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  • Van Morrison info-gathering thread

    Someone turned me on to Van about six years ago and I've been addicted ever since. I absolutely LOVE his music, especially his work in the 80's and early 90's. I love all the guitar and piano he uses. I have about 12 of his CD's.

    So I have a few questions I need answered to feed my obsession.

    Does Van actually play guitar? Has he written all his songs? Does he write his own music? Does he use session musicians or has he had the same band for several decades? Why did he get cranky in the last few years?

    All information greatly appreciated.

    I'm off to work now, where I will be playing "Philosopher's Stone" all the way there (and back this evening ).
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    Originally Posted by <b>BlueStrat</b><br />
    <i>You, on the other hand, are like the third ex wife I never had!</i> <img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/mad.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Mad" class="inlineimg" />

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    Originally posted by <b>daddymack</b><br />
    <i>After reading this thread numerous times, I am now becoming convinced that based on the life I have led so far, that I will wind up in Raleigh, NC when I die, for all eternity...</i>

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  • #2
    It is a little known fact that Van Morrison does not actually exist! The "Van Morrison" name really refers to a shadowy group of session musicians who ghost-write all the material and create the albums.

    In recent years they have grown tired of living in the shadow of the fictional entity, Van Morrison, which accounts for the crankiness you have observed.

    In concert, a holographic image designed in Hollywood to represent the archetypal Irish singer/song-writer is projected to satisfy the public hungering for a glimpse of the understandably reclusive pseudo-star.


    No offense intended, but (see above) . . .

    Old is the new new.

    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.
    -Dorothy Parker

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    • #3
      I first encountered Van Morrison when he was younster with a group called Them.

      the album had some tunes that to this day stick with me.

      Gloria, Here Comes the Night, Brown Eyed Girl, Mystic Eyes,etc.

      shortly after that release he went solo. I cant find that album anywhere; it's out of print.
      I dont think he played instruments. I consider him more an arranger.

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      • #4
        Them was a great musical experiment.

        I think only two full albums were put out under the name Them.

        Van, then a teenager, was the front man. The rest of the lineup changed so frequently they might as well have been studio musicians.

        Van has always been cranky. He's known for storming off stage if he feels the moment just isn't right.

        He is a guitar player. There's a great recording of him jamming with John Lee Hooker in the early 90's. They do a bangup rendition of "Gloria" with Van playing guitar and John Lee singing the lead part. I seem to recall their also covering "I Cover the Waterfront".

        I like the album Van put out with The Chieftains.

        Them was essentially an R&B band, similar to The Animals or The Yardbirds. Van's been writing songs for years.
        <div class="signaturecontainer">&quot;Rome wasn't burned in a day.&quot;<br />
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        • #5
          It used to be,until relatively recently,that you could give him a call and he would show up and sing at your wedding/birthday,whatever.
          Unfortunately due to his well documented crankiness him showing up was dependent on his mood.Nice touch though,I thought.
          I`ve seen him playing a black Tele and a D28.
          <div class="signaturecontainer">You can lead a man to knowledge but you can't make him think.</div>

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          • #6
            Ive seen Van Morrison three times over the years, and I can never remember him being overly happy....He just seems to be a very intense person, and it carries over onto the stage....One of the shows I saw him do was at Lincoln Center in NYC, I believe it was the New York Philharmonic doing the orchestra work....the whole night Van kept paceing back and forth across the stage, hardly ever looking up at the audience....sort of like a lion in a cage....But, it was a great concert....That night he owned that stage....
            <div class="signaturecontainer">&quot;Let everything that has breath praise the Lord&quot;...Psalm 150:6<br />
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            • #7
              I am a big Van fan. I actually think he gets better with age. I know I've seen him with a tele strapped on, and I do believe I've seen pictures of him with an alto sax. For a while in the 90's, he had Georgie Fame with him on keyboard and vocals. Fame is a fabulous artist in his own right, almost a British Ray Charles.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ShesGotVerve
                Someone turned me on to Van about six years ago and I've been addicted ever since. I absolutely LOVE his music, especially his work in the 80's and early 90's. I love all the guitar and piano he uses. I have about 12 of his CD's.Where were yo uhiding before that?
                VM goes back to the mid 60's with Them (before that he had a 'local' Northern Irish R&B band called The Monarchs before that that essentially evolved to TheM)...Gloria and and Here Comes the Night were major hits...

                So I have a few questions I need answered to feed my obsession.

                Does Van actually play guitar?
                Yes, he does, among other instruments
                Has he written all his songs?
                No. not all of them
                Does he write his own music?
                No. not all of it
                Does he use session musicians or has he had the same band for several decades?
                Maily session guys now. There was a long stretch (70's& 80s) where although he recorded with the same core group of players, he had chronic stage fright and wouldn't tour.
                Why did he get cranky in the last few years?
                He's been cranky for decades!

