Monday, March 19, 2007

Hurdy Gurdy Man

Song: Hurdy Gurdy Man
Artist: Donovan
Album: Donovan's Greatest Hits

Over the weekend I saw David Fincher’s “Zodiac,” a disturbing, beautifully shot thriller about the killer that stalked the San Francisco area in the late 60’s and early 70’s. The film is opened and closed with Donovan’s “Hurdy Gurdy Man” which has been in my head since. The vibe of the song is absolutely perfect for the film, not to mention time period appropriate.

Donovan is best known for his songs “Mellow Yellow” and “Season of the Witch” but was a huge force in the 60’s folk music scene and was considered “Britain’s answer to Bob Dylan,” even though he was Scottish. I think of him as the original freak-folker, and Devandra Banhart doesn’t make sense without him. While he was part of the psychedelic flower-power movement, I find a lot of his music a little creepy, and that’s why “Hurdy Gurdy Man” works so well in “Zodiac.”

His Greatest Hits is a solid must-have for fans of this era. It’s a wonder a tribute record has never been done in his honor, though you’ll find a very pretty take on his “Wear Your Love Like Heaven” on Sarah McLachlan’s sophomore album “Solace.”

I am also highly recommending “Zodiac,” which works as an excellent who-done-it, though as is the history… we never find out for-sure the killer is. It’s like a “48 Hours Mystery” with a REALLY big budget. I say that positively, as I love to hear all the evidence and try to work it out, make up my own opinion. The film has a great cast that really commits full-on to the project. It’s long (just shy of two hours) so consider the early show.


The Trailer for Zodiac:


BrianF said...

Great choice - I thought this song perfectly fit the mood of Zodiac.

Donovan was on the receiving end of one of the great celebrity disses when he appeared in the 1967 Bob Dylan documentary Don't Look Back. Think Madonna's reaction to Kevin Costner's "neat" comment in Truth Or Dare.
Jill Sobule even mentioned it in the song "Heroes" - Dylan was so mean to Donovan in that movie...

Heff said...

Dylan was just mean to him initially b/c Bob was hopped up on goofballs. He does warm up to Donovan once they start talking a little.

I also liked his song "Atlantis" which he did a redo of called "Atlanta" for an episode of Futurama. I checked the credits and it really was Donovan.