John Sebastian / Lovin' Spoonful

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by albabe, Jun 17, 2022.

  1. Guy E

    Guy E Senior Member

    Antalya, Turkey
    The Lovin' Spoonful had a prime place in my pre-teen collection of 45's. Their hits were all so different from one another, and they truly lit-up the radio.

    My favorite memory of the band involves my mother. The family was all in the car together, and we had the radio tuned-into Chicago's WLS. After Rain On The Roof finished, my mom commented, "That's a nice song. I wonder what show it's from?" - she assumed that it was from a Broadway Musical. My burgeoning record nerd chimed in, explaining that it's by The Lovin' Spoonful and the lead singer, John Sebastian, writes all of their songs. My mom couldn't believe that a young man in a rock band could have possibly written it, but I insisted. When we got home, I showed her all the Spoonful 45's and pointed-out the songwriting credits.

    I've never stopped listening to them. John Sebastian didn't adapt too well to the singer-songwriter era, although he had his moments. I certainly hope that he retained his publishing rights and did well with the song, Welcome Back.
  2. dormouse

    dormouse Forum Resident

    Well, here I am early on Sunday morning listening to John Sebastian's first album and what a gem it is. And almost as if he had been reading my previous post What She Thinks About references moon rockets and Rainbows All Over Your Blues also talks about the dark side of the moon. Spooky. It is also much more varied than I remember. There is a sense of child-like wonder that pervades his vocal style that is so endearing.
    jeremylr, D.B. and ajsmith like this.
  3. dormouse

    dormouse Forum Resident

    Straight into The Four Of Us. It is autobiographical and the diary travelogue on side 2 is very evocative. The delivery notes on the collection I have here are very welcome and add a lot with quotes from John himself. I wonder if he has an autobiography. He tells such vivid stories that it seems an obvious extension to his music. The tie-dye story from the Woodstock film is a perfect example of his capacity to concisely wrap up a moment in life that should be noted. Wonderful time capsules.
    D.B. and albabe like this.
  4. dance_hall_keeper

    dance_hall_keeper Forum Resident

    Since the Group created the Soundtracks for two Films, neither of which I've seen (What's Up, Tiger Lily? and You're a Big Boy Now), I have a...

    Q: Were they part of the Cast of either Film?
  5. dance_hall_keeper

    dance_hall_keeper Forum Resident

    The Even Dozen Jug Band - The Even Dozen Jug Band 1964.

    From Wikipedia:
    • Stefan Grossman – vocals, guitar, banjo
    • Pete Jacobson – vocals, guitar, banjo
    • Pete Seigel – vocals, guitar, banjo
    • Frank Goodkin – banjo
    • David Grisman – mandolin
    • Fred Weisz – violin
    • Steve Katz – vocals, washboard
    • Josh Rifkin – vocals, piano, kazoo
    • John Sebastian, credited as John Benson – harmonica
    • Danny Lauffer – jug
    • Peggy Haine – jug
    • Maria Muldaur, then Maria D'Amato – vocals
    • Bob Gurland – trumpet, vocals
    Production notes:
    • Paul Rothchild – producer, editing
    • Paul Nelson – liner notes

    Mr. Sebastian is seated on the steel beam on the far left side.
    sjaca, Steve Litos, McLover and 9 others like this.
  6. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Senior Member

    I love the Spoonful and John. You never know when the urge to hear some of their music will hit. They had a fantastic run on the charts. The music holds up well. Unfortunately as the 60s developed and music became heavier they were unfairly dismissed as too commercial. But the music was too strong to ever go away.
  7. dance_hall_keeper

    dance_hall_keeper Forum Resident

    Arrrrgh! I woke up this AM and all I could think of was “Nashville Cats”.

    Q1: Does this necessarily make me a bad person?

    Q2: In Rock Music History, has there ever been a another Song using the word “dawdled” in the Lyrics other than “Darling Be Home Soon”?
  8. dance_hall_keeper

    dance_hall_keeper Forum Resident

    I've never solved this mystery, until today.
    From Off the Grid/Village Preservation Blog: Summer in the City.

    The Night Cafe
    118 West 3rd Street b/w Macdougal Street and Sixth Ave NYC.
    Image: Hulton Archives / Getty Images.

    John Sebastian: Break time between sets, Night Owl Cafe.

    Menu - The Night Owl Cafe NYC.

    Also the former home of Bleecker Bob's Records.

    Another good article from streets you crossed dot blogspot dot com.
    phillyal1, Steve Litos, D.B. and 7 others like this.
  9. Chee

    Chee Forum Resident

    I wish he'd write his autobiography. John dances on the publishing area of the Spoonful. I once read it was 40G in '65 for everything up to '71. Creamed for a million. "Coppum n Robbum" was what he called the two guys that had control of the guys. Charlie made millions later on. I want to know who ratted out who in Frisco for the bust. I want to know if he really was in that community on the south side of Barham Boulevard up the hill from the Warner Brothers lot in '71. Casey Kasem had an office up there starting his Top 40 thing up there with Harrison Ford woodwork. Harrison built lotsa stuff as a carpenter between acting gigs.
    Steve Litos, D.B., Lurgan Lad and 3 others like this.
  10. BeSteVenn

    BeSteVenn little-known member

    I still have all 6 of the Sebastian era lps (and most of the singles) 50+ years on, and still listen to them regularly. I saw Sebastian play in 1976 with a band in tow, it was essentially a Lovin' Spoonful show, complete with shirts and sideburns. Then I saw him open for Steve Martin a couple of years later. Wrong crowd for a great show. I also have early CD editions of their Sebastian era records, but am hemming and hawing on getting the Original Album Classics set ... do I need those bonus tracks? Is the sound a major improvement?
    albabe and ajsmith like this.

