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John Denver - 60's Folk Singer

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GUEST,Marnie in Boston 08 Jan 05 - 06:18 PM
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Subject: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: GUEST,Marnie in Boston
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 06:18 PM

I just saw some 60's footage of John Denver singing traditional folk songs and playing guitar. He was impressive as both singer and guitarist. Where can I find any of his early folk recordings? Did any Catters see him live or on TV in his years as a 60's folk artist?


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 06:20 PM

I don't think he ever sang a traditional song, did he?


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 06:22 PM

perhaps with the Chad Mitchell Trio, or the Mitchell Trio as they were known when he sang with them.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: GUEST,Marnie
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 06:23 PM

He was singing Silver Dagger in the footage.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 06:23 PM

His biggest drawback was his resemblance to Spaw. But just ignore that. He was a very fine guitarist and singer.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 06:24 PM

Yes, he was known to sing trad as well as contemporary.

I saw him loads of times on TV but not live. I was a great fan of his and I still love his music.

A sad loss.

Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Peace
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 06:27 PM

Met him twice. He was a very nice guy. Good on stage. He was with the Mitchell Trio then.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: GUEST,Jeff C.
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 06:28 PM

i saw his Earth concert on PBS in Dec. 04. i agree with LittleHawk...he was a great guitarist and singer. the best part(imho) was when his band left the stage and he performed solo.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: artbrooks
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 06:51 PM

Marnie, around here the word "traditional" is not used lightly, and some folks tend to jump on those that they believe use it incorrectly (by whatever definition they prefer, and there doesn't seem to be much agreement on that, either). IMHO, John Denver was much more of a performer and singer-songwriter than he was a "traditional" musician, but that is only my opinion.

I expect you'd find a few trad things on his many recordings. Amazon.com has most of them, dating back to the early 1970s. Amazon also has some of the Mitchell Trio and Chad Mitchell Trio re-releases.

Good luck on your quest, and I think many of us would be interested if you located any early/mid-60s-era recordings of John Denver solo.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Once Famous
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 07:06 PM

I saw John Denver with the Mitchell Trio shortly after he joined them. I was a pretty big fan of the Chad Mitchell Trio and thought I would be disappointed but John's talents came through.

As far as traditional songs go, I loved commercial folk music groups. The less traditional, the better. Those boys could sing!


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 07:07 PM

I saw him at the Main Point in Philadelphia in December 1969, and I still have his first two solo albums from 1969, Rhymes and Reasons and Take me to Tomorrow. He wasn't a folksinger then, but the songs he sang certainly reached me, as an angst-ridden and impressionable teenager. He wrote some good songs, and had good taste in the other songs he chose to sing, for the most part.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 09:01 PM

I read that he grew up here in Fort Worth, TX, in the Arlington Heights neighborhood. I wonder what information is available about him locally? I'll have to check into it.

SRS


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Rapparee
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 09:17 PM

I heard him in 1967 when the Mitchell Trio played my college. They introduced him, and he sang (IF I remember rightly), a traditional song although I no longer remember which one.

He was introduced as the author of some the songs the Trio sang, and then he did the solo (although the group did some of the guitar backup).


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: GUEST,Wesley S at Home
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 09:54 PM

SRS - From what I've heard his dad was in the air force and was stationed out at Carswell - now the Naval air base -while John was in high school. I think he only spent about three years here in Ft Worth but I could be off on that. But yes, he attended Arlington Heights High School.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: DonMeixner
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 01:31 AM

I saw him at The saratoga Performing Arts Center in 1970. He was very good. Tickets were $ 2.00 to sit on the lawn. His talent at stage craft was very apparent and he was a very good musician and show man. He even juggled.

Don


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 01:44 AM

Can anyone remember why he's generally held in low esteem
and considered a joke here in the UK ?

I vaguely remember his TV shows when I was a kid,
and no one I knew ever had any respect for him.

I suppose out of fairness, I ought to find a cheap compilation CD
so I can judge his work for myself now that I'm older
and more mature in my taste in music.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 08:04 AM

Great singer and performer. I think it was his Waltons-style wholesomeness that put us British off.

cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: artbrooks
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 09:43 AM

Too smooth, good voice, excellent stage presence. Just not very "folkie." Consider Dylan.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 12:44 PM

I think that here in the U.S. he suffered by comparison: the genteel romantic nature of many of his songs along with a good voice and performances relatively free of heavy percussion was in direct contrast to the hard-living world of the various metal rock bands popular at the same time. His voice was good, his songs were well-written, and lately his environmental activism kept a steady audience listening to him. He died way too young.

I had a friend in the mid-1970s who listened to a lot of Denver and Gordon Lightfoot. I think they're still pretty comparable.

SRS


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 01:04 PM

this all seems a pretty accurate picture of him and his talents....(being a 'trad' aficionado, I didn't follow him closely)

I DO remember why he had a bad image with some folks....he had property near Aspen, Colo, during the fuel crisis of the 70s, and was caught trying to have a couple of huge gasoline storage tanks installed for his 'personal' use. If I remember right, the project was stopped before he actually filled them....


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: GUEST,celebrity boxing fan
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 02:27 PM

so who would have won a fist fight

John Denver or Donovan ?


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 03:40 PM

The promoter would have won.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Big Mick
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 05:26 PM

I enjoyed much of his music, but at some point he became so slick that the music ceased to be good. I think that folks also couldn't separate his Republican politics from his music. But I must tell you that I liked and continue to sing certain songs of his.

Mick


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Once Famous
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 05:34 PM

The Republicans had no trouble separating his politics from his music.

Keep in mind that John Denver was one of popular country music's biggest atars.

Except of course, to the hard boiled Nashville scene.

John Denver left folk music in the dust and let his talents get his music heard and made himself a lot of money. Folk music was his training wheels.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: DonMeixner
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 05:56 PM

Watch the World Wildlife Fund concert if you can find it. You'll see a great stage craft engineer and a solid singer, songwriter, and performer.

Much of what made most of his music good was that John believed what he wrote.

Don

"Sunshine" perhaps being an errant bit of twaddle.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: freightdawg
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 07:45 PM

John Denver a Republican?? Wow. In many areas he is virtually my hero, but I have never (and would never) consider his pacifistic, environmentalist, socially conscious outlook to be Republican. Maybe you could expand, Mick. Maybe he was Republican in some of his economic views, but he would be largely outside the mainstream of the Republican party today.

