Posts Tagged ‘David Blue’

David Blue was born on 18th February 1941. He wasn’t born David Blue, of course, but Stuart David Cohen and he came from Providence, Rhode Island.  At age 17, Blue left home, and joined the Navy, but was soon thrown out for his “Inability to adjust to a military way of life.” He moved to Greenwich Village in the early ‘60s and one day saw Bob Dylan writing the song that would become the great folk anthem ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’.  Bob asked David to play the chords while he would create the verses.  It was performed that night at Gerde’s Folk City.

Once Bob Dylan made it, record companies came looking around Greenwich Village for potential artists. However, there was already a Dave Cohen performing in the village, who later joined Country Joe and the Fish. Our Dave Cohen told folk singer Eric Andersen that he would have to change his name and Eric said, “You’ve got such blue eyes. You should be David Blue”. When Dylan heard of his new name, he started laughing and sang “It’s all over now, David Blue”.

“At the beginning, no one in the “in” crowd liked David, except for Phil Ochs. Phil thought he was a tremendous performer and songwriter. Later on, people started coming around to his music. David’s music was all romantic. Phil’s was all political. In fact, David. Phil and Dylan were an interesting threesome when it came to writing about women. David would write about women who most people didn’t know – the exotics; Dylan wrote about the universals; and Phil didn’t write about them at all …David’s first appearance on record was on the Elektra LP “The Singer / Songwriter Project” where he performed three songs under the name David Cohen. Around the same time he appeared as one of the Broadside Singers on “Broadside Ballads, Vol.3”

When Bob Dylan had his motor cycle accident in 1966, David Blue sent him a note “It’s been done already” – a reference to James Dean. While Bob was recovering, he was recording with the band and David can be seen on the cover of The Basement Tapes – he is sitting to the right of Mrs Henry. Blue joined Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue in 1975 and appeared in Renaldo and Clara, the 1978 movie that was filmed during that tour.

The Reprise album, “These 23 Days In September” was released in 1968. It was produced by Gabriel Mekler who was producing Steppenwolf. Gabriel played piano and Bob Rafkin, guitar.

His first album for the newly-formed Asylum label – “Stories” (1972) – had a self-portrait on its cover. The album featured some magical slide guitar from Ry Cooder. The musicians on the album include Rita Coolidge, Chris Ethridge, Milt Holland and Russ Kunkel, which is pretty much an A-Team.

In the album’s ballads, particularly “Grand Hotel,” but also “Midnight Through Morning” and “The Street,” he revealed a more lyrical style that was warmer and sadder than anything in Dylan’s repertoire. Those songs would point a direction for him to find more of his own sound on subsequent albums.

Graham Nash, then a superstar with Crosby, Stills and Nash, produced the album “Nice Baby And The Angel” in 1973. Background vocals included Graham Nash, Dave Mason, Glenn Frey and Jennifer Warren. Glenn Frey was so taken with the track ‘Outlaw Man’ that he took it to The Eagles and it was featured on their album “Desperado”.

“Cupid’s Arrow” released in 1976 was produced by Barry Goldberg and featured Jesse Ed Davis and the Liverpool musician Jackie Lomax. The title track was written about protest singer Phil Ochs and it was sung at his memorial concert.

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David Blue quit high school at age 17, left home, and joined the Navy, but was soon thrown out for his “Inability to adjust to a military way of life.” Blue became an integral part of the “Greenwich Village” Folk music”scene in New York City which included singer songwriters Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs and Dave Van Ronk Tom Paxton, Bob Neuwirth, and Eric Andersen. … Of the singers and writers on the scene at this time, David Blue appears to have been closest to Dylan…” “He needed a friend,” Blue said. “So he started including me in his scene and I got tight with him.

David Blue is best known for writing the song “Outlaw Man” for the Eagles (band)” which was included on their 1973 “Desperado”. Blue’s original version of “Outlaw Man” was the lead track of his own Nice Baby and the Angel album, re-issued on CD, with the entire David Blue catalogue, in 2007 on Wounded Bird Records.

Blue joined Dylan’s “Rolling Thunder Revue” in 1975 and appeared in Renaldo and Clara the 1978 movie that was filmed during that tour. Blue acted in other films including, “The American Friend (1977), directed by Wim Wenders The Ordeal of Patty Hearst (a 1979 TV movie) and “Human Highway” by Neil Young” premiered in 1983 after Blue’s death. Blue also performed onstage in Stephen Poliakoff ‘s play “American Days” at the Manhattan Theatre Club”  in New York City in December 1980, directed by Jacques Levy”

David Blue does write every track but the album is full of inventiveness and cracking tunes with a distinctly alternative edge to it, and dare I say tinges of psych on some tracks… There is, probably inevitably, the feel of a recently electrified Dylan on here including some occasional Bloomfield-esque guitar moments,

Blue died of Heart attack in December 1982 at the age of 41, while jogging in Washington Square Park New York