- 21 Aug 20
To celebrate the 75th birthday of the legendary Van Morrison, which takes place on August 31, Hot Press is publishing a special issue, packed with loads of exclusive content. It is a moment in which Hot Press, and the music community, say a heartfelt thanks to Van for his extraordinary contribution to music on the island of Ireland – and across the world...
To commemorate the 75th birthday of the man widely considered to be the greatest songwriter and performer of the past 60 years on the island of Ireland, the August issue of Hot Press is a bumper Van Morrison Special, which looks back over his amazing career and pays tribute to the extraordinary genius of his work.
A galaxy of Ireland’s leading artists and performers, including Sinéad O’Connor, Hozier, Imelda May, Damien Rice, Una Healy, Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol, Tim Wheeler of Ash, Moya Brennan, Bronagh Gallagher, Wallis Bird, Andy Cairns, Cathal Coughlan, Mick Flannery, John Spillane, Mary Coughlan, David Keenan, Brian Kennedy are Liam Ó Maonlaí are among the artists who reflect on Van’s genius and write about what he personally means to them. There are some very special words from the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins.
Joining the party are such international admirers as Steve Van Zandt, Jimmy Webb, Mark Knopfler and Brandon Flowers, who credits Van with delivering perhaps the greatest vocal performance of all time - but to which song does The Killers mainman refer?
Find out in the special Rave On, Van Morrison issue of Hot Press, which also includes a look back at a landmark interview with Van by Niall Stokes; a remarkable conversation with legendary Van photographer Norman Seeff, who gives his view of what makes The Man tick artistically, and also reflects on his own equally fabled photo sessions with Ray Charles Jr., Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, Steve Jobs and The Rolling Stones.
We publish the full text of the marvellous tribute Bob Geldof delivered when Van was inducted into the Irish Music Hall of Fame in 1999.
There’s also amazing insights from Paul Charles who went from chain-listening to Van’s music to booking some of his most legendary concerts, including his magnificent 1979 Belfast homecoming show – which we also have a full eyewitness account of, written back then by Hot Press' John McKenna (now food writer extraordinaire).
Our man Pat Carty takes deep dives into Veedon Fleece; and the groundbreaking twists and turns his music took in the 1980s, including the masterpiece No Guru, No Method, No Teacher.
· The Van tracks you might not know but have to hear!
· Exclusive photos from the Hot Press archives.
· From The Last Waltz to Astral Weeks Live At The Hollywood Bowl, the best of Van on the big and small screen.
Add in the usual heady Hot Press mix of news, reviews, interviews and Frontlines news reports – Bright Eyes, John Connolly, Gregory Porter, Robert Pattison and Gemma Dunleavy are just some of those featured – and it really is a very special issue that's not to be missed!
Pre-order this historic special issue below:
• Meanwhile, Rave On, Van Morrison – in which 75 Irish artists contribute covers of 75 Van Morrison songs – continues nightly on the Hot Press YouTube channel. Already there have been numerous scintillating performances – we refuse to pick out any favourites! – and there are lots more to come, including the mighty Hozier, Sinéad O’Connor, Bob Geldof, Glen Hansard, Damien Rice, Mick Flannery, The Academic, Malaki, Eleanor McEvoy, Wyvern Lingo, David Lyttle with Liam Neeson, The Mary Stokes Band – and loads more…
There is also a stirring performance of the Van Morrison spoken word piece 'Rave On, John Donne' by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins. The musical backing is arranged and produced by Bill Whelan, who wrote Riverdance, and the musicians include Bill (who plays organ, piano and sequencers), Tara Howley (low whistle and vocals), Derek ‘doc' O’Connor (Saxophone) and Mal O’Brien (Guitar). The music was recorded and engineered by Brian Whelan.
President Higgins’ recording of 'Rave On, John Donne' is one of ten videos scheduled to be broadcast, in a special extravaganza, on Van Morrison’s birthday, Monday August 31st.