ISBuC (v7) 2012
'They called him Mellow Yellow'

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Stein Area Information

Elfin folk star and psychedelic poet Donovan was famous for a string of well-received record releases including Mellow Yellow, Catch the Wind and Universal Soldier. Less widely known was his sojourn at Stein, on Skye's Waternish peninsula, where he, his manager Gypsy Dave and a group of followers formed a commune as only 1960s hippies could do.

Born Donovan Leitch in 1946 in Glasgow's Maryhill, by 1956 he had moved with his family to the very upright Hertfordshire town of Hatfield, north of London. He later frequented a major folk venue in St Albans, a pub called The Cock.

ISBuC has been able to glean almost no facts about the Skye commune (but let's face it, isn't amnesia an inevitable part of the commune experience?) Those who made contact recall the episode with mild amusement. That said Donovan's career is substantial and enduring. With some 23 albums under his belt he was last known, in 1999, living in beautiful County Cork in the south of Ireland.

His daughter Ione Skye has carved out a career as a Holywood actress. His son Donovan Leitch Jnr was doing well fronting a band called Nancy Boy in clubs frequented by New York's pop and cultural glitterati.

Courtesy of Geoff Holman