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    Why do I get the feeling that people back then thought the menu prices were a ripoff? :laugh:

    Anyway, another big fan. I have all the Spoonful's albums and I got to see John twice, here in Salem, MA in 1999 and in Beverly, MA w/David Bromberg in 2019.

    A little known fact is that John Sebastian was briefly employed as a sailmaker in Marblehead, MA in 1963. My brother worked at the same place a decade later.
    Steve Litos, ARK and ajsmith like this.
  12. Chee

    Chee Forum Resident

    75 cents for a Coke. Did the Genovese run that place or Gambinos? Back then Coke was 10 cents a can. I first heard "Tar Beach" at a free concert in a park in West Palm Beach in '84. I told him it was a great song.
    john lennonist likes this.
  13. dance_hall_keeper

    dance_hall_keeper Forum Resident

    Only today I learned that brother Mark and John were an act.
    john lennonist likes this.
  14. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Independent Head

    New Mexico USA
    Far out, man!

    Sebastian and the Spoonful on the transistor radio and the tie-dye sherbet avatar of Woodstock made a big impression on me. Sincere, sunny, funny, trippin balls, hippie bubblegum.

    He’s got a place in my heart right next to the Turtles.
  15. dance_hall_keeper

    dance_hall_keeper Forum Resident

    Early in his career Mr. Sebastian appeared on Billy Faier’s debut Album, The Beast of Billy Faier, playing both guitar and harmonica.
  16. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Marple, PA, USA
    A guy I knew swore John played harmonica on Laura Nyro's first lp, but I just don't believe it.
  17. plentyofjamjars67

    plentyofjamjars67 Forum Resident

    What a fine and informative thread this is. Learning some new stuff. I've already posted my paragraphs of praise, however I didn't mention my favorite Spoonful song has always been You Didn't Have To Be So Nice. That song always drags me right into its jolly mood. Reading the story behind the making of it is inspiring in itself. What a positive experience it must have been for those involved to know they had such a worthy and sure-fire follow up to such a perfect debut single.
    sjaca, jeremylr, bumbletort and 3 others like this.
  18. dance_hall_keeper

    dance_hall_keeper Forum Resident

    From L: Terry Southern, John Sebastian and
    Bob Dylan, Café Espresso Woodstock NY.
    Image: Douglas Gilbert.
  19. swedwards1960

    swedwards1960 Forum Resident

    Canton OH
    He must have done well with “Welcome Back,” because when I saw him solo a couple of times (once in Folk City with that wonderful blue, custom made electric guitar on the “Tar Beach” cover), he introduced it by saying, “This song bought my house.”
  20. swedwards1960

    swedwards1960 Forum Resident

    Canton OH
    They mimed playing in “Tiger Lily.”
  21. dance_hall_keeper

    dance_hall_keeper Forum Resident

    Print advertisement, Capitol Theatre, Passaic NJ.
    sjaca, albabe, bill44 and 3 others like this.
  22. dance_hall_keeper

    dance_hall_keeper Forum Resident

    Soooo, no Oscar?

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    No Oscar, but they and the 39 Steps have the distinction of being the only two rock groups to appear in a Woody Allen film.
    phillyal1 likes this.
  24. Folknik

    Folknik Forum Resident

    I have all of the Spoonful albums and most of John Sebastian's solo albums. Daydream is a marvelous album throughout. The You're a Big Boy Now soundtrack is also very good with several fine Spoonful songs (including the beautiful "Darlin' Be Home Soon") and a number of nice instrumental pieces written by Sebastian (most of them variations on Spoonful songs from the film).
    My favorite Sebastian solo album is The 4 of Us. In addition to the epic 17-minute title suite that fills Side 2, Side 1 has 7 top flight songs, covering blues, rock, folk, and infectious pop. His duo album with David Grisman is also a gem.
    jeremylr, swedwards1960 and BeSteVenn like this.
  25. Folknik

    Folknik Forum Resident

    Several years ago, I saw a Sebastian=less Lovin' Spoonful (Steve Boone, Joe Butler, Jerry Yester, and a couple of backup guys) in concert. Without John's songs, they wouldn't have had much of a set list, but they did put on a good high energy show. Afterward, my family and I took our old Spoonful and Modern Folk Quartet (including Jerry) albums to the meet and greet table to be signed. As I approached the table with Joe Butler's Revelation/Revolution '69 album (with the cover photo of Joe and a girl running naked beside a strategically placed lion), Steve Boone said, "Uh-oh, look what's comin',Joe." Joe said, "Oh no! Nekkid! Stark nekkid! I'm so embarrassed!" Steve said, "You weren't too embarrassed back then." He signed it, though.

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