Skip to main content

Van Morrison, Live in Boston 1968

Topics/tags: Music, the Interweb, short

Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks is one of my favorite albums. I don’t think I could explain why, I’m not sure that I could give a coherent answer, or at least not a sufficiently articulate answer. I love the instrumentation and the way the players interact; it’s not quite folk, not quite rock, not quite jazz. I love how Richard Davis’s bass underpins everything. And Van’s voice is also such an amazing instrument. I like the way he worries words and phrases in Madame George, turning some from words into sounds [1]:

say goodbye … goodbye … goodbye

dry your eye your eye your eye your eye your eye your eye your eye your eye your eye your eye your eye your eye your eye your eye

and the love that loves the love that loves the love that loves to love the love to love the love [2]

Given my enthusiasm for the album, I was thrilled to hear that someone recently released Peter Wolf’s tape of Van live with a bassist and flautist from a few months before Astral Weeks was released. The article suggested that it’s only available in the UK. But that’s okay; I know someone in the UK who would be happy to get it for me.

But it’s not to be. It appears that the album was pulled the day after it was released. So I’m now left to wonder whether (a) it was a bootleg that the Van Morrison camp caught and asked Apple to remove, (b) it was a copyright protection move, which some suggest, or (c) it’s just Van being Van.

I figure I’ll get to hear it someday. I assume it will show up on YouTube or somewhere similar. Perhaps I’ll even get a chance to purchase it legally and to support an artist I admire. But for now, I just feel frustrated.

Postscript: That reminds me: I should probably make a Van Morrison mixtape for my kids. Unfortunately, I don’t currently have time or energy to make mixtapes.

Postscript for JonS: Yes, I’ve picked up Ryan Walsh’s Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968. It’s now on my to-read list.

[1] I’ve listened to the earlier version that he recorded for Bang records. It has some repetition, but it’s not nearly the same song.

[2] There’s more, but Sam got lost in the love.

Version 1.0 of 2018-11-19.