Friday, April 14, 2006

Vintage Van

Here's a real gem posted on the DylanPool site recently. One of Dylan's greatest songs peformed by the greatest living singer. Seriously, who's got a better voice than Van Morrison? On September 5, 1971 Van performed before a small crowd at Pacific High Studios in California. The show was broadcast on FM, and eventually made it into bootleg circulation, where it can thrive today on-line. Here's what John Grissim Jr. had to say in Rolling Stone, June 1972:

"Still there are times when Van enjoys performing, when everything--the band, the sound, the audience, his mood--comes together. Those moments are likely to occur when he has a small audience, like the one last {September} at Pacific High Recorders in San Francisco, broadcast live over KSAN.

Before a studio audience of 200, Van opened with "Into the Mystic," then went into "I've Been Working," a cooker with Van extending the break while the horns did jazz riffs off a flawless rhythm section. After singing a shorter, looser version of "Ballerina," he caught everyone off guard with "Que Sera Sera"--the first three lines anyway, complete with a tinkly four-octave piano flourish--up through "Here's what she said to me"...when he broke into a stomping honky tonk rendition of "Hound Dog" that set the tone for what turned out to be a rare two-hour set.

Van never really established eye contact with his audience, and he never said much except 'thank yous', but he was in great form. He would hold a long high note at the top of a crescendo, raising his right arm up, then shout "Hit it!" as he pulled a fist down to cue the band. "Just Like A Woman" was just like Van Morrison, taking a few extemporaneous liberties with the lyrics:

Your long time curse hurts, but what's worse is this queer in here, ain't it clear...
I believe I believe I believe I believe it's time for us to ...(pumping his arm down) ...quit....
Please don't let on that you knew me when I was weird, (half-talking now) and you were weird,too....

For those few moments the song was his."
Enjoy: Just Like A Woman

Buy: Van the Man

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