Van Morrison

Van Morrison is a semi-legendary figure in pop and rock circles because of the huge catalogue of work he’s released during parts of five decades. He’s been a punk rocker, a balladeer, a mystic, a bluesman, a Celtic bard, and more. Though New England wasn’t a big part of Morrison’s life in actual time spent in the area, a good case could be made that if it weren’t for his days in Boston during the late 60’s, he might never have enjoyed the career he has today. After he left the Irish garage rockers Them (“Gloria”) in 1966 and had a pop hit with “Brown-Eyed Girl,” Morrison moved from Belfast to Cambridge, MA, basically broke and wondering what to do next. He was befriended by J. Geils frontman Peter Wolf and readily accepted by the local music community. Given time to think and breathe after the hectic start of his career, Morrison began working on music totally different from his previous efforts and first unveiled it in a Boston club called the Catacombs. That album, 1968’s Astral Weeks,secured Morrison’s place in pop music history and laid the groundwork for the fabulously successful follow-up, Moondance, which remains one of his finest and most unique recordings.
(by Dean Johnson)

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