When this song came out I was head over heels with my high school sweetie. We broke up during my sophomore year in college. "Elenore," came out during the infatuation period. And it was my song as it captured the way I felt about this girl before I discovered how such a vision of beauty could turn into a needy, whining...
Anyway, it's a carefree, fun song by the Turtles.
"Elenore" was released in a 1968 album, "The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands." The band's first hit was "It Ain't Me, Babe" in 1965. By 1970 the Turtles were toast.
The death of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper in a 1959 plane crash had rock and roll musicians of that era obsessed with the notion of dying while flying to an engagement. Even worse, they feared the possibility that they would survive the crash only to starve to death in the mountains or desert while awaiting rescue.
So rockers developed a survival scheme; hire an additional singer who wasn't really necessary for the act; if the band survived the crash, there was a designated food source - a side of singer so to speak - that would keep the roadies going for at least two weeks. They identified this potential life saver by assigning a musical instrument for him/her to play. But it had to be an instrument for which no talent at all is required and therefore very easy to replace the artist/sandwich.
Of course that instrument is the tambourine. If you can smack yourself repeatedly in the face, you are guaranteed success with the tambourine. Fortunately the Turtles were never in a plane crash and it was years before the walking, talking, tambourine-shaking Meal Ready to Eat (MRE) singer even knew what was planned for him. He also realized why the band kept plying him with Twinkies and Moon Pies.
Look at the MRE shaking and dancing behind the lead singer in the Elenore video and tell me that a good hollandaise sauce , some parsley and maybe a baked potato wouldn't do wonders for this person.
Interestingly enough, Buddy Holly and the others only grabbed a charter flight because the heating system failed on the bus they were riding. It was so cold on the bus ( it was early February) that supposedly one of the drummers got frostbite. Don McLean wrote in "American Pie" that this was "the day the music died."