- 18 Sep 20
We sift through some of Van's best film & TV moments...
VAN MORRISON: LIVE FROM THE FILMORE EAST (1970)
“He writes some very lovely songs. He gets wrapped up in his own music. He has one of those voices that you cannot describe. He’s so perfect for the songs he writes.” So says legendary promoter Bill Graham in his introduction to this much bootlegged New York concert performance, highlights of which are on, natch, YouTube.
THE LAST WALTZ (1977)
Even among such exalted company as Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Neil Diamond, Muddy Waters and Neil Young, Van stands out in this timeless Martin Scorsese concert film. His renditions of ‘Tura Lura Lural’ (That’s An Irish Lullaby)’ and ‘Caravan’ made instant converts out of Gary Lightbody, Emma Langford, Mick Flannery, John Spillane and loads more of our Rave On, Van Morrison contributors.
THE LATE LATE SHOW (1988)
Paddy Moloney joined Gaybo in revealing Van as the very special guest on the Late Late… tribute to The Chieftains. The versions of ‘Star Of The County Down’ and ‘My Lagan Love’ performed together that night are pure perfection. Again, you’ll find it on YouTube.
VAN MORRISON: THE CONCERT (1990)
Mose Allison and John Lee Hooker, who leads Van and the band through a life-affirming version of ‘Boom Boom’, were the special guests in November ’89 when The Man touched down in New York. Songs from Avalon Sunset and Irish Heartbeat feature prominently, with Georgie Fame – as ever – a wow on the Hammond.
VAN MORRISON: ONE IRISH ROVER (1992)
Van gets to trade licks with John Lee Hooker (again) in a Louisianan bayou and with Bob Dylan across the way from the Acropolis in this fabulous BBC Arena documentary, which having been M.I.A. for a number of years is now on YouTube. The look of sheer joy on Van’s face as he jams away with his old pals fair brings a lump to the throat. Astonishing!
ASTRAL WEEKS LIVE AT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL: THE CONCERT FILM (2009)
Van has had complex relationship down through the years with Astral Weeks, but clearly reveled in playing it from start (‘Astral Weeks’) to finish (‘Listen To The Lion’) over two magical November nights
in the fabled L.A. venue. The bonus track version of ‘Gloria’ finds John Densmore from The Doors shaking a very mean tambourine.