Denver viewed himself as a "Western" singer, although he loved country music and had a couple of "Country" hits. He felt betrayed and abused by Nashville, and I think Nashville never could really grasp some of his socially conscious songs. He went one way and contemporary "country" went another. I believe John chose the wiser and better path.

If I can have my last wishes, there will be nothing sung at my funeral if it was not written and/or performed by JD. That way, if people are not sad that I'm gone, they will at least miss that someone is dead.

Like other posters above, I never really viewed Denver as a "Folkie," whatever that really is, but more as a iconoclastic artist who sang songs that had meaning and significance. Most of his body of songs have significant orchestration (which I do not typically associate with "folk" music, although it does not preclude "folk"), but I think JD was at his best with just a small ensemble of guitars, drums and a mandolin, or solo with just his 6 or 12 string guitar. I think that John got a bad rap early in his career, and then when he went through his problems with Annie and the inevitable slump in popularity he also produced some weak songs. However, some of the most beautiful, and most powerful, songs that he wrote were written toward the end of his life. I think he was on the verge of a "Renaissance." I just wish he had gone golfing with his friends instead of heading to the airport to fly his new purchase.

Freightdawg


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Teresa
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 08:02 PM

Oh yay, another Jd thread. :)

I don't know if he was "folk" or not, (labels can be so darned limiting much of the time) but I do know I loved his music, and also loved folk music, because of the simplicity and sparse character in both. (at least in John's early music).

My brother, six years older than me, and a teenager into heavy rock music in the mid-70s, incessantly teased me about him. He made "douche" jokes about John's birth surname (Deuschendorf sp?) and tried to get my goat by telling me about the gas tank incident. I always knew human nature was full of inconsistencies, so in the long run, it didn't bother me, although as a ten-year-old, I did get upset for a little while.

I've never heard his work with the Trios, and would love to. :)

teresa


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 08:11 PM

He did a very nice christmas special with Julie Andrews and Placido Domingo back in 1987. He may have been a "popular" singer instead of operatic like the other two, but he sounded very good. (Much better than Diana Ross, who tried something similar).

I also find a declaration about his party politics to be surprising. Is there some foundation to this statement, or is it speculative? (i.e., he had money, therefore he must have been a Republican)

SRS


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 08:11 PM

Though enjoying some of his music I have to say that I really thought he was pretty damned good as an actor on some TV shows---admittedly most TV shows are pretty bad. He did, however, really put in some good performances in a few dramatic ones. I am not talking about his utterly boring and annoying Christmas specials (as mostof them are).   Also--recall his appearance in film w/ Geo. Burns.


Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Auggie
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 09:05 PM

SRS points to one of the reasons he got so much disrespect,despite his obvious talent, from so many quarters. Can you envision Pete Seeger or Woody doing a Christmas Special? with Placeto Domingo no less?

Upon reflection I guess, PPM did one, so maybe thats not a fatal flaw, but it speaks to his tendancy in his later years to waste that fine voice and nice playing ability on slickly produced MOR commercial ventures and to move a long way from his folk roots.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: GUEST,DaveA
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 09:05 PM

I heard him do an unannounced acoustic gig in Melbourne (Australia)in 1984 as - in his own words - a warm up for his concert tour which was about to start. Just him, his acoustic guitar & about 60 very appreciative guests at a struggling folk singing venue holding an open stage Tuesday night.

He did some oldies, a few from the about to be released "It's About Time" album and a fair amount of chat between songs. I still remember how good a guitarist he was live (even though he hadn't brought his 12 string with him.

He seemed genuinely pleased when I told him after the gig that I had his LPs of the Mitchell Trio & still regarded his version of Mr Tambourine Man as the best I had heard.

On that one hearing & meeting I'd say to hell with political, marital & style of music concerns. He was one hell of a performer and a modest considerate bloke. To use the old fashioned term - a true gentleman. And very sadly missed.

Dave


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: DaveA
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 09:13 PM

Ahha!!!!

I have my cookie back

Dave


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 09:25 PM

People delight in finding one or two flaws in a genuinely valuable person, and consigning the whole rest of their life to the trash. Observe the activities of the movie magazines for tips on exactly how to go about doing that.

I can easily forgive John Denver for the gas tanks.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: GUEST,Ron D.
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 09:46 PM

I always liked John's singing and guitar skills. I too saw his work in the recent Pbs special. You're missed John!


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 10:00 PM

I know nothing about him except that I liked "Country Roads" & that he seems to have made enemies. I remember hearing a satire against him, maybe 20 years ago, to the tune of that song, with the line "Country songs make me rich", which additionally accused him of hanging out with Frank Sinatra. Somehow, that did not make it into the Mudcat, or even Google.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 10:07 PM

"Can you envision Pete Seeger or Woody doing a Christmas Special? with Placeto Domingo no less?"

Yes. If they could get on TV and sold as many records as John Denver.    I say that with no disrespect to Pete or Woody. They lived in a different world and to knock John Denver just because he was successful and appeared in several very successful Christmas programs is a silly arguement.

By the way, Pete recorded two Christmas albums in his career, three if you count the very commercial recording he made with the Weavers for the holiday.   There was nothing wrong with the music on any of them.   John Denver's recordings and TV shows were products of their time.

I find it odd that people choose to remember his work with the Muppets and by and large forget about all the charitable work he did, including his work in various hunger projects with artists like Harry Chapin. Denver was asked to serve as a member of the Presidential Commission on World and Domestic Hunger and he founded The Hunger Project. Denver also devoted much of his energies to environmental causes and wrote a song about Jacques Costeau which helped enlighted his audience to the work that was being done.   The Windstar Organization which he founded in 1975 continues to address environmental concerns.

He may have been a friend to Kermit, but he was also a friend to every living creature on this planet.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 10:12 PM

John Denver a Republican?   If THAT is what pisses people off, then it is an example of how partisan politics cloud our minds.

