K. Mennem 8:48 a.m., May 20
Van's the Man
My opinion of Van Morrison.
Is there anything greater than hearing Van Morrison on the radio? Oh damn. I started that like one of those lame columns Larry King does, where he has non-sequitars about the stupidest stuff. He'll have a sentence that reads: Is there a better actor alive than Meryl Streep? Why is it when you buy pizza by the slice, it always tastes better?
Now, here I am starting something with a line like that about Van Morrison. But, everyday that I'm in my car, going thru the radio stations (sure, I listen to CDs too, but it's more fun not knowing what song will come on next). I'll always hear Brown Eyed Girl on the classic rock or oldies stations. And after seeing countless cover bands in bars, I still haven't gotten tired of it. Then, there's Moondance. This might be the best song ever recorded (sorry Stairway to Heaven fans). It blends poetry, jazz, and rock. It's a thing of beauty. Sometimes a radio station will surprise me, and play Crazy Love, Into the Mystic, or Tupelo Honey. Also beautiful ballads. Then, there's some uptempo songs like Wild Nights, Domino, Blue Money and from his old days fronting the band THEM, you have Baby Please Don't Go, Here Comes the Night, and if you're lucky, you hear Mystic Eyes. What a riff that song has. I remember in 9th grade talking about Van Morrison with a friend, and a substitute teacher said, "Check out his song TB Sheets. It's long, but very bizarre; about someone dying of tuberculoses."
I remember in 6th grade arguing with a kid on the playground about which rock song that mentions a womans name is the best. My friend said Jenny Jenny. I said My Sharona. Another kid said Mandy by Barry Manilow. I think he ended up getting his head dunked into the toilet. A teacher overheard us and said "Gloria is a thousand times better than any of those songs." I realize now, he was right.
I met a guy at a mansion in Rancho Santa Fe that is from Ireland, and knows Van. He tells me the guy has a lot of mental issues. I knew that when I read an interview in Rolling Stone, in which he ran out of the pub and the reporter had to literally chase him down. Before the interview started. But, as I told my friends that couldn't believe how much I love the other Morrison (Jim), when they call him a druggie loser...I don't care what they did on their off time. I like the songs they created. If they are (were) drunken jerks to their friends, well, I'm glad I'm just listening to them on the radio, and not listening to their drunken blather in a pub.