Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Britain's old men say "Happy Birthday" to Donovan and remember themselves and a him as fresh faced young men in the 1960's

Donovan is 65 years old today. I was reminded of him in the Autumn of 2009 which was spectacular for its colour and would have matched 'New England in the Fall'.
The 'tears' of water on the acer tree in my garden reminded me of his song :

'Catch The Wind' :

In the chilly hours and minutes,
Of uncertainty, I want to be,
In the warm hold of your loving mind.

To feel you all around me,
And to take your hand, along the sand,
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind.

When sundown pales the sky,
I wanna hide a while, behind your smile,
And everywhere I'd look, your eyes I'd find.

For me to love you now,
Would be the sweetest thing, 'twould make me sing,
Ah, but I may as well, try and catch the wind.

When rain has hung the leaves with tears,
I want you near, to kill my fears
To help me to leave all my blues behind.

For standin' in your heart,
Is where I want to be, and I long to be,
Ah, but I may as well, try and catch the wind.

He recorded it when he was a fresh-faced youth of 18 and I bought a copy when I was a fresh-faced youth 17.

Things I didn't know about Donovan, that he :

* was born in Glasgow, Scotland as Donovan Philips Leitch the son of Winifred, a factory worker and Donald a Rolls Royce factory worker and moved with the family to England in 1956.

* contracted polio as a child and the disease and subsequent treatment, left him with a limp.

* became a friend of leading pop musicians including Joan Baez, Brian Jones, Bruce Springsteen, and 'The Beatles' and was one of the few artists to collaborate on songs with the group.

* influenced both John Lennon and Paul McCartney when he taught them his finger-picking guitar style in 1968.

* found his commercial fortunes waned after he parted ways with the producer, Mickie Most in 1969 and left the music industry for a time.

* continued to perform and record sporadically in the 1970s and 80s, but gradually fell from favour as his gentle musical style and hippie image were scorned by the critics.

* underwent a revival in the 1990's and late in the decade, recorded an album with producer and long-time fan Rick Rubin.

* released a new album, 'Beat Cafe', in 2004.

* currently lives with his family in County Cork in Ireland.

Hurdy Gurdy Man in 1968 :

The Universal Soldier in 1968 :

Last year 2010 when he was 64 :

Mellow Yellow :

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