I do not have a clue as to how John Denver voted.   I do know that Ronald Reagan conferred a public service medal to him for his work on hunger issues, but Jimmy Carter was the one who selected him for his commission(along with Harry Chapin.)   I don't think Denver let whatever his politics were stand in the way of his beliefs. Perhaps a few Mudcatters could follow that lesson.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Bobert
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 10:21 PM

I don't know about John Denver being a Repub 'er Dem but I heard him play at Bobby Kennedy's house in McLean, Va. around '71... I had just interviewed with Ethel Kennedy to be like a grounds keeper and got the invite... He didn't impress me one danged bit...

BTW, I didn't get the job primarially because I told Ms. Kennedy that as fir the pets in the house, her kids should feed 'um....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 10:24 PM

His Muppet Show gig was terrific. My grandkids have the video, so I get to enjoy it from time to time.

In the mid-'50s one of the big record labels tried to get on the "folk" train. My mother sang in a group in NYC that they wound up calling The Skifflers - a quartet with Leon Bibb (using "Lee Charles"), a woman named Libby (forgot last name) and Milt Okun, who later produced John Denver albums.          Tw


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 10:27 PM

In the early 70's he was quite a role model - people tried to look like him.. Songs like Rocky Mountain High showed off not only his way with words, but his technical facility at singing high notes with great strength and confidence. He was a helluva singer and guitarist, but his albums got slated regularly by the critics - I remember Sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy being singled out for particular venom - the lyrics seemed to them saccharine and trivial.

I admired him , but he was a hard man to like thoroughly - even now its a strong stomach that sits all the way through the floor singers favourite ,Grandma's feather bed without throwing up. the way he guyed mopping his brow on the line, I even kissed Aunt Lou! - ooh! was thoroughly parodied and ridiculed in the recent film A Mighty Wind.

Some of his later work seemed lacking in structure. he knew just strumming and singing was a pretty nice noise, so he was content not to observe the normal structures of songwriting. fine if you have some artistic point to make - but one suspected at the time he simply couldn't be arsed to hammer out the verses and choruses and middle 8's.

One thing I liked about him he always used to sing Its sin to Tell a Lie, because it was his Mothers favourite song. it was my mothers favourite song too, and nowadays I always include it in my set for the same reason.

all the best

Big Al


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Auggie
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 10:48 PM

Don't get me wrong Ron. I have three or four late 60's or early 70's John Denver albums around here somewhere and like much of what is on each, as I liked his work with the Muppets and filmwork with George Burns.
But one of the questions was why he rubbed so many the wrong way, and in addition to his gas hording being at odds with his well polished John-Boy Walton public personna, I think it was obvious that,over time, he sold out.
His music went from sparse, mostly thoughtful and mostly acoustic to mostly trite and mostly overproduced. Such at least, is MHO, which of course could/should mean shit to anyone but me. Still, I can't envision Woody or Pete or even Harry Chapin on stage with an opera singer.

He was indeed a product of his times. Unfortunately, those were times which also brought us leisure suits, pet rocks and Tony Orlando and Dawn.

But to call him a republican? Well, lets not speak any further ill of the dead.

Regards


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Auggie
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 10:55 PM

And excuse the thread drift but Wee LD, if you haven't heard Steve Goodman's version of "Its a Sin..." on "Jessies Jig and Other Favorites" (from about 1975) you're missing a good one. It sold me on Stevie more than City of New Orleans ever did.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Lane
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 11:21 PM

John may have gotten a bad rap beacuse he was too diverse - did things like Muppets and said "far out!" a little too much, maybe. But I love his music and play a number of his tunes.... Poems, Prayers and Promises, and This Old Guitar are too fine to be looked down upon.

I met him once, 1969 or so, after a concert.... a small group of close friends hung around after the show. He said to us: "Each bird, each tree, each rock, each star, each wave, each blade of grass - each other".

Nice guy

Lane


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 11:56 PM

"Still, I can't envision Woody or Pete or even Harry Chapin on stage with an opera singer."   Why, because they don't bathe or something? What is wrong with opera singers?

Would Paul Robeson count? Not quite opera, but close. I believe he sang at benefits with both Seeger and Guthrie. Harry Chapin was a strong supporter of the arts in all forms, including opera. Because of his work, there are several companies in Long Island that continue to present their productions to this day.

I wonder if there is a opera forum somewhere that critiques Placido Domingo for singing with John Denver??? I would doubt it, I think lovers of opera tend to be more open-minded than folk music fans.

What a person does for their art should not stereotype them. Frankly, I think people tend to catagorize and compartmentalize artists when they do things that don't fit the mold. Look at the person as a whole, and what they have accomplished for others on the planet before passing judgement.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: GUEST,Steve in Ohio
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 11:55 AM

Well said Ron! You took the words right out of my fingers/thoughts!


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 12:03 PM

Buffy Sainte-Marie did frequent work on the muppet show too.

I did find some of John Denver's songs too saccarine for my personal taste, but I didn't let that stop me from admiring his consummated skill as a musician. Yeah, he was awfully touchy-feely at times, but, boy, could he play and sing!


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: GUEST,John Hardly
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 12:10 PM

Yeah LH,

But not that "saccharine" that in large doses kills rats . Just that saccharine that's a bit too sweet when viewed through cynical-colored glasses.

Few artists have created a reality stronger than John Denver did. Denver wasn't a realist any more than Andrew Wyeth was a realist. He became judged by realists. Cynical realists.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 12:19 PM

The reason the Denver concert with opera singers worked was the same reason the Dionne Warwick concert with opera singers worked--because Denver and Warwick can belt out a song and they don't need the mic 1/4 inch from their mouths. If you look at the careful design of the stage for the concerts, you'll see that Domingo's microphone is two or three feet in front of him, because he needs to wind up to sing and it takes that much distance to account for what would otherwise be too much volume and distortion. Warwick and Denver, as I recall, had their mics at a respectable 12 inches or so from their faces. In the Diana Ross-meets-the-Opera Singers concert I saw (I don't remember what it was actually called, or the date), the poor little thing had her mic right on her mouth to catch every breathy little sound she made. She's a product of MoTown, her training (does she have any?) is completely different. While she has some great catchy music, she's pure electronic amplification. (Thread drift here, but it helps to make my point).

If any of them had been singing on a concert stage, with an audience, I'm sure things would have been a lot different mic-wise. But they were singing in a cathedral without the people, and were set to capture the accoustics as well as the voices. (That's my take on it, anyway).

