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question for Donovan fans


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Initial post: Mar 4, 2012 1:16:25 PM PST
DKPete says:
I just picked a mint German vinyl of the Hurdy Gurdy Man LP. I just ran through some info on it to discover that, quite possibly, it is NOT the oft thought Jimmy Page doing the incredible solo on the title track. Someone on another thread actually states that, according to John Paul Jones, it is Alan Parker on that recording. Does anyone have any further info on this??

Posted on Mar 4, 2012 5:00:09 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 4, 2012 5:16:49 PM PST
According to sources, Jimmy Page played acoustic guitar during the early sessions for the album in late 1967. Donovan originally wanted Jimi Hendrix to play on it, but he was not available, so Jeff Beck played on the following sessions in 1968, and those sessions were erased by Mickie Most. Alan Parker ended up playing, according to John Paul Jones.

Donovan Acoustic Guitar
John Paul Jones: Arrangement/Musical Director and Bass Guitar
Alan Parker: Lead Guitar
Clem Cattini: Drums

But then again, in a radio interview in 1988 Donovan said that Allan Holdsworth played guitar, so, who really knows for sure.
I found the above info on wiki, probably not the most reliable source for such things.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 4, 2012 5:11:22 PM PST
Now that I think of it, I think I played it.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 4, 2012 5:35:54 PM PST
onsenkuma says:
@Rand,
The 2005 EMI remaster of Hurdy Gurdy Man has pretty detailed liner notes, including notes on the title track. These give the same information that you found on wiki.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 4, 2012 5:39:09 PM PST
DKPete says:
So I guess either way, it's not Page doing that solo. That's one myth busted for me. Hats off to Alan Parker then. It's one of the simplest solos of all time and yet it's nothing short of perfect for that recording. Thanks Rand.

Posted on Mar 4, 2012 5:46:23 PM PST
Sometimes a slow burner like Hurdy Gurdy Man is even more difficult to nail than a fast paced rocker. It just has a great feel to it.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 4, 2012 6:50:49 PM PST
DKPete says:
Rand..totally agree..this is why fast playing, in and of itself, never impressed me. It all gets down to what works for the song; this is what makes a great record...and HGM, in my opinion, is one of them.

Posted on Mar 5, 2012 8:12:44 AM PST
You speak truly.

Posted on Mar 5, 2012 8:21:55 AM PST
mac says:
"Hurdy Gurdy Man" along with "Stange Brew", "Baby, You're a Rich Man", "Pictures of Matchstick Men", "Crimson and Clover", "Itchycoo Park", "Good Vibrations" and others were one of those "Magic" songs that opened my mind.

Posted on Mar 5, 2012 8:50:35 AM PST
Another great "atmospheric" song of Donovan's is Atlantis. Very fanciful, maybe a little flowery for these times, but still a favorite of mine.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 5, 2012 4:26:52 PM PST
DKPete says:
mac...you just created one hell of a double (vinyl) E.P...all great, timely songs in their own way..Rand, I love Atlantis,,as well as the B-side.

Posted on Mar 5, 2012 6:47:42 PM PST
Donovan is synonymous in people's minds with "twee minstrel", but he did his share of heavier stuff. "Hurdy Gurdy Man", "Sunshine Superman", "Epistle to Dippy" and "Season of the Witch" all hold up well today. And the Allmans did a version of "There Is a Mountain".

He did compose a song titled "Intergalactic Laxative", though. Was he channelling Weird Al Yankovich, years before Weird Al began recording?

Posted on Mar 5, 2012 7:40:19 PM PST
Music4Me says:
A Donovan song that I always loved was "Lord of the Reedy River". He performed it in the movie "If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium" and it was rumored to have been on the original "Barabajagal" album but it was left off. It was eventually released as one of the bonus tracks to the remastered version of that album but that version added flutes, piano and some jazz-like percussion and was not as effective or haunting as the stark acoustic version from the movie soundtrack. However, one older & rare Donovan album ("HMS Donovan") included an acoustic version that's close to the movie take and is the one I keep going back to.

Posted on Mar 5, 2012 8:32:30 PM PST
@Music4Me: I like the version of "Lord Of The Reedy River" included on the remastered "Barabajagal", but the "HMS Donovan" version is the definitive one. Incidentally, Kate Bush did a stunning cover of the song in 1981 that Donovan contributed to. It was the b-side to her single "Sat In Your Lap" and is rarely heard, but very very worth it.

Posted on Mar 6, 2012 8:58:35 AM PST
Eddie H. says:
The songs that were good songs were great, but his bad songs were embarassingly awful....I happened to like his later albums, Cosmic wheels, Essence to essence and he is a good sport doing a duet with Alice Cooper...
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Discussion in:  Music forum
Participants:  9
Total posts:  15
Initial post:  Mar 4, 2012
Latest post:  Mar 6, 2012

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