Inspired by “The Trip” by Donovan (1966).
Hit version by Sonny & Cher (US #6/UK #29 1967).
“The Trip” was written by English folk-rock singer Donovan about his popular engagement in Los Angeles at the Sunset Strip nightclub of the same name, and the “happenings” on the scene at the time.
The evidence is purely circumstantial, but:
“[Charlie Greene] discovered and built acts like Sonny and Cher, Buffalo Springfield and Iron Butterfly, from obscurity to stardom. The same groups would eventually have seizures until Greene was booted out of the very contracts he landed them. Every time. Sonny Bono paid $250,000 to buy back Greene’s contract.
“‘I hocked my typewriters for that first record, ‘Baby Don’t Go.’ Got $168, you know, it was just a West Coast hit anyway. And then Sonny stole . . . ah, wrote, ‘I Got You Babe’. . . . heheheheh. . . .
“‘Why the big laugh?
“‘It was a very timely song, man. Hey, Donovan had just come off ‘Catch The Wind’ and Sonny is very good at picking out certain commercial aspects of other hit songs. As are other writers. Sure. Just listen to them side-by-side, it’s an influence. Sonny’s clever. He’s not a good songwriter, but he’s a clever thief. No, thief is the wrong word. Influence . . . he uses influence well.
“. . . ‘The Beat Goes On,’ you might listen to Donovan’s ‘The Trip.’ ‘Baby Don’t Go,’ you might listen to ‘We’ll Sing in the Sunshine.’ Some are direct; some are indirect. I got to hand it to the mother-fucker for continuing to have perseverance on . . . ah . . . on an overabundance of a lack of talent. No, no, no, I got no complaint with Sonny.'”
– ‘As Bare As You Dare With Sonny and Cher’, Rolling Stone RS135, May 24, 1973
Sonny & Cher, “The Beat Goes On” (1967):