Column

The Reading Room

Writing about writing about music.

Henry writes about music and music books for ND, The Bluegrass Situation, Country Standard Time, Publishers Weekly, and more.

The Reading Room

Writing about writing about music.

Henry writes about music and music books for ND, The Bluegrass Situation, Country Standard Time, Publishers Weekly, and more.

50 Years into His Career, Books about Van Morrison Are Hard to Find

Peter Wrench put out an excellent book recently covering the making of Saint Dominic's Preview.  Available from Amazon here.

I'm not a great fan of Marcus' writing generally and if he really is describing the 1980 to 1996 period in those terms then I suspect it's not just his style I'd take issue with. Personally I liked Ritchie Yorke's book from the 1970s. 

Thanks for the insightful comments.  I was in the Western US a few decades ago and heard a late night Canadian Broadcasting Corporation attempt to interview Van the Man.  In addition to be mostly non-communicative, Van seemed sullen and depressing.

Having said that, I can say that Van is by far my most favorite roots music artist over the last 50 years.  The breath of his talent is amazing.  Not matter which genre his muse takes him to at a particular point in his career, he gets inside that particular style.  I guess my favorite album would be his live two-record IT'S TOO LATE TO STOP NOW (1974).  A good mix of blues, material from ASTRAL WEEKS, and rock and roll with a first rate band.  I still have a treasured cassette recording from a syndicated King Biscuit Flower Hour radio broadcast from the late-70's.

I think the love and respect for Van's music is almost universal across the roots music community.  Just mention his name and everyone smiles.

Never got Van, self indulgent and obnoxious - I forgot it's all about his art! Park the ego Van.
 

Read the article a few days ago- good stuff, diggin' thru YouTube tonight just seeing what's out there and this cover of Sweet Thing by Hozier pops up. Van sure can write 'em.

 

University of North Texas Press would *love* to publish a Van Morrison bio, if anyone has a manuscript to submit: https://untpress.unt.edu/for-potential-authors