Donovan Sessiongraphy

Compiled with:
Serge Mironneau and Ade Macrow.



1964

Location: The Cock, St. Albans, U.K.
Type: live

Donovan makes his live debut.

1964

Location: Southend, Sussex, U.K.
Type: live

Donovan supports Cops And Robbers and Peter Eden and Geoff Stephens approach him after the gig and ask him if he wants to record a demo.

January 1965

Location: Peer Music, Denmark Street, London, England
Type: first demo recording
Producer: Terry Kennedy

This was recorded in the basement at Southern Music studios, as it was called then, where artists taped songs for publishing demos. The complete tape is supposed to be a 10-track demo. The two tracks were unreleased until Troubadour [Epic/Legacy E2K 46986]. The notes for Troubadour say the demo was recorded in 1964, but there was no mention of Donovan in the music press until the start of 1965.

6th February 1965

Location: U.K.
Type: Ready, Steady, Go! - U.K. TV appearance

Donovan's first (of three) consecutive appearances on the popular music TV show. He performed one song live and then was interviewed by Cathy MacGowan.

February 1965

Location: Peer Music, Denmark Street, London, England
Type: studio
Producers: Terry Kennedy, Peter Eden and Geoff Stephens

The Troubadour notes list the London Philharmonic playing on track 3 - Catch The Wind but then they mastered the album version, without strings, instead. Catch The Wind is supposed to have been recorded in 1964, but this time at least they get the producers right.

March 1965

Location: Peer Music, Denmark Street, London, England
Type: studio
Producers: Terry Kennedy, Peter Eden and Geoff Stephens

Troubadour again claims that Colours was recorded in 1964 - this is obviously in error. Some sources list Every Man Has His Chain as part of the original Peer Music demo. On the recording, Donovan claims the song is called Has Every Man His Chain and refers to Brian in the intro. Is he talking to Brian Locking?

The two versions of Colours are taken from the same take. I reckon the second lost the harmonica over the bridge when it was remixed for Fairytale.

11th April 1965

Location: Wembley's Empire Pool, London, U.K.
Type: Live at The NME Pollwinners Concert

Donovan played a short set amongst several other acts. Read an account of the entire show from the scrapbook.

Source: New Musical Express - April 1965 and Uncut magazine; Issue 10 - March 1998, p. 18

8-10th May 1965

Location: Savoy Hotel, The Strand, London, WC2
Type: informal jam
`Producer': D.A. Pennebaker

Donovan performs his song in front of Bob Dylan and various hangers-on. Dylan responds by playing Donovan, It's All Over Now, Baby Blue, just to make the pecking order clear. This performance can be seen as part of D.A. Pennebaker's Don't Look Back documentary, shot in grainy b&w.

June 1965

Location: Peer Music, Denmark Street, London, England
Type: studio
Producers: Peter Eden, Geoff Stephens and Terry Kennedy

Troubadour again claims that Universal Soldier was recorded in 1964 - this is obviously in error. The two versions of Ballad Of A Crystal Man are different takes. The second version is longer because of the addition of the `I pray your dreams' verse. It is possible that this album version was recorded in early September, with most of the other Fairytale songs.

June/July 1965

Location: Various, U.S.
Type: TV

Donovan appears on several TV shows in America to promote Catch The Wind. The ones he names in the Goldmine interview are Hullabaloo, Shindig and Hollywood Palace.

25th July 1965

Location: Newport, Rhode Island, U.S.
Type: Live at The Newport Folk Festival

All three songs can be seen as a b&w video clip on the Donovan's Friends video, Donovan Volume 2: Old, Live & Rare. Colours is a beautiful duet and this performance alone is available on the 1993 Joan Baez box set Rare, Live & Classic [Vanguard 125/27-2]. Presumably the entire set was recorded.

Early September 1965

Location: Peer Music, Denmark Street, London, England
Type: studio
Producers: Peter Eden, Geoff Stephens and Terry Kennedy

Song With Your Name is mentioned on the back of the Fairytale cover and most claim it is an out-take from the sessions.

Late September 1965

Location: Peer Music, Denmark Street, London, England
Type: studio
Producers: Peter Eden, Geoff Stephens and Terry Kennedy

30th September 1965

Location: U.S.
Type: Shindig - U.S. TV appearance

October 1965

Location: Peer Music, Denmark Street, London, England
Type: studio
Producers: Peter Eden, Geoff Stephens and Terry Kennedy

6th November 1965

Location: The Hilton, New York, U.S.
Type: informal jam

"In the midst of the biggest power blackout ever known, Bob Dylan, Donovan and Robbie Robertson of The Band participate in a candlelit jam in Brian Jones's suite at the New York Hilton."

