Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Live: Donovan Trips Out Easy at Deepak Homebase

Posted By on Wed, May 2, 2012 at 2:55 PM

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They talked a lot about the Maharishi, a big influence on Donovan and Deepak. (I always thought the Maharishi wasn't cool anymore—you know, "Sexy Sadie" and all—but apparently rumors of his sexual impropriety were probably exaggerated, and his image has been largely rehabilitated.) Donovan shared the time the guru gave the singer his mantra—which he didn't share with us—the word that enabled Donovan to plunge into what he called the fourth level of consciousness. (I would guess drugs may have assisted the mantra, though Donovan didn't say as much.) Next in line for the guru were the Grateful Dead. "They should not call themselves 'The Grateful Dead,'" the Maharishi said. (Donovan imitated him, too.) "They should call themselves 'The Grateful Living.'"

These kind of bold-name anecdotes, interspersed with neo-Hindu philosophy, made up most of the conversation; the two also unfortunately slipped into some Baby Boomer self-congratulation, like when they spoke, for example, of how back then (unlike today!) people wrote lyrics that had meaning, which the audience applauded heartily. (Groan!) They did give young people a little credit, though: after Donovan's soundcheck that afternoon, he went down to a cafe with his friend, the poet George Wallace, to talk about Charlie Chaplin and socialism. From there, he witnessed the Occupy march coming down Broadway, and was impressed by its "great rush of enthusiasm." "If you're gonna do it again," he said (meaning protest? The 60s?), "do it often."

Follow Henry Stewart on Twitter @henrycstewart

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