brown eyed girl

Van Morrison Belts it Out at Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium

Van Morrison Sax-300x300Even though I had never met the musician, when I was a 15-year-old girl who felt she lived at the center of the universe, I was pretty much certain that Van Morrison was singing Brown-Eyed Girl for me. I used to hear it on the jukebox at a hippie hangout in Denver, back when I crashed wherever I could find a spot on the floor indoors somewhere. Of course, that all changed when Bob Dylan teamed up with Johnny Cash to perform Girl From the North Country — after I had been busted and forced to move back to Minneapolis, which then made Van Morrison a thing of the past.

Kids. So young, so innocent, believing we knew it all, and there was little left to learn. It’s not until we get older do we realize how little we do know. Mark Twain made an observation about that when he discovered how much his dad learned between his ages of 14 and 21.

There is a big market in marketing to baby boomers these days, especially music. Because we baby boomers have the bucks to blow $500 on a concert, and we’ll do it if we don’t have to stand. During a concert in Minneapolis some four decades past I rushed the front row seats, just like every other kid who came to see Jefferson Airplane. Didn’t matter which seat you were originally assigned to, when you’re a female with feminine ways, you could pretty much go wherever you wanted.

And I wanted to stand on the front row seats. It wasn’t enough to stand on the floor. My entire group was yelling, hooting, hollering, carrying on, jumping up and down like a bunch of kids, which we were. Grace Slick appeared, grabbed the mike, looked down at the row of squealing rockers before her and asked us how much we paid to get into the concert. How much, she yelled? I squeaked out the words: eight dollars. “Well, they ripped you off,” she shrieked.

But today, if you want seats near the front at any major concert, it’s highway robbery, and we’ll pay it. Some people want to return to their youth, if just for a few hours. A Van Morrison concert is not a return to anybody’s youth, although, there are boomers who will go to see him just because he was from back in the day.

He didn’t play Brown-Eyed Girl last night at the San Francisco Masonic Auditorium, but he did perform Into the Mystic. Although nothing from Astral Weeks. That album, an all-time favorite, was produced in 1968 and recorded over 2 days in New York. Another little known fact you might not know, Van Morrison wrote the song Gloria, G-L-O-R-I-A, THAT Gloria.

He mixes rock music with jazz, a lot of saxophone, and he’s become more progressive over the years, like any artist would do being dedicated to the craft. He’s performing again tonight in Nob Hill, so if you’re really dying to go and you haven’t thought about scoring tickets, you could probably pick up tickets from the scalpers hanging out on California Street.

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