John Sebastian Biography




The J-Band 

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It was during this early era that Sebastian returned from summer camp to find an invitation to join The Even Dozen Jug Band – which also included Maria Muldaur and Steve Katz of Blood Sweat and Tears. After a short but highly visable year, the band broke up.  Sebastian later joined The Mugwumps (with Zal Yanovsky, Cass Elliot and Denny Dougherty of The Mamas and the Papas), and after that ran its course, he and Yanovsky joined forces to create an electrified version of this rich roots music.

With the addition of Steve Boone on bass and Joe Butler on drums, "The Lovin' Spoonful" began learning its craft in the nearby clubs of Greenwich Village.  Remembers Sebastian, "The cool thing was that the really hip people never heard how bad we were... we got to practice on the busloads of tourists looking for "beatniks in the Village." One night, Phil Spector came down to hear them. "Even though he wasn’t interested in recording us, the very fact that he came down leaked out and the place became a mob scene, night after night."

The group’s name was suggested by Fritz Richmond, a washtub virtuoso who would record with John 30 years later on his CD "I WANT MY ROOTS."  Sebastian recalls, "I told him our sound was kind of like Chuck Berry meets Mississippi John Hurt and he immediately chimed in, "Why not call it the Lovin’ Spoonful?’ So, we were named after a John Hurt song."

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