Thursday, 30 August 2012
Van turns 67 on August 31. How will you celebrate? I like to make it an exclusive Van music day. I usually start with the older Them albums in the morning and continue chronologically till "Keep it Simple" around 2 in the morning. In the evening I'll probably raise a glass or two of something British or Irish. This is a bit inappropriate now that Van's a non-drinker.
I wonder what a guy like Van gets for his birthday? He's the classic guy who has everything. A DVD set of old British comedy shows? A model of his private plane for the desk? A scrapbook of articles from his Them days? Striped pyjamas? A 100 pound voucher for a magic shop?
Happy 67th Van. You're the greatest. You rock more than SuBo. You're better than "The Cheeky Girls" or even "Aqua".
Thursday, 23 August 2012
|Things Van Fans Don't Do: Crowd Surfing|
Van Morrison, please read the following. These are stories from your people. Whether you like it not, you've affected people all over the planet in all kinds of ways. You're part of the personal histories of millions. What a mailing list! What an incredible global influence! What an opportunity for taking over a small country! Or even starting an MLM!
But seriously, I wonder what Van thinks about this whole narrative of a working class Belfast Boy becoming a global performer of such influence.
Anna M - I was familiar with Moondance, Brown Eyed Girl, etc., then one day on the radio I heard a song that captured me and it was Into The Mystic. I immediately went out and bought an album, then another, then another, then another. The feeling I get when I listen to his music is something I can't explain. I am 58 years old and the emotion, well the emotion makes me want to leave everything behind and go to another place (I don't know where). He has captured my spirit and lifted it so high.
Roy Merritt - When I first heard Van Morrison I just naturally assumed he was from the American South. His deliverance and the agony in his voice has always made me contemplate my home in North Carolina and other journeys I've made throughout this often blistering terrain. His voice evokes the good and evil that has existed in the southern heart since this nation came into being.
Harvey DuMarce - I’m glad to hear Van Morrison is still rolling along like a fine old car. I love that guy’s music. Don’t care if he’s grumpy. I love grumpy. I began listening to him at Berkeley in the 1970s and my listening hasn’t stopped. Keep on rolling. Keep on with the great music. You make life so much more interesting.
I didn't know anything about Van Morrison at the time, but that soon changed as he was soon to present and represent something no other musician would or could. His music was and is at once a sound so strongly influenced by African-American roots music/Spirituals, Romantic poetry and Irish Laments, yet those influences were and are internalised the way great artists do and not merely homages or impersonations that can be discerned directly.
Morrison could have gone the way of so many promising musicians and sold out after his Brown Eyed Girl, but he kept moving away from that limelight in favour of seeking a path guided by something else. I would compare him to Dylan in that way, a true artist, less inclined to compromise a vision and more inclined to follow his own muse.
Kate Mortimer - I have been a Van Morrison fan since I first heard Moondance and Tupelo Honey. As a musician, I enjoyed playing his songs on stage. When I first saw him live, I was overcome by his passion and I can totally relate to him being moved so much by the emotion of what one is playing that sometimes the audience is an irritant. Although it would be hard to pick out a favourite album or song of Van's, the song that helped me through the darkest moment of my life was Beautiful Vision. My two-year-old son had been killed in an accident and I was sunk in a deep depression. My husband brought me the tape when I was in the hospital - and I found such solace in the images and words in the title song. It is still a mystery to me how he could write those words with such feeling and understanding. I will be forever grateful to him. Thank you, Van, for ALL your work!
Friday, 17 August 2012
21. "It doesn't worry me if people have different interpretations. Things I've written a long time ago mean different things now. When I'm performing them, they mean totally different things. As you change so it changes ... The songs, the meanings, everything changes constantly."
22. "I'm just channelling. That's what I do. I say it's a collective unconscious. That's what i prefer to call it. I'm channelling these ideas that are coming through from wherever they are I don't know."
23.. "I'm not a rehearsal person. I only rehearse if I have something new to learn. I'm a performer. Every time I sing something it's going to be different than the previous time."
24. "With Moondance, I wrote the melody first. I played the melody on a soprano sax and I knew I had a song so I wrote lyrics to go with the melody. That's the way I wrote that one. I don't really have any words to particularly describe the song, sophisticated is probably the word I'm looking for. For me, Moondance is a sophisticated song. Frank Sinatra wouldn't be out of place singing that."
