Monday, November 20 , 2017, 12:02 am | Fair 49º

 
 
 
 

Paul Mann: Donovan Stops in L.A. for Rare U.S. Performance

With little fanfare, the reclusive Scottish pop legend Donovan announced three rare U.S. concerts in Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C., at the end of 2012. The concerts were a tribute to his recent introduction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Los Angeles concert took place at the unassuming El Rey Theatre. The small theater has hosted some of the most unique and interesting concerts that the city has seen in recent years. Some examples include Jack White playing with Wanda Jackson, Ben Folds performing with Joe Jackson and William Shatner, and an amazing show by Gary Numan performing his debut album, back to back with his latest offering.

It was in this spirited atmosphere that Donovan performed two sets in front of an adoring crowd.

The mercurial 66-year-old troubadour must be living a sedentary life back in the British Isles, as he looked much like he did when he first appeared to an American audience on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1965. The youthful-looking singer sported the same long-haired hippie persona, but perhaps with better dental work than in his younger years.

The first set featured Donovan as most of his fans know him — singing solo and playing acoustic guitar. As he strummed through 90 minutes of some of his biggest hit songs, the years seemed to melt away for the hypnotic performer and his mostly elderly audience.

The second set featured Donovan’s biggest rock hits, such as “Season of the Witch” and “Atlantis.” He was joined by a capable but uninspiring backing rock band for this part of the show. It was nice to hear electric versions of the songs, but one wishes that the immensely talented singer-songwriter could have a veteran rock group backing up his classic tunes. Oh, let’s just imagine a band like Them Crooked Vultures backing up Donovan for a set of his classic rock tunes. (Guys from the band, are you listening? I’m just sayin’.)

They may still have their chance to play with this master songwriter-guitar player, who taught John Lennon one of his finger-picking styles. Plans are in the works to coax the normally reticent singer into a larger world tour in 2013.

No matter who ends up backing him, it may be a rare opportunity for fans of the music to see the “Sunshine Superman” sing his dreamy hits one last time. If he gives a performance anything like the three-hour show at the El Rey Theatre, his fans should be enraptured.

— L. Paul Mann is a Noozhawk contributing writer. The opinions expressed are his own.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >