Saturday, 12 May 2012

Best of the Fanzines #2 Van and Bootlegs

Wavelength 29 from July, 2002 has a lot of great stuff as usual.  Simon Gee included a transcript of a seven page Al Jones interview with Van.  The interviews took place in Copenhagen in March, 1985.  At one point Al Jones was brave enough to bring up the subject of bootlegs.  Here's that section of the interview:

While we're talking about record companies, let's talk about something that's not record companies, but bootlegs.  You haven't been - a victim might be flattering - but there haven't been a lot of Van Morrison bootlegs.  But have you heard any of them?

Oh, there are quite a few. I mean, there's more than I thought.  I'm not really into this area. But there are quite a few, I mean, about. I don't have them personally, but I've been told by various people who collect them that there are quite a few. 

You've never heard any of them?

I've heard a couple. I've heard a couple of them, yeah. 

Do you have any feelings about the revenue you're losing or the quality of the sound?  Or that kind of thing?

Oh yeah, but I mean, that's old hat.  That's old hat. 

Not for most Danish listeners.

No but I mean.  As far as in terms of a question to me, that's old hat.  I wouldn't touch that with a 10 foot pole, you know.

OK... I know of one bootleg which I  think is particularly brilliant.  It's called "Strange Bedfellows".  I think it's a Bottom Line gig where Peter Wolf from the J. Geils Band - 78, I think it is,does this long introductory rap ...Doesn't ring any bells for you?

I mean, like I said. I've done hundreds - thousands of gigs. And I don't remember this.

Would you have any objection, say, to a bootleg track being played on the radio?

Sure I would!  I mean, what for?

Just as an example of the fact that you, too, have an audience that's so large and fanatical that there is a Van Morrison bootleg industry.  Just one thing to indicate that fact. 
I'm not really flattered by bootlegs. I mean, I could do without them.  I could do without them. I'm not flattered by them.  I'm, you know, promoting albums that I have out, not that I mean, it's, you know, it's illegal.  I mean, that's it.

Well that's why I was asking permission ...

No.  I don't support it at all. 

OK., that's fine ... And you definitely don't see any flattery in it?

No, I don't see ... Not at all.

You don't believe that anybody who buys a Van Morrison bootleg would not buy everything else that you do?

 I've no idea! But I mean, it doesn't ... I don't buy bootlegs myself.  I don't ... It's not something that comes up.  I'm not interested in it, you know.

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