I have just received the strangest, actually genuine, email ever. I’ve been asked to “help spread the word” about a pledge campaign for a limited edition release of Van Morrison’s Bang! sessions, because like many Irish musicians, I’ve mentioned Van on my website probably more than once.
Now, here are a few reasons why I find the email a little strange. Instead of numbering the list, I’ve decided to use exclamation marks, which seem more appropriate to my state of bewilderment right now :
! – Please help promote Van Morrison.
!! – Please help promote a re-release of already heavily exposed 50 year old recordings. (Including such unknowns as half of the material from “Astral Weeks” plus a little known tune by the name of “Brown Eyed Girl”. Obscure, I know.)
!!! – … which as a bonus, on its very own vinyl, includes the deliberately “unreleasable” crud that Van recorded in order to get out of his contract, featuring lyrics like “Oooh aah you got ringworm”, in the knowledge that it would, could nor should ever be released. Except that it was.
!!!! – Since Van Morrison usually wouldn’t need to run a pledge campaign, and Bang! no longer exists as a label, and the Berns family still own the recordings apparently… who exactly is doing this?
!!!!! – I refer back to exclamation mark one. I’m still not over that.
Of course, in expressing my puzzlement at the email/campaign, I have also unintentionally shone a light upon it. However, I couldn’t avoid saying something about it. It’s just too bloody weird.