In the chilly hours and minutes
Of uncertainty, I want to be
In the warm hold of your loving mind.
To feel you all around me,
And to take your hand, along the sand.
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind.
– Catch The Wind (Donovan)
Probably no episode of any tv show pounded more at my prepubescent heartstrings than the one below from the 80’s big tv hit –The Wonder Years.
In this episode called ‘Brightwing’, Kevin’s sister becomes a peace-loving radical, running away from home to join her boyfriend in a hippy commune. As the show draws to a close she eventually returns home as a folk song called Catch the Wind cues in. The coupling of this song with the narrator’s words about ‘how people were trying to find their way in life, only to find their way home again’ floored me; it truly did. Even when I rewatch it now I can’t help be fully immersed in this powerful scene:
I went on a mission. I had to find that song. Someone suggested it was Bob Dylan so I snapped up my first Bob Dylan record called Before the Flood. Included on it was Blowing in the Wind which I assumed was the song from the episode. Man was I pissed to learn it wasn’t. But alas that incidental error would begin a wondrous musical journey which continues to this day. Trying to emulate my newfound favorite artist I wrote a whole bunch of poems and lyrics. Afraid I might be embarrassed and lead a terminal bullied life at school, I kept those pages a secret. If they got out on the street or, much worse, into a school newspaper to join the bona fide list of school try-hards, the game was up.
Despite much frustration I never did procure Donovan’s debut record – What’s Bin Did and What’s Bin Hid containing Catch The Wind. I ended up making a shoddy bootleg on cassette tape from the video recording. Many years later, I would eventually watch the classic D. A. Pennebaker documentary Don’t Look Back of Dylan’s 1965 concert tour of England. Dylan and Donovan would confront each other for a famous folk duel (see below) where funnily enough, I saw both leave the ‘ol’ corral’ as the victor.
It was extremely satisfying watching that. I felt a sense of vindication apprehending the circle was now complete.