly proud that our kind of music - folky, bluesy stuff was beginning to get into the hitlists. Which were otherwise occupied by either american gentlemen in suits or the first english rockbands.

It was agreed that I would follow Don to the USA as his roadmanager. Carrying his Martin 12 string around on his american tour that was due. Sounded like a cool thing to do then.
It never happened though.

More sixties haze I suspect.

And some time later (or was it earlier?) we met up with Don Penebaker when he came to town making his Dont Look Back film with Bob Dylan.

But thats another story.

Have I been boring you?

You wait till I tell the story of how we met the Rolling Stones.

Nice to get all those links. Songs I still remember well though I've not heard them for years.

posted by jan murray at 5:18 PM on February 28, 2009 [5 favorites]

I love, love, love Donovan.

However: His cover of "Universal Soldier" is way too wussy. Buffy Ste-Marie's original is strong, powerful; it casts draft-dodging as a brave act of defiance rather than an easy retreat into comfort and safety and peace, that is, it was pacifism rather than passivism.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:34 PM on February 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

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