Who Really Played Guitar on Hurdy Gurdy Man?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by 6L6X4, Jun 19, 2010.

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  1. 6L6X4

    6L6X4 New Member Thread Starter

    Pac NW
    According to this Wiki article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurdy_Gurdy_Man
    even the people at the recording session don't agree. Some say Jimmy Page while others claim Alan Parker played guitar. Anyone know for sure?

    Also, who sang back-up vocals? Sounds like a young Rod Stewart to me.
  2. bRETT

    bRETT Forum Resident

    Boston MA
    Liner notes of the reissue say it's Parker, and list John Paul Jones as the source.
  3. JFS3

    JFS3 Senior Member

    I'm surprised this keeps coming up, as I thought it had been put to rest years ago.
  4. 6L6X4

    6L6X4 New Member Thread Starter

    Pac NW
    In my case, my media player shuffled the song and as I listened, I wonder who was singing back-up because whoever it is has a hoarse voice like Rod's. Upon researching I ran across the Wiki entry that had:

    No doubt it's this type of conflicting information that keeps the issue coming up.

    Again, anyone have liner notes that indicate who's on vocals besides Donovan?
  5. swandown

    swandown Under Assistant West Coast Forum Resident

    Portland, OR
    Jimmy Page, 1969: "I was working at the sessions for Donovan's 'Hurdy Gurdy Man' and John Paul Jones was looking after the musical arrangements. During a break he asked me if I could use a bass player in the new group I was forming."

    Donovan, 1989: "All around the 'Hurdy Gurdy Man' sessions [were] Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones. A band was forming around these sessions and Led Zeppelin, I believe, looking back, was formed around 'The Hurdy Gurdy Man' sessions. So if I formed Led Zeppelin I want to call upon those boys next year, I wanna record it with them next year! OK, I started Led Zeppelin and it goes like this...OK, I STARTED LED ZEPPELIN!!!"

    Donovan, 1996: "'Hurdy Gurdy Man' featured a certain Mr. James Patrick Page and the soon-to-be Led Zeppelin rhythm section, John Paul Jones and John Bonham."

    Eddie Kramer, 2000: "I worked with Page at Olympic on 'Hurdy Gurdy Man' by Donovan" (in 2005 Kramer added that Page was brought in to overdub lead guitar)

    Jimmy Page, 2000: "I know it's rumoured that I played on that. But I didn't."

    John Paul Jones, 2002: "No it wasn't Jimmy. It was me, Alan Parker on guitar, and Clem Cattini on drums. Donovan played acoustic guitar. I booked the session."

    John Paul Jones, 2005: "I would like to confirm that the musicians on the record were as follows: Donovan, Accoustic Guitar; John Paul Jones, Arrangement/Musical Director and Bass Guitar; Alan Parker, Lead (electric) Guitar; Clem Cattini, Drums. No other musicians were involved in this session."
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  6. Seems like Page doesn't know whether or not he was there!
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  7. John D.

    John D. Forum Resident

    Doesn't surprise me a bit. :cheers:
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  8. andy749

    andy749 Senior Member

    I found this on the web a while back and posted in another forum:

    Not on the title track, but he did play acoustic during the early album sessions.

    The Hurdy Gurdy Man album sessions were done mainly in two parts, the first part in late 1967, the second sessions where done in April 1968. It was during the April 1968 sessions that the actual track 'Hurdy Gurdy Man' was recorded. Jimmy Page was not in the country at the time of the April 1968 session. Page had only been playing acoustic in his session work at the time.

    Steve Rosen interview with Jimmy Page

    SR You were playing acoustic guitar during your session period?

    JP Yes, I had to do it on studio work. And you come to grips with it very quickly too, very quickly, because it's what is expected. There was a lot of busking (singing on street corners) in the earlier days, but as they say, I had to come to grips with it, and it was a good schooling.

    Donovan stated that he wanted Jimi Hendrix to play but he was unavailable, so he asked for Jimmy Page instead but he was in the US with Jerry Wrexler .Mickie Most got Jeff Beck to do the electric guitar work which was wiped by Most. Finally Alan Parker was drafted in to do the electric guitar work.


    Regarding the title track those involved are listed below.


    I have been contacted by Clem Cattini with regard to Donovan's Hurdy Gurdy Man
    I would like to confirm that the musicians on the record were as follows

    Donovan Accoustic Guitar
    John Paul Jones Arrangement/Musical Director and Bass Guitar
    Alan Parker Lead (electric) Guitar
    Clem Cattini Drums

    No other musicians were involved in this session
    The session was produced by Mickie Most and engineered by Eddie Kramer.

    John Paul Jones

    London 05/2005


    Page may have played on several songs by Donovan such as "Sunshine
    Superman" although the long held belief that Jimmy played on
    "Hurdy Gurdy Man" has been questioned recently, with the
    contention that it is in fact Allan Holdsworth, and not Page.
    Jones on the other hand, who most certainly did work on the track
    says it was Alan Parker. Donovan in a radio interview in 1988 on
    KCRW in Santa Monica, said that it was Holdsworth not Page, as
    they tried to get Page but he was unavailable, and tried out a new
    young guy, Holdsworth, instead. An answer to this perplexing
    question that could be seen as definitive came from Allan's wife
    Claire, when she was asked this by a member of the Allan
    Holdsworth mailing list. The response she gave was (included
    without permission), "Allan is bemused by the number of people,
    including Donovan, who have said that he played on that song -
    because he didn't!! He thinks it might have been Ollie Halsell
    but he is dead now so I guess we can't ask him." Page, who denies
    playing on it claimed in a 1977 interview that it was Alan Parker.
    To confuse matters further, in the liner notes for Donovan's
    "Trouabdour" box set it claims Page played on the


    Beck originally played on Donovan's "Hurdy Gurdy Man" but instead they used Alan Parker on the final version
    Lost In The Flood likes this.
  9. 6L6X4

    6L6X4 New Member Thread Starter

    Pac NW
    Now I see why I was, until recently, under the impression that Jeff Beck played lead on HGM.
  10. pbuzby

    pbuzby Senior Member

    Chicago, IL, US
    Donovan has also said that Allan Holdsworth played the guitar solo on this song, but Holdsworth has denied it.
  11. -Alan

    -Alan Senior Member

    Connecticut, USA
  12. tedg65

    tedg65 Forum Resident

    Weymouth MA USA
    Weird, sounds like Bonham's Ludwigs to me!!
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