Sunday, 14 April 2013

Random Fan Comments

 Ian M.   -   Van is notorious for rebuking journalists and fans who seek to unravel his mystical ramblings. I find that disingenuous but also vaguely understandable. I personally think that he is reluctant to spell out explicitly his artistic and spiritual preoccupations although all too willing to cite influences as diverse as Kerouac, Rimbaud, Coleridge and Yeats. The reason? I think he is fearful that he will kill the muse, that he will stifle the very thing that gives him (and his art) sustenance.
Bent   -   I think you are right there, Ian - Van is an anti-intellectual in his public persona, but in his songs he embraces a lot of literary and esoteric deep thought. It may well be that this grumpy facade exists to protect his fountains of innocence.  About Van's legendary grumpiness, I have never experienced it personally at any of the concerts I've attended. I have a theory that Van may be suffering from some form of cyclothymia or 'Bipolar Light', a mood swing disorder, and that he actually frequently has referred to this state or condition in his lyrics (e.g. Tore Down a la Rimbaud).
Bashlets - Wasn’t there once a story of Van visiting the Stones when they were recording Voodoo in Ireland, and Van was wasted and threw up on Mick in the car.
Pat  -   The Brown Eyed Girl reference in Wavelength is because Van used to listen to a DJ called Peter Wolf who was always playing Brown Eyed Girl and one night Van actually phoned him up at the radio station and they became good friends. Peter Wolf later joined the J Geils band.  As to Tore Down A La Rimbaud, I have always thought that that song refers to suffering from writers block.
Is your Van signature authentic?
Ari Wilson  -   I'm not going to compare Born To Sing No Plan B with Astral Weeks like some stupid critics did, this is Post 1990's Jazz/Contemporary Rock Van Morrison we're talking, this is no Folk Rock, I mean a person must really have no idea what music is about and say something like that, it reminds me when "Crack The Skye" came out and critics said Mastodon, like always started the record with a Metal attack, Oblivion, and I was like WTF?! these people don't even know that Oblivion is not a aggressive opener like Blood And Thunder or The Wolf Is Loose. Or when the stupid Grammy team decided to merge Hard Rock and Heavy Metal awards once again into one category because they couldn't differentiate them easily (!!!). It's just sad to see these pigs are running the media that affects most people's minds. Anyway, the record follows Van Morrison's later efforts, continuing his own brand of Jazz/Blues and it's full of great tunes, indicating the important point that he hasn't ran out of ideas after all these years. Songs like If in Money We Trust, Goin' Down to Monte Carlo, Mystic of the East are some real classic tunes.
Tom Casagranda   -   I have heard that Van openly flosses in restaurants, that he buys suits a size too small, and that he deleted his duet album with Linda Gail Lewis after she declined his advances.  Though, if you ask me, it should have been deleted after a week. Linda did a far better duets album with her brother, Jerry Lee, in 1969.  Linda played piano on some tracks, and Van had the piano track removed. A case in point was Just Like Greta on Magic Time. Initially, this had Linda on it, but Van then went and had her parts removed.

Stoneage   -   Van is great but he must suffer from a social disorder of sorts I'm afraid.
Tom Casagranda   -   I think he's always had it, be it refusing to play gigs for a long time, anti social behaviour in the true sense since Them days, and general all round pettiness with grudges and slights magnified to the nth degree.  I still love his music though.

Rick Rodrigues   -   The tour that year was billed as Van Morrison's Rhythm and Blues Revue. He had some blues legends as guest stars (John Lee Hooker, Junior Wells, Jimmy Witherspoon) and turned the show over to them many times, walking off the stage himself. They provided stellar performances. However, local people had gotten used to this yearly event and started complaining about a $30 show that wasn't all Van. there were stories about it in the local press and a rather large stink was raised. Van wasn't playing the songs they wanted, the ones they were familiar with. If anyone of these people had listened to his current album, Too Long In Exile, they would have known this was the kind of music, with these guests, that Van was playing. It was a return to his roots, as it were.  Personally, I thought the show  was great and felt lucky to be exposed to all this music.  Anyway, all I know is that he hasn't played SF since, and the December gigs had become a tradition. As they say in science, "Coincidence does not necessarily mean causality", but I've always felt that these ungrateful and close-minded attitudes drove him away.  Just one man's view, for what it's worth.

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 @#$%&.
Floorbird   -   I remember seeing Van years ago wearing a three piece suit hat and shades at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. It was at one of the tents, he was off to the side of the stage watching a Cajun/zydeco band and it must have been a hundred degrees. Guess he was trying not to be noticed.

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