The prisoner of Belfast - VAN MORRISON would rather be a veterinarian...

21. September 2016

Van Morrison

The prisoner of Belfast - VAN MORRISON would rather be a veterinarian...

It's been over 30 years since the little, corpulent man spoke to a German magazine. Not because he has something against the country where he earned his first musical spurs in the early 60s (with the Monarchs), but simply because he doesn't like interviews. Not at all. Getting him in front of the microphone is a real game of patience - with dubious managers who have a kind of exploratory talk on the phone, a catalogue of questions to be submitted, several appointments scheduled at short notice as well as cancelled, long phases of icy silence and then - all of a sudden - an appointment on Monday, 29 August, Culloden Hotel, Belfast. In the five-star golf resort with a panoramic view of the bay of the Northern Irish capital, Van Morrison appears regularly in the ballroom. In front of 350 hardcore fans who are spending a fortune experiencing the "local hero" (taxi driver) in an intimate setting.

But on that Monday morning, Van The Man is more out for confrontation. He wears a black leather cap and leather jacket with mirrored sunglasses, a pink polo shirt and jeans, is hectic and extremely trimmed for defense. Not someone to have a nice chat with at traditional Tea & Scones, but someone who feels more like a dentist appointment - and only reluctantly looks good. "I'm here to talk about my new album", he makes clear right at the beginning, and whether you call him - who has just been knighted - "Sir" or not, he doesn't care... It's a nice start.

But luckily he quickly comes down again after his young, neat assistant hands him a glass of water for his tablets - and the visit from Tschörmänie smears a little honey around his double chin. For example with the question whether he really is the eternally bad-tempered, humorless old bag he is always described as - on the new album there are songs like "Let It Rhyme", "Too Late" or "Going Down To Bangor", in which he seems really funny and likeable. "A good point," he rumbles off with a heavy accent. "That's an image I was given in the 70s by journalists who couldn't get along with me and my kind or who simply didn't understand me. This has caused them to diss me at every opportunity and to create any myths in the world..."

Lest mehr im eclipsed Nr. 184 (Oktober 2016).