Van “the man” Morrison

Even if you do not realize it, if you have ever listened to the radio, you have heard Van Morrison. This was my case until one winter afternoon in the early nineties, relaxing on the patio of a slope-side coffee shop in Sugarloaf Maine, where the Boston Gourmet Society had a ski chalet, that I paid attention and realized I was listening to Van Morrison, Moondance, of course. I bought that CD and listened to it endlessly. One summer I was alone in the country house at La Navata (see previous posts) it was all I listened to.

Fast forward to the mid-nineties. Right after breaking up with my first wife, I was on a business trip to a convention in Las Vegas. Bored at the thought of spending a whole weekend alone in the city of sin, I called a friend in San Francisco and I was on a plane. The weekend was fantastic as I had not seen my friend in years and had not been to San Francisco in even more years. She had Van’s Wavelength CD in her little BMW, and that was all we listened to all week-end long as we tooled around the city.

As soon as I got back to Madrid I bought that CD and listened to it over and over again. Then I bought another and another until I had the whole Van Morrison discography – over 40 CDs. In fact I listened exclusively to Van Morrison for eight full months straight. I did not realize it at the time, but it was therapeutic for me. One summer morning when I woke up and played a Rolling Stones CD, I knew I was on the mend!

Van Morrison, The lion of Belfast, has been in the business since he was 17. He plays a bunch of instruments, and more importantly he is credited with being the first to bring jazz influences like the double bass, brass sections, etc. to pop. His Astral Weeks is considered one of most influential records in contemporary music. He plays and tours around the world constantly and is not  afraid to work with top, top talent like Brian Kennedy, Georgie Fame or Saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis.

Personally I love Van’s intimate personal meaning, on some songs deep spirituality that connects with my soul in a way no other music does. Four of the six CDs in my car are Van (the other two are baroque and opera if you must know). I have had the privilege of seeing Van play a few times and they were very moving experiences.

It would be silly to try to say what songs are my favorites as they change with my moods and where I am in my life. A song I might have listened to hundreds of times without paying much attention might all of a sudden catch me. Songs that I had obsessed about in the past might come back to me. I might re-visit certain songs, or even certain parts of certain songs.

This clip is a song I have been listening to over and over recently. One of Van’s recurring themes is that of healing and this song pretty much sums it all up. I hope you like it.

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