Donovan

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer

Category: Performer

Inducted in: 2012

Inducted by: John Mellencamp

Nominated in: 2011   2012

First Eligible: 1991 Ceremony


Inducted into Rock Hall Revisited in 2000 (ranked #208) .


Essential Albums (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3Amazon CD
Sunshine Superman (1966)

Essential Songs (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3YouTube
Universal Soldier (1965)
Sunshine Superman (1966)
Mellow Yellow (1966)
Season Of the Witch (1966)
Hurdy Gurdy Man (1968)
Atlantis (1969)

Donovan @ Wikipedia

Donovan Videos

Comments

71 comments so far (post your own)

For someone whose career started about the
same time as Dylan's, had plenty of hits and
lasted longer than other inductees like the
Mamas and the Papas I can't see why not.

Posted by SG on Sunday, 03.25.07 @ 01:36am


With songs like "Season Of The Witch", "Catch The Wind", ""Sunshine Superman" "Barabajagal" "Mellow Yellow" as a start....his low profile but highly influential fusion of jazz into the folk world was perfect! Just listen to the "Mellow Yellow" album...."Hampton Incident", "Young Girl Blues" "First There Is A Mountain"
"Gift From A Flower To A Garden" was a classic return to his acoustic beginnings.

Posted by James on Sunday, 09.30.07 @ 23:06pm


Did you know that Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones met during the sessions for Donovan's "Hurdy Gurdy Man" album in 1968? If Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones hadn't met, there never would have been Led Zeppelin. "Season Of The Witch" has been covered by many artists.

Posted by Aaron O'Donnell on Tuesday, 01.29.08 @ 20:01pm


Keeping Donovan on the eligibility list for 18 years without inducting him into the Hall is an absolute abomination. This man virtually invented World Music as we know it, has influenced dozens of artists and has remained active and involved in a career that has spanned more than 43 years. Add to that the number and quality of just his chart hits and you have a Hall of Famer if there ever was one. Message to Nominating Committee: GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER!!

Posted by John on Monday, 03.10.08 @ 10:19am


Donovan.. Gee hard to understand why he is not in the RHOF...


Heck where would even the Beatles have been with out him..???? He did write "Yellow Submarine".. To name only a fewof the Beatles Hits..
He had so much going on in British rock it is almost impossible to name IT all... From folk rock to the peace movement to... gee just about everything we hear today and yesterday.. YES to the RHOF

Posted by mrxyz on Wednesday, 09.10.08 @ 22:48pm


He didn't write "Yellow Submarine", the credits for that song went to Lennon/McCartney. He did help with the lyrics. 'Sky of blue, sea of green' was from him.

Posted by The_Claw on Thursday, 09.11.08 @ 02:44am


He didn't write "Yellow Submarine", the credits for that song went to Lennon/McCartney. He did help with the lyrics. 'Sky of blue, sea of green' was from him.

yeah and the melody..and the Title He also helped Lennon on Noriegan woods . and a few other tunes ... lol ... Credits are just that.. This is Show Biz

Posted by mrxyz on Thursday, 09.11.08 @ 12:15pm


I actually wasn't too much of a fan of Donovan's work before but now I like his stuff. Especially his "Mellow Yellow" album. There's some brilliant work there.

Posted by Keebord on Tuesday, 12.23.08 @ 19:12pm


Donovan has been terribly under-appreciated over the years but I'm not sure if he's a necessity.

His early years as a Dylan-clone has tainted him in the eyes of a lot of people (I groan whenever those "Catch the Wind" commercials come on, actually because people might think Bob Dylan wrote it.) He did grow quickly, however, and his late 60s work (Sunshine Superman, Hurdy Gurdy Man, Mellow Yellow, A Gift...) while perhaps not quite on the level of his contemporaries great works have all aged better than much of the music of that day. He's primed for rediscovery.

Posted by Elastic Man on Saturday, 01.17.09 @ 03:07am


YES no more is needed to be said.. With out him it is an empty HALL..!

