31 May 2005

hurdy gurdy man : donovan

click here to listen
listening time: 3m 17s

here's something that randomly played in my ipod while i was getting a grilled veggie sandwich for lunch. it's a 1968 classic from the british folk legend donovan. the song would make for a good soundtrack for a pre-apocalyptic dream. most recently though it was used in the excellent but highly disturbing film l.i.e., which is about child molestation. brian cox turns in an outstanding performance, and the kid should be making more movies, but he doesn't seem to be. a history of the song, from wikipedia:
Released in May 1968, his next single was the swirling psychedelic nugget 'The Hurdy Gurdy Man', a song he originally intended for his old friend and guitar mentor Mac MacLeod who had a heavy rock band called Hurdy Gurdy. Donovan had also considered giving it to Jimi Hendrix, but when Mickie Most heard it, he convinced Donovan that the song was a sure-fire single and that he should record it himself. Donovan tried to get Hendrix to play on the recording, but he was on tour and unavailable for the session. In his place they brought in a brilliant young British guitarist, Allan Holdsworth. Jimmy Page also played on the session, and it is believed that John Paul Jones may have played bass with (possibly) John Bonham on drums. If so, this would make it the first recorded performance featuring the three future members of Led Zeppelin. Both Jones and Page have stated that the idea of Led Zeppelin was formed during the 'Hurdy Gurdy Man' sessions.
The heavier sound of 'Hurdy Gurdy Man' was a deliberate attempt by Most and Donovan to try and reach a wider audience in the United States, where the new hard rock sounds of groups like Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience were having a major impact. Most's commercial instincts were spot-on, and the song became one of Donovan's biggest hits, going Top 5 in both the UK and the USA and Top 10 in Australia.
and about the hurdy gurdy: it's a musical instrument.

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