Here's a funny story from the Guardian in 2017 called The day Van Morrison remembered me – and impressed my girlfriend.
A chance encounter in a restaurant in Bath with Van the Man leads to a bizarre series of events for one fan, recalls Jon Bewley.
In 1994 I was travelling around the UK visiting various arts festivals with an eye to setting up a new arts organisation, the future Locus+. At the Bath Festival, I was travelling alone. Not knowing the city, I chanced upon a small, out-of-the-way restaurant and during the meal I noticed to my great surprise that Van Morrison was eating there, too, with a companion.
I was, and still am, an enormous fan of Van Morrison and had a momentary crisis of what I should do about this opportunity to meet him. I decided to approach his table.
“Excuse me, I’m sorry to bother you during your meal,” I said.
They both looked up at me.
“But… Van Morrison?”
“I just wanted to say how much your music has been an important part of my life, say thank you, and wondered if I could shake your hand.”
“What’s your name?”, Van Morrison asked.
“Jon,” I replied.
He offered his hand and I shook it.
“Thank you, Jon,” he said.
I then left them to it.
The next day I was walking down one of the many pedestrian precincts in Bath in the sunshine when I noticed Van Morrison coming towards me talking on his mobile phone. As he approached our eyes met and as he passed he raised his hand and mouthed, “Hi Jon,” to me as he continued on his way. I was rooted to the spot. I couldn’t believe it – twice in two days.
The following day I had finished in Bath, so travelled back to Newcastle. It was my girlfriend’s birthday and I had a plan to surprise her with a weekend break in Dublin. We flew to the city and after checking into our hotel, decided to walk up O’Connell Street to St Stephen’s Green for early evening cocktails in the famous Shelbourne Hotel.
The bar was horseshoe-shaped and we had seats at the end of one side. After a few minutes my girlfriend turned to me and said: “Oh my God! You are not going to believe who has just walked in – Van Morrison!”
I almost choked on my margarita.
I turned around and Van Morrison had taken a seat at the bar opposite us. Our eyes met and after what seemed to be an eternity, he slowly raised his hand and mouthed: “Hi Jon.”
I was speechless with shock. Looking me in the eye, my companion said: “I didn’t know you knew Van Morrison.”