Letter D- Darlin’ Be Home Soon-John Sebastian

This year for the 2023 A-Z Blog Challenge, I’m going to begin by listing a song or musical subject, and then see how fast and how far I can completely blow up my own “stream of consciousness,”and head “off the reservation,” by linking every real and Zulu Delta-imagined fact, piece of music trivia, or not so apparent connection to what is racing around my head to that song in an “unstructured, graffiti-like” format. Complete and utter nonsense! Turn it up and turn it on, but as Van “The Man” Morrison said…….”It’s already turned on!”

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter D

John Sebastian wrote “Darlin Be Home Soon” when he was 21 years old. 

The Lovin Spoonful released the song in 1967; about a year after their “Number One” record single, “Summer In The City.”

Notice how John seemed to be unaware of, or against words ending in “G.”

John having drifted out of the spotlight from the “60’s” snagged a surprise “Number One” hit “Welcome Back” in 1976 with the theme song to the TV show “Welcome Back, Kotter.” 

Of course, one of the TV cast members to the show would include the “seemingly un-talented, and unknown” actor, John Travolta, whose TV show “signature line” was so moronic to even a formally moronic teenager turned blogger, that it shall not be mentioned here. 

Evidence to the existence of “career redemption.”

In the early 70’s, John claimed to make more money buying and selling Real Estate than the music business.

John was actually from Greenwich Village in New York City, and helped to make Greenwich Village the epi-center of the folk movement. He had also hung around with Woody Guthrie in the Village (whoever the hell he was?).  

John’s father was a harmonica player from Italy. John played harmonica with The Doors on the song “Roadhouse Blues” for the album “Morrison Hotel.” He played under the pseudonym G. Pugliese (his father’s full Italian name) to avoid problems with his contract, and to avoid association with Doors front man Jim Morrison who was then facing trial on charges of lewd behavior in Miami. 

John is considered an honorary member of the band NRBQ. A band that dwells in “musician fame” and notoriety as well as pop music “fandom obscurity” all at the same time.

His first ex-wife went on to marry Bob Denver….that’s right, Gilligan from Gilligan’s Island.

He tie-dyed his own clothes. His jacket from the concert at Woodstock is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

I once had an apprentice who was appalled and offended when I complimented him on making such a cool tie-dyed shirt that he was wearing. He later told me he paid a lot of money for as it is. He didn’t believe me when I told him we made tie-dyed shirts in “Summer Recreation” as young kids (1973). 

In 1969 Joe Cocker would record John’s song “Darling Be Home Soon.” Notice how the spelling of Darling had changed.

Rita Coolidge was one of the singers in his choir, and Wrecking Crew Alumni, Leon Russell on the piano for the song, made it even more special.

Joe Cocker was one of “those” guys who could probably sing the phone book and have it sound wicked cool.

“Zulu, what’s a phone book?” Zip it, and keep reading Kid!

Joe Cocker started as a plumber/pipefitter for British Gas.

Cocker started his music career floating around England in the “Skiffle Scene.” Skiffle is a genre of folk music with influences from American folk musicbluescountrybluegrass, and jazz. It has been estimated that in the late 1950s, there were 30,000–50,000 skiffle groups in Britain. This is a huge number and seems even larger considering most Americans had never heard of Scotsman and “the King of Skiffle” Lonnie Donegan. Thanks Wiki!

During the summer of 1970, the Skiffle-like song “In the Summertime” by British band Mungo Jerry reached the top of the charts in several countries around the world.

Irishman Van Morrison was an early Skiffle participant.

rent party (sometimes called a house party) is a social occasion where tenants hire a musician or band to play and pass the hat to raise money to pay their rent, originating in Harlem during the 1920s. These parties were a means for black tenants to eat, dance, and get away from everyday hardship and discrimination. The rent party played a major role in the development of jazz and blues music, alongside forms of swing dancing. The Oxford English Dictionary states that the term Skiffle means “rent party”, indicating the informality of the occasion. Thanks Wiki!

“Party Girl” is a 1995 film starring Parker Posey (Queen of the Indies), and notable for being the first feature film to premiere on the Internet. The film is about a young woman who throws rent parties in NYC in the mid 90’s. Skiffle if you will.

I once mentioned how I had “discovered” this hip indie movie in the far corner of the Pawtuxet Video Store (before Major, Blockbuster and Hollywood Video) to John M. many years before we hung out a lot. He immediately yelled out Parker Posey. “Friend destiny.” The video store was one of the “original” locally-owned video rental stores. The store was owned by Ricky Zuckerman. He had a bright red corvette with the Rhode Island Plate; “ZUCK.”

Many years later, I was riding my bike one night with a friend when he stopped to talk to someone he knew long ago. I had no idea who the guy was. After several minutes, we left, and 3 bocks later he told me “that” guy was “ZUCK.” We backtracked and found him still out walking, and spent half an hour talking about when he was the “King of the Village.” 

His girlfriend rolled her eyes a lot, but it didn’t matter. Once a King….always a King!

10 thoughts on “Letter D- Darlin’ Be Home Soon-John Sebastian

  1. I love how Parker Posey crept into a blog about John Sebastian. My fave scene from “Party Girl” was when she used her newfound library job experience to reorganize 1000 of her roommate’s records by the the Dewey Decimal system. When the roommate went ballistic, she said “Well, they were a mess…”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was blessed to be the 7th of 8 kids. Music was always playing at our house. I was introduced to not only music of my time, but my older sibling’s time as well. John Sebastian was a favorite of mine. I love his voice. I remember lyrics to songs that were popular before I was born through my own childhood. Now, if I could only find my keys…

    Liked by 1 person

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