The Incredible Donovan Leitch

Nice quiet night for a retrospective on one of the 1960s most dynamic songwriters.  Influenced heavily by Woody Guthrie, the Scottish-born singer has been credited with his own heavy influence on the Beatles, particularly on the guitar playing style used on The White Album.  Both in lyrics and guitar style, there were few more innovative than he.  What a transformational time.  Here are my personal favorites, leading with the evocative Epistle to Dippy looking on yonder misty mountain.

Although electrical banana turned out to be neither a sudden craze nor the very next phase, it was a very mellow form of yellow.

On the incredible Sunshine Superman recorded at Abbey Road Studios in 1966, Donovan was accompanied by a session guitarist by the name of Jimmy Page, who would go on to Led Zeppelin fame.

The incomparable Atlantis – the poet, the physician, the farmer, the scientist, and the musician … let us rejoice and sing and dance and ring in the new.

And the trippiest song of them all, Hurdy Gurdy Man, its undertones of George Harrison and the Maharishi, credited as the foray into Celtic rock that would propel Jimmy Page, John Bonham, and John Paul Jones toward forming Led Zeppelin.

About Leonard J. Press, O.D., FAAO, FCOVD

Developmental Optometry is my passion as well as occupation. Blogging allows me to share thoughts in a unique visual style.
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4 Responses to The Incredible Donovan Leitch

  1. doctuhdon says:

    Quite rightly !!!

  2. Marc Rachmuth says:

    I remember all of the songs you listed, but the Donovan I liked was the very early folky.

    • Yes – the early folky Donovan was definitely the Guthrie influence, and his poetic skill coupled with that drew strong comparisons to Dylan. In fact, the effort to differentiate himself from Dylan may have subliminally led him to deeper associations with the Beatles, Stones, and the fusion produced the Donovan above.

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