Posted by mrxzy on Wednesday, 03.4.09 @ 21:04pm


One word: Legendary!

Posted by Ed on Monday, 03.9.09 @ 11:16am


One word: Legendary!

Posted by Ed on Monday, 03.9.09 @ 11:16am

That and TROUBADOUR, POET...MUSICIAN..

Posted by mrxyz on Monday, 03.9.09 @ 11:18am


The man behind the song Mellow Yellow not in? Maybe not as great as Bob Dylan, but he really should be in the Rock Museum. Here's a great clip where Dylan & Donovan meet and one-up each other in a hotel room someplace:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SN6gqot02Zk
If your a fan of either one you gotta see it.

Posted by Telarock on Monday, 03.9.09 @ 12:04pm


The man behind the song Mellow Yellow not in? Maybe not as great as Bob Dylan, but he really should be in the Rock Museum. Here's a great clip where Dylan & Donovan meet and one-up each other in a hotel room someplace:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SN6gqot02Zk
If your a fan of either one you gotta see it.

Posted by Telarock on Monday, 03.9.09 @ 12:04pm

Donovan can SING {SMILE}

Posted by mrxyz on Monday, 03.9.09 @ 12:32pm


These 3 songs were pop masterpieces

Sunshine Superman
Mellow Yellow
Atlantis

Posted by Ed on Monday, 03.9.09 @ 15:47pm


"Season of the Witch" ,The Trip", "Sunshine Superman", "Wear Your Love Like Heaven", and "Hurdy-Gurdy Man".

Posted by mrxyz on Monday, 03.9.09 @ 16:10pm


"Epistle to Dippy" and one of my all-time favorites that I still sing (badly) in the shower was "Catch the Wind."

Posted by Telarock on Tuesday, 03.10.09 @ 07:55am


How can it be that a peot/performer with many hits -- many more than some past inductees -- can be by-passed for so long. Still performing and writing, continuing as a champion of peace, love, social, environmental and personal responsibilty and, currently, giving his voice to the expansion of Transcendental Mediation to school children around the world, Donovan embodies the best of what rock has offered the Universal Community. An icon deserving a shrine.

Posted by Tony Assande on Sunday, 03.22.09 @ 19:52pm


To compose and perform a song like "Hurdy Gurdy Man" is beyond words to compare. The song starts out quite trippy, with those great quivery Donovan vocals. Then some of the heaviest guitar licks played by Jimmy Page. The lyrics in that song are classic. And the humorous part "Here comes the Roly Poly man". I mean c'mon who but Donovan could write stuff like that?

During 1966 and 1967 his music was listened to all over the world and his impact was enormous. How influential of an artist was he? OK he writes a goofy lyric like "electrical banana, gonna be the very next craze" in Mellow Yellow and all of a sudden teenagers in the US are trying to smoke banana peels? I mean how incredible is it that a silly song like Mellow Yellow could create such a stir. It was because a ton of people in that timeframe were listening to Donovan. He was a giant.

Posted by Ed on Saturday, 03.28.09 @ 15:43pm


While I would put Donovan in the Hall, inspiring the fad of smoking banana peels is hardly the kind of influence they look for when nominating artists for the Hall of Fame.

Posted by Philip on Saturday, 03.28.09 @ 15:53pm


Philip: Its funny though that a record could have that much influence on pop culture. My point isn't that smoking banana peels is HOF material but more that so many people were listening to Donovan and the press was paying attention to his songs that they created this rumor about the "electrical banana phase". Thats my point about him being ICONIC. Like the Beatles, in his era he was a very dominant Top Ten single producer and his music wasn't just boy kiss girl stuff like most of the Top Ten Sixties music.

Just to come up with phrases like "Mellow Yellow" and "Sunshine Superman" are completely unique to the sixties, he was in his own way a leader of the folk goes electric movement.

Dylan certainly was more influential than Donovan but other than Dylan what other folk singer in the sixties was bigger than Donovan on the singles charts?

Posted by Ed on Thursday, 04.2.09 @ 09:29am


Good comments Ed. I agree with you.

