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Donovan Biography

DONOVAN was born Donovan Philips Leitch in, Glasgow, Scotland as part of the post-war baby-boom in 1946.  On April 14, 2012, he will take his rightful place among his peers when he will be inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is a legendary  Poet , folk-rock  & pop-troubadour that remains an important part of popular culture since his career began in 1965. He truly is one of the preeminent members of British Rock Royalty.

Donovan’s pioneering  work  in the  1960’s   transformed the  musical landscape from folk to psychedelic to pop and back again . The  press release  from The  Rock  &  Roll  Hall  of  Fame  nomination of  2010 reads “Donovan  singlehandedly  initiated  the  psychedelic  revolution  with  his  album  Sunshine  Superman.”  This  groundbreaking  album was  the  the  herald  of  things  to  come , one  year  before  The  Beatles  Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Grateful Dead’s debut and Jefferson Airplane’s Surrealistic Pillow. 

Donovan’s repertoire of remarkable and extraordinary masterpieces remains as vibrant a collection of material today, and continues to serve as a soundtrack to our lives. Through his knowledge of the divine art of meditation, he has been able to take his music to a level that easily unites the inner world and the outer world leaving a musical imprint on our DNA.

Early songs like Catch The Wind, Colours and his version of Buffy Sainte Marie’s protest anthem Universal Soldier, helped launch his career. But, from 1966 through 1969,  Donovan scored a string of eleven Top 40 hits in a row, including Mellow Yellow, Sunshine Superman, Epistle To Dippy, There Is A Mountain, Wear Your Love Like Heaven, Hurdy Gurdy Man, Jennifer Juniper, Lalena, Atlantis, and Riki Tiki Tavi.

He was one of the few artists to collaborate on songs with the Beatles, contributing lyrics to the song Yellow Submarine. Donovan was also invited by The Beatles to join them at Abbey Road Studios for the final orchestral overdub session for the Lennon-McCartney collaboration A Day in the Life, the grand finale of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

In 1968, Donovan in body, mind and spirit joined alongside The Beatles on their famous trip to India.  At that time, Donovan not only influenced the guitar styles of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, he helped George Harrison develop his songwriting, and studied Transcendental Meditation alongside the band. Because of this, Donovan, along with The Beatles, is known for being chiefly responsible in bringing Transcendental Meditation and Eastern Mysticism into Western Culture. To this day, Donovan and his wife Linda work closely with American filmmaker, television director, visual artist, David  Lynch, heading up the musical wing of his organization, the David Lynch Foundation, to bring meditation to millions of students worldwide. 

Throughout his brilliant career, Donovan has shared the stage with many musical legends, including folk greats Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, and Bob Dylan, as well as rock guitarists Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck. In 2009, Donovan was awarded a distinguished  medal  by   The  French  Minister  of  Culture  Christine Albanel, making him an “Officer  of  the  Order  of  Arts  &  Lettres  of  the  French  Republic,”  in recognition of his contribution to poetry and songwriting. Recently, Donovan’s success has continued with his album Beat Café and a new CD box set “Try for the Sun: The Journey of Donovan” (Sony). His autobiography The Hurdy Gurdy Man (Arrow Books) was published in 2005 by St. Martin’s Press New York and Century UK.  His  Documentary  Sunshine  Superman, The Journey  of  Donovan , was  released by  SPV   in  2008.

Following his induction into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ,Donovan will return to the concert stage with a series of concerts along with the release of a new CD on Sony/Legacy.

For further information, you can visit his website


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