Denver and Domingo recorded "Almost Love" (I think was the name) together and no doubt both used the song on their respective current albums. It didn't hurt either to reach audiences through the cross-over.

SRS


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 12:23 PM

you mean Aretha Franklin?


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: voyager
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 12:50 PM

Leave us not forget.....

Thank God I'm a Country Boy is the Baltimore O's 7th inning stretch
song --
    Balitmore O's Play John Denver Every Game!

Or the Bill Danoff Connection --
Scroll Down for Danoff Does Denver

Danoff and Denver had one of the best collaboration track records
in the music business IMHO.

voyager


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 01:41 PM

Speaking of opera, I once worked as a production assistant on a television pilot for a resurrected version of "Omnibus". One pilot aired on ABC, but the show was never picked up, one of the reasons is highlighted on the story I am about to share.

One of segments of the show was going to be a comparison of Grand Opera with the Grand Ole Opry.   The producer paired up Loretta Lynn with Luciano Pavarotti. We actually recorded a very nice discussion between the two, but then it was decided that they would sing together. Loretta Lynn was so overpowered, and a bit intimidated, by Pavarotti. She basically whispered her vocals while Pavarotti boomed out his part. I don't think it made the final cut of the show.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: freightdawg
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 02:32 PM

SRS, the title of the song was "Perhaps Love" and it is amazing to me how the two vocalists, who each could have had an ego that wouldn't allow the other on the stage, put that song together. In one of JD's cd liner notes there is a story how early on in his career he was advised to give up the low brow pop/folk material he was working on and to put on a tuxedo and sing in the opera.

I think, given that anecdote, John probably always loved the opera and could have succeeded there had he wanted to. That Placido Domingo recognized the quality of John's voice and worked to blend with him (no matter how much I love JD's singing, I have to admit Placido has the better voice). It's just that John was a product of the west, he loved the west, he felt more at home and comfortable in the west, and the opera was probably a little too confining for his natural bent. That is not to disparage Opera!

Big Al, I am confused over your comment about strumming and singing being a "pretty nice noise". Are you suggesting JD lacked in his instrumental technique? If so, I beg to differ, because I have/am studying his guitar technique and I find it remarkably intricate and advanced. Perhaps it is difficult to notice on his albums due to the orchestration and backup guitars, but his technique, mostly heard in his intro's and outro's, is quite polished. I also believe his song writing to be exceptionally good. Maybe you are thinking of a couple of clunkers, but then no one is always perfect.

Freightdawg


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 05:30 PM

no I have no adverse comments to make about john denver. He was damn good. I just think maybe when you're that good everything sounds great - so some of his songs could have done with more careful writing - but they still sounded good - oh yes, at least good, maybe even great!

I don't think you do clunkers when you're that good. But not many people can cover your work. I used to get guitar students come up to me and ask how how to play certain songs - all I can say is, I found the songs quite difficult to get a handle on - some of them I'd forgotten almost as it stopped playing. Maybe that was me.

John Denver, a superior human being. His biopic is on tv this Fri - English terrestial that is.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 05:36 PM

That's right-"Perhaps Love." But no, not Aretha, to whatever the query was. (Did you dispute the Dionne Warwick part of the story, or the Diana Ross part? I watched both concerts, and don't remember ever seeing one like this with Aretha--and I would hazard a guess that she fits in the "can-belt-them-out" category).

SRS


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Folkiedave
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 07:09 PM

My favourite football (soccer) team, Sheffield United. sing the following words to Annie's Song:

The word "Magnet" refers to a brand of beer - some sing "maggots"... a reference to the local habit of fishing in anything larger than a puddle.

You fill up my senses
Like a gallon of Magnet
Like a packet of Woodbines
Like a good pinch of snuff
Like a night out in Sheffield
Like a greasy chip butty
Like Sheffield United
Come thrill me again
Lala La La
...continue ad infinitum........

This is played at the start of each home game - the first line is played and then the fans join in.......


Dave Eyre
www.collectorsfolk.co.uk


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: number 6
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 07:24 PM

Guest John Hardly hit it right on ' He became judged by realists. Cynical realists.'

John Denver was not only a good singer, guitarist, but also an outstanding songwriter. One may not like his work, but he must be truly admired and respected for it.

John Denver will be missed.

sIx


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 10:21 PM

Do I remember correctly that "Sunshine" was written about his child?
I always liked it for that reason, anyway.

I also seem to remember there being a big "flap" when he subbed for Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show--he wasn't a very good commentator; his come-backs consisted mostly of "Far Out" to the point of embarrassment for himself and his audience.

But music? You betcha, the guy was good. IMHO, of course.

Lin


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: cool hand Tom
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 11:38 PM

Just a shame John was a wifebeater.

as they say what goes around comes around just my tuppence.

Regards Tom..


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 11:57 PM

Tom,

I may have missed it, but I never heard that allegation before.   I did an internet search and could not find any information about that.   Do you have any source for that story?


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: freightdawg
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 12:20 AM

Hey Al -

If you don't like the man just say so. I happen to admire his artistry, but I'm big enough to understand others may not. I just asked a question to clarify one of your statements. Whoo boy. Didn't mean to activate the sarcasm brigade.

Freightdawg


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: open mike
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 01:25 AM

a couple of ther songs on teh muppet christmas project are real gems.
i chose them for the text of christmas cards i did a few years back.
and he also worked with Chip Davis of Manheim Steam Roller...and was setting up a recording studio in Omaha just prior to his death.
http://www.shop-amgram.com/index2.html
I also saw a memorial bench in a butterfly garden in Pacific Grove, CA, the place where the monarch butterflies winter by the thousands.
www.johndenver.com/
http://www.geocities.com/lsettel/pacific.html
http://www.fojd.org.uk/Links.htm


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 02:15 AM

Why are so many people looking back at John Denver through rose tinted specs, Don Meixner, he was sincere in what he sang ? no he wasn't he was a bloody hypocrite preaching conservation while secretly having giant gas tanks installed at his pad in Aspen, and as cool hand tom says , he was a wife beater.