Posted by Telarock on Thursday, 04.2.09 @ 10:20am


donovan is frickin beast.The rock hall is a joke come jethro tull, deep purple, elo, chicago are not in whats that

Posted by bob on Tuesday, 04.7.09 @ 11:01am


Bob is correct. There are so many classic rock bands especially in the 70's that were awesome and they've been overlooked and buried for dead by this silly hall of fame.

Posted by Ed on Wednesday, 04.8.09 @ 19:57pm


But he really was not that good of a live performer.

Posted by Dameon on Thursday, 04.9.09 @ 13:17pm




But he really was not that good of a live performer.

Posted by Dameon on Thursday, 04.9.09 @ 13:17pm


Huh...?? are you feeling ok..?? LOL He was and is Donovan... His performance is Donovan.... Kinda like Dylan or Cohen.. No hoop's of fire just"real music".. that says something..

Posted by mrxyz on Monday, 05.4.09 @ 22:37pm


As far as a "live" act Donovan was just one guy. He was a brilliant recording artist and songwriter. Was he a Hendrix or a Led Zeppelin in concert, hell no.

But there were many great pop recording acts that weren't great musicians in concert.

Pete Townshend dissed the Beatles for their lack of instrumental viruosity. The Beatles could sing fantastic on stage but their live recordings lack the great sound of their studio recordings.

Just enjoy Donovan for what he is, a creative songwriter with a unique voice who surrounded himself in the studio with great musicians such as Paul McCartney, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck.

Those guys wouldn't have played on Donovan records if they didn't look up to him.

Posted by Ed on Friday, 05.15.09 @ 16:00pm


Should of been in the Sametime the Beatles or 4 sho Dylan.. or b 4
DUH YES

Posted by mrxyz on Monday, 07.13.09 @ 00:56am


Kenny Loggins is going to include "There Is A Mountain" on his forthcoming album "All Join In" and the Allman Brothers' "Mountain Jam" from "Eat A Peach" was lifted from Donovan's "There Is A Mountain."

Posted by Aaron O'Donnell on Monday, 07.20.09 @ 23:15pm


I find it funny is a sad way Backstreet Boys have over 3900 vote and Donovan has just over 465 votes LOL
Now if that is not "What have you done for me lately"...But then again, look at how many votes Maddona has on this forum LOL

Posted by mrxyz on Saturday, 08.15.09 @ 12:25pm


If Donovan had written nothing other than "Season of the Witch" he should be in.

This slight is even more egregious when you consider that the Lovin' Spoonful and the Mamas and the Papas (two inductees who had much shorter careers) and James Taylor and Jackson Browne are already in.

Who is holding the grudge against Donovan?

Posted by Mike on Monday, 10.26.09 @ 23:05pm


If Donovan had written nothing other than "Season of the Witch" he should be in.

This slight is even more egregious when you consider that the Lovin' Spoonful and the Mamas and the Papas (two inductees who had much shorter careers) and James Taylor and Jackson Browne are already in.

Who is holding the grudge against Donovan?

Posted by Mike on Monday, 10.26.09 @ 23:05pm

Couldn't agree more ! !!! heck even the Beatles followed his lead on many of their tunes...He should of been in years ago..

Posted by mrxyz on Tuesday, 10.27.09 @ 09:52am


I don't see why people seem to have it against the Lovin' Spoonful being in the Hall, they deserve the honour

Posted by The Drummer on Tuesday, 10.27.09 @ 14:49pm


The Drummer....It probably has to do with the whole "Band A should be in before Band B, and only once Band B is in should Band C be considered" kind of logic. There isn't a unanimous opinion that the Lovin' Spoonful shouldn't be in, in fact I think there are just as many people (if not more) who agree that inducted the Spoonful was the right decision. Personally, I can find 20 artists who I think deserve being in less than the Spoonful (And for the record, The Mamas & The Papas wouldn't be one of them)

Posted by Keebord on Tuesday, 10.27.09 @ 14:53pm


Thanks for your comment Keebord, it is all subjective

Posted by The Drummer on Tuesday, 10.27.09 @ 14:53pm


Exactly. That is the one thing some people seem to have a real difficulty grasping. The subjectivity of the whole enterprise

Posted by Keebord on Tuesday, 10.27.09 @ 14:54pm


How the hell is Donovan not in the Rock Hall with all his anthems?!

