Weekly Shocks' Blog

Van The Man

The Man and His Kick-Butt Moondance Album

The Man and His Kick-Butt Moondance Album

Van Morrison is playing at the Royal Albert Hall in London in April. I’m totally going to be there.

If you’re a close friend of mine or a member of my immediate family or, really, if you’ve happened to pass me on the street once or twice, you’re probably very much aware of how much I love George Ivan Morrison and his soulful, quirky, and utterly satisfying music. If I’m not bopping around to his infectiously upbeat “Jackie Wilson Said (I’m In Heaven When You Smile)”, I’m probably humming drowsily along to his masterpiece Astral Weeks, or singing horribly off-key to “St Dominic’s Preview”, or desperately trying to comprehend, for the hundredth time, the bizarre inaccessibility of Common One. (I refuse to entertain the idea that Common One may simply be a pretentious and terrible album.) I own nearly all of his 30+ studio albums, all of his live-in-concert CDs, and a few bootleg performances as well. I have skipped school to read horribly-written biographies of the man in the Boston Public Library with homeless drunks as my sole companions. I nearly destroyed a solid, years-old friendship by arguing viciously that Van is immeasurably better than the derivative and somewhat annoyingly ubiquitous Beatles. (I still believe that, though I’m much less obnoxious about my superior listening tastes when in the presence of mere mortals.) I am, in short, completely obsessed.

I can’t really say what drove me to my mildly-unhealthy Van fixation in the first place. Growing up in the 90s and firmly believing that no music could possibly be any worse than the crap pumped out of FM radio stations probably had something to do with it. (Since the start of the new millennium, I have become profoundly aware of how young and stupid I was to have such an opinion. I now, oddly, have 90s nostalgia for music I never liked in the first place, but is nevertheless infinitely better than the train-wreck caterwauling produced now.) My teenage years were spent in a happy delusion that I could simply live off of Van Morrison CDs, Charles Dickens’ novels, and Jolt Cola and somehow enter adulthood unscathed, normal, and unspeakably cool. Oh what a sad, strange little person I was. Still! Van has brought me great joy over the years and I love him dearly.

I have not, however, seen him in concert before, which is simply absurd. Van came to Boston once when I was in high school and I wanted to see him perform so badly that I was willing to shell out an outrageous amount of money for tickets (I can’t remember exactly what they cost anymore, but I believe seats in the nosebleed section ran somewhere in the low $30,000 range). I was also willing to sit through a double billing with that massively overrated, incomprehensible hack, Bob Dylan. I was even willing to watch this performance in the cavernous and sterile Fleet Center, which is no place for a legend like Van to play at all, but sacrifices had to be endured. I was, however, very young at the time and very, very stupid, and it never occurred to me that a double-billing of Van Morrison and Bob Dylan would actually, you know, sell out or anything, so I never managed to secure tickets. Devastated does not do justice to the emotions I experienced. However, I did have a friend who had managed to land a seat at the event. As jealous as I was – the kid was primarily a Dylan fan, too, the unworthy prole – I knew I could live off the glory of Van’s performance at least second hand. The day after the concert, I rushed up to my friend in school:

Me: *eagerly* How was the concert? Was it amazing?

Unworthy Dylan Fan Prole: Totally sucked. Dylan was terrible.

Me: OK, but how was Van?

Unworthy Dylan Fan Prole: *nonchalant shrug* *wanders off*

And that was that.

Now, I’ve heard that a Van concert can be a hit-or-miss kind of event, so I’m a little worried about our rendevouz in April. I mean, this is a big deal. If I’m going to get tasered rushing the stage in order to give the idol of my childhood a massive bear hug and perhaps a stolen, tender kiss, then I want it to be at one of Van’s spectacular concerts, not the occasional nightmare performances he gives when he sings with his back to the audience the whole time or mumbles incoherently for fifteen minutes before wandering off backstage, never to return. So, if you have any contact information for Mr Morrison, please pass on the following message. Be AMAZING in April. Be epic. The midget Yank with the unblinking eyes and and small puddle of drool on her chin will be forever grateful. And she won’t really rush the stage, either, though if he wouldn’t mind a massive bear hug, she’s more than happy to supply one.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Whatever! Whatever! I do what I want! « Weekly Shocks’ Blog pingbacked on 9 years ago


  1. * Jerry K. says:

    I too am a huge fan. I’ve seen him about four times. I heard the horror stories, but I’m here to tell you that each time he has been incredible. In fine voice, top musicians, etc. Not real talkative, but so what? I just got the new live Astral Weeks on CD. A DVD will soon follow. I could have seen this concert at the Hollywood Bowl, but didn’t have the $300 to spare. Bottom line: He is great live.

    Posted 9 years, 3 months ago
  2. * WeeklyShocks says:

    Thanks, Jerry, I’m very much looking forward to this. By the way, your blog is wonderful. Mildly insane, of course, but that only adds to its charm.

    Posted 9 years, 3 months ago

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