For all the dross albums and dodgy views he’s taken to spouting (“spyhtin’” if he’s in full-on Nornarsh mowad) of late, few artists occupy a more exalted place in my heart and record collecting firmament than George Ivan Morrison.
Colossal prick he may well be (there’s actually no “may well” about it but that “be” looked a little forlorn sitting there on its own), but like the proverbial pint of plain, Van very often really is your only man.
My love affair with VTM began the 1972 afternoon I walked into a Coventry city centre second-hand shop who’d filched the name Exchange and Mart (E&M) from the dead tree eBay of its day. With the store likely to feature in a few of these recollections, a little description might not go amiss here.
Dull, shabby and impossibly narrow this particular emporium of abandoned and unloved ephemera might have been, but my God its selection of second-hand albums was to die for. Best of all, having nary a clue about the artistic merits or emotional heft of what they were selling, the owners used to flog its extensive stock of vinly 12”ers for peanuts.
While I cannot remember how » Continue Reading.