Definitive, provocative and revelatory, Johnny Rogan has produced a comprehensive portrait of an endlessly complicated man, his music, and the place he comes from.
Morrison grew up in 1950s Belfast at a time of an explosion in youth culture and the emergence of a beat scene second only to Liverpool, a vibrant period before the descent into sectarian conflict. For Morrison, whose personality seemed to typify the “No Surrender” Unionist mentality, this was a time of inner discovery and musical experiment.
He was an unlikely star and a publicist’s nightmare: short, with plain looks, wavy red hair and a potbelly, he gave fractious interviews and fell out regularly with friends and management. After a period of local success in Belfast clubs, and chart success with his band, Them, his great solo break came when he moved to America and recorded Astral Weeks, an album that was the start of a period of huge musical and commercial achievement and secured him the status of modern music icon.
Over the last five decades, his music has embraced rock, folk, blues, country and jazz, and he remains a hugely influential artist as well as a conundrum of a man. Van Morrison is the definitive biography of this great musician.
Johnny Rogan has been called pop’s most eccentric biographer, a fanatical searcher after truth. He is the author of sixteen books on musicians, including the Byrds, Roxy Music, the Kinks, the Smiths, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and John Lennon. His work has been acclaimed endlessly in print and on radio and television.