Monday, March 31, 2008


Long-term readers (all one of yuh!) might faintly recall that I was once involved in a one-man war against Van Morrison a few years back. I became so incensed that the Boring Fat Oirish One was playing in my home-town of Y/Vil that I decided to protest by picketing his show. Well, hell, sometimes you've just gotta draw a line in the snow.

During the day, the concept of the picket sort of escalated and I ended up making a mask of Mike Scott of The Waterboys that I wore during my solitary protest. The 'logic' surrounding this was that I'd heard a story (apocryphal or not, I've no idea) that Mike (who, I must add, we at Kid Shirt love dearly) had irritated, angered or scared The Van in some unspecified way - there were rumours that Morrison (allegedly) used to send his assistants/bodyguards/mates into Dublin pubs ahead of himself, just to make sure Mr. Scott wasn't already in there drinking....I've no idea why (or even if this was really true), but I figured that a totemic representation of Mike would make a great addition to my protest...

I realised I'd never posted any photos documenting this evening, so I thought I oughta finally remedy this. What happened was this: I stood outside The Johnson Hall (I deliberately still call it The Johnson Hall, not The Octogon, as its original name is forever associated (in my own inner-mythic landscape) w/ seeing bands like Hawkwind, Thin Lizzy, Greenslade, etc in the early/mid-70s, so, for the sake of this exercise, it then takes on more historico-psychic 'weight'...) wearing my mask and holding a sign...and I asked Van The Man's fans to photograph me as they went in...the idea being that I was then using his own fan-base's (mostly middle-aged, middle-class couples) energy to attack him - a sort of psychik Jujitsu approach whereby your opponent's own force (middle-class, sluggish & dull, in this case) is turned back on him. In retrospect, prob. not a good tactic, as his fans' life-forces were weak....I would've done better rounding up a group of random disgruntled teenagers to lob mud-blobs at the venue instead...

(With apologies to HPL: "Rhan-Tegoth! Cthulhu Fthagn - Ei! Ei! Ei! Rhan-Tegoth: MOTHER OF TOADS!")

Still, always wise after the fact, eh?

Later on, I snuck round the back of the venue and left some placards on his tour-bus. Almost got busted by a roadie doing this and had to scarper back round some bushes while he had a fag. There was a visceral, almost electric thrill leaving these messages while I could hear Van Von Doom crooning bland celtic white-soul bollocks thru the stage-door nearby - the adrenaline rush was incredible. Already, I could feel this turning from a picket into some sort of magickal 'working'...(tho the arcane energies I unleashed backfired on me a few days/weeks later and actually melted dn the hard-drive on my PC)....

(As I was taking this photo, the stage-door opened so I legged it - hence the poor photographic composition lol!)

I then tried to, er, 'befriend' his driver who was stood outside having a this point I started running some weird fantasy thru my head whereby I ended up getting invited back-stage with Van and was able to do... his dressing-room (my exact plan was still unclear...). But I was was so turned on by this idea, that I had to discretely grind my teeth while I talked to him...but it was to no avail: the driver was unfriendly and monosyllablic (working with the Boring Fat Oirish One'll do that to ya, I guess)...I only got the odd grunt out of him, which is weird...he prob. thought I was a twat (which I am)...usually, long as they're not mega-busy at that particular moment, most road-crew guys are usually v. open and friendly when you talk about their jobs, cos no one ever asks them about what they do, so they're happy to toss some Saxondale-esque anecdotes at ya about Reading '80 or Glastonbury '84...I even tried turning the conversation around to Mike Scott, in an attempt to find out more about The Man's alleged antipathy t/wards Mike - did Van know him very well, had the driver met M.S.?, etc - but, nah, he thought I was just some stage-struck wurzel wassock and contemptuously ignored me. His loss.

The Merch-guy was much more friendlier and chattier, but it transpired that he didn't travel with Van's fact, I think he may have had to even buy into the T-shirt franchaise...but he didn't have any anecdotes; he drove from town to town separate from the band and crew and didn't really have contact with Thee Great Toad.

Van Morrison "skinny" T-shirts...surely that's an, er, oxy-moron?

Anyway, it was a great evening out and I thoroughly recommend picketing a band you don't like the next time they come to town. It's cheap and it's really great fun. I think I did mention a couple years ago that I did consider picketing Midge Ure when he played Yeovil...I thought about wearing a Warren Cann mask and carrying a sign that said "Wotcha, Lol!"...

but, hey, sometimes life's just too short.