Once upon a time, on Twitter, I observed that I wanted to give a copy of Astral Weeks to an architect and tell them to design a home for me that embodied the spirit of that album.
It has been a long time since I listened to that album.
And I suspect I may never listen to it again.
Two weeks ago, Van Morrison announced he was taking legal action against Northern Ireland’s ban on live music due to COVID-19.
This followed on several anti-lockdown recordings he made, and a statement calling out the ‘pseudo-science‘ around COVID-19 that led to the lockdown.
I get that he is frustrated.
A lot of musicians are.
But his songs, his statement, his legal action, all undertaken as the UK has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, have essentially ruined his music for me.
Morrison has always been a crank and a contrarian.
If you know his back story, some of that is understandable.
But not this.
Over the past year, we have lost John Prine, Manu Dibango, Lee Konitz, Adam Schlesinger, Matthew Seligman, Wallace Roney, Alan Merrill, and Charley Pride, among others, due to COVID-19.
And millions have lost relatives and spouses and friends to the virus.
The fact that Morrison has decided that the best approach to this crisis is to call the evolving science around it ‘pseudo-science’ and to call measures to contain it a form of slavery is not just ill-advised or ignorant.
It is dangerous.
I know people say ‘separate the art from the artist.’
But the art is the artist.
One does not exist without the other.
And so, I am essentially done with Morrison.
To think I once thought that his dabblings in Scientology was his biggest failing