You fill up my senses like a gallon of saccharine.

eric


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Subject: Lyr Add: TODAY
From: Partridge
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 04:54 AM

One of my favourite songs was sung by John Denver, its called "Today"

Today, while the blossoms still cling to the vine
I'll taste your strawberries, I'll drink your sweet wine
A million tomorrows shall all pass away
'Ere I forget all the joy that is mine, Today

I'll be a dandy, and I'll be a rover
You'll know who I am by the songs that I sing
I'll feast at your table, I'll sleep in your clover
Who cares what the morrow shall bring

Today, while the blossoms still cling to the vine
I'll taste your strawberries, I'll drink your sweet wine
A million tomorrows shall all pass away
'Ere I forget all the joy that is mine, Today

I can't be contented with yesterday's glory
I can't live on promises winter to spring
Today is my moment, now is my story
I'll laugh and I'll cry and I'll sing

Today, while the blossoms still cling to the vine
I'll taste your strawberries, I'll drink your sweet wine
A million tomorrows shall all pass away
'Ere I forget all the joy that is mine, Today

Today, while the blossoms still cling to the vine
I'll taste your strawberries, I'll drink your sweet wine
A million tomorrows shall all pass away
'Ere I forget all the joy that is mine, Today

I used to sing it with a very dear friend of mine and it reminds me so much of him I can't sing it anymore without dissolving into tears. A lot of you might think that its mindless sentimentality, but I think some music just resonates a certain vibration that really affects ones emotions

I did not like all of Johns work, but I thought he came across as a good guy. May he rest in peace and love.

Pat x


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 10:35 AM

Rather than just saying they don't like the man or his songs, a couple of folks have introduced spurious and unsupported charges. Character assassination instead of critical discussion of music is not a useful contribution.

"Sunshine" goes back many years, and it seems to me that a fertility problem (he wasn't) contributed to problems between John and Annie (of Annie's song). I think the song pre-dated children, and in that they finally adopted, didn't they? I don't remember much about his later relationship(s) but I recall nothing in any of them about abuse, actual (charged and prosecuted) or alleged. Perhaps our nay-sayers confusing Glen Campbell with John Denver? While a bit older, he has had a similar career track, and has been in a bit of a down-hill slide over the last decade or more.

SRS


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 11:24 AM

I'd give a lot to be able to do a radio spot as well as either John Denver or glen Campbell. I've gotta do one tomorrow morning, and I wish I had a tenth of their nous and know how in front of the microphone.

as for having a tank of petrol in his back garden - look at fuel prices! That would have been a brilliant investment....

As for the other stuff, drink does bad stuff to some of us. It's not for everybody - I have at last found.

all the best

Big Al (last drink May 2nd 2003)


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 12:08 PM

The actual story about the gas tanks was that Denver ran a camp for underprivalaged kids. During the gas crisis, and with the prices rising, he had the tanks installed so that the buses that take the kids would have fuel.    When the press got wind of the story, they turned it around to make it sound like he was using the gas on his cars and such, so Denver had the tanks removed.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Big Mick
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 12:21 PM

I love that explanation Ron, but could you give us some cites? I never heard that one, and would love to be able to demonstrate its accuracy.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: GUEST,Troll
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 01:28 PM

Don't any of you sad F--kers listen to any real music?

John Denver - middle of the road slush on par with Cliff Richard.

Try Miles Davis, Syd Barrett, MC5, Roy Harper - that's music....


Troll


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 01:49 PM

First of all, Denver had a "voice". Tom Paxton once said that he wished he could sing his own songs like John Denver did. It's too easy to write off John as some middle-of-the-road feather-weight. He wasn't. There is room for all sorts of music in this world of ours. For example, Troll's list of performers worth listening to is simply his choice - the things that move him. The older I get the more a understand that we all hear things differently, and that there is no "best". Miles Davis may be hailed as a genius by some, but to others his music will not move them an inch - in fact, it may irritate them greatly. And exactly the same argument could embrace Roy Harper's work.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 02:05 PM

http://www.rogernichols.com
http://www.shellworld.net/~emily/articles/JDSTEREO.REV


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: GUEST,Larry K.
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 02:18 PM

Saw John Denver once at a benefit with Peter and Paul (mid 70's after they stopped playing and before they got back together againt- it was first concert for the two of them in many years) and others.

The thing I remember most about Denver was he put his money wher his mouth was.   We were putting together the environmental songbook "For the beauty of the Earth" which is sold by Sing Out and Clearwater.   My wife was in charge of getting artists permission.   We wanted to use the song "Rocky Mountain High"    We were asking artists to release the songs for free with no royalties.   Denver signed the release and sent it back to us.   I give him credit for that.   It was also cool getting a letter from John Denver which arrived the same day as the letter from Tom Lehrer (Pollution)   I kept the envelope that Pete Seeger sent me.   (I dont' care if you think I'm crazy as my wife does)

Denver put his money where his mouth was.   Signed the release and didn't ask for a dime.   I have nothing bad to say about him.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: open mike
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 02:21 PM

still no facts to back up the allegations..
of domestic violence...until i see something
specific i will write it off as a bad rumour.

Randy Sparks composed the song
"Today while the blossoms still cling to the vine"
that song has a special place in my heart, too.
here is the song in the data base
http://www.mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=7367
and here is "our" discussion of it
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=4086#22159


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 02:25 PM

Extracted from ARTICLE FROM STEREO REVIEW
AUGUST, 1991


    The Porche flap grew out of the national howl that went
    up when Denver planned to install several gigantic gas tanks
    on his various Colorado properties. He wanted them, he says,
    so he could buy gasoline in volume, in part to aid his
    Windstar Foundation, an environmental education and
    research center, and in part to offer lower gas prices to his
    employees. It was a perfectly fine idea, he thought, except
    the newspapers reported that the famous energy saver now had
    enough gasoline to drive his Porsche around the world twelve
    times. The accusation angered the normally mild-mannered
    singer, but it forced him to cancel the gas tanks to quell the
    public outrage.


Considering the snide tone of the article, it's suprising she gives him credit for anything, or airs his side of these events. But she spells it out, and it makes good sense.

She uses the term "simpleminded" at one point when referring to some of his song lyrics--but that term might be better applied to the visiting troll who presumes that this discussion of Denver reflects the sole musical interest of those participating in the discussion.

