Guardian UK: Donovan: bring me sunshine … again

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

If it wasn't for a fallout with his record label, Donovan could have changed the face of pop with Sunshine Superman. So why is he revisiting the album after 40 years? Sitting in the back garden of a west London coffee house, Donovan offers an apologetic smile. He has just completed an uninterrupted five-minute monologue, which variously touched on the social radicalism of Robert Burns, the US civil rights movement, transcendental meditation (44 years after visiting the Maharishi with the Beatles, he remains a devotee), the US inventor and author Buckminster Fuller, the green movement, his long-term friend Gypsy Dave, the second world war, yoga, Welwyn Garden City, Radio Luxembourg and something he refers to as the bohemian manifesto, which apparently "was the full instructions to save this foolish little planet from the insanity of humankind". It's all interesting, if occasionally a little hard to follow and, it has to be said, only very tenuously connected to the question I had asked, which, as far as I can remember, was about his musical influences in the mid-60s. "It's too much, I know," he shrugs. "You're going to have to do some editing.

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