Catch the Wind, Sunshine Superman, Season of the Witch, Mellow Yellow, Hurdy Gurdy Man

Posted by Roy on Tuesday, 10.27.09 @ 16:34pm


I keep wondering why he is not In..? a true mystery.. among many others in life.. I would put him at the top of the list..

YES

Posted by mrxyz on Wednesday, 10.28.09 @ 23:37pm


John Mellencamp has always admired Donovan. John recorded Donovan's "Superlungs My Supergirl" on his debut album "Chestnut Street Incident." Also the vocals on "Human Wheels" are very reminiscent of Donovan's vocals "Hurdy Gurdy Man" Mr. Mellencamp once invited Mr. Mellow Yellow to be an opening act on one of his tours.

Posted by Aaron O'Donnell on Friday, 12.18.09 @ 04:34am


Donovan is certainly the equal of the Mamas & Papas, Lovin' Spoonful or The Hollies.

Like them I would put him in the "why not" category for HOF membership if not quite the "no-brainer" category. And I can think of at least a dozen who are in who deserve it less. And , no, I won't mention them by name.

Both Marc Bolan and Al Stewart later adopted his singing style.

Sunshine Superman and Hurdy Gurdy Man are both pstchedelic-era classics.

Posted by Scott McNeely on Thursday, 01.7.10 @ 20:57pm


Another great that should be IN... who also has one of the 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. Acording to the Rock and roll Hall of Fame

Posted by mrxyz on Monday, 02.8.10 @ 23:41pm


He should of been in YEARS AGO...

Posted by mrxyz on Tuesday, 02.9.10 @ 22:44pm


If I'm not mistaken, Marc Bolan was influenced in his vocal style by Donovan... Both T Rex and Donovan deserve to get in sooner rather than later !!!

Posted by Darrin on Tuesday, 06.1.10 @ 13:46pm


Donovan, mind the pop music, pioneered psychedelic music and termed it! There are CD's called "Psychodelic Tunes" that contain 3 or more early Donovan Tunes, such as: Atlantis, The Trip, Sunny Kensington (sp) Park, Hurdy Gurdy Man, First there is a mountain (one of the first UK folk white artists to use SKA beat in his music, with this song), Rikki Tikki Tavi, et al. If this is so, then how on Earth can the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame turn him down because of "intrest"? Was Mary Wilson more of a contibutor to Rock and Roll than Donovan? He influenced the Beattles, and so many other artists during the 60's, 70's and NOW. He is still recording, doing new music. His last CD, "Beat" was combination of Jazz and Rock...His newest is a combination of talk scat and rock. Listen to "Shaman" to hear new sounds.

So, what really gives with this? Personally, I think that there are members of the inducting committee who either don't like his tunes, politics, or (???) The marijuana bust of 1968???
Please consider this man still tours almost 200 days a year at age 65+...and you still don't think his "contributed anything significant to Rock"? He has never stopped recording in over 40 years.

Posted by MaryM on Sunday, 07.4.10 @ 18:24pm


I thought he was already inducted into the RRHOF.

