Thursday, 25 April 2013
Last year Neil Armstrong died at the age of 82. Naturally this has lead to all sorts of 'tributes' including song lists on various blogs featuring "moon songs".
And this is where Van comes in. Van's Moondance seems to make every list in this awkward tribute to the lunar pioneer.
Others include: Man on the Moon – R.E.M., Bad Moon a Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival, Harvest Moon – Neil Young, Moonage Daydream – David Bowie, Moon Shadow – Cat Stevens, Blue Moon – Cowboy Junkies, Fly Me To The Moon - Frank Sinatra, Moon River - Louis Armstrong, Walking on the Moon - The Police, Moon Over Bourbon Street - Sting, Bad Moon Rising - Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Tuesday, 23 April 2013
Daniel A. Cook - On the other hand, you have the new album Days Like This. It ain't so cool. It's totally secular. I'm very disappointed. I think Van stopped praising God and He took away Van's gifts as a result. You can really tell a difference. The words he sings are empty and that famous emotion Van has always sung with has disappeared. Does anyone know the address where I could send a letter to Van? Yes, I'm that disappointed!
Friday, 19 April 2013
Farrah Leni Fawcett was born in Corpus Christi, Texas on February 2, 1947. She died of colon cancer on June 25, 2009. She was an award-winning actress who rose to international fame when she first appeared as private investigator Jill Munroe in the television series Charlie's Angels.
Fawcett has been a fan of Morrison since the 1970s. As she was battling the cancer that would eventually take her life, Morrison heard that she would be unable to attend his concerts at LA's Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles because of her condition. He had the shows filmed and sent her copies for at-home viewing in Malibu. Van added the song ‘Queen Of The Slipstream,’ to his setlist even though he hadn't performed it in years. It was a special request from Ryan O’Neal who wanted the song dedicated to Farrah.
Sunday, 14 April 2013
Latebloomer - I read somewhere that his crew hates him so much they spit in his drinks. I remember reading the reviews when he came to Constitution Hall in DC to perform songs from Astral Weeks. He was disdainful of the audience, verbally abused his band and crew, and just generally behaved like an @#$%&.
Saturday, 13 April 2013
Madra - a really funny and charismatic guy - we used to have liberal studies lectures off him, way back in the mid 1980's when i was at art college at the Ulster poly in jordanstown. he looks exactly the same age in your photo now, as he did then!
Eddie McIwaine - His lifelong hero was Louis Armstrong and he was one of the first people to welcome 'Satchmo' when he played the King's Hall in 1962.
Tuesday, 9 April 2013
He enjoyed a distinguished and influential career in the local music scene. He was a former music critic with the Belfast Telegraph and owned both the famous Atlantic Records shop specialising in Jazz imports and the Jazz Club on the Embankment in Belfast.
He was an Honorary Member of the Royal Ulster Academy of Arts and is credited for discovering a number of important local music talents. He was also
an avid book collector and an art aficionado, for a time lecturing at Belfast College of Art and Design.
Solly's connection with Van stemmed from his ownership of the Atlantic Records record store. He imported all kinds of American jazz and blues records at a time when they were virtually unknown on the European side of the Atlantic. Van's father George was an avid collector of records particularly blues. He took his son Van along with him on buying trips on Saturday mornings. Their usual haunts included the record stalls at Smithfield markets and then on to Atlantic Records.
Solly said in an interview, Van's father used to come in every Saturday. He was more interested in the blues side of things - Howlin' Wolf and Little Brother Montgomery. I remember Van very well in a grey school cap.
|Beautiful Old Belfast|
Check out the fantastic audio interview with Mr Lipsitz conducted by Van over at Van's official site.
Sunday, 7 April 2013
Dead Girls of London is the song that mark's Van Morrison's only collaboration with Frank Zappa. It centres around Zappa's rejection by girls at the celebrity haunt known as the Tramp.
Tramp was opened in Central London in 1969 and continues as a private night club with an exclusive clientele. A club of this nature is obviously a magnet for attractive young girls many of whom are on the look out for their big break in music, film or fashion. Zappa found it was the only place around that was open at 2 am whe he finished his recording sessions. Apparently he was rejected on more than one night at the Tramp by various London girls now immortalised in song.
Dead Girls Of London was co-written by electric violinist L. Shankar. Zappa wrote the lyrics, and both men composed the music. Originally Van Morrison supplied the vocals. However, since Van was signed to the Warner Bros. Records label who Zappa was in a legal dispute with at the time, Zappa was unable to release the song on his label with Morrison's vocals, and so it was re-recorded with vocals by Zappa and Ike Willis. The original version has appeared on a variety of release including the official compilation called The Frank Zappa AAAFNRAAAAAM Birthday Bundle 2011.
The original release of the song (without Van) was as a 12" maxi single on September 24, 1979. It was then released on the album Touch Me There. Touch Me There was an album by L. Shankar (credited as "Shankar") released on Zappa Records. Shankar performed acoustic and 5-string Barcus Berry electric violin, string orchestra, and provided some vocals on the album. It was produced by Frank Zappa, and released by Zappa Records.