Source: MOJO magazine; Issue 24 - November 1995, p. 49

November 1965

Location: Various, U.S.
Type: live

Donovan tours America this month.

January 1966

Location: Abbey Road Studios, London, England
Type: studio
Producer: Mickie Most

The unedited (second) version of Sunshine Superman appeared on Donovan's Greatest Hits for the first time, and in true stereo too. I believe shortly before the release of that album, Most and Donovan went back into the studio to record the new versions of Catch The Wind and Colours and remix several of the original multitrack tapes to stereo.

February 1966

Location: Abbey Road Studios, London, England ?
Type: studio
Producer: Mickie Most

February 1966

Location: Carnegie Hall, New York, U.S.
Type: live

According to the Goldmine interview, the hall was two-thirds empty.

May 1966

Location: Columbia Recording Studios, Hollywood, California, U.S.
Type: studio
Producer: Mickie Most

The true stereo version of Season Of The Witch appeared on Donovan's Greatest Hits for the first time. The songs denoted with # could be recorded in Abbey Road Studios in May, along with Museum.

1966 ?

Location: New York, U.S. ?
Type: Rainbow Quest - U.S. TV appearance

Rainbow Quest was a weekly show, hosted by Pete Seeger. Donovan says that My Sweet Joy was written about him by a girl who heard him on the radio. Colours has an extra verse, not included in the studio version that is about Derroll Adams. Donovan mentions having written the song for Adams. All the performances are first rate, with Guinevere being the standout. They also talk with Pete and Reverend Gary Davis and the Reverend asks to try the sitar (he does!) The show is very dated but also utterly charming.

A tape of the complete show is available in America, called Rainbow Quest With Pete Seeger [cat. unknown]. Three King Fishers can be found on the bootleg Old Fashioned Picture Book. Finally, all four songs can be seen as a b&w video clip on the Donovan's Friends video, Donovan Volume 3.

May 1966

Location: Abbey Road Studios, London, England
Type: studio
Producer: Mickie Most

26th May 1966

Location: Abbey Road Studios ?, London, U.K.
Type: Beatles recording session
Producer: George Martin

Donovan contributes whoops and yells to the backing track of Yellow Submarine.

September 1966

Location: Abbey Road Studios ?, London, England
Type: studio
Producer: Mickie Most

October 1966

Location: Abbey Road Studios ?, London, England
Type: studio
Producer: Mickie Most

December 1966

Location: Abbey Road Studios ?, London, England
Type: studio
Producer: Mickie Most

January 1967

Location: The Royal Albert Hall, London, U.K.
Type: live

Donovan was accompanied by a ballerina, who danced during a 12-minute rendition of Golden Apples. This is presumably the title the reviewer guessed for Legend Of A Girl Child Linda as this song had not been released in the U.K. at the time.

Friday 10th February 1967

Location: Studio One, EMI Studios, London, U.K.
Type: Beatles recording session
Producer: George Martin

Donovan attended the session for the recording of the orchestral part of The Beatles classic A Day In The Life. The session lasts from 8pm until 1am. Also present are Pattie Boyd-Harrison, Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull, Keith Richards, Mike Nesmith, Simon and Marijke of designer group The Fool, Brian Jones and Graham Nash. The session was filmed and then edited into a promo film, where Donovan can be seen several times, albeit extremely briefly.

The colour video clip can be seen as part of The Beatles' Anthology release. It was screened in the U.K. as part four and currently available on video in the U.K. and U.S. as far as I know.

It is possible Donovan stayed on with the others after the orchestra had left when The Beatles and some unspecified friends attempted to hum the final note that initially would close A Day In The Life, until later when the piano chord ending was recorded and chosen instead. But apart from that, he does not play on the recording.

Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn, p. 244
and MOJO magazine; Issue 24 - November 1995, p. 88

March 1967

Location: CBS Studios, London, England
Type: studio
Producer: Mickie Most

1967 ?

Location: France ?
Type: Live on French TV ?

These six songs can be found on the bootleg Old Fashioned Picture Book.