Posted by Joe-Skee on Tuesday, 09.28.10 @ 11:38am


http://rockhall.com/inductees/nominees/donovan/

The first British folk troubadour who truly captured the imaginations of early Beatles-era fans on both sides of the Atlantic, Donovan Leitch made the transition from a scruffy blue-jeaned busker into a brocaded hippie traveler on Trans Love Airways. As a folkie on the road with Gypsy Dave, Donovan became a Dylanesque visual presence on the BBC’s Ready Steady Go! starting in 1964 and released several classics: “Catch the Wind,” “Colours,” Buffy Ste.-Marie’s “Universal Soldier,” “To Try for the Sun” and more. That changed in 1966, as he came under the production arm of UK hit-maker Mickie Most, and was signed by Clive Davis to Epic Records in the U.S. Donovan ignited the psychedelic revolution virtually single-handedly when the iconic single “Sunshine Superman” was released that summer of ’66 (and the LP of the same name with “Season of the Witch”). His heady fusion of folk, blues and jazz expanded to include Indian music and the TM (transcendental meditation) movement. Donovan was at the center of the Beatles’ fabled pilgrimage to the Maharishi’s ashram in early ’68 (where, it is said, he taught guitar finger-picking techniques to John Lennon and Paul McCartney). Donovan’s final Top 40 hit with Most was “Goo Goo Barabajagal (Love Is Hot)” in the summer ’69, backed by the Jeff Beck Group. Donovan continued to record and tour sporadically during the 70s and 80s. During the 1990s, Rick Rubin (after working with Johnny Cash) produced Donovan’s Sutras. In the six years since Beat Café (2004), we’re learning just how much we miss Donovan.

Posted by Roy on Tuesday, 09.28.10 @ 18:27pm


http://www.digitaldreamdoor.com/pages/best_halloffame_x2.html

FROM THE DIGITAL DREAM DOOR

Donovan

Maybe a better chance at being inducted than would first appear as his unique trippy folk influenced rock style makes him stand out against more mainstream contenders. Continues to have high name recognition thanks to a run of big hits from the 60's that have remained well-known through the years. This is the type of unexpected candidate who often garners surprising support, and though he hasn't yet, he seems sure to at least earn a nomination somewhere along the way at the very least.

Qualifications: 6 - Strong Case To Be Made

Posted by Roy on Tuesday, 09.28.10 @ 18:36pm


FROM THE DIGITAL DREAM DOOR

Donovan

As folk-rock became one of the more popular and intriguing styles of rock 'n' roll in the mid-60's the artists with the most success at it were almost entirely American. The one massive exception was Donovan, whose trippy minstrel persona gave a unique twist to the form and resulted in him scoring a dozen Top 40 hits, many of which remain among the most connected to that era and image of any released. Yet that image which served Donovan so well at the time, making him one of the darlings of the flower-power generation, has resulted in a less appreciated legacy today, despite constantly daring musical experimentation, great melodies and strong vocals. His songs frequently had themes that were later viewed as trite or pretentious and his mellow troubadour style is seen by some not to have the requisite bite of his contemporaries, especially as he rarely delved into social issues that were considered a folk-rock artist's calling. But there were few better song craftsmen than Donovan in the late 60's and even his lesser hits are still widely known and frequently referred to as standards of their time. Because this period in rock, particularly the Anglo-Saxon styles, have received an inordinate amount of critical praise and mainstream focus, especially within the corridors of the Hall Of Fame, it is surprising that this is his first nomination.

Qualifications: 6 - Strong Case To Be Made

Posted by Roy on Tuesday, 09.28.10 @ 19:59pm


oy wrote:
FROM THE DIGITAL DREAM DOOR

Donovan

After reading this though truthful... I find it lack of understand what Donavon is an was...specially "trite or pretentious and his mellow troubadour style is seen by some not to have the requisite bite of his contemporaries, especially as he rarely delved into social issues that were considered a folk-rock artist's calling"


I really find that far from the truth.. With Donavon you had to read between the lines... I could say that about Dylan also.. Most of his songs were and are deep in social issues..
I could really go on ...how he shaped the 60's will into the 70's...
this is no race

Posted by mrxyz on Tuesday, 09.28.10 @ 21:22pm


season of the witch

The Hurdy Gurdy Man

Atlantis

Mellow Yellow

Catch the Wind

Universal Soldier

The Trip

Colours

There is a Mountian

Are just few of this social impac songs Heck you don't even need to read between the lines to get it If you have 1/2 a thought or brain

Posted by mrxyxomg on Tuesday, 09.28.10 @ 21:37pm


Mrxyzomg,

"Universal Soldier" was actually written by Buffy Sainte-Marie.

