Synopses & Reviews
Donovan's autobiography charts his life from a post-war, Glaswegian childhood to the height of an international career as one of the leading figures of the 1960's music scene. Always feeling like an outsider, he found relief through music and poetry. The book reveals how he came to be influenced by Buddhist teachings, and the music of Woody Guthrie and Joan Baez. The book explores the significance of falling deeply in love with the woman who was to become his muse, and the profound sense of loss he felt when their relationship came to an end, and how the loss affected him both personally and creatively. A leader of the folk revival in both Britain and America, the book recounts how he rose to be an international star, releasing songs such as "Mellow Yellow" and "Catch the Wind", and his most successful album, "Sunshine Superman". Donovan is acknowledged as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 1960's. The book provides a frank account of his early experiments with drugs and his search for self. He reveals the story of how he developed friendships with Baez, Dylan and the Beatles, with whom he a shared spiritual sojourn to meditate with the Maharishi in India. Donovan's autobiography offers first-hand insights into his music and poetry, recollects his rise to fame and the way in which destiny was to play a hand by re-uniting him with the lost love of his life through a chance meeting.
"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. (Dec.) " Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The Hurdy Man comes singing songs of love."--Vanity Fair "Touching, illuminating and frank."--Janet Maslin, New York Times "Flower power rises again."--New York Post "Donovan and his enduring charms and achievements are well revealed here."--The Washington Post
About the Author
Donovan Leitch was born in Glasgow in 1946. He is recognised as one of the most influential musicians to have emerged from the twentieth century. During the height of his career in the 1960's he wrote some of that generation's most memorable songs, with nine top ten records including Catch the Wind and Mellow Yellow. He is widely recognised as a founder of 'Flower Power' and travelled to India with The Beatles to meditate under the guidance of the Maharishi. He currently lives in Ireland with his wife Linda and continues to write poetry and music.