Friday, 17 February 2012

A Fan Asks For an Autograph

The following is a blog post by a guy named Brian from Donegal. 

I asked Van Morrison for his autograph - and lived. 
First, let's put this in context. I didn't want Van's autograph. This was the early 80s, I was 20 or something and cultivating my I'm-not-impressed-by-anybody pseudo-cool. But I was out on one of the earliest dates with my wife, who had recently seen him in concert. The fateful confrontation occurred in a hotel in Bangor, County Down. It was a Tuesday night or something and the bar was deserted except for us, Van Morrison and a female companion. Van is - surprise, surprise - in a bad mood, his mid-Atlantic accent carrying all through the place. I have a bad feeling.
'There's Van Morrison...'
'Uh-huh, ' I acknowledge while trying and hide my whole face inside my half-pint glass.
'I'd love his autograph...'
Of course you would. And you want me to get it. And we've only just starting going out so, you know, I want to impress. I gird my loins, get a piece of paper and a pen and get up and start walking towards Van.
In an empty bar, it's pretty clear that I'm headed for him. I'd like to tell you that I strode proudly towards him, head held high but actually I was staring at the ground. There was a lot of bar to cover and always the possibility that Van would start lobbing glasses or something.
Eventually, I reach his table. I've worked out a strategy. Mea culpa, I will confess that I am intruding but promise to leave him alone as soon as the deed is done.
I get as far as saying,'Look, I'm sorry, I know you don't like this sort of thing...' when Van responds.
'So, why are you doing it, then?' the great man asks.
I start to say my girlfriend is a big fan, go for the all-lads-together approach but, no, he's off. For the next 10 minutes he tells me how pathetic this is, how everybody bothers him, how he wants to left alone...10 minutes! He could have a) signed the thing or b) told me to bugger off in two seconds and it would all be over. But no. I stand there, looking at the ground while Van tells me how I'm symptomatic of everything difficult in his life. All I was lacking was a flat cap to twist between my hands while he delivers his message. Finally, he does sign the thing with a contemptuous gesture, and I back away muttering embarrassed thanks and we leave the bar soon after. I don't wave.
The autograph?  Lost many moons ago.

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