Posted by Aaron O'Donnell on Tuesday, 09.28.10 @ 23:09pm


"Jennifet Juniper" was written about Jennifer Boyd (Pattie's sister). Donovan had the hots for her while he was at the Maharishi's ashram in India along with The Beatles and others. Jennifer would later marry Mick Fleetwood and much later Ian Wallace of King Crimson. The original lineup of King Crimson performed a cover of Donovan's "Get Thy Bearings" in their live show.

Posted by Aaron O'Donnell on Tuesday, 09.28.10 @ 23:19pm


Mrxyzomg,

"Universal Soldier" was actually written by Buffy Sainte-Marie.

Posted by Aaron O'Donnell on Tuesday, 09.28.10 @ 23:09pm

Intresting to know,, but it does not change the fact that Donovan sang "MANY "social issue songs..

He was the center of folk in his day..

Posted by mrxyz on Wednesday, 09.29.10 @ 10:23am


F****** criminal that Donovan is not in I hope he gets it this year for all of the reasons cited above. I am a black woman and I can see that LL Cool Whip doesnt deserve to be in there! Laura Nyro, and Neil Diamond along with Alice Cooper (Before KISS) deserves to be there. Any fool who knows music can see that Donovan was an influence on the Folk, Psychedelic and Pop movement in music and not only that TONS of his songs have been used for decades in commercials. His catalog alone should make him a shoe in but the nutcases running the RRHOF dont know what they are doing now like they used to. God please let Donovan, Joe Tex, Chuck Wills and Laura Nyro get in there. Where the hell is Chicago? Have they even been nominated before?

Posted by Stephanie on Thursday, 09.30.10 @ 07:15am


This year's Cat Stevens and Randy Newman, who weren't inducted when they were first nominated.

Posted by Roy on Saturday, 10.2.10 @ 06:34am


Donovan performed on Alice Cooper's Billion Dollar Babies.

Posted by Roy on Tuesday, 12.7.10 @ 09:13am


How can it be that a peot/performer with many hits -- many more than some past inductees -- can be by-passed for so long. Still performing and writing, continuing as a champion of peace, love, social, environmental and personal responsibilty and, currently, giving his voice to the expansion of Transcendental Mediation to school children around the world, Donovan embodies the best of what rock has offered the Universal Community. An icon deserving a shrine.

Posted by Tom on Wednesday, 01.26.11 @ 06:32am


"Heck where would even the Beatles have been with out him..????" . . .

more true than you may think . . . it was Donovan who taught John to play folk style guitar, which John then used as the backbone of a whole bunch of Beatles classics . . .

(fyi, Donovan also does a great imitation of John . . .)

Posted by Michael on Tuesday, 02.15.11 @ 14:59pm


The early Donovan would have walked into the hall.........sadly he changed his style to that mellow yellow crap and has been there since. I've heard stroke victims that sound better......

Posted by Jimmy on Tuesday, 03.22.11 @ 08:44am


I wholeheartedly disagree with Jimmy's statement, Donovan has clearly shown enough versatility with folk, psychedelic rock/psychedelic folk, celtic rock and raga rock to dismiss everything past his first two or three albums (his first two albums were obviously folk but his third, Sunshine Superman, clearly showed him going in the direction Jimmy seems to despise.)

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Tuesday, 03.22.11 @ 09:13am


Yes, despise sums it up perfectly... Mickie Most .... You!

Pre 66' Donovan was Awesome!!!! Since then what a let down.

Posted by Jimmy on Tuesday, 03.22.11 @ 09:26am


Actually, "Mellow Yellow" is probably one of least favorite of Donovan's hits, but I do really like "Hurdy Gurdy Man" and that was post-Mellow Yellow.

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Tuesday, 03.22.11 @ 09:42am


one of MY... Gotta learn to proof read!!!

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Tuesday, 03.22.11 @ 09:42am


I love that Superman song. Probably best he ever did.

