Sunday 21 October 2018

From a young age Van Morrison seemed to have had little 'star quality'. In fact, many of his early contemporaries wrote him off - mainly because he refused to . Myles McWMcWeeney delves into an enthralling new biography of the Belfast cowboy

If there is one word that springs to mind after reading Johnny Rogan's new biography of Van Morrison it is 'grumpy'. In fact, you could come up with quite a few other similar terms: cantankerous, churlish and crusty. Van the child, the boy, the teen and the man seems to have been all these most of the time if the testimony of the many interviews the author conducted with frien

If there is one word that springs to mind after reading Johnny Rogan's new biography of Van Morrison it is 'grumpy'. In fact, you could come up with quite a few other similar terms: cantankerous, churlish and crusty. Van the child, the boy, the teen and the man seems to have been all these most of the time if the testimony of the many interviews the author conducted with friends, acquaintances and musicians over a period of 20 years is to believed.

George Ivan Morrison was born on August 31, 1945, in East Belfast. Even at an early stage he stood apart and appears to have been a preternaturally quiet child who preferred stamp-collecting to playing football in the street, even though in those distant pre-pudgy days he was very good at it. His cousin Jackie Stitt said: "He could have been a good sportsman but he had no interest in it at all. He'd play along with you for a while until he got bored - he seemed to tire of it quickly. He'd go indoors."

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