Monday 24th April 1967

Location: Saville Theatre, London W1, U.K.
Type: live

I don't know what the setlist for the concert was. Jimi Hendrix was in the audience, by the way.

Source: MOJO magazine; Issue 50 - January 1998, p. 84

July 1967

Location: CBS Studios ?, London, England
Type: studio
Producer: Mickie Most

The true stereo version of There Is A Mountain appeared on Donovan's Greatest Hits for the first time.

Sunday 13th August 1967

Location: Windsor, U.K.
Type: Live at The 7th National Jazz & Blues Festival

Donovan played the third (and last) day of the festival (now renamed the National Jazz, Pop, Ballads & Blues Festival).

"Donovan was the ideal choice for the Sunday people. As Stevie Windwood, Eric Clapton and Andrew Oldham watched, he trilled songs for the flower generation, ditties about love, magpies, ravens, the beauty of September, the magic of Camelot. Without his usual beads, he confessed: “I'm not really flower power – I live in Hatfield with my father.” Nearby, Winwood explained that he'd employed workmen to build a stage at his country cottage but they'd disappeared."

Source: MOJO magazine; Issue 45 - August 1997, p. 28

17-18th September 1967

Location: CBS Studios ?, London, England
Type: studio
Producer: Mickie Most

22nd September 1967

Location: Cow Palace, San Francisco, U.S.
Type: live

This was the opening date of Donovan's 30-day tour of the States.

Source: MOJO magazine; Issue 46 - September 1997, p. 33

Friday 23rd September 1967

Location: The Anaheim Convention Center, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Type: live
Producer: Mickie Most

This concert was released as Donovan In Concert. I don't know why the order here is different to the track listing. If Serge had a copy of the unedited tape then maybe he changed the listing to correspond to that. There appears to be at least two different edits of the concert, the differences being very slight. Listen to the extra note at the start of Preachin' Love on the CD that isn't on the original LP. Also, the "you're beautiful Donovan" call is ommited from the start of Widow With Shawl (A Portrait) on the CD. I remember a conversion with Ade Macrow who said he had some out-takes from the concert, dubbed from an acetate. Don't know what they are, though.

September? 1967

Location: Philharmonic Hall, Lincoln Center, New York, U.S.
Type: live

The Philharmonic Hall is now called The Avery Fisher Hall. There's a bit of confusion here - in the intro to Donovan In Concert, the announcer asks if anybody saw Donovan's concert at The Hollywood Bowl. According to the Goldmine interview, the order is Philharmonic Hall, then Hollywood Bowl, but if these dates are correct then this could not have happened. Can anyone clear this up?

September 1967

Location: CBS Studios, London, England Type: studio
Producer: Mickie Most

October 1967

Location: CBS Studios, London, England Type: studio
Producer: Mickie Most/Donovan ?

November 1967

Location: CBS Studios ?, London, England
Type: studio
Producer: Mickie Most

According to the Troubadour booklet, Jennifer Juniper was recorded in September 1968, but it was released as a single in March 1968!

16th January 1968 ?

Location: BBC Studios, London ?
Type: Top Gear radio session

Top Gear was a radio programme hosted by the very cool DJ, John Peel. I'm not sure if the date given is the recording or transmission date. These two songs can be found on the bootleg Old Fashioned Picture Book.

February 1968

Location: India ?
Type: informal jam
Producer: ?

On the 16th February, George and Patti Harrison, plus John and Cynthia Lennon, had travelled to India to visit the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. On the 19th, Paul McCartney, Jane Asher, and Donovan joined them. Mia Farrow and Mike Love were also there.

Source: MOJO magazine; Issue 51 - February 1998, p. 28-29

3rd April 1968

Location: CBS Studios ?, London, England
Type: studio
Producer: Mickie Most

May 1968

Location: Olympic Studios, London, England
Type: studio
Producer: Mickie Most

11th June 1968 ?

Location: BBC Studios, London ?
Type: Top Gear radio session

I'm not sure if the date given is the recording or transmission date. These two songs can be found on the bootleg Old Fashioned Picture Book.

6-7th July 1968

Location: Woburn ?, U.K.
Type: Live at The Woburn Music Festival

The headliners at this festival include Pentangle, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Fleetwood Mac plus John Mayall and The Bluesbreakers. Supporting acts include Al Stewart, Family, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Taste, Duster Bennett and Tim Rose.

