Ned Doheny’s re-emergence is well deserved, but it has been strange. He written and worked with some bona fide West Coast legends, and in that time, released some of the best L.A. albums of the ‘70s.
His LPs were, for some years slept-on (by-and-large), but they‘re brilliant – going from country-rock, to blue-eyed soul, before eventually being unearthed by the Balearic heads (cue massive debate about what actually constitutes ‘Balearic’ and deciding vaguely that it’s a ‘feeling’), and later, the Yacht Rock fans (classification of Yacht is the same conversation about ‘Balearic’ except you swap pills for coke). It doesn’t matter too much where you put him, the fact remains that the songs he put out are gold.
From breezy sashay of ‘Labour Of Love’, to the achingly gorgeous ‘A Love of Your Own’, to the muscular ‘To Prove My Love’, Ned was making real-deal music that was going to find welcome ears, even if it was some decades after he released them.
Our pals at Be With Records have done a glorious job in their re-issues of his LPs, so people can enjoy Ned’s albums as they should be heard, while also having a hand in bringing him to the UK for some live shows.
While he was over, we chanced our arm to see if he wanted to come down for a brew, and to our surprise he said yes!
Talking to him about his comeback, we asked him how weird it must be. He replied: “It’s like I told a joke to someone 40 years ago… and someone, completely unrelated sends an email that just says, ‘ha ha!’. It’s wonderful, but it is so strange.”
For those that were in the shop, they found Ned relaxed and in fine form, signing albums and with a twinkle in his eye that just tells you just how much of a bugger he must have been in the ‘70s.
The strange coincidences of Ned continued. When Luke Unabomber popped in and noticing one of Ned’s records on the counter gave us a wink and said “Ned”, completely obvious that the man responsible for the music was stood next to him. When introduced, Ned beamed, and Luke just said “This is too weird.”
While Doheny might not be as famous as some of his peers, the fact he came down to our little shop in the suburbs of Manchester is a real pinch-yourself moment. He signed albums, enjoyed the coffee, and it was entirely a pleasure to get the chance to talk to him candidly.
It was an even greater pleasure to give him a tip-off for his next stop – a curry in Rusholme. We sent him to Mughli for the record.