I was pretty active between 1965 and 1970 with several “summers of love” before I got seriously fracked off by the Bay City Rollers and the rubbish served up to us “consumers” during the decade of despair.
At one time, I had a particular liking for Scots man Donovan – never really could get my head round that Bobby Dylan character. So last night I went along to what Donovan describes on his own website as a “massive” British tour – not expecting very much but getting pretty much what I expected.
Did you know you can have lunch with Donovan on the day? It will cost you £2,500 to have nibbles with the maestro. Some of the proceedings is going towards him helping young people to meditate. That gives you pause for thought. He claims on his web site that with the Beatles he brought meditation to the West – that’s Transcendental Meditation of course….
There were surely plenty enough people at Oxford Town Hall – many of us of an uncertain age – to hear him warble through the usual numbers including the Hurdy Gurdy Man, Mellow Yellow but not, definitely not, the Season of the Witch. Everyone seemed to know the words and when D asked if there was anyone in the audience called Josephine, a transgender geezer shouted out that he was.
Surely it was in this same place in Oxford Town Hall that years ago the much missed Gerald Suster made an interruption during Thelemic proceedings that left the audience riveted in rapture?
And so to 2015 style rapture.
Sat on a solitary sheepskin rug, Donovan showed all the musical flair that he has developed since the mid 1960s when I had a pash on “folk singers”. He also showed that he had a real gift for poetry. You know, the kind of poetry that really puts people like WB Yeats, Auden and Shakespeare in the shade. He has mastered new instruments such as the oudh, the shehnai, the cropredy and the steel eye span. Donovan is a maestro.
The mister ran through a number of amusing anecdotes of what life was like on the endless merciless carousel that was 1960s Tin Pan Alley.
I do seem to remember that he bought several islands in the Highlands at the highlight of his career. Wonder what he was like as a laird, way back then? Does he still have those islands? Isn’t it time he retired to spend more time with Jock McFrock, the bekilted engineer of Skye? As the final act, Donovan mimed one of his most famous numbers ever, complete with the bells and whistles that one man with an acoustic guitar on a sheepskin rug in a town hall in world city Oxford could never emulate in a million years.