Sunday, January 08, 2012

Astral Weeks Live by Shannon Vale

I had to go to Bath on Friday so i took a book along to read on the train.The book was 'Astral Weeks Live,A Fans Notes' by Shannon Vale.I was so engrossed in it i nearly missed my stop at Bath and ended up in Bristol Temple Meads.I have bought many books about Van over the years and i have disliked most of them.They are either full of factual inaccuracies or downright insulting. After the terrible so called biography by Johnny Rogan i was determined not to buy another.I had to get this book though because Shannon is a friend of mine and i have enjoyed reading her articles about Vans music over the years.This book is a refreshing change because Shannon is a genuine fan who knows what she is talking about.This isn't a book about Van Morrison,it is a book about Van Morrison's music.It is also about Shannon's adventures on the road as she follows the concerts on the Astral Weeks tour when Van performed for the first time the masterpiece which he recorded in 1968.It is written in a very unpretentious manner with a lot of humour as well such as Shannons attempts to sell her house to the despair of the estate agent. It is also about the fans and i must say i enjoyed reading about some of the people who i have met at the pre-show meet ups and become friends with..The Van fans are a talented bunch.Shannon has included an excellent portrait of Van by Dail Gibson.
                                                          You won't find any myths about Van in this book or gossip about his private life.I think Van would enjoy reading this book.Van is playing two major concerts in Ireland soon and i won't be there but i am sure the concerts will come alive for me through the writing of Shannon Vale.If you were at any of the Astral Weeks concerts or bought the Live At The Hollywood Bowl album or the DVD or if you are a Van Morrison fan then you will love this book and i urge you to buy it.

Shannon has an excellent website and you can find details of the book here-

One Sweet Day: When Fairport Played In Peterborough

There was a time from about 1969 to 1971 when Fairport Convention were my favourite band. Up to that point my music taste was American, ...