In the magazine, there's a little reproduction of the poster but you can't read the band names apart from the headliners.

Source: MOJO magazine; Issue 56 - July 1998, p. 34

September 1968

Location: Olympic Studios, London, England ?
Type: studio
Producer: Mickie Most

28th September 1968

Location: The Hollywood Bowl, U.S.
Type: live
Producer: ?

A billboard advertising the gig was put up on Sunset Boulevard and Donovan and Sid Maurer painted bits on it whilst fans watched.

Autumn 1968 ?

Location: Abbey Road Studios, London, U.K. ?
Type: informal jam
Producer: ?

During sessions for The Beatles eponymous double album, Paul McCartney and Donovan got together for this knockabout, which was probably recorded after a Beatles session. These songs can be found on the No. 3 Abbey Road N.W. 8 bootleg.

November 1968

Location: American Recording Company, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Type: studio
Producer: Mickie Most

December 1968

Location: De Lane Lea Sound Studios, 129 Kingsway, London WC2
Type: studio
Producer: Donovan Leitch ?

My theory is that Donovan recorded these songs as a demo for Mary Hopkin so maybe the dates are a little wrong.

November 1968-January 1969

Location: U.K. ?
Type: Mary Hopkin recording session
Producer: Paul McCartney ?

Sessions for Mary Hopkin's Post Card album brought together Donovan and Paul McCartney again because Paul was producing and Donovan had wrote some of the songs for the album.

March 1969

Location: Olympic Studios ?, London, England
Type: studio
Producer: Mickie Most

May 1969

Location: Olympic Studios ?, London, England
Type: studio
Producer: Mickie Most

Apparently there's an instrumental version of The Stromberg Twins kicking around somewhere. I don't know if they finished the recording but the lyrics are said to be about a carburettor.

1969

Location: Morgan Studios ?, London, England
Type: studio
Producer: Donovan Leitch

14th October 1969

Location: Morgan Studios, London, England
Type: studio
Producer: Donovan Leitch

This demo version was unreleased until Troubadour in 1992.

Spring 1970 ?

Location: Morgan Studios, London, England
Type: studio
Producer: Donovan Leitch

27th June 1970

Location: Shepton Mallet, U.K.
Type: Live at The Bath Festival Of Blues And Progressive Music

Donovan played the second (and last) day of the festival.

"On the first day, it provided employment to the likes of Formerly Fat Harry, Keef Hartley, Maynard Ferguson's Big Band, Fairport Convention, Colosseum, It's A Beautiful Day, Steppenwolf, Johnny Winter and Pink Floyd. On the Sunday, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers did the early-morning shift, followed by Canned Heat, Joe Jammer (who fitted in everywhere when hands failed to show on time), Donovan, Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention, Santana, Flock, Led Zeppelin, Hot Tuna, a Fish-less Country Joe, Jefferson Airplane, whose act was curtailed by rain, The Byrds, who played an acoustic set in order not to chance electrocution, and Dr John.

The Moody Blues should have played but were prevented from doing so by the downpour, which narked them somewhat as they'd paid �0 for a helicopter to get to the site on time. According to reliable reports, the event was documented on 35mm film, though no one has ever seen the results apart from a Fairport snippet which seemingly formed part of an educational programme in the early '70s.

Among the 200,000 visitors to the event was a certain Michael Eavis, who crawled through a hedge to gain entrance and became so impressed by the vibes that he immediately headed back to Pilton, near Glastonbury, to launch a festival of his own, one that starred Marc Bolan, cost just �per ticket and had the added incentive of all the free milk you could drink! Meanwhile, Bath Festival promoter Fred Bannister made upwards of �0,000 on his little shindig."

Source: MOJO magazine; Issue 52 - March 1998, p. 119

Sunday 30th August 1970

Location: Isle Of Wight, U.K. ???
Type: Live at The Isle Of Wight Festival

This performance is available on the 1995 VA compilation Message To Love: The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970 [Essential Records EDF CD 327]. Presumably the entire set was recorded.

1970 ?

Location: Morgan Studios, London, England ?
Type: studio
Producers: Mickie Most and Donovan

This appeared on H.M.S. Donovan for some bizarre reason! Because it is produced by Most and Donovan, the popular theory is that it is an out-take from a previous session.

1970 ?

