March 17, 2012 9:08 PM   Subscribe

Glen Hansard meets Van Morrison

An Irish tale in which Glen Hansard (Swell Season) tells the tale of the evening he met his notoriously cranky hero, and things didn't go horribly wrong.

Glen Hansard sings Astral Weeks
posted by philip-random (15 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
posted by atomicmedia at 9:45 PM on March 17, 2012

I think Mark├ęta's heard this one before.
posted by blue t-shirt at 10:08 PM on March 17, 2012 [5 favorites]

Great story!
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:10 PM on March 17, 2012

That was so much fun to listen to.
posted by bardophile at 10:53 PM on March 17, 2012

"...and Van hands me the guitar..." Loved this post!
posted by TomSophieIvy at 11:57 PM on March 17, 2012

Definitely kissed the Blarney Stone ... nice, thanks for this!
posted by thinkpiece at 5:04 AM on March 18, 2012

From the related vids: Glen Hansard discusses Jeff Buckley.
posted by ppl at 5:11 AM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

In the video when he's talking about Jeff Buckley, he mentions meeting a man who played Harry Partch albums in the same sentence as he mentions listening to Tom Waits. Is Partch well known in popular musical circles? My encounter with his work was years ago in music school, and I figured his work was a musicological curiosity, not much known outside of academia.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 5:31 AM on March 18, 2012

The video of Glen doing "Astral Weeks" does a pretty good job of catching him "live" -- especially that guitar work in the middle. I saw Swell Season in Brooklyn 2 years ago, and they opened with just Glen on the guitar; I don't even know what song it was, but towards the end he was playing with such intensity that it actually stopped sounding like music, it was more like this thunder he was driving out across the audience.

Later in the show he was doing a similar number and broke a string midway through; didn't miss a beat, just stopped playing and sang just as intensely as he had been, but holding his guitar off to one side. I thought it was part of the act until I saw some freaked-out roadie sprint up to him with a second guitar; they swapped off, Glen slung the new guitar around his neck and started playing again, not missing a beat with his singing, as the roadie ran back to restring his own guitar.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:06 AM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Absolutely delightful story. Thanks for posting it.
posted by languagehat at 12:21 PM on March 18, 2012

I thought maybe Van was going to sing "You don't know me." The recorded version I have of him doing it leaves much to be desired, and I always hope I'll get to hear him do it again.

He must be one of the most grumpy musicians ever. Even before he was fat and bald he was grumpy. It's amazing what we'll put up with just to hear such moving music.

And by the way, in my world there are no obscure Van Morrison songs.
posted by cccorlew at 1:19 PM on March 18, 2012

I don't know anything about this guy Glen Hansard but I really enjoyed his story, the way he told it and the obvious passion and humility he brought to telling it.

Thanks! I'll check out some of his music now.
posted by dubitable at 7:16 PM on March 18, 2012

I have an Irish musician friend who is also friends with Glen Hansard and he (my friend, not Glen) told me the Van Morrison story second-hand. In turn, I've tried to tell them to a few other people third-hand, but I am grateful I can just give them the link to this instead.
posted by camcgee at 8:11 PM on March 18, 2012

Glen has also delivered a bunch of awesome as the lead singer in the Frames. "For the Birds" is beautiful.
posted by FrereKhan at 2:15 AM on March 19, 2012

For dubitable and others who are interested in the musical endeavors of Glen Hansard, you can check out his band's official website here: The Frames. Also, there's an archive with setlists, reviews, photos and videos of live performances from Glen and The Frames here: Order in the Sound. (second link is a self-link)
posted by shannonm at 11:25 AM on March 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

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