SRS


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 02:36 PM

SRS - the other link that I gave was from an enginer/friend of Denver's who said basically the same.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Big Mick
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 02:37 PM

I do a fair amount of research for songs, I sing a lot of songs that make social commentary, I often strive to bring a point of view to the music. But I think it is instructive to realize that it is not necessary for music to do such things to have validity. Many years ago, when I first moved back from California & Baja California, I had a brand new baby girl (who is now a beautiful 28 yr. old woman) that had been born in California. I had brought her "home" to Michigan. I have always sung to my kids. I would do it to calm them while doing things, such as changing diapers. The song I used to love to sing to my Cassie was "Hey, It's Good To Be Back Home Again". I can remember driving around with the kids, and having them beg me to put on "Grandma's Feather Bed". I remember him making the comment about sitting on the beach and singing and just wishing he had someone to sing to. I could relate to that.

The simple fact is that he was a wonderful entertainer, and that he knew how to write, and/or interpret music. Much of what he did was, indeed, saccharin. But he wore his emotion on his sleeve, and put his money where his mouth was.

Mick


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 06:21 PM

I became a JD fan when PP&M recorded "Jet Plane" and stayed one. I cringe at the affected "country boy" persona he adopted later in his commercial career ("Good to be Back Home" "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" "Grandma's Feather Bed" yuk), but none of that changes the talent & sensitivity he contributed to the last gasp stages of The Great Folk Scare when he sang with the Mitchell Trio (who were the acme of that genre IMO). He also made a huge contribution to the "post Scare" transition of folk into folk-rock/country-folk, etc. while Goodman & Prine et al were "emerging." He did seem to lose himself for a while, and I thought his work was done, but The Wildlife Concert is a tour de force, in spite of the way the years had taken their toll on his voice (he could sustain the high notes he used to, and what used to be "reedy" about his tenor had turned gravelly). But his stage presence was unaltered, if anything stronger (I saw him in Boston around 1975 or so, and he was just a hell of a show), and as he warmed up, the music brings one back to his salad days, which were productive indeed. Frankly I've always felt his "issue" music was the weakest stuff, musically, "Calypso" is only slightly less icky than "Feather Bed" - but "Darcy Farrow" and "This Old Guitar" and "For Bobbie" and many others reminds one in spades that he was a talent, regardless of what one thinks of his politics, persona, or gas guage. He was an entertainer, "folkish" music was his initial idiom, "country boy" a later manifestation, but whatever drove his early work was still (or again?) present in the last stage of his career. A large part of the soundtrack of my late highschool and early college years, right through early adulthood - "Farewell Andromeda" and "Rocky Mtn High" "Rhymes & Reasons" and "PP&P" are all part of that time for me. Thanks John.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 06:22 PM

Actually - in The Wildlife Concert, he COULDN'T sustain the high notes of the 60s; typo, sorry.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: GUEST,John's ghost
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 05:07 AM

I'm leaving on a seaplane.
I'm never coming back again


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 05:55 AM

I seem to remember he recorded Steve Goodmans City of New Orleans, changed about 5 words and then tried to claim credit as a co-writer.That was the end of my JD infatuation.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 11:59 AM

Once again, you need something to back that up if anyone is going to accept it as a valid complaint. I don't know the song or the performance, so can't take issue from that standpoint. But considering the discussion so far, it sounds out-of-character, don't you think?

SRS


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: GUEST,BeingRealistic
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 12:52 PM

surely every succesful mass commercial recording artist
has been a bit of a c*** at some point in their career..

theres got to be even the slightest ruthless, selfish, hypocritical
aspect to all their personalitys..

0therwise how else will they float to the top of the music biz shit pit,
and sustain a lengthy career against all odds and competition..

so is there any real point in singling out John Denver for undue criticsism
or, on the other hand, being so defensive and in denial
of his most probable and alleged human failings..

its surely to be expected and goes with the territory of being
a rich celebrity,,,



[yes i'm aware i cant spell..and no spellcheck on this computer]


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Once Famous
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 02:40 PM

Troll,

Miles Davis is completely shit jazz.

Have heard better fingernails on a chalkboard.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: GUEST,Eric
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 04:04 PM

I was a long time fan from seeing him with PPM and Tom Paxton on BBC2 in the early 70's and bought all his albums after the Poems and Prayers and Promises. Yes he was saccharine at times and his later work got over-orchestrated but I agree with Big Mick
"The simple fact is that he was a wonderful entertainer, and that he knew how to write, and/or interpret music. Much of what he did was, indeed, saccharin. But he wore his emotion on his sleeve, and put his money where his mouth was."
I hardly listen to him anymore but when I want to smile I do same as when I want a bit of angst I listen to Scott Walker.
JD was a flawed human being - WOW! - so am I and though I try not to say bad things about people I will make an exception for the a..hole who shares my name and one of my nicknames.

Eric [the red, the viking or whatever]


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: black walnut
Date: 09 Dec 05 - 11:27 AM

There was a John Denver T.V. special last night on WNED. Fund-raising. I couldn't stop watching it. I kept imagining how nice it would be to have had him in our song circle. Such a simple clear voice and uncluttered lyrics. Not all tangley and metaphorical, like mine. (my grownup ones, not my kids ones!)

I saw him live once, at the C.N.E. in Toronto. That was in the early 70's, I guess.

On the special last night he sang "Leaving on a Jet Plane" and I had to Google it to believe that he wrote it. I've heard it done by so many other people, I could hardly believe it. It's a John Denver song. Go figure!

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: open mike
Date: 09 Dec 05 - 12:31 PM

http://www.airsafe.com/events/celebs/denver.htm
http://www.answers.com/topic/john-denver
the experimental airplane he had was a Rutan Long E Z
a hand made plane that had the engine in teh back ( a "pusher")
http://www.airbum.com/pireps/PirepLongEZ.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Denver


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Kaleea
Date: 09 Dec 05 - 01:46 PM

All the fussin' & criticism that goes on here can get ridiculous! After Ray Charles died, I recall hearing one "bigtime" (in his own mind) critic saying that everything after the Country album was all alike. Why dance on his grave? Why speak ill of the dead?
Does this make you feel more important?
Each Musician has their own style. Some change their style over time, some don't. Some Musicians do something besides sing & play Music.
I remember seeing recordings of John Denver in the far east back in the mid 70's. When a Musician's Music is known on the other side of the planet in completely different cultures, has a song on a Beatle!! album & is recorded by many other artists, is one of the first Musicians to perform in the former USSR, was out beating the drum before "we are the world," has the respect of Jaques Cousteau, not to mention influence many, many people to play the Guitar in the fingerpicking style--there must be a reason.
Oh yeah, & he was a fingerpicker--he played acoustic Music.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Folkiedave
Date: 09 Dec 05 - 06:15 PM

He wrote Annie' Song - which Sheffield United FC (soccer) fans sing as follows....

