My best friend kept singing a song about loving his shirt, and I refused to believe anyone would write a love song to a shirt.
But folk legend Donovan Leitch did.
Donovan - a performer that has for many become among the symbolic personalities of the Flower Power era - will be performing at the Fest for Beatles Fans (formerly "Beatlefest") in Secaucus on March 28 and 29, part of a three-day annual event that celebrates the lives and music of the most famous pop band in history, The Beatles.
This is Donovan's first appearance at the 28-year-old Beatles festival, and he is perhaps the biggest star to make a live appearance.
Donovan and the Beatles were part of what was once called "The British Invasion," although Donovan, due to contract battles in England, tended to be a bigger star in the United States than in his own country.
During the 1960s, Donovan appeared with several members of the Beatles on songs, and influenced the Beatles in different ways.
"He will be doing Beatles songs at our show and explaining how they came about," said the festival's organizer, Mark Lapidos. "Donovan was there for a lot of the recordings."
Donovan was once billed at Great Britain's answer to Bob Dylan, a label Donovan has played down - although he did admire Dylan.
"I was inspired rather than influence by him, in the same way he was inspired by Woody Gutherie," Donovan said during a 1980s interview.
Donovan began his career on a TV show called "Ready Steady Go" in 1965, and later that year appeared at the Newport Folk Festival.
Once called the troubadour of England, whose early hits included "Catch the Wind" "Colors," and "Sunny Goodge Street," he celebrated the Celtic culture.
"Sunshine Superman" became his first number one hit in the United States during the summer of 1966. This was originally titled for John and Paul, in tribute to the Beatles.
Donovan is credited with adding lyrics to the Beatles' Yellow Submarine. Donovan came up with the line, "Sky of blue and sea of green."
Donovan's song "Mellow Yellow" - on which Paul McCartney sang backup vocals - accidentally started the 1960s misconception that people could get high by smoking banana peels, something of an irony since Donovan was among the first superstars of pop to publicly give up drugs.
"Up to '67, the drugs were soft...but then, after '67, needle drugs and strong amphetamines came in," he said. "That's when The Beatles and [I] said, try meditation instead."
Paul McCartney also played on Donovan's "Atlantis"
It is believed Donovan wrote the song "Jennifer Juniper" about George Harrison's wife, Pattie.
McCartney and Donovan worked together on Mary Hopkins' 1968 Album "Postcard," an album released by the Beatles label Apple, from which the "Those Were The Days" hit single came.
Donovan taught John Lennon the folk finger-picking style later used in the Beatles song Dear Prudence, and others. Lennon taught the style to George Harrison.
When the Beatles made their famous trips to India in 1967, Donovan was there along with Mike Love of the Beach Boys and Mia Farrow (before she became Woody Allen's wife).
Donovan believed that pop music could be used as a perfect religious vehicle. He believed the fusion of folk and rock in the 1960s, with its many layers, brought in a musical revolution. He was among the leaders to mingle electric instruments with folk music, and he wrote many songs that became the theme songs of the hippie counterculture such as his ode to the long lost Medieval world in "Guinevere," or the fascination of the counter culture with witchcraft in "Season of the Witch," and tributes to centers of hippie culture such as Sunset Strip in his song "The Trip."
His music for the most part was utopian and optimistic, and had a host of transatlantic hit records that included "Wear your love like Heaven," "There Is a Mountain" and "Epistle to Dippy."
During the 1970s, Donovan lived in Ireland and toured with a band called "Open Road," and recorded with a handful of popular stars like Carole King and Peter Frampton. He eventually moved to California and remained out of sight during the 1980s. He made a comeback in the 1990s by playing with a variety of bands.
Lapidos said he first approached Donovan in 1989 and agreed in principle that Donovan would make an appearance at the festival.
"But we lost touch," he said, crediting his success at getting Donovan to perseverance.
Although Donovan has only two shows scheduled - one on Saturday and another on Saturday - he is expected to also perform with the festival's Beatles tribute band, Liverpool.
"He will play his own music and will play a tribute to George Harrison," Lapidos said.
The festival will take place March 28 through 30 at the NJ Crowne Plaza Meadowlands. Tickets at the door for Saturday and Sunday are $35 each day. Friday is $25.
If you order in advance, tickets cost $32 for Saturday or Sunday, and $23 for Friday. Advanced ticket purchase deals are also available for multiple days. A combination of Friday and either of the other two days is $50, $55 for Saturday and Sunday, and $65 for all three days. For more information, advanced ticket sales or directions, call (866) THE FEST.