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Lovin' Spoonful Best Of

Original 1970 album liner notes

Side One

Younger Girl 

Didn’t Want To Have To Do It  2:06


You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice 

Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?  2:00

Do You Believe In Magic?  2:04

Side Two

Summer In The City

Rain On The Roof

Six O’Clock  2:38

Darling Be Home Soon 

Till I Run With You* 

Never Going Back**  2:48

A Product Of Koppleman-Rubin Associates, Inc.

John Sebastian looked across at Zally Yanovsky.  He grinned at Zally’s hayseed visiting the big city appearance.  Zally looked back, ignoring the hundreds of jelly beans that flew out of the darkened theater to land in the spotlight near his feet.  They nodded at each other and suddenly each started running towards the other, almost slow motion at first, then gaining momentum to jump over the other’s guitar patch chord and land plunk down safely on both feet.

I loved it, John and Zally shooting through the air at each other and miraculously keeping from a fatal collision as they sailed over each other’s shiny black patch chord.  Amazing!  What had Buster Keaton and the Keystone Cops on these two and they made music besides.

And between these two cultural heroes (Zally the crazy freak who not only survives but attains stardom – Sebastian the sensitive, creative artist using the new medium of music), between these two symbols of what was to come as the sixth decade crumbled, sat Joe Butler, a distinctly good looking guy, on the drums with that same infectious sense of the silly.  And off, out of the spotlight, Steve Boone was playing bass like he’d just that minute picked up the instrument for the first time.

It was a Lovin’ Spoonful concert, my first as I remember it with the Sopwith Camel, hello hello, as the opening act.  Zally’s farewell concert at Forest Hills.  I remember searching him out on a sunny summer afternoon in Greenwich Village a couple of days before the concert in an attempt to get confirmation of the rumors that he was leaving the group.  Finding his apartment house and running down the names on the mailboxes until I saw one little blue inked slip of paper that read “nobody.”  I rang the corresponding bell and out came Zally, launching himself down the steps and onto the street past me.

“Are you leaving?” I asked.  Consulting his watch he said, “Yeah, in about five minutes.”  Playing the straight man I tried again, “No I mean the group.”  No answer as Zally entered the basement apartment.

Then the word was out, goodbye Zally.  I remember John Sebastian singing “Younger Generation,” banjo on his knee, for the first time that same last concert night under the stars on Long Island.

Bump.  Bustle.  A Yester in the group.  Another album and a performance for the new Lovin’ Spoonful at Philharmonic Hall.  Zally sat in the audience, plump in front of me with Eric Clapton next to him.  Calling up to the stage as Yester frantically placed guitar strings and Butler made unpleasant religious jokes and Sebastian smiled the weary smile of the prophet in his own land.

Soon then it was all over.  The magic left the group and John has gone off to solo into the night, California nights with the help of Paul Rothchild and all his Night Owl friends now superstars living out of Los Angeles’ chrome plated plastic palaces.  And Zally was doing a final album, solo, which was to be missed by everybody.  A final album with the best set of liner notes ever written on an album and music that was rock and roll revival before anyone else ever thought anything about it.

But let’s go back to the sunny afternoons, the time when we all believed in magic and none of us had found out what it was like to try and ‘tell a stranger about rock and roll.’  Then the world of music was post Beatles but pre rock revolution.  Then there were good things and hip people were the ones who listened to a lot of AM radio.  And New York City had something then to be proud of, The Lovin’ Spoonful.  And the Magicians and the Myddle Class.  But mainly the Spoonful.  Remember the two page spread in Esquire of the group all decked out.  And everyone running out to get candy-striped tee-shirts with short sleeves.

The Lovin’ Spoonful were a slowly melting innocence, the consciousness of one last good time before the rumbling thunder and black storm clouds that put out the best lit fire.  The Spoonful whispered such nice little thoughts in our ears, didn’t want to have to do it, younger girl, daydream, did you ever have to make up your mind, darling be home soon, rain on the roof.  And confronted us about things we’d known all along, summer in the city, six o’clock.

This album is a collection of the best of those thoughts and intentions.  At the time I’m sure none of us thought that we were never goin’ back in the days to come.  Now we know but still there is that longing for younger days that hearing this album will reinforce.  If nothing else, as you listen you will wonder where we all are now and how we managed to get there.

Richard Robinson

All Selections Faithful Virtue Music BMI except  * Chardon Music BMI  ** Great Montana Pub. Co. BMI

Sculpture: Ollie Alpert

Photo: Bob Bailey

Prepared by: Silver & Morris, Inc.

Kama Sutra


Available exclusively on Ampex stereo tape cartridges & cassettes
Distributed, marketed and promoted by Buddah Records, 1650 Broadway, N.Y.C. 10019
Buddah Records, a leisure time subsidiary of Viewlex, Inc. Printed in U.S.A.

KSBS 2013

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