From Publishers Weekly
A folk rocker and early prince of flower power, Donovan (b. 1946) shares wistful memories of his youth growing up in bombed-out Glasgow, Scotland; rambling adolescence in England; and precipitous stardom at age 18. Early on, Donovan (who's known by his first name) contracted polio, leaving him lame. An art student, Donovan left home by 16 to wander with his lifelong friend Gypsy Dave and taught himself how to play guitar by mimicking the folk styles of the Carter Family, Doc Watson, Woody Guthrie and Ramblin' Jack Elliott, among others he credits. After appearances on the British TV show Ready Steady Go!
in 1965, he landed a record contract, and Catch the Wind
(with its Bob Dylanesque sound) rode the crest of the British Invasion. Fusing folk with jazz and metal, Donovan forged "Celtic rock," and in his recording sessions, engineered brilliantly by Mickie Most, he worked with all the happening musicians and even collaborated with the Beatles. Donovan toots his own horn, amiably. As he achieves in his music, Donovan writes his bohemian manifesto personably and earnestly, stopping short around 1970, when he reunited with muse Linda Lawrence and dropped out. Color photos not seen by PW
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The quintessential flower-child musician begins his memoirs in the Scots of Glasgow, where he was born in 1946. Moving with his family to England, he changed his accent to conform to new surroundings. He heard Bill Haley and the Comets while still in Scotland, bought Buddy Holly records in England, and as a teenager turned to Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, and Woody Guthrie. At 16, he left home, hitchhiking to Cornwall to lead an itinerant life. Eventually settling in London, he made his first records, prided himself on being the Scottish Woody Guthrie, and enjoyed his first real success with the hit "Catch the Wind" and his first American tour. Anecdotal and name-dropping, he also discusses the British rock invasion of America, folk-rock, his first LSD trip, his drug bust in London, and a visit from a Paul McCartney armed with tunes that would eventually be "Eleanor Rigby" and "Yellow Submarine." In the late sixties, tired of it all, he walked away from the music business. A warm, gentle recollection of a turbulent time. June SawyersCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved