Rock icon Van Morrison is still pumping out the tunes at 75, even though his new album titled Latest Record Project: Volume 1, will likely cause more controversy because of its anti-lockdown messages.
For months now, Van has been furious over the government regulated shutdowns which have decimated so many industries, including the many jobs associated with live concerts. He’s released a few songs blasting the lockdown, one with Eric Clapton, and has been heavily criticized for his stance, but in a new interview with The Times of London the Belfast-born legend clearly doesn’t give a damn.
“If I can write about it, I do. Poetic license, freedom of speech…these used to be okay. Why not now? I don’t understand it. Some people call it a cult. It is like a religion. Whether anyone agrees with me or not is irrelevant,” he said.
“Just as there should be freedom of the press, there should be freedom of speech, and at the minute it feels like that is not in the framework. If you do songs that are an expression of freedom of speech you get a very negative reaction.”
Van says he’s written more than 50 songs during the past year, and 28 of them made his album.
Of one of the songs, “Jealousy,” he says, “It’s about what people say behind your back. People think you have it made. Nobody has it made. You don’t have the answers to life when you’re rich and famous. Some of the richest people are the most miserable.”
The Times interviewer asked when Van thinks live music will become a reality again.
“Your guess is as good as mine because freedom is not a given anymore. You have to fight for it,” he replied.