25. "Into the Music was about the first album where I felt, 'I'm starting here'...the Wavelength thing, I didn't really feel that was me."
26. "Like I say, the way I write songs is, you know, inspirational. I have to wait for it to happen. And when it happens I get lines, and I just write them down, you know. I'm not sort of a Tin Pan Alley sort of songwriter. I just sort of write down what I get - without censoring or questioning what it is and what it means, you know. Like later on I look at what it means, but not at the time."
Monday, 13 August 2012
ARTIST: Van Morrison
Alex - First off, you are providing a much-needed public service. With that said, what are your thoughts re: Patti Smith's "Gloria"? Exempt from the Van Morrison cover band crisis, or fuelling the fire? I, for one, would replace "Brown-Eyed Girl" from any bar band's repertoire with all 9.5 excruciating minutes of "Madame George."
Grotesqueticle - Even Van Morrison refuses to play this one anymore.
Friday, 10 August 2012
Is Van the Universal Man? A modern day da Vinci? As I troll (!) the internet I can't find any field of endeavour untouched by the stubby fingers of George Ivan Morrison. From the Corn and Cotton Genealogy blog I read the amazing, almost bizarre, What Van Morrison taught me about genealogy… post. Here is most of that post by Stephanie Pitcher Fishman followed by a few loyal reader comments. (As I read the reader comments I can't help put think this is how Van Fans or Vanatics sound to outsiders: obsessed and slightly loopy.)
When you don’t need an answer there’ll be days like this
Jen Alford - How wonderful! Those lyrics really do fit well with how genealogy research ebbs and flows. I’m glad you were able to make so much progress on your free day.
Monday, 6 August 2012
Here's a nasty, puerile post from someone calling himself Kid Shirt. Where do people get ideas like this? Thankfully there are stalking laws in place to protect famous people who attract attention from weirdos. But my main question is, why would anyone brag about acting like this?
During the day, the concept of the picket sort of escalated and I ended up making a mask of Mike Scott of The Waterboys that I wore during my solitary protest. The 'logic' surrounding this was that I'd heard a story (apocryphal or not, I've no idea) that Mike (who, I must add, we at Kid Shirt love dearly) had irritated, angered or scared The Van in some unspecified way - there were rumours that Morrison (allegedly) used to send his assistants/bodyguards/mates into Dublin pubs ahead of himself, just to make sure Mr. Scott wasn't already in there drinking....I've no idea why (or even if this was really true), but I figured that a totemic representation of Mike would make a great addition to my protest...
Still, always wise after the fact, eh?
Later on, I snuck round the back of the venue and left some placards on his tour-bus. Almost got busted by a roadie doing this and had to scarper back round some bushes while he had a fag. There was a visceral, almost electric thrill leaving these messages while I could hear Van Von Doom crooning bland Celtic white-soul bollocks thru the stage-door nearby - the adrenaline rush was incredible. Already, I could feel this turning from a picket into some sort of magical 'working'...(tho the arcane energies I unleashed backfired on me a few days/weeks later and actually melted the hard-drive on my PC)....
but, hey, sometimes life's just too short.
Thursday, 2 August 2012
Currently she's looking for donors for her $5000 film. Tickets To Van Morrison has a release date of late August or early September. The film looks to be a tear jerker with a plot that is advertised as, "as Tom comes to terms with his stage four cancer, he finds comfort in Beth, a carefree woman with a degenerative heart condition".
Sounds bit like 'all the pain that Hank Williams knows'.
Wednesday, 1 August 2012
|Astral Weeks - Everybody's Favourite it seems|
Baby Boomer music fans love lists, apparently. Rolling Stone, Q, Uncut and Mojo are full of them. One wag on the net suggested that it won't be long before Mojo publishes its list of the "50 Greatest Lists Ever Published in Mojo" (as chosen by guest celebrities)! In this post I've listed 30 random internet responses by people trying to answer the unanswerable - 'what are Van's best five albums?'
Thomas G. Reilly - Veedon Fleece, Moondance, Saint Dominic's Preview, Hard Nose the Highway and Into the Music
Yoshiboy - The Philosopher's Stone, Veedon Fleece, Moondance, Back on Top and Astral Weeks
Johnny Archer - Astral Weeks, Into the Music, Moondance, Saint Dominic's Preview and No Guru, No Method, No Teacher
Conclusion? It seems like the five albums pictured here are clearly the most popular with fans.