I don't like Brown Eyed Girl...

...and neither does Van Morrison!!! "I have about 300 songs that are better" he says in a video interview with Life Magazine, below. Yes...yes he does. Fans call him Van the Man. I am a fan but I will refrain. I think if he gave a shit, and I'm sure he doesn't, he wouldn't like it. But that's my opinion.

Van Morrison, Order of the British Empire. No, you may not call him "Sir" and I'm pretty sure if you did it would royally piss him off. Portrait by John Griffin

Van Morrison's official website, here, is a wealth of personal information, viewpoints, formulas for quantum mechanics, philosophy and photos both from his personal life and throughout his decades long career. I am totally kidding you. In typical Morrison style, the only thing besides a vaguely threatening, and somewhat unwelcoming guarantee that the website is "THE ONLY OFFICIAL AND AUTHORIZED WEBSITE FOR VAN MORRISON INFORMATION, FILMS AND MUSIC ON THE INTERNET", is a list with a few dates and locations for upcoming concerts. That's it.

I'll save you the trouble of linking to it. As of this date this was the web site in its entirety:

This was all of it. No hyperlinks. Move along

Update: I was just there today (September 19, 2013) and he's improved it a lot. It almost feels like he's thinking about thinking about being welcoming.

He delivers his live performances in much the same way. He walks on, without introduction and dramatic staging, he starts singing, continues to sing without commentary or one word explaining the provenance of the songs, and when he's singing his last song, he has been known to walk off the stage while singing it. He does not return for encores. He returns to his private world in a magical bubble somewhere in Middle Earth.

Imagine my surprise when I googled "magic bubble middle earth" and got this picture! I think Mr. Morrison's bubble has a population of one. And he would be the one with the fire spell of death

I love that about him, frankly. Unapologetic and curmudgeonly he believes there are no new musicians who stand out in any way and he believes everything we hear now, has been done before. When asked if there were things he would do differently knowing what he knows now he replied that he would not have become famous. I believe it is a huge understatement when he admits that his ability to handle fame is "not what it seems". Indeed not.

Into the Mystic" from his 1970 album Moondance

I have to admit that I like most Van Morrison songs, but love them when someone else is covering them. That being said, there is something fascinating and genuinely moving about watching a musician feeling the music.

This is an excellent example of a song by VM that I love when it's covered by someone else. Is it just me or wow...just, wow. Colin if you're single, sprout up about 8 inches and think Jann Arden is cute...call me. More about this artist in a future post.

Neither does he possess the cookie cutter beauty that is now characteristic of modern artists.

At best he resembled a much shorter, slightly less handsome combination of Neil Diamond and Denis Quaid and looks like he would be suited more to a career as an IT tech. Not that I have known many who look this good

Imagine I could find a video of Van Morrison singing Fiddler's Green. Imagine it would be embedded here.

Here is a Fiddler's Green cover by the Tragically Hip, October 28, 2006 at MacEwan Hall in Calgary.

Domino by Middle Earth, Neil Diamond look alike and IT tech impersonator, Van Morrison.

I have heard a really good cover of this song by my own brothers-in-law. No name for their band, but they have a guest sax player who jumps on stage for this song. They do not record, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Still busy recording and touring Morrison released his 33rd studio album, Keep It Simple, in the US and Canada on 1 April 2008.

This is the interview with Life Magazine:

I hope he's not alone in his magic bubble, insulated from us. I hope he has someone with him who takes away his sadness, fills his life with gladness and eases his troubles without crying and being a blubbering idiot about it like some Rod Stewarts we could mention.


Noelle said...

This post was fantastically put together. I have never been a huge fan. I mean I like some of it probably heard more of the work covered by some one else.
I was here this morning and something interrupted me before I could comment. Stupid interrupting life. :)

A-Gran said...

I know more about Van Morrison than I ever did before. I still say 'Brown Eyed Girl' was a great pop song but you know me... painfully mainstream.

Angie said...

I like Van Morrison, but I was never that person that the music spoke to. I love listening to it, but have never analyzed it. I guess I'm pretty mainstream as well. I always believed that music would mean so much more if I were willing to get high while listening.

Heidi said...

Good post, Thank you for sharing all this information about him that I had not seen.

Frimmy said...

He was just here doing a concert and the radio guys were commenting on how great the music was, but how completely separate he was from the audience. He wasn't grumpy, or didn't have attitude, he just wanted to play and sing. He spoke with his band, directing and such, but that's it.

I am not a die hard fan, as I said I like covers of his tunes, but I like that he SEEMS to deal with his stage fright by letting the music be the celebrity and then he disappears.

I don't think I agree with him about there's nothing new in music. How many different notes are there? Remembering the piano keyboard....eight notes opening and closing an octave and five sharps/flats? That's it. For every song, or tune, those are the notes used. So, yes, looking at it that way, there is nothing new and there never will be. Unless we start hearing in different dimensions than we do now.

I laughed out loud when I saw how brief his website was. So funny. So typical.

Brown Eyed Girl is fun to sing, I have to admit.

You guys are great and thank you for your comments. =)

iambriezy said...

I love him, I even love cranky/apathetic him. But I have to admit I lost a little love when the news broke that he threw a tray at a waiter on his last tour. After seeing this post, I'm thinking maybe it's time to forgive him though. Dude has mad talent. How do you feel about Tom Waits?

dirtydisher said...

Brown eyed girl is the only one I like. Unless he wrote Dancin' In The Moonlight. Which for some reason I link together.

Unknown said...

Van got irritated because after Pretty Woman came out everyone started yelling for Brown Eyed Girl at his concerts.

Unknown said...

Might be worth a post some time, singers who hate their own songs. A few I can think of off the top of my own head:

Tom Petty hates Free Fallin

Chrissie Hynde hates Brass in Pocket

Michael Stipe hates Shiny Happy People

Frimmy said...

That would annoy me too, Crabs. Like the song didn't have value or relevance before that movie?

Artists who don't like their own song would make a really good post subject. Will you do it, or me? That Michael Stipes doesn't like "Shiny Happy People" is a relief to know actually. Does anyone? It would really suck to have to sing songs your audience loves but you have come to dislike.

Rabo said...

You have to go deeper to get the real van his early stuff, A Sense of Wonder,In the Garden, into the mystic etc, that's the music that made Van the Man.

Frimmy said...

Into The Mystic is my favourite


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