I watched the movie Don’t Look Back last night which features a lot of Dylan and his friends being mean to Donovan. And I realized I don’t own any Donovan on cd, and most of my Donovan collection was on tape, which I’ve since given or thrown away, and I couldn’t even rememeber the melody of the song, “Colours.” I kept singing it to the tune of “Blowing in the Wind.”
So as I was playing Donovan’s greatest hits lp while I was getting ready for work, it struck me that I used to be a really huge Donovan fan. He was right up there with the Beatles, the Smiths and the Dead Milkmen: the trinity of “all I listened to in high school” as my revisionist history tells it. So now I have to add Donovan to that list. The Beatles, the Smiths, the Dead Milkmen and Donovan were all I listened to in high school. And while that’s not factually accurate, I think it goes a long way to describe me then (in musical terms at least, or as Nick Hornby writes: it’s not what you’re like that matters, but what you like). The added Donovan factor reveals the dippier side of me that the Smiths (and to some extent, the Beatles) only hint at. I wasn’t into Dylan; I was into Donovan. That statement’s not really fair to Donovan, because the Dylan copying ended very early in his career. But still. He was/is considered a poser by a lot of the rockcrit elite, and I don’t care. I guess I do care because I would argue about it over beers with anyone who would accept the challenge. This fairly recent punk rock attitude/faux Lester Bangs machismo side of me might seem to be in direct contrast to the Donovan-loving, lovebeads-wearing goof I was in high school, but it’s not really. Or maybe it is.
Either way: Hail Atlantis!