I was lunching with two of Horslips – originators of Celtic rock – yesterday and much badinage was exchanged, with the conversation turning to things ‘that Donovan invented’ (i.e. things he didn’t). ‘Obviously, he invented Celtic rock,’ I said, to chortles all round. And then I vaguely remembered something. ‘Hang on… y’know, I think he *did’ record a track called ‘Celtic Rock’… Jim locked it up on his gadget – sure enough, in 1970, a year before Horslips began, Donovan recorded ‘Celtic Rock’. Gobsmackery all round. Situations in which one realises that, yes, the Don *really did* invent something must be rare indeed! 😀
Summer ’17 we had the first swap. No theme was set, just whatever participants wanted to put on their discs. Spring ’18 was Swap No. 2. This one was themed and the theme was “Cold”. Autumn ’18 was Swap No. 3. The theme this time was “Space”. Spring ’19 brought Swap No. 4 and the theme was “White”. December ’19 gave us Swap No. 5. The theme was “Change”.
Now it’s the Autumn of 2020, we’ve shaken our fists at a plague and, while sitting at home twiddling our thumbs we’ve debated whether the CD is dead or struggling on life support. Should we swap or not?
As all Afterworders already know, any and all great music composed since the early 60s is indebted to one man and one man alone – take a bow DONOVAN (oh! you already have).
Now I see that the great man is dedicating a concert in April at London’s Cadogan Hall to Greta Thunberg.
But, thank the Lord for DONOVAN, for without him poor Greta would be lost:
The pioneer songwriter of Ecology will perform his classic Top 20 hits with his young band (‘Mellow Yellow’, ‘Sunshine Superman’, ‘The Hurdy Hurdy Man’, ‘Season of The Witch’, ‘Jennifer Juniper’, ‘There is a Mountain’, ‘Catch The Wind’, ‘Colours’, ‘Universal Soldier’) plus selections from his new release, Eco-Song, 21 climate change compositions by Donovan.
Donovan stood alone among his superstar peers singing out his climate change warning to the world. Donovan says, ‘It took 50 years from my first climate change protest song in 1968 and now, at last, here comes Greta the Great! It’s about time… and we have so little time left!’
Just think, without DONOVAN writing that first song there would be no Friends Of The Earth, no Greenpeace, no climate activists and Greta would still be in school. The world » Continue Reading.
Be careful what you listen to in your car. The bad taste detectors are in your area.
In early 2015 the great folk guitarist John Renbourn died. Along with Bert Jansch and Davey Graham, Renbourn was at the very forefront of the 60s acoustic folk blues revolution, a movement which influenced a entire generation of guitarists, in rock as well as folk.
Back on the old blog I wrote the piece below, which sadly disappeared into the ether following the big Afterword crash. With the first anniversary of Renbourn’s death not too far away, I hope you don’t mind if I present a slightly re-worked version of that essay.
Come with me now as we travel back in time and re-visit… (Get on with it! Ed)
I was excited to find this photo today at the bottom of a box of music paraphernalia. It’s rubbish quality but I treasure it because it’s almost certainly the earliest photo I ever took at a concert. It’s Donovan of course, but it took me a while to work out when and where I had taken it. Then after a little detective work I figured out it’s the 7th Jazz & Blues Festival, Windsor, August 1967.
We see John Cameron (far left) who was Donovan’s music arranger on all those great psych LPs and interestingly he’s playing John Mayall’s Hammond organ! Mayall was also on the Windsor bill and it’s just about possible to read his name writ large on the back of the organ.
Cameron later worked with Cilla Black and Hot Chocolate, but his biggest claim to fame was as a member of CCS with Alexis Korner where he arranged their version of Led Zep’s Whole Lotta Love which for many years was the Top Of The Pops theme
Third left is the great Jamaican born jazzman Harold McNair. He played flute on Donovan’s early albums and also recorded with John Martyn and Ginger Baker’s Airforce. He » Continue Reading.