As for Induction, I'm on the fence about him. Used to be NO, but you guys have moved me to the fence.

Posted by Paul in KY on Tuesday, 03.22.11 @ 13:24pm


Did you know Donovan was name-checked in the Simon & Garfunkel song "Fakin It." After Paul Simon sings:

Prior to this lifetime/I surely was a tailor/Look at me" a female voice says "Good morning, Mr. Leitch. Have you had a busy day?" Leitch is Donovan's last name

Posted by Aaron O'Donnell on Friday, 07.15.11 @ 17:52pm


Congratulations to Donovan for making it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Wednesday, 12.7.11 @ 05:32am


Thanks to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for finally getting it right and putting Donovan in. Donovan changed music. After working with him for many years at peermusic it became obvious to me how much he had influenced a generation on amazing artists.
Congrats to him, his family and peermusic!

Posted by Steven Rosen on Wednesday, 12.7.11 @ 12:54pm


http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/donovan-on-his-acceptance-into-the-hall-of-fame-im-pleased-as-punch-20111207

Donovan on His Acceptance Into the Hall of Fame: 'I'm Pleased as Punch'

'I come from a very ancient, acoustic root. It was very hard to put a finger on me.'

By Andy Greene
December 7, 2011 12:20 PM ET

Donovan fans probably think that the Scottish folk icon should have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame years ago, but we checked in with the Hurdy Gurdy Man himself while he was on vacation in Monaco - and he feels the the timing is just perfect.

Tell me your first reaction to hearing the news.
It's a singular honor, and I'm pleased as punch, as they say in England and Scotland. It's even more special because I'm going to be there with some of my favorite artists and musicians. The Faces are my old chums. We used to hang out. The Chilis, some of them appeared on my Rick Rubin album. Guns N' Roses, who I've come to know in California and did a couple of things with. Of course, the Beastie Boys. A very touching part of this, for me, is the inclusion of the lovely Laura Nyro, who left us too soon, of course. When I was younger, I followed her rise and her extraordinary work. It will be great to see her honored too.

This is a honor that's long past due for you.
Oh, I've been honored from day one. Basically, as a young singer/songwriter/poet arriving at the time that I did – from out of the bohemian world and onto the popular stage – immediately I felt honored. Recognition of one's work comes from the fans first, of course. My goodness, that's been again and again recognized.

Honors and awards are very interesting, and I truly accept them. I have very high regard for what they mean. What they mean is that they're pointing to the work. For me, the work was always to show others, to lead others, to experiment, to break all the rules. I've had lots of recognition, and interestingly enough, within the past year, from the Mojo award that Jimmy Page gave me to the Lifetime Achievement Award that the BBC gave me for the folk world.

But this one is singular. It is worldwide, and it's very interesting because the other ones were quite local. So, no, I don't feel that I should have had it earlier. Also, I understand that the voting committee is composed of musicians and performers and singer/songwriters. That is also wonderful. It is similar to the Academy Awards where actual makers of films give their vote. They are voting on a very special level. It is great to be honored by one's peers. There are so many people to choose from by the voting committee. It is very, very difficult for them, I'm sure.

My particular space has always been quite unique in popular music. I have a background in R&B and hard rock and straight pop, but I never went all the way with any of those genres. I have always just experimented, and I come from a very ancient, acoustic root. It was very hard to put a finger on me. People were always like, "What is he?" To be honored now is very timely, because I feel very much like I've looked at the work I've done, and I've been gathering it all together on my website. And quite a journey it's been - but it's not the end. No, I hope not.

Posted by Roy on Saturday, 12.10.11 @ 07:06am


Randy Newman, Cat Stevens and Jim Croce are next!

Posted by Roy on Thursday, 12.15.11 @ 06:41am



Both Donovan and Graham Gouldman are being inducted into the Songwriters' Hall of Fame next Thursday (June 12). They are birthmates since they were both born on May 10, 1946. (Another artist who was born on May 10, 1946 is Dave Mason)

Posted by Aaron O'Donnell on Friday, 06.6.14 @ 20:14pm


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