Van the Man, the legendary Belfast rocker, is firmly anti-lockdown and enraged by the economic ravages the coronavirus has brought to the live music industry in particular, and the lack of government action to help those affected.
“The Northern Ireland Executive has refused to quantify the economic impact of the restrictions on live music nor have they provided the scientific evidence to justify the ban. It’s time to make them accountable,” he said a few months back.
In September/October Van released three anti-lockdown songs that attracted a fair bit of attention – much of it negative – but he’s doubling down and unfurling another song, this time with the equally renowned Eric Clapton, on December 18.
It’s called “Stand and Deliver,” and Variety says it’s a blues track penned by Van and sung by Clapton, who’s also angry at the ongoing lockdowns. Proceeds from the song will go to Morrison’s charity that he established, the Lockdown Financial Hardship Fund, which aims to help out of work musicians in Northern Ireland and throughout the U.K.
“There are many of us who support Van and his endeavors to save live music; he is an inspiration,” Clapton said. “We must stand up and be counted because we need to find a way out of this mess. The alternative is not worth thinking about. Live music might never recover.”
Van added, “Eric’s recording is fantastic and will clearly resonate with the many who share our frustrations. It is heartbreaking to see so many talented musicians lack any meaningful support from the government, but we want to reassure them that we are working hard every day to lobby for the return of live music, and to save our industry.”
None other than Senator Cruz re-tweeted the link to the Variety story. The Texan also added his two cents, saying, “The irony is rich. Dems are destroying many of their core constituencies: Hollywood, Broadway, pro sports, and Rock & Roll. Bravo to Clapton and Van Morrison for having the courage to stand up to virtue-signaling Lefties & defend the thousands who work in the arts.” (Of course, Congress has been MIA these past few months when it comes to stimulus aid; the senator must have forgotten.)
Morrison has urged his fans to “listen to the full track” when it is released on the 18th. For a preview, here are a couple of lines from “Stand and Deliver”: “No more taking our freedom, and our God-given rights. Pretending it's for our safety when it's really to enslave.”