You fill up my senses like a gallon of Magnet (beer)
Like a packet of Woodbines (cigarettes) like a good pinch of snuff,
Like a night out in Sheffield like a greasy chip butty,
Come Sheffiled United and thrill me again....

Da da da da dar dar................

Known as the Greasy Chip Butty song,

For those who may not be sure, a butty is a breadcake.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Dec 05 - 06:42 PM

I just re-read these messages and see I've been accused of not liking John Denver's work. I resent the accusation. I 've played some of his stuff to put food on the table. I respect his work. All i said was that some of his compositions are a bit diffuse.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Pistachio
Date: 10 Dec 05 - 09:46 AM

Nobody's perfect - not me - not you - not JD, but he entertained so clearly, with a sensitivity in delivery that not many have.
I saw him live twice in Berlin, - memorable - and own more JD material than I realised. At my wedding it was JD on the turntable!
I'm glad I found this thread - it's been good reading but now I'm off to the record player to listen again and get that certain shiver that John Denvers' voice induces.
Thanks John, gone too soon!
H.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Arkie
Date: 10 Dec 05 - 12:44 PM

I had the good fortune to see John Denver live on two occasions. Once at the Philadelphia Folk Festival where he did a solo spot and later with a band after he had become a star. The former concert appealled to me more, but both were memorable occasions. Denver had charisma on stage and his ability as a songwriter, singer, and guitarist have already been eloquently stated. When he was in his prime he was a formidable performer, and many of his songs will be around for a while.

To focus on a few character flaws whether real or misunderstood is an injustice to one who brought so much pleasure through his music. After all, he was a member of the human species and a musician, not a god and he did lend his name to some worthwhile causes. I cannot help but believe Denver's wholesome image and commercial success have provoked some of the negativity.   That said, I do not want to suggest that being famous or talented are reasons for condoning unacceptable behavior.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: open mike
Date: 11 Dec 05 - 10:37 AM

wow--someone who still has a record player...and uses it!!


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Pistachio
Date: 11 Dec 05 - 10:44 AM

Yes 'open mike' I don't have the technology to copy all my old LP's, nor the cash to replace them (if CD's of my obscure collection even exist) so the old 'Pioneer' hi-fi sits in the corner of my dining room and opens up the past for me every now and then. PS I've got to get my christmas cards on the go now so I'll get JD on the turntable and get started!
Regards
H.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: GUEST,Tim
Date: 11 Dec 05 - 11:01 AM

So was he or was he not a republican? Just curious.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Big Mick
Date: 11 Dec 05 - 02:27 PM

GUEST, Tim I may have made a mistake if THIS SITE is correct. I remember seeing him with Reagan quite a lot, and made an assumption. In fact I set out to prove this to the forum, and may have proved myself wrong. He was certainly an avid environmentalist, and the list of his contributions sure seems to indicate that he was an independent with a strong Democratic leaning.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Lizzie Cornish
Date: 11 Dec 05 - 03:48 PM

Haven't a clue if he was a republican or not Tim, not that it matters or that anyone will ever know how John Denver voted. What is important is the music and the man.

John sold more records than The Beatles, ever go to China.... he did a vast amount for charities, for the hungry and the environment. He was also deeply loved by many, many people, some of whom still carry on his beloved Windstar Foundation for him:

http://www.wstar.org/

He put in a huge amount of work and I believe, his own money, to ensure it would remain the way it was supposed to...free and wild...and to educate children and adults too, in what we're doing to our planet. If you read up about him, you'll find that he felt very guilty that his fame 'put Colorado on the map' and opened the door for the builders and the planners to move in....that it became some sort of Mecca, because of his songs. He was often happiest out in the mountains entirely on his own.

Yes he had problems in his life, mainly drink, which led him into some truly ghastly places...but he had the courage to admit it...and in the end he and Annie became friends again. It sent him to hell and back. I remember seeing him on TV over here in England a year or two before he died and he was talking about his problems...he made no excuses for himself at all. The happy-go-lucky YeeHa! John had gone....and in his place there was a deep-thinking man, quietly talking about his failings, his family and his hopes for the future.

His music played a very important part in my early life. I loved the gentleness in his songs. I loved the way he sang about nature...I loved the way he teamed up with Jacques Cousteau and The Calypso team. I was lucky enough to see him live twice, once at The London Palladium and once at Wembley, along with many thousands of other people. He let me soar with eagles, he let me stand upon 'cathedral mountains' he took me out into The Rocky Mountains...to Montana...he made me feel sad, happy, angry, inquisitive.....all the things that a great songwriter is able to make someone feel.

Leaving On A Jet Plane must mean a HUGE amount to many performers...who feel this urgent need to take their music to as many people as possible, whilst knowing they have to leave their families behind them. Annie was desperate for him to stay...he knew he had to go and it tore them apart. But if he hadn't done it...none of the messages on this board would probably ever have been written. In fact, you could almost say that we were all part of the reason that John Denver took to drinking in the first place. Now there's a new way of looking at things!

Love him or hate him....John Denver had a huge impact on very many people. I was deeply saddened by the personal things that befell him and his family, but at least things had become bearable again at the end. A man who knew much sadness in his life, whilst bringing much happiness to hundreds of thousands too. What a dilemma for anyone to face....A voice which tells you to 'stay' and a voice which tells you to 'go'......

Read his words in 'Goodbye Again' and it's easy to see why things started to go so wrong for him:

Do you choose to remember a man for his faults? Or for his achievements? Perhaps reading this may help:

http://www.wstar.org/Windstar/Org/JD/john.htm

I'm very glad that I was lucky enough to grow up with his music. I wish he were still here, along with Harry Chapin, who was mentioned above:

http://harrychapinmusic.com/chapin_site2/home/chapinhp_frm.html

.....We so need people who care about others and about our world..

