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Donovan Leitch

The Autobiography of Donovan: The Hurdy Gurdy Man

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According to his recently revised and reissued autobiography, singer/songwriter Donovan Leitch – known simply as Donovan to the world and Don to his friends – influenced the Beatles, Van Morrison and Led Zeppelin. He also boldly proclaims that he was "musically more creative and influential" than Bob Dylan. As he recalls his past, the Glasgow-born troubadour isn't particularly modest about his impact on his peers, but his delightful cosmic swirl is a fascinating oral history. Most importantly, more than 40 years after his gently psychedelic tunes debuted on the folk-rock scene, his heady music continues to permeate classic musical consciousness. In fact, his 1966 hit "Sunshine Superman" is playing on the stereo as I write this review. And, in a moment as phantasmagorically splendid as the memoir, John and Yoko's son Sean Lennon just walked by. Such is the beauty of this book. It's a delightfully trippy ride into the mystical ideals and idols of the mid-'60s, told from the unique vantage point of a still-vital performer who, in his own words, "stirred the cauldron of bohemian power." 5 stars

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