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Donovan, John and Paul
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18 April 2012
2.56am
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Into the Sky with Diamonds
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Met Donovan last night. That was a thrill; a great free spirit. Still has that twinkle in his eye.

I asked him if it was true that he taught John the finger picking of "Julia."

Yes, he said. When the Beatles and Donovan were in India, the Beatles only had acoustic guitars. They would strum them perfectly well, but didn't finger pick the strings.

But John was interested, and he wanted to use it on a song he was writing about the mother he never knew, and imagined being on a beach with her.

He also used the finger picking on "Dear Prudence."

"Paul's a genius" Donovan said. "Wouldn't admit to wanting to learn to finger pick, but I could see him out of the corner of my eye." Then he goes off to write "Blackbird" ...

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)
20 April 2012
12.50am
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Into the Sky with Diamonds
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1966 was the year of psychedelic yellow: "Mellow Yellow" "Yellow Submarine"...

Maybe not a coincidence - Donovan was at the crazy "Yellow Submarine" recording session.

 

Any other colors come to mind?

The White Album, ....Image Enlarger

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)
20 April 2012
1.23am
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GniknuS
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That's awesome, I've been looking to get into some Donovan albums recently, any suggestions on where to start? Colors is one of my absolute favorite songs.
Paul's "fingerpicking" style is most definitely his own because he doesn't really pick all of the strings like we see on
Julia, it's more of a fast, precise strum seen on Blackbird and Mother Nature's Son which I've actually always found more difficult to play. That's what makes Paul so freaking cool, he has so much style as a musician and is able to embellish simpler things so well. I do find it curious that none of the three really seemed all that interested in fingerpicking considering their love for Dylan and given that fingerpicking sounds so nice, certainly as evidenced by Julia, Blackbird and Mother Nature's Son. I wonder if Donovan tried to teach them about open tunings because I believe Colors is in Open D, although I could be wrong.

I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine
8 February 2014
3.14am
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(I was wondering if there was a Donovan thread here on the Forum. And lo' and behold! You know you're getting old when…).

Heard a GREAT Howard Stern interview with Donovan this morning. Picked up a great deal of info. Here's a sampling:

Jimmy Page played on one of his hits, John Paul Jones played on another (before there was a Led Zeppelin), Bonham would tell people he was the drummer on "Hurdy Gurdy Man" (he wasn't), and Zeppelin used Donovan's "Season of the Witch" during their sound checks on their 1974 tour.  
Led Zeppelin and Donovan??????
 
Then McCartney's got a song about being trapped by fame and unable to get out. It's like living in … in … in … (there's a yellow pill going around and it's called a ...) yellow submarine! Donovan pitches in with the lyric "sky of blue and sea of green in our yellow submarine."
Finally the best story:
(Either on the same day or some other day), the doorbell rings and it's a bobby/cop.
"Is that your car parked out front?"
McCartney comes over to see what the fuss is about.
The cop recognizes him and snaps to attention and salutes.
"Would that be your car?"
McCartney; "Why, yes"
"The Austin Martin?"
"Yes"
"The one with one wheel on the sidewalk and the other three in the street?"
"Yes"
"The one with the radio playing?"
"Yes"
(silence) "If you give me the keys, I can park it for you."
With that the cop moves the car, comes back up with the keys, snaps to attention again with a little salute and walks out.
Donovan: "So is that what it's like?"
"Yup."

 

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