the netherlands

TV Tuesday: A Boy Called Donovan 1966

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Donovan IMDb & Amazon Image
Photo Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Fifty-five years ago, today, the documentary A Boy Called Donovan aired on ITV in the UK.

From The TV Database:

A rare documentary by Scottish folk singer Donovan P. Leitch. Insights into his life with rare recordings from the beginning of his career as a folk singer. Portions of the film was [sic] filmed on St. Ives, Cornwall on Porthminster [B]each in 1966.

From Donovan-Unofficial:

It shows Donovan’s life before becoming famous, when he was busking and living in Saint Ives with his friend Gypsy Dave. And, then, when the fame came in with Ready Steady Go! Donovan and his friends are seen smoking marihuana [sic], very shocking for its time. This warned the police to keep him under surveillance and ended up arresting him for drugs [sic] possession in mid-1966.

From Rewind The Fifies:

Born Donovan Philips Leitch in Glasgow, Scotland on May 10, 1946, Donovan was part of the British folk scene and the British music invasion in America. His style was distinctive and incredibly eclectic. As a child, Donovan was vaccinated with the polio vaccine and contracted polio. Though the vaccine was later made safer with the Sabin oral vaccine, the disease and treatment left Donovan with a limp. The public never knew this.

Donovan Wikipedia & Wikimedia Image Two
1965
Photo Credit: Netherlands National Archives
Wikipedia & Wikimedia

He established close relationships with leading musicians of the time including Joan Baez, Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones and, the Beatles. He taught John Lennon and Paul McCartney […] his finger-picking guitar technique. On his first trip to the USA, he performed in New York with Pete Seeger, […] appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, Hullabaloo, and Shindig! He gained critical acclaim and acceptance when he performed at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965.

[E]arly on, he was compared with Bob Dylan […]. By 1966, [he] had become one of the first British pop musicians to adopt the flower power image. His music contained many drug references during this time. His recordings were also the first pop music to contain the sound of the sitar, later copied by other famed music groups. [He] was the first high-profile British pop star to be arrested for possession of marijuana. Though Donovan’s drug use appeared to have been moderate, and his drug use was not on the scale of others such as Jimi Hendrix and Brian Jones who later died from overdoses, his use of LSD is referred to in many of his lyrics. Public attention was drawn to his drug use by [the] TV documentary, A Boy Called Donovan, which was broadcast during that year and newspaper coverage of the drug scene in England.

The Hurdy Gurdy Man of the Psychedelic Sixties: Donovan Leitch
Felice Prager

Tune Tuesday: Bruce Springsteen 1984

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Bruce Springsteen Image One
Photo Credit: dailymail.co.uk & YouTube

Thirty-five years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock chart was Dancing in the Dark from the album Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen. The music video was directed by Brian De Palma (Carrie/Scarface/The Untouchables) and it introduced the world to a, then, unknown Courteney Cox. This was his biggest hit single and the album is, to this day, his best selling. The song also went to #1 with Cash Box, in Canada, with Radio & Records and, went on to #1 in 1985 in Belgium & The Netherlands. Notable cover version artists are Kermit the Frog, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Pete Yorn.

Bruce Springsteen Image Two
Image Credit: wikipedia.org

Awards
Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male Grammys
Grammy Hall of Fame Grammys
Pop/Rock Single American Music Awards
International Album of the Year Juno Awards
Best Stage Performance MTV Video Music Awards

Nominations
Grammys: 2
American Music Awards: 2
Brit Awards: 1
MTV Video Music Awards: 1

Lyrics
[Verse 1]
I get up in the evening
And I ain’t got nothing to say
I come home in the morning
I go to bed feeling the same way
I ain’t nothing but tired
Man, I’m just tired and bored with myself
Hey there baby, I could use just a little help

[Chorus 1]
You can’t start a fire
You can’t start a fire without a spark
This gun’s for hire
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark

[Verse 2]
Message keeps getting clearer
Radio’s on and I’m moving ’round the place
I check my look in the mirror
I wanna change my clothes, my hair, my face
Man, I ain’t getting nowhere
I’m just living in a dump like this
There’s something happening somewhere
Baby, I just know that there is

[Chorus 1]
You can’t start a fire
You can’t start a fire without a spark
This gun’s for hire
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark

[Bridge]
You sit around getting older
There’s a joke here somewhere and it’s on me
I’ll shake this world off my shoulders
Come on, baby, the laugh’s on me

[Verse 3]
Stay on the streets of this town
And they’ll be carving you up all right
They say you gotta stay hungry
Hey, baby, I’m just about starving tonight
I’m dying for some action
I’m sick of sitting ’round here trying to write this book
I need a love reaction
Come on now, baby, gimme just one look

[Chorus 2]
You can’t start a fire
Sitting ’round crying over a broken heart
This gun’s for hire
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark
You can’t start a fire
Worrying about your little world falling apart
This gun’s for hire
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark

[Outro]
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark
Hey, baby