Friday, October 3, 2008

Donovan covers it all.

The 1960s pop sensation Donovan a short while ago concluded an engaging one-on-one panel discussion at the Woodstock Film Festival. Donovan was interviwed by Doreen Ringer-Ross, vice-president of film/tv relations at BMI, an organization that collects royalties on behalf of songwriters.

- He sang a verse to "Hurdy Gurdy Man" that George Harrison wrote, that was not included in the original recording.
- He shared his thoughts on aging: no dairy, no fats, eat vegetarian as much as possible, drop the wheat and meditate, meditate, meditate.
- When asked why he didn't perform at the 1969 Woodstock Festival, even though it is believed that the promters pursued him, he said, "I was doing something else."
- He said he will release a new double album soon, "Ritual Groove," and launch a two-year tour next spring.
- He ate breakfast with his long-time friend Arlo Guthrie in Woodstock this morning. Arlo arrived in town last night.
- He discussed his work with the quirky film and television director David Lynch, who is working through a foundation he created to bring transcendental meditation to troubled schools and children with ADHD, worldwide. Donovan is providing the live music for the project, which is being filmed for a documentary.
- He told a funny story about lending his music to a new perfume, traveling to Paris to play at a party for the perfume and meeting Liza Minneli there. He asked Liza out to dinner, and she turned him down.
- Donovan gets his modern music information from his 17-year-old grandson and 14-year-old granddaughter - Evanescence and Placebo.
- John Sebastian of Woodstock, Donovan's long-time friend, was going to perform with him Saturday at the Colony Cafe, but Sebastian has a gig.
- He said he was really into Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie while a young musician, forming his identity.
- Friends in the early 1960s alerted him to another songwriter. They said, "There's another guy and he's got a hat and a harmonica and he's doing what you're doing."
- Donovan said Dylan introduced him to the Beatles, with whom he felt a strong kinship because he shared an Irish heritage with Lennon and McCartney, which are both Irish names, according to Donovan; and Glasgow, where Donovan was from, and Liverpool, are both seaports.
- Donovan said he and George Harrison got so heavily involvd with transcendental meditation beacause they were seeking out the "roots of human suffering."

Donovan's concert is sold-out. "Sunshine Superman: The Journey of Donovan" will be shown Sunday at 3:15 p.m. at the Rosendale Theater.

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