The album was released on Zappa Records in 1979, and was reissued on CD by Barking Pumpkin Records in 1992. It is out of print.
2.Windy Morning (Shankar: Music) – 3:57
3.Knee Deep in Heaters (Shankar: Music, F. Zappa: Lyrics) – 5:38
4.Little Stinker (Shankar: Music) – 3:20
2.Touch Me There (Shankar: Music, F. Zappa: Lyrics) – 3:03
3.No More Mr. Nice Girl (Shankar, F. Zappa) – 8:16
4.Love Gone Away (Shankar: Music) – 3:33
Phil Palmer - Mandolin, acoustic and electric guitars
Dave Marquee - Bass
Simon Phillips - Drums
James Lascelles - Fender Rhodes, organ, acoustic piano, synthesiser
Jack Emblow - Accordion on "No More Mr. Nice Girl"
Stucco Holmes (Frank Zappa) - Vocals on "Dead Girls of London"
Vicky Blumenthal - Chorus on "Dead Girls of London," "Knee Deep in Heaters," "No More Mr. Nice Girl"
Jenny Lautrec - Vocals on "Touch Me There"
Ike Willis - Vocals on "Dead Girls of London"
Other Appearances of the Song on Record
Thursday, 4 April 2013
Period of Transition.
Four decades on, A Period of Transition sounded positively inspired. Maybe it was the fuller sound afforded by a combination of CD and iPod as compared with a wafer-thin slab of vinyl on a cheap record player, but here, in all its uncelebrated glory, is Van’s Stax album. Maybe, in this age of download and overload, the presence of a piffling seven songs, only one of them exceeding five minutes, now sounds refreshingly concise. Maybe, after a period during which he had dabbled with all sorts of unfulfilled projects that would have been eminently worth releasing officially by a less picky performer – plus some unreleased sessions with The Crusaders that at least in theory sound gobsmackingly mouthwatering – it was the shift from white musicians to black.
Gone were Jeff Labes, John Platania, David Shaar and Jack Schroer, instrumental heartbeat of the band that gave us the showstoppingly magnificent It’s Too Late To Stop Now, still my favourite live album; in their stead, alongside Dr John (keyboards and guitar), came Reggie McBride (bass), Ollie Brown (drums) and Jerry Jumonville (sax). From the opening You Gotta Make It Through The World, the result is mostly as funky as hell.
Ollie E. Brown – drums, percussion
Monday, 1 April 2013
It's surprising how many people like both Van and Leonard Cohen. Van Fans seem to favour the older singer songwriters who have endured over time. People like Neil Young, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen often feature on Van Morrison fans' lists of other musical interests. Justin Beiber, Adam Lambert and Miley Cyrus usually don't.
In the case of Leonard his recent global touring has won him a legion of new fans. Sure, the touring has been forced on him through being ripped off by a former manager, but the shows have been really well-received. Unlike Van he doesn't stick religiously to some 90 minutes contract. Shows often extend to over three hours. Even teenagers are being won over to Cohen's style through his stellar concert performances.
Van and Cohen probably have more similarities than Van would care to name. Both gained fame in the 60s but are still relevant today. Both like WB Yeats. Both are poets, although Cohen could claim to have the edge on Van in that area since he's published a number of books of verse. Both have been delivering great concerts by the fistful in their post-pensioner years. Both also dress smartly in concert with expensive suits and and hats.
|Cohen in SAS training|
In a 2001 online chat with fans, Cohen declared, " As the Talmud says 'There’s good wine in every generation'. I love to hear what Dylan has to say and Van Morrison and Joni Mitchell and Tom Waits and many others."
In a 1974 interview he was asked about Van and replied, "I’m very fond of his work. I don’t know him. I love his work as a matter of fact."
Amnesiac - They're both excellent songwriters, but I guess I prefer Leonard Cohen because I love just about every song he's released.
|The Original TB Sheets|
Wire and String - I feel like Cohen is the better lyricist. and Van Morrison is the more accessible of the pair. I also feel like Van Morrison's early years are maybe just a bit more consistently good quality, whereas Cohen tends to be hit or miss for me. but certainly through the years, both have been inconsistent. i think i am actually leaning Van Morrison.
vtd288 - I am a huge fan of Van Morrison, but I like Leonard Cohen too.
Lady Silver Rose - I have to go with Van Morrison, as I couldn't get into Leonard!
Sarrafze - Van Morrison. While he does just churn them out, he nevertheless has more talent and is a better songwriter. Morrison -- Brown Eyed Girl (still great with the unmasked passion) Cohen -- Suzanne.
Shane - yes, both are very good, but I prefer Van Morrison.
Greyhound - Van is much more accomplished and from his early sort of rock/blues days has pretty much covered all the musical genres. Morrison – Gloria Cohen - Sisters of Mercy.
Sits Vacant - both are ghastly boring depressing people.
David B - Van the Man!
Ford Prefect - Rave on Mr Yeats - I rate them both equally.