                All information greatly appreciated.

                I'm off to work now, where I will be playing "Philosopher's Stone" all the way there (and back this evening ).


                btw, if you find this, its a hoot!The Bang Records contract breaking album
                _"We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminant period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

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                • #9
                  Before this friend turned me on to Van, I simply didn't know anything about his music beyond Brown Eyed Girl and Into The Mystic (I song I still love). I just didn't know there was this huge collection of work by him that turns me inside out!

                  So Van plays guitar? Tell me this, does he play the rip-roaring leads that he has in some of his songs? (Ordinary People immediately comes to mind)

                  .......Because if that's him, he's an amazing guitarist.......but I'm skeptical that's him.

                  I've never seen him in concert but have wanted to since I learned about him. I'm completely obsessed with his sound, particularly his bluesy stuff. People have told me he sucks live nowadays, but I'd still fly anywhere in the U.S. to catch his show.
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                  Originally Posted by <b>BlueStrat</b><br />
                  <i>You, on the other hand, are like the third ex wife I never had!</i> <img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/mad.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Mad" class="inlineimg" />

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                  Originally posted by <b>daddymack</b><br />
                  <i>After reading this thread numerous times, I am now becoming convinced that based on the life I have led so far, that I will wind up in Raleigh, NC when I die, for all eternity...</i>

                  </div>
                  </div>
                  </div> <img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/facepalm.gif" border="0" alt="" title="facepalm" class="inlineimg" /></div>

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ShesReallyGottaCleanUpHerPosts
                    So Van plays guitar? Tell me this, does he play the rip-roaring leads that he has in some of his songs? (Ordinary People immediately comes to mind) .......Because if that's him, he's an amazing guitarist.......but I'm skeptical that's him.
                    No, sorry...those are hird guns...Van is not that good...


                    I'm completely obsessed with...(how) he sucks... nowadays, but I'd still ... catch his s(term deleted to prevent embarassment).

                    .
                    sorry, darlin'...it's just one of those afternoons...
                    _"We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminant period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by daddymack
                      (term deleted to prevent embarassment).


                      WHAAAA? Isn't it called a "show"?

                      Maybe it's a "concert"?

                      I mean, when you're Van Morrison, surely it's not called a "gig".
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                      Originally Posted by <b>BlueStrat</b><br />
                      <i>You, on the other hand, are like the third ex wife I never had!</i> <img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/mad.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Mad" class="inlineimg" />

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                      Originally posted by <b>daddymack</b><br />
                      <i>After reading this thread numerous times, I am now becoming convinced that based on the life I have led so far, that I will wind up in Raleigh, NC when I die, for all eternity...</i>

                      </div>
                      </div>
                      </div> <img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/facepalm.gif" border="0" alt="" title="facepalm" class="inlineimg" /></div>

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                      • #12
                        Van plays a lot of acoustic on his discs , along with harp and can go on the sax too ! Check out "Too Long in Exile " The last track is a great jazz jam sort of with him on sax. I imagine he plays a lot of instruments but for recording and live shows lets better people play while he concentrates on the voice that only he has. Check out The Bands "last waltz " and see who steals the show , even though the wardrobe was a bad choice! Only had the chance to see him once ,in the 80's, and he seemed happy as he was playing the mtl Jazz fest .
                        <div class="signaturecontainer">trooper #113 of Dano's b-gade </div>

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by madog99
                          while he concentrates on the voice that only he has.


                          Oh, his voice just sends me.
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                          Originally Posted by <b>BlueStrat</b><br />
                          <i>You, on the other hand, are like the third ex wife I never had!</i> <img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/mad.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Mad" class="inlineimg" />

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                          Originally posted by <b>daddymack</b><br />
                          <i>After reading this thread numerous times, I am now becoming convinced that based on the life I have led so far, that I will wind up in Raleigh, NC when I die, for all eternity...</i>

                          </div>
                          </div>
                          </div> <img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/facepalm.gif" border="0" alt="" title="facepalm" class="inlineimg" /></div>

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ShesGotVerve


                            WHAAAA? Isn't it called a "show"?

                            Maybe it's a "concert"?

                            I mean, when you're Van Morrison, surely it's not called a "gig".


                            We prefer the term 'performance'

                            _"We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminant period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

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                            • #15
                              Van Morrison's Tupelo Honey, Moondance, and Saint Dominic's Preview are great albums.
                              <div class="signaturecontainer">It ain't what you play, it's the way that you play it!<br />
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