Thursday, 27 September 2012

Is Van Morrison a Jerk?

On Amazon someone calling himself “2 cents” started a “VanMorrison is a jerk?” thread with the following post:

2 cents   -   (No offence to his fans out there). I just came across stuff that truly had me going wtf??
What do you think about "Web Sheriff" I believe it's called and Van Morrison using Web Sheriff to threaten and scare his fans into shutting down their fan websites? According to lawyers that know copyright laws and the web Web Sheriff had no legal right or ability to force websites to close and the websites weren't in violation of copyright laws. To illustrate the point a lawyer said Rolling Stone, which did a story on this, could not use a picture of Van Morrison for the article if Morrison was right. The fans complied and sites were shut down. In any case, what isn't in dispute is Van Morrison wants no unauthorised pictures of him on the internet and bullied his own fans into shutting down tribute sites.

Also, (don’t mean to get gossipy), but, saw a documentary about a former drummer for Bob Dylan Winston Watson who comes across as a real cool guy. He tells a story about how Van Morrison told Dylan that his drummer is no good and should be replaced --right in front of him and loud enough for him to hear it. Then awhile later after no longer touring with Dylan, Watson visited Dylan back stage and there was Van Morrison yet again who, according to Watson, made some rude comment directed apparently at him. Weird.

A number of people replied and I’ve selected a few.  Click on the link above for the full “discussion”.
(Rizzo) Rizzuto   -   Van is a COOL jerk. His music is awesome, and who cares what else he does.

Moon Mist   -    Sinatra was a jerk. Lennon was a jerk. Del Shannon was a jerk. Phil Spector is a jerk. You name the rapper/hip-hopper, he's a jerk. So Van Morrison is a jerk. He's still an angel compared to George Bush or Dick Cheney or Rush Limpballs or Sean Insanity or Bill O'Lielly. At least Morrison and other musicians/entertainers have been jerks without endangering the lives and/or poisoning the minds of millions.

Buck Buckaw   -   Van Morrison has always been a grumpy curmudgeon. It's part of who he is.  As long as I don't have to talk to him, it has absolutely no bearing on how I appreciate him.  Johnny Lydon made a whole career out of hating his fans.
John Stodder   -   If he's a jerk, it doesn't matter to me. I don't have to drive him around or clean his suits. I just get to listen to his music, which is sublime.

bass boy   -   I've heard similar stories about Dylan. Yes, he's talented, but some rock stars just have egos. A friend of mine's brother worked security for Dylan last year and said that everyone in the room was "ordered" to stare at the floor whenever Dylan entered a room, and not look up. If someone did look up and make eye contact with Dylan, they were told in advance not to speak. At all.
Rossputin   -    Absolutely true. Anecdote-- I was at a Van show in around 1976. The crowd was cheering and pumped up. Van stopped in the middle of a song and told the crowd "Shut up, I'm trying to do a show up here". It's all about Van, but I still love his music.

Glen Kepic   -    Kind of a bummer about Van's decision here, but it doesn't surprise me. This is a guy who once fired his whole band after a gig in SF in the 70's. Actually, knowing this little bit of trivia won me a couple of CDs in the 80's (KRQR Hot Lunch, Low Spark... and a sampler CD). I always will like his music, though. Been a fan for along time (Them and beyond).
PHILIP S WOLF   -   The discussion posted here is under the wrong title. Instead of: "Van Morrison is a JERK?"  It was supposed to be entitled: "Van Morrison invented the JERK?"
In November 1964 in a small pub in Squatney, in southwestern Dublin, Van Morrison, did indeed start a dance craze known as: "The JERK" When tipsy on Vodka and too many plates of bangers, Van, tried to get to the stage to perform the fourth set of the evening with his band Them, but after a bit of jerking about he fell into a table of Welshmen on Holiday on the Emerald Isle. After, a small semi-violent incident....Van screamed: "Baby, please don't go!" over and over, crawled to the stage, and history was made.

I don't remember this dance: "The JERK" ever catching on in America {except for a banjo player in Kansas, one: S. Martin} who would go on to a career in comedy, when his bluegrass band with Jerry Garcia, failed to catch fire in the hearts of urban America.
socrates17   -   OK. Not a symptom of jerkitude, but annoying nevertheless. Mid-1968, opening for Quicksilver at the Fillmore East. (I saw both sets because it was, after all, QMS.) In the middle of 1 song Van sang the verse "baby, baby, baby..." 168 times in a row.
Obviously, I didn't count during the first set, but I did count during the second and I came out to 168 exactly.
QMS' set was short enough to begin with and this amazing rendition of fecundity shortened it even further.

Now that I type this, and now that I demonstrate recalling it with such clarity after 40 years, it really begs the question of just who exactly was being the "jerk" here. Sheesh. Oh well.
Steven J. Levenson   -   Asperger's syndrome...look it up!

J. Lyle   -   Yeah, Van is a temperamental ol' SOB. I saw him twice -once in Manhattan on the Pier. It was absolutely one of the finest, most memorable concerts I ever attended. A few years later, at Jones Beach, he didn't like the direction the wind was blowing or something, played about four songs and walked of the stage. Still love most of his music but he's a tough guy to figure out.


  1. He is a total tool, peddling mediocre shit from 30-40 years ago.