Friday, 3 June 2011

Donovan: why I'm not going tonight. Probably.

Have been thinking more about the Donovan Albert Hall gig tonight (above, same location in 1973). Not entirely unexpectedly, no mysterious benefactor has offered to pay for a ticket so far (so that cruel contributor Mr F, was right), and I've rather lost hope in that direction.

But in a way the money is not really the issue. Funds have been severely diminished but I could go if I really wanted to - and had a good look at the Royal Albert Hall website today, where good seats are still available, though sales seem to have been pretty good.

No, it's more about the level of disappointment. That there will be disappointment I am reasonably certain; that there will be flashes of enjoyment in between I am less certain, but that, too, seems, on balance, probable. But will those flashes be enough?

What it boils down to is what Ronnie Barker was thinking when offered a job at the National Theatre. The first thought was not "Woweee! What a great play!" but rather a calculation about the length of the commute. If that was his immiediate priority, Barker realised, then maybe it was time to get out of the profession, and did.

And it's the schlepping to the Albert Hall and back (a pretty average journey for any Londoner), the waiting for the gig to start, the fear (as with the Festival Hall gig I saw) that our troubadour's extended family may be merrily chatting away at the back then half-heartedly playing along on percussion to There Is a Mountain ...

But more than anything, it's not 1972 and no amount of effort on my part will make it so. The collective will of those who have elected to attend may result in some kind of miracle, but for me that Festival Hall gig is just too much to get over.

Despite my softening at the end of an earlier blog entry about the Don, coming across a video of a gig in Germany which was only a day or two old, and realising that, yes, I wanted to hear it, whatever I might have just written about renouncing him, I can't imagine there will be a sufficient difference in what will happen tonight. Though it's a while since I saw him with a band, and having a chamber orchestra will be a wholly new experience.

So I am - still - sort of tempted. But perhaps the best thing to do is to slap on the headphones at the appointed hour and connnect with the Donovan in my - and his - past.

Donalert aka Belated For-Albert-Hall Plea
Donalert Part Two: a sign
The True Story of How I Fell Out of Love with Donovan
Donovanagain - again

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