Van Morrison Quotes

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Sir Van Morrison
OBE

Morrison performing in Newcastle,
Northern Ireland, in August 2015
Background information
Birth name George Ivan Morrison
Also known as Van the Man
The Belfast Cowboy
Born (1945-08-31) 31 August 1945 (age 71)
Bloomfield, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Genres

Rock
rhythm and blues
folk
blues
soul
celtic
jazz
country
gospel

Occupation(s)

Singer-songwriter
musician

Instruments

Vocals
guitar
harmonica
saxophone
keyboards
drums
tambourine
ukulele

Years active 1958–present
Labels

Decca
Bang
Warner Bros.
London
Mercury
Exile/Polydor
Verve
Point Blank
Virgin
Universal
Blue Note
Lost Highway
Listen to the Lion/EMI
Manhattan
RCA

Associated acts Them
Website vanmorrison.com

I always record far more than I can use. There's probably twice as much recorded as comes out.
Van Morrison
Every performance is different. That's the beauty of it.
If you're a pop singer, you don't need to evolve. You just get a set together, have some hit songs and play them over and over.
Van Morrison
I'm very lucky, I'm happy with life because my experiences led me to do what I had to do. I don't have any regrets whatsoever.
Van Morrison
I am about the arrangements and the layers of depth in the music.
I don't think nostalgia has to be negative.
Being famous was extremely disappointing for me. When I became famous it was a complete drag and it is still a complete drag.
Van Morrison
The point of jazz is, you do something and then you go on.
I don't feel comfortable doing interviews. My profession is music, and writing songs. That's what I do. I like to do it, but I hate to talk about it.
Van Morrison
I'd love to live in Ireland but I'd like to live as me, not what someone thinks I am. People don't understand – I lived there before I was famous.
Van Morrison
I write songs. Then, I record them. And, later, maybe I perform them on stage. That's what I do. That's my job. Simple.
Van Morrison
Even today, skiffle is a defining part of my music. If I get the opportunity to just have a jam, skiffle is what I love to play.
Van Morrison
I never bought the commercial thing, at any stage of the game.
When I started you were more in touch with the people you were playing to. There wasn't the distance or the separation that there is now.
Van Morrison
I never paid attention to what was contemporary or what was commercial, it didn't mean anything to me.
Van Morrison
I've never felt like I was born with a silver spoon at all, although I've felt like howling at the moon a lot of times!
Van Morrison
The future is keeping you out of the present time.
Music is spiritual. The music business is not.
These days politics, religion, media seem to get all mixed up. Television became the new religion a long time back and the media has taken over.
Van Morrison
I put out records to this day that are not necessarily in a sequence of anything. Some could be written a while back, some not. There is no set pattern.
Van Morrison
As a developing musician, skiffle became a platform for me to start playing music.
Van Morrison
There's always got to be a struggle. What else is there? That's what life is made of. I don't know anything else. If there is, tell me about it.
Van Morrison
Skiffle was a name that was attached to what was, in essence, American folk music with a beat.
Van Morrison
I'm not a rock singer and I don't want to be a rock singer. I'm not interested. It doesn't seem to get across.
Van Morrison
I do see value in music criticism. Most of the criticism I have received over the years has been very good.
Van Morrison
You can't stay the same. If you're a musician and a singer, you have to change, that's the way it works.
Van Morrison
You take stuff from different places, and sometimes you stick a line in because it rhymes, not because it makes sense.
Van Morrison
I think when you get past your second album, it all becomes something of a routine. So you have to struggle against that, find a way of making what you do sound fresh and new each time.
Van Morrison
Large audiences did not suit my low-key approach.
I went back to Belfast and started a club, the Maritime. No one had thought about doing a blues club, so I was the first.
Van Morrison
In order to win you must be prepared to lose sometime. And leave one or two cards showing.
Van Morrison
When I started studying tenor saxophone as a kid in Belfast, I did so with a guy named George Cassidy, who was also a big inspiration.
Van Morrison
The first piece of music that captured my imagination was probably Ray Charles Live At Newport.
Van Morrison
Hearing the blues changed my life.
It was really strange for me when I started to play concerts in America where the audiences were all sitting down.
Van Morrison
I deliberately try not to cater for the commercial market, so I can't see myself in competition, you know, with second or third generation rock stars.
Van Morrison
My records do not require a lot of thought of 'What is this?' and 'What is that?' That would be too contrived for me.
Van Morrison
There is no black-and-white situation. It's all part of life. Highs, lows, middles.
Van Morrison
My thinking musically has always been more advanced – it is difficult to get it down onto paper sometimes, even now.
Van Morrison
I understood jazz, I understood how it worked. That's what I apply to everything.
Van Morrison
If it's what you do and you can do it, then you do it.
For a long time, I couldn't actually deal with playing concerts; it was a totally alien concept to me, 'cause I was used to playing in clubs and dance halls.
Van Morrison
My ambition when I started out was to play two or three gigs a week. And that's what I'm doing.
Van Morrison
I educated myself. To me, school was boring.
Singing is my profession - there is no plan B.
You've got to separate the singer and the songs.
I learnt from Armstrong on the early recordings that you never sang a song the same way twice.
Van Morrison
You learn to read the audiences after a while, and there are all different kinds of gigs.
Van Morrison
What you see is what you get.
I just need somewhere to dump all my negativity.
A famous person to themselves, they don't get up in the morning and think, I'm famous. I'm not famous to me. Famous is a perception.
Van Morrison
A lot of people who were writing when I came through originally as a singer-songwriter have disappeared.
Van Morrison
I think Paul McGuinness and U2 created the Irish music industry. It certainly wasn't there before that.
Van Morrison