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.