On August 31st 1945, Van Morrison was born, also known as, Sir George Ivan Morrison.
Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who has been a professional musician since the late 1950s, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003.
Besides the fan fair of what he’s accomplished in his life. He’s always been one of my favorite musicians from such songs as, “Moondance,” “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Crazy Love,” “Someone Like You,” and my favorite, “The Philosophers Stone.”
Today’s YouTube video presentation brought to you by user name, jeeprzkreepz, plays the song called, “The Philosophers’ Stone,” which is one of my favorite songs from Van Morrison.
Van Morrison is an enigma shrouded in Celtic garb. An often cranky introvert who rarely gives interviews, he’s also an incredibly passionate and distinct vocalist whose concerts can generate serious heat.
However his brilliance can be undercut by whim or temper, and he has upon occasion alienated audiences by rushing through songs and remaining aloof between them.
Born in Belfast in 1945, in Northern Ireland, Morrison grew up in a musical home. His mother sang at social gatherings, and his father collected classic blues and jazz records. He learned guitar, saxophone, and harmonica while in school, and was playing with blues, jazz, and rock bands by his mid-teens.
At 15, he quit school, joined an R&B outfit called the Monarchs, and toured Europe with them as saxophonist. While in Germany, a film director offered Morrison a role in a movie as a jazz saxophonist. The project was dropped, and Morrison returned to Belfast and opened an R&B club in the Maritime Hotel. He recruited some friends to form a band called, “Them,” which became an immediate local sensation as the club’s house band.
After gaining worldwide success he was invited to sing at President George W. Bush’s inauguration, but declined.
He moved briefly to Woodstock, New York in the late 1960s, not because it was a hotbed of the hippie/counterculture movement, but to live near his idol, Bob Dylan, who had lived in that area for 3 years before the famous music festival was held there.
However, the Irish songsmith was reportedly too shy to actually approach Dylan at that time. The two classic rock idols later co-headlined a tour together.
One my favorite quotes from Van Morrison career is when he said, “Music is spiritual. The music business is not.”
As we remember his birthday today, I encourage you to find one, of your favorite songs from Van Morrison and play it loud, as we celebrate today’s day to remember.