10 August 2011
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" …
26 March 2012
Haha how wonderful! I did in fact imagine it rather like that- Paul sheepishly eying Donovan teaching John to fingerpick and developing his own style rather than coming to Donovan for help. Also Paul and Donovan wrote "Heather", a lovely song of which there is a demo or two banging around.
10 August 2011
1 May 2010
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.
1 May 2011
10 August 2011
Gniknus said, "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."
Gniknus, great to hear from you.
I agree with you on "Colours" – great song (and easy to play on the guitar!) [and also starts with "yellow," right?]
I have 3 Donovan albums (+Greatest Hits): Fairy Tale, Hurdy Gurdy Man, and the more recent Beat Cafe. They all feature a mixture of great and not-so-great stuff.
I would start with his Greatest Hits album (apparently The Essential Donovan is just being released – not sure what's on it); can't go wrong there! Then I would explore the others.
(songs that I like that are not on Greatest Hits include "As i recall it" "Get thy bearings" "The river song" "a sunny day" "the sun is a very magic fellow" "poorman's sunshine" "beat cafe" "yin my yang" "lover o lover".
[He does a good "Universal soldier" though that's Buffy St Marie's song]
7 November 2010
Sunshine Superman is being used in an eBay ad over here. It always sounds good, that song.
That's actually what made me properly listen to Donovan for the first time recently.
"When I cannot sing my heart, I can only speak my mind."
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