>Window Washer


Today, I decided that before I get too far ahead of myself, I’d better stitch the windows on my blue British bus. I used clear vinyl for this. I also began stitching on some size 15 gold-lined white seed beads. It looks like I’m taking care of the details before I really begin beading the body of my bus…

And, speaking of windows, let me introduce the next passenger on my semi-beaded bus. He is Van Morrison. In 1964, Van Morrison formed a band called Them, which had several hits including a song called ‘Gloria’. A couple of years later, the band was playing at a club called Whiskey-a-Go-Go, and coincidentally, The Doors opened up for Them. The Doors keyboardist, Ray Manzarek, later wrote about that experience in his book “Light My Fire – My Life with The Doors”:

“Yes, my friends, Van Morrison and Them! Our favorite singer and perhaps our favorite band. “Gloria” and “Mystic Eyes” and John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom”. What great songs. What a great band. And what a wild-man lead singer. Van was a possessed Celt. He was all over the stage. Manic. Arms continually raised in a hallelujah salute to the energy. A ball of black Irish plasma reconstituted as the lead singer of a wandering band of minstrels that had set down beside us on the Sunset Strip of Los Angeles, California. Jim was transfixed by Van. He studied his every move. He put the eye on him and he absorbed. Van Morrison was – and is – the best of the white blues men. No one has that soul, that torment, that anguish. And he displayed it all at the Whiskey … and we watched, mesmerized. All of us. I especially loved the way Van would grab the mic stand, thrust it into the air, turn it on its head with the base pointing up to heaven, and continue wailing into the Shure 47. “She got one, two, brown eyes … Hypnotize!” Goddamn he was good….

And could he drink. I wish Jim hadn’t seen that part of it. What with Felix imparting the drunken secrets of the race and Van the Celtic Christian blues man idol of Jim’s downing copious drafts … well, Jim didn’t stand a chance. He became enamored of alcohol…. But we all became friends, and the last night of our too-brief week’s engagement with the Irish crazies saw us all in a monster jam session. The Doors and Them onstage together. Jim Morrison and Van Morrison onstage at the same time! And singing “Gloria”! What a fucking night….”

The next year, in 1967, Van Morrison moved to Boston. Would you believe at that particular point in time, Van was having trouble getting gigs?? In fact, he probably even had to get a job… perhaps cleaning windows


11 thoughts on “>Window Washer

  1. >Loved finding Van on the bus- I might hitch a ride, too.Am a huge Van fan and found him looking fitter than ever in the last 15 years and performing with lots of energy at this years’ Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans the last wkend in Apil. Go Van!

  2. >Tentae, I hope each person sees something different when this piece is completed.And, Cynthia, I was just at Pere LaChaise a few weeks ago. That cemetarie is quite remarkable:)

  3. >Love The Doors! It’s kind of amazing how some musicians live such fast a furious lives. I have a photograph of my husband at Jim Morrison’s grave in Pere la Chaise in Paris. Both with the old and new tombstone. It’s quite a place to visit.

  4. >I’m fascinating by where this particular piece is going to go in respect to the overall theme. Compared to the past ones, this one has so many meanings that I think each person who views it will see something of their very own. Congrats!P.S. I thought you might be pleased to know that its because of you and your inspiration that I’ve decided to join the Bead Journal project. This is going to be interesting.

  5. >I’m excited to see the background in today. Is that going to stay there? Also, I received this wonderful little package envelope in the mail. It is precious and something I would never do for myself, Lone, thank you so much. You picked perfect colors for me too!

  6. >I have just discovered you site – I love it!! I went to school on a similar bus in the 1950s, I think it was called a Bluebird. Once it braked suddenly and I hit my teeth on the seat in front (no seatbelts in those days) My two front teeth went on to cause a lifetime of expense (no claiming in those days either!) I’ve added you to my favourites

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