Is Van Morrison “spiritual not religious”? Van Morrison shared his views on religion a few days before his 70th birthday concert.
The Hall of Fame singer and songwriter Van Morrison celebrated his 70th birthday on Monday, August 31. Morrison’s special day was celebrated in the form of a unique concert that is aired live in BBC Radio Ulster and will later on TV broadcasted on the September 4.
A few days before his birthday, the singer sat for an interview with Irish Times’ Fintan O’Toole. The conversation revolved around Morrison’s life as an artist. Throughout the interview, Morrison revealed his unique relationship with fame. Compared to other celebrities who willingly embrace fame or those who try to hide from it when they already feel uncomfortable, Morrison considers fame as an enemy or a kind of punishment.
According to him, fame or stardom makes it hard for him to perform as the legendary Van Morrison because it makes artists focus on their public image and what people are saying rather than the performance itself. He explains that with stardom “you need to freely look at what’s going on and observe people: what they’re doing, what they’re saying. And it’s very difficult to do that when people are focusing on you. You don’t have the anonymity which is important for creativity.”
Morrison added that he never really wanted to become a star and instead just dreamed of having his own blues club in Belfast but he ended up with his current fate after years of being “manipulated by the puppet masters” in the music industry.
Before the interview ends, Morrison talks about his views on spirituality and religion. “But it’s like the religion thing. I wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot pole. In one of my songs I do now, politics and religion, superstition go hand in hand. That’s my take on it, but nobody knows that song, you know, because they don’t play it on the radio.”
Morrison also has an intelligent view of spirituality and religion. According to the artist, spirituality has a deeper meaning for each individual while religion is intended to identify a particular group of faith. He explains: “I kind of separate religion now from spirituality. Spirituality is one thing, religion… can mean anything from soup to nuts, you know? But it generally means an organization, so I don’t really like to use the word, because that’s what it really means. It really means this church or that church… But spirituality is different, because that’s the individual.”