Saturday, 3 March 2012

Workplace Health and Safety

Here's an interesting Van story from a Jake Holmes page on the great music site called "Perfect Sound Forever".  Jake Holmes was a notable musician whose "Dazed and Confused" was made famous by Led Zeppelin.

Will Shade: Do you remember your extended run with Van Morrison at The Bitter End in '67?
Jake Holmes: (Irish accent) Do I have the stories for you there, me lad! (chuckling mischievously) We worked with Van at The Bitter End. He had this pick-up band. Charlie Brown and this drummer . . . they were flat-out freaks. They were total drug-crazed people. He decided he was going to get three backup singers. So he hired three black Bronx girls who had never been in The Village before in their life. They didn't know anything about rock n roll or folk music. They were R & B backup singers.
Van had apparently gotten enamoured with The Who. And there he is on stage doing T.B. Sheets and he's knocking the glasses off the tables in the front with his feet. He's kicking the microphone stand over. He's smashing into the drum set, crashing into everything. He's taking the microphone . . . and these girls are in the background singing (sings in high falsetto) "Oww, T.B. Sheets!" . . . and he's swinging the microphone over his head and it's missing . . . Charlie Brown and the drummer could care less . . . but he's swinging the microphone over the girls' heads and they're ducking and their eyes are getting bigger and bigger. They don't know what the hell's going on. What is this guy doing? They finally look at each other and go off stage. Van keeps on with T.B. Sheets, screaming and yelling and kicking and breaking stuff and just going nuts.
A double album of various Bitter End appearances
The girls go in the back. I'm sitting in the back of The Bitter End and all of a sudden these girls come out, it was in the winter time, in their fur coats and they walk past the table and I hear one of them say to the other two "That motherf#$%&#'s crazy!" All the while Van's still doing T.B. Sheets.
It was one of the funniest moments in my life.

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