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Donovan, John and Paul
18 April 2012
2.56am
Into the Sky with Diamonds
New York
Apple rooftop
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10 August 2011
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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)
18 April 2012
12.42pm
Ben Ramon
Candlestick Park
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26 March 2012
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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.

SHUT UP - Paulie's talkin'
20 April 2012
12.50am
Into the Sky with Diamonds
New York
Apple rooftop
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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, ....

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)
20 April 2012
1.23am
GniknuS
Rain? I don't mind
Apple rooftop
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1 May 2010
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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
20 April 2012
3.05am
meanmistermustard
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Paul is on Mellow Yellow, no idea what was first.

He told us not to get overwhelmed by grief and whatever thoughts we have... to keep them happy, because any thoughts we have of him will travel to him wherever he is. (John Lennon - 27/8/67)
20 April 2012
1.55pm
Into the Sky with Diamonds
New York
Apple rooftop
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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]

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)
3 May 2012
3.52pm
Joe
Pepperland
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I never knew McCartney was on Mellow Yellow. Thanks for that.

Sunshine Superman is being used in an eBay ad over here. It always sounds good, that song.

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

Can buy me love! Please consider using these links to support the Beatles Bible: Amazon | iTunes

4 May 2012
12.52pm
kelicopter
Sitting in an English Garden
Shea Stadium
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7 November 2010
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Joe said 
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.

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."
"When I cannot sing my heart, I can only speak my mind."
8 February 2014
3.14am
Into the Sky with Diamonds
New York
Apple rooftop
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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??????
 
This is a great story (Donovan is a great raconteur): McCartney's comes to his apartment and he's got two songs with him. "Captain McKenzie smoking a pipe as he sits by the fire in the dark." (Donovan strums the chords as he sings.) It's "Eleanor Rigby" ) - but McCartney doesn't have any lyrics yet.
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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