Location: Morgan Studios, London, England ?
Type: studio
Producer:

We've got a problem when it comes to H.M.S. Donovan. It appears to be culled from a variety of different sources. For example, Lord Of The Reedy River and The Voyage Of The Moon were recorded at the end of 1968. Homesickness is painfully out of place on H.M.S. Donovan. Mr. Wind appeared as a B-side to the U.K. single of Celia Of The Seals which came out at the end of 1970. It is possible that some of the songs that have been previously showcased at the Hopkin demo and the John Peel sessions, were recorded around those dates, and not in one big group at the start of 1971.

1971

Location: Morgan Studios, London, England ?
Type: studio
Producer:

1972

Location: Morgan Studios, London, England
Type: studio
Producers: Donovan Leitch and Michael Peter Hayes (a.k.a. Mickie Most)

I Like You is obviously not recorded in 1970, as stated in the Troubadour liner notes.

1972 ?

Location: U.S. ?
Type: Alice Cooper recording session
Producer: Bob Ezrin

Donovan and Alice Cooper take it in turn to sing. He also co-wrote the song. How the hell did these two get together?

25th-26th March 1973

Location: Osaka, Japan
Type: live
Producer: ?

These live selections were released in Japan only as Live In Japan: Spring Tour 1973.

1st September - 13th October 1973

Location: Morgan Studios, London, England
Type: studio
Producer: Andrew Oldham (and Donovan ?)

September 1974 ?

Location: Quadraphonic Studios, Nashville, Tennessee ?
Type: studio
Producer: Norbert Putnam ?

This one off single was released in September 1974, so it must have been recorded round about at this time.

September and October 1974

Location: Quadraphonic Studios, Nashville, Tennessee
Type: studio
Producer: Norbert Putnam

13th September 1974

Location: Sound Factory West
Type: studio
Producer: Donovan Leitch

These demos were unreleased until Troubadour in 1992.

August 1975

Location: Studios A, C & D at A&M Studios, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Type: studio
Producer: Donovan Leitch

August 1975-March 1976

Location: Studios A, C & D at A&M Studios, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Type: studio
Producer: Donovan Leitch

1977 ?

Location: ?
Type: studio
Producer: Mickie Most

1980 ?

Location: ?
Type: studio
Producer: ?

1981 ?

Location: ?
Type: studio
Producer: ?

May 1981 ?

Location: London ?, U.K. ?
Type: The Crystal Gayle Show ? - U.K. TV (BBC 2)

All three songs can be seen as a colour video clip on the Donovan's Friends video, Donovan Volume 2: Old, Live & Rare. I don't know if the date given is the recording or transmission date.

1981 ?

Location: ?
Type: Kate Bush recording session
Producer: ?

August 1981 ?

Location: Cambridge, U.K. ?
Type: Live at The Cambridge Folk Festival

All four songs can be seen as a colour video clip on the Donovan's Friends video, Donovan Volume 2: Old, Live & Rare.

1982-1986

Location: various
Type: live
Producer: ?

These live selections were recorded during various world tours. They were released as the set, Donovan Rising a.k.a. The Classics Live in 1990.

1983 ?

Location: ?
Type: studio
Producer: ?

1985 ?

Location: ?
Type: Hardin/Starkey recording session
Producer: ?

1990 ?

Location: ?
Type: studio
Producer: ?

Early 1990s

Location: various
Type: live

Donovan supported The Happy Mondays in their early 90s tours.

1993 ?

Location: ?
Type: studio Producer: Bob Rose

Released as the album One Night In Time on Japanese cassette only?

1995-1996 ?

Location: U.S. ?
Type: studio
Producer: Rick Rubin

Everlasting Sea was originally a Hurdy Gurdy Man out-take. The song Universe Am I dates from 1972 (but not the recording). Donovan previewed The Hotel Juliet (another song from 1968) on a radio documentary, maybe meaning for it to be on Sutras but it didn't make the final listing.

Monday 14th ? October 1996

Location: Dingwalls, Camden, London, U.K. ???
Type: live

I was there and I have the setlist somewhere. Beth Orton was a superb choice for support and the concert was definitely taped. Sutras had just been released that day and the atmosphere was magical.

Wednesday 19th February 1997

Location: Shepherds Bush Empire, Shepherds Bush Green, London, U.K. ???
Type: live

I was there and I have the setlist somewhere. Tickets cost � and I nearly got thrown out for taping the concert on my dictophone. Rock and roll, eh?