Lizzie :0)


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Lizzie Cornish
Date: 11 Dec 05 - 03:52 PM

Sorry...pressed 'submit' when I meant to press 'preview'....please imagine the 'ever to go to China' bit isn't there. Woops!! (Don't you just hate it when you do that!)

Lizzie :0)


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: freightdawg
Date: 11 Dec 05 - 11:36 PM

Wow, Lizzie...that was beautiful. I am deeply moved by JD's music, and as I age I find myself drawn more deeply into his metaphors and meanings in life. As with so many performers, John died way too early. But few of us will ever get half as much out of life as he did, or put back a quarter of the amount he gave to others. I will be in his debt as long as I can sing.

Freightdawg


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Essex Girl
Date: 12 Dec 05 - 08:45 AM

I have many LP's (shows my age) of John Denver, but I have recently started replacing them with CD's so I can play them in the car. His death was premature.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: M.Ted
Date: 12 Dec 05 - 11:46 AM

I understood what you were saying, weelittledrummer--

For those of us who have played "folk" music for a living, John Denver was a great man. He wrote four or five songs that were easy to play on the guitar, fun to sing, and could always be counted on for a round of applause, money in the hat,etc.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Pistachio
Date: 12 Dec 05 - 05:13 PM

Lizzie - I wish I'd written ..."HE LET ME SOAR WITH EAGLES, HE LET ME STAND UPON 'CATHEDRAL MOUNTAINS' HE TOOK ME OUT INTO THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS...TO MONTANA...HE MADE ME FEEL SAD, HAPPY, ANGRY, INQUISITIVE.....ALL THE THINGS THAT A GREAT SONGWRITER IS ABLE TO MAKE SOMEONE FEEL.... Your words explain it all so clearly - and I listened to Goodbye again this morning, Jet plane too - JD's honesty, his sorrow, his life was poured out in his songs and I am so glad I was able to kick start my guitar playing and singing with his 'EASY TO PLAY, FUN TO SING' songs. (Thanks M Ted)
Gone too soon - what more might he have achieved?

Back to the turntable for more.
H.x


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: GUEST,John Denver's Legacy
Date: 12 Dec 05 - 11:18 PM

I saw John in small venues before he was famous and in huge arenas.He played a tiny club called The Drinking Gourd in Redondo Beach around 1967. I saw him at the Hollywood Bowl when he was famous. He basically was a folk musician who tapped a pop vein and rode it all long time. John underated as a guitarist and always did a few folk ballads in his concerts. He may have had drinking and drug problems, but he lived at a time when that was expected from performers. He wrestled with his demons and his relationaships like all of us do.
His environalmental snsitivity will be sadly missed. Right up to the end of his life he was woking to save wild places and endangered animals. He wanted to keep Big Oil out of the Alsakan Wildlife Reguge.
His felicity with words, rhythm, and melody have left us songs that if not exactly classics, will outlive most of today's pop songs by decades, simpley because they were so universal and simple at the same time. His stage persona turned off many auditors, but basically he was a good-hearted American farm boy with a musical gift. His detractors generally regard him as insipid and unengaged, but he was really totally committed to his both his music and his conservation.
All John wanted his whole life was a family, and when he couldn't have one naturally he adopted the American Public. Just when an icon becomes recognized, we realize that icons are truly irreplacable. What a loss!


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: GUEST,Greycap
Date: 13 Dec 05 - 04:27 AM

Loved his music, miss him greatly.


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: GUEST,JoniBlueEyes1014@aol.com
Date: 17 Jan 06 - 01:36 PM

I live in St.Louis and was wondering if anyone would know if there is a place to get some of his T.v. specials or concerts? thanks


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: freightdawg
Date: 17 Jan 06 - 08:26 PM

Hello GuestJoniBlueEyes,

For starters I would look on your local tv public broadcasting station's web site and see if they are offering any of his concerts in their fund raising. There are at least three of his "fundraisers" that I know of - his Wildlife concert, a documentary of his environmentalism filmed shortly before his untimely death and a new one I just recently saw entitled "A Song's Best Friend: John Denver" You can get those DVDs from your PBS station for a donation. Another place you might get a copy of the wildlife concert is by contacting the Wildlife Conservation Society at 1-800-4-Wildlife. It was the wildlife preservation group that JD thought was doing the most in protecting habitat and wildlife. And, of course, there is the local Borders, Hastings, Waldenbooks, etc., where you might locate a DVD in the musical concert section of the store.

Freightdawg


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: bubblyrat
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 08:15 PM

Poor old John !! I wonder how many of you Armchair Critics would have had the the COURAGE to walk up to him and make all the spiteful,hateful,resentful,jealous remarks you"re so keen to make now that he"s dead ?? Personally, I enjoyed his music.I liked his guitar-playing,I liked most of his songs,and I found his voice pleasing to the ear. What he did at home,with his wife,how much he drank,whether or not he lost his temper ,or was "difficult ",or egotistical,or had buried gasoline tanks, or plagiarised other people"s work,or had sex with polar bears, WHO CARES ??? Are you all so perfect?? Really ?? Let"s hear some of YOUR songs !! Let"s have all the details about YOUR personal relationships !!Let"s all find out about YOUR addictions,YOUR weaknesses ,YOUR problems !! Let"s all criticise YOU ----OK ???


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: Ebbie
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 08:34 PM

As I've written somewhere before on the Cat, John Denver was my musician brother's favorite performer and he and my sister in law took in all of JD's concerts within three hours' drive.

If there really is an afterlife, I hope that my brother and John Denver finally got to play together. :)


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: guitar
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 10:15 PM

i saw John denver when I was Glasgow with my father, and then the following week he died.

great loss

Tom


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Subject: RE: John Denver - 60's Folk Singer
From: JeremyC
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 02:19 PM

I like John Denver, even if I only like a handful of his songs. I don't know whether he BELIEVED what he sang, but what I like about him is that you can hear the joy and love of music in his voice. I can't think of a single other performer with that exuberant quality.


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