Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Van Morrison At The Fillmore East 1970


I found a book a few days ago in a charity shop.It is called Hippie Hippie Shake by Richard Neville.Its all about the dreams,the trips, the love ins,the screw ups of the sixties.Published by Bloomsbury in 1996.Whenever i get a book like this i always have a look in the index to see if there is any mention of Van Morrison and there is.
Earlier in the book Richard Neville tells about being given an early Sony cassette tape recorder and on page 197 Neville relates how he was at the Fillmore East one night in 1970.Nick Lowe's first band Brinsley Schwartz were on the bill..Neville says,'To my delight that Saturday night it was Van Morrison who topped the bill.'Tupelo Honey' poured through the auditorium and i flicked on my new Sony stereo.And it stoned me......stooooooned me to my soul....stoooooooned me....incedible!.Vans never sung the same since,they say.It was a Tiny Tim at the Albert Hall night except that it was Van Morrison and he thought he was James Brown Its too late to stop now...too late to stop noooooooow........He soared away into some inspired ad-libbing,with everything from Astral Weeks and Moondance and more, blowing the roof off the Fillmore,the cobwebs from my soul and the muzzle from my superlatives.Plus it was all on tape.
On page 206 he says 'Both of us felt on the brink of a new era,more honest and caring, more open.My Fillmore bootleg of Van Morrison rattled the speakers each side of our pillows.the rain let up and the sun came up and we were getting dry....Louise laughed and passed the grass and the moon rose higher over the glistening sea......and it stooooned me to my soul........stoooned me'.On page 228 he relates..'David was a brilliant journalist who filed a weekly column from Paris for the New Statesman.I played him my personal bootleg of Van Morrison and the hardened journo puffing from a joint as big as a baseball bat was transported to eye rolling bliss'.

I looked up that Fillmore gig.It was 3 &4 April 1970.So if you are fortunate to own a copy of that concert then maybe you now know the source of it.