The Astral Travels of Van Morrison

A brilliant and mercurial singer revisits perhaps his finest hour, 40 years later

For the man who once sang that "my job is turning lead into gold," his own celebrity and its attendant pressures seem as much a double-edged sword as ever. "I never bargained on fame; it's just something I've had to deal with that came along with doing the music," Morrison says. "It's like I've got these scars," he adds, pointing at his back, "and why do I have to keep showing people the scars all the time? You know what I mean? It's in the songs somewhere there. I still have to turn myself inside-out to do this. It's still got a price-it's not free. Doing these gigs, that's got a price. I have to act. I have to perform."

But he still loves it, right?

"The only thing I love is the music," he says, without hesitation. "The rest of it is pure shit. The kind of shit that fame attracts is very dark. It's very dark. I like the music, but that's it."

"The only thing I love is the music. The rest of it is pure shit."
EMI Music North America
"The only thing I love is the music. The rest of it is pure shit."

Van Morrison plays the WaMu theater at Madison Square Garden February 27-28, and the Beacon Theatre March 3-4

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