Donovan had quite an effect on my life, and even now I can go back and listen to some of those tunes and think, "Yeah, a bit lame, but really not bad. Not bad at all."
My very first girlfriend and I would sit and listen to "Celeste," over and over again.
She was the Homecoming Queen, and I was smitten with her. She was tall and blond and sensitive. I was a slobbering dork who thought he was too cool for school.
I had somehow laid hands on his early stuff, including Catch the Wind and Donovan. There were great tunes on there. "Catch the Wind" and "Colours" were both on the radio back then, and they both still hold up as damn good romantic folk songs. My favorite songs on that album were "Josie," "Dona Dona," and "Remember the Alamo." This was about as good as folk music had been done, from what I had heard up to that point. Sure, the voice was saccharin sweet, but he could play the guitar and I do believe he was sincere in his efforts.
Then, in 1966, he put out Sunshine Superman. This got a lot of air play, and the primary guitar lick was even sampled for a hit recently by Imani Coppola, "Legend of a Cowgirl."
This was the album which contained the heartbreaker for me, "Celeste." It also had "Legend of the Girl Child Linda." These were songs about medieval England, as far as I could tell, and the romantic notion of King Arthur and all those fanciful stories tormented my soul as I sat alone, in my teenage bedroom, after the Homecoming Queen dropped me like a cheap suitcase.