We love Van the Man. Sometimes our partners and spouses don't understand this unnatural love for one of modern music's greatest artists. What follows is one person's blog post where they try to describe the simple feelings of getting out a bunch of Van CDs and just putting them on. We've all been there. I can remember when I declared to my wife "I love about 300 Van songs". She didn't think this was possible, not for one artist anyway.
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Replay: Van the Man
I repost these old posts in no particular order, This one is from November 2009 and I had been on the boat. I had evidently been chatting with Brendan, whose blog I have been neglecting recently, about Van Morrison. The man is a genius. I doubt if I’ll ever be asked onto Desert Island Discs, but I reckon Astral Weeks would be the album I would want to take with me.
Maybe there’s a secret to it to which I am not privy, but getting out of London on a Friday afternoon is always a nightmare. I have to travel less than seventy miles so why should the journey take nearly three and a half hours?
OK, I hate motorways, and even if I didn’t ,they are impractical given Cat’s travel sickness record. Believe me, when your car smells of cat sick and the animal responsible is crying loudly you want to be able to stop quickly and clean up, not count the miles until the next exit.
How come so many people are free to travel in the afternoon? They can’t all be like me, part employed/part freelance can they? And was today really National Bad Driving Day, or did it just feel like it? The radio was tuned to Radio Two. It was the Steve Wright show. Normally I can’t stand then man. His continued success is a complete mystery to me.
After a while I couldn’t bear listening to him anymore and , thanks to last night’s ‘conversation’ with Brendano, I had a couple of Van Morrison CDs with me. Well, more than a couple actually. And as I type I’m continuing to listen to him. And he’s glorious,
The marina is pretty empty tonight so I’m hoping no one has heard me when I have felt the need to sing along. Because Van is a Genius. Deliberate capital G. not a typo. Moody and unpredictable, as anyone who has been to see him live will know, but an undeniable Genius. And when you do go to see him live, it’s part of the evening’s excitement and entertainment, not knowing whether he will be Van the Performer or Van the Sulky Bear who hides at the back of the stage barely acknowledging the audience.
So tonight I’ve been singing and dancing and remembering just how good and how wide his range is. Listening to tracks old and new and hearing how his voice has changed, and how he has continually explored and experimented. And I feel amazingly lucky that his career has spanned my life from his Them days onwards – oh, Gloria! I am so struck by the integrity of his music and the way it connects at such a visceral level. Straight to the guts and heart.
And Madame George comes on and I know I am alive, and I’m glad!