Derek Trucks, Donovan and Harry Belafonte!

by Chris Murray on March 1, 2022

My friend, the artist Tom Meyer, called me the other day to see if I was going to the Tedeschi Trucks Band gig at the Warner Theatre in downtown Washington. I was clueless as to their being in town, and Tom got me two tickets for the show. It was an outstanding concert from the band many consider to be the best there is. And Dereck Trucks may well be the finest guitar player today.

It was ten years ago next month that I first met Derek and saw him perform. Donovan was being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on April 14th, 2012. It was my great pleasure to accompany him to Cleveland for that great honor, as his aide de camp. What a weekend it was!

Derek Trucks and Linda Leitch in the ‘green room’ at the 2012 Rock Hall induction ceremony.

The late, great Freddie King who by their own account, influenced Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Jeff Beck, Keith Richards and Stevie Ray Vaughan, among others, was being inducted as well that evening. A ’super group’ was formed to perform in Freddie King’s honor, which included Derek Trucks, Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, and Joe Bonamassa. King was being inducted into the Hall of Fame just before Donovan, and the band for King shared the backstage dressing room with Donovan, his wife Linda, and myself. Derek and Billy truly enjoyed meeting Donovan and a good time was had by all.

Billy and Donovan.

Linda Leitch, Billy Gibbons, Chris Murray with Donovan as he tunes up.

The Freddie King tribute group blew the top off the house with their performance! That was my first time seeing Derek Trucks play guitar.

Derek Trucks on the ‘big screen’ as the Freddie King tribute band performs, while Ronnie Wood and Flea confer.

Donovan went on to be inducted after Freddie King, and was introduced to the audience by John Mellencamp, a great fan and friend of Donovan’s. Donovan gave one of the finest acceptance speeches ever given at the Rock Hall ceremony, followed by him performing. The audience gave him a standing ovation. Sunshine Superman indeed!

Harry Belafonte turned 95 this week. I celebrated Belafonte’s extraordinary legacy by listening to Donovan’s recent album Jump In The Line: A Tribute to Harry Belafonte. A great tribute from one extraordinary artist to another!

All photographs by Carlotta Hester/Govinda Gallery.

Category: Blog, The Back Room   

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