Containing Multitudes Since 2004
These guys were wonderful, made some really great records. At the time I thought they were going to be Beatles major, but the band gave us "Do You Believe in Magic," "You Didn't Have to Be So Nice," "Daydream," "Younger Girl," and "Summer in the City" and that's plenty.
Yes! And Hums of the Lovin' Spoonful is another one of those great 1966 albums. It wasn't until years later when I went back to listen to their music that I picked up on the Robert Johnson, Howlin' Wolf, et al. influences on their work. And of course their name comes from a Mississippi John Hurt song.
Do You Believe in Magic has one of the most infectious 12-string chord progressions. Darlin' Be Home Soon is a beautiful ballad, one of my faves. John and Zal (we still miss you) could write some great tunes. And what's not to love about a band that made it cool to play the autoharp?
My brush with greatness. Returning home to Staten Island one evening Joe Butler stepped into my subway car after his last performance for the evening in Hair. I introduced myself and on the way downtown he taught me how to subway surf. He got off in the Village and I continued to South Ferry. Nice man.
Met John Sebastian way back in 1978 while drawing portraits of people under New York's National Theater on Broadway. He had his then very young son with him, & actually sat down to talk for about ten minutes or so. I just basically thanked him personally for all those great Spoonful songs, (esp. "Younger Girl", "You Didn't Have To Be so Nice" & "Summer In The City"). He was very gracious & down to earth. Great man & artist!
I was subbing on rhythm guitar in a top-40 (twice) San Francisco band -- a two-week gig until their new guitarist was finished touring with his old band. As I arrived at my final night with them, the songwriter/guitarist pulled me aside, paid me for the gig and informed me that an old buddy of theirs was in town and he was going to play that night instead of me.Yup, John Sebastian replaced me! Too cool for my 16-year-old self!
Met Zal in his later years at his restaurant in Kingston, Ontario, Chez Piggy. A great guy with a big zest for life. I mentioned I had a copy of his solo single As Long As You're Here, which featured the enigmatic flipside Ereh Er'uoy Sa Gnol Sa (read it backwards), and he laughed and said I wasn't old enough to have a copy of that.Can't believe he was only 57 when he checked out. Too young.Still looking for his lone solo LP, Alive and Well in Argentina...
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