Goldmine’s annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame issue duly profiles this year’s inductees, and then spends three pages arguing that Donovan ought to have been among them.
It is undoubtedly true that Donovan turned out some transcendent records, though “Mellow Yellow” really isn’t one of them. And the article trots out the old myth about three-quarters of Led Zeppelin playing on “Hurdy Gurdy Man.” John Paul Jones, who was there, and who, in his capacity as arranger for producer Mickie Most, had actually hired the session musicians, begs to differ.
Still, the man did have a unique vision, broad enough to include the wispiest folk and the jangliest blues-rock. (For a sample of the latter, see “Barabajagal,” which he cut with the Jeff Beck Group.) And if he occasionally veered off into the twee or, in the case of “The Intergalactic Laxative,” the pee well, his influence remains considerable, even if you don’t count being Diane Court’s dad.
So one of these days, the call will come in from Cleveland: “Good morning, Mr Leitch, are you having a busy day?” Heck, they might even get around to Rush. Or Paul Revere and the Raiders.