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Happy 75th, you grumpy old Van

There are some people who are born old and just grow into their faces… like Bob Dylan, Keith Richards and Van Morrison.

And so the only surprise with Van Morrison turning 75 today is that I thought he was that age when he was 25.

On the plus side these wise young men sang as if they had already lived a life.

When he was young: Van the lad.

Which may have had something to do with The Swinging Sixties.

But while Bob and Keef were off getting high nobody thought of giving Belfast boy Van the happy pills.

Because as well as making a name for himself as a musical innovator with his Celtic soul music he also became noted fot being the grumpiest man in pop.

Van in a hurry

Storied for cutting concerts short, and I can testify to this having been short-changed an hour in Aberdeen.

Sway to go, Van

Though that was just time. Spare a thought for the Dublin taxi driver who dropped Van off at a hotel to meet Bono.

And was surprised when he disappeared into the hotel never to be seen again.

Thankfully though he had nowhere to escape to when he played a jazz set with Joey DeFrancesco to a Cabaret audience at Europa Hotel.

The Godfather

Van is though by any standard a genius and the Godfather of Irish music, even without that trilby hat.

Another golden oldie: Bob Geldof

So it is only right that 75 of the Great and Good of Ireland’s music scene have come together with our friends at Hot Press to mark the occasion.

With the broadcasts going out through YouTube throughout August and September.

My generation

You want Hozier, Sinéad O’Connor, Imelda May, Bob Geldof, Gary Lightbody, Andrea Corr, Glen Hansard, Paul Brady and Damien Dempsey (take a breath)

And the incomparable Sinead O’Connor

Una Healy of The Saturdays, Damien Rice, Gavin James, The Academic, Moya Ní Bhraonáin of Clannad, rising young Dublin rapper Malaki and many more.

Tourism Ireland is also sharing it with their followers around the world.

While you can also check out all the places he mentions in those classics…

And best of all you can make him last for ever.

Do you remember when we used to sing…

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