Zal Yanovsky was a self-taught musician whose wide-ranging guitar styles and spirited presence helped make the Lovin’ Spoonful one of the most distinctive and successful American groups of the ’60s. Along with bandmates John Sebastian, Steve Boone and Joe Butler, the band consistently served up infectious folk-rock hits, including “Do You Believe in Magic?,” “Summer in the City,” “Daydream” and “You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice.”
Yanovsky was born in Toronto in 1944. He dropped out of school at the age of 16 and began playing folk songs in coffeehouses. After a time living on a kibbutz in Israel and busking on the streets of Tel Aviv, he returned to Canada.