Friday, 27 March 2009

Behind the Songs: Basket in the Pool

by Donovan Leitch

Before I returned home, Tom Smothers threw a party for me at Robert Redford's house. The guest list was as long as the press party with more faces. Tom took great delight in playing the "Barabajagal" single at full volume on the huge sound system, asking his guests who they thought the singer was. Everyone got it wrong. At the height of the excitement the crowds parted for a wild-looking chick with blazing eyes. She stuck her face close to mine. It was Janis Joplin.

"Just wanted to see what you looked like, Donovan!" And she was gone. Janis had gone back to the bedroom where all the musos were hiding from the "Hollyweird" crowd.

At the poolside there was a raffle, and the protest singer, Phil Ochs, won it. Everyone cheered as he went up to the microphone, but he was not pleased. He gave us all a tongue-lashing about Vietnam and the senselessness of Hollywood, this party, me included. Raising the huge basket of fruit he had won, he tossed it into the pool and left in disgust. Of course he was right, but the party went on regardless.

I climbed the rock waterfall high above the party (feeling a little like I also had been thrown away) and plunged into the pool to join the fruit.

1 comment:

JimGlover1 said...

Phil always bragged about this incident to me with a touch of regret but Donavan explains it best. A great story.