Tuesday, March 7, 2006

The man and me

I had a dream last night that, under the false pretense of being a reporter, I was able to score an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas, where I was supposed to interview Van Morrison.

After going to his concert at random Vegas hotel that looked a lot like the MGM but wasn't, I was ushered into an interview room to sit with a very bored-looking Van and try to think up some bullshit questions. Most of my questions centered on asking why "Inarticulate Speech of the Heart" is such a bad album, and pretty soon he had figured out that I wasn't actually a reporter. I confessed that I was, in fact, just a fan, and told him my theory that I would not have been able to dupe the child bride into marrying me had it not been for his and B.B. King's music.

"I'm tired of this," Van suddenly announced, "come on upstairs and I'll get you a drink."

So, I followed him up to this large room at the top of the hotel that had a massive bar and enormous windows that looked out over the Strip. I had a beer and he drank whisky and we sat talking and he told me a really dirty joke that I can't presently remember. I mentioned at some point that I thought it was a bit un-Van-Morrison-like for him to perform at casinos.

"Maybe," he said, "but it's worthwhile because you can make almost any ridiculous request and they'll bust their ass trying to make it happen."

Then he turned to the bartender and said, "This room feels a little cold. Perhaps you could warm it up by filling it with pretty women."

"No problem," the bartender said, picking up a phone.

"Now, see, you make some totally inane request," Van said to me. "Go on, think of something stupid."

"Can you make sure they're all wearing volleyball player outfits?" I asked, a recent blog entry coming to mind.

Within 15 minutes, amid Van's laughing so hard tears were in his eyes, hotel security was ushering the entire University of Nevada Las Vegas women's volleyball team into the room.

At some point, I went to the toilet, and when I came back, the girls had convinced Van to do an impromptu performance and he was standing on the bar, belting out Otis Redding's "Tenderness."* A group of showgirls, replete in sequined dresses and feather headgear, had also showed up.

"Hey, man, what songs do you know? Get up here and sing with me," Van shouted to me.

As I was being helped onto the bar, Van smiled and said in a quiet growl: "I had some roses and chocolates sent to your wife. But there is no way you're going to be able to re-tell this story without her getting angry."

My alarm started ringing and in the millisecond between dreaming and consciousness, Van's final words to me, mysteriously, were: "Bloody Dutch."

*And it was really good. You have to laud my subconscious for its ability to put together Van Morrison singing an acoustic version of "Tenderness." My brain actually does this sort of thing a lot.


Ryan said...

Was this REALLY a dream? C'mon, you can tell the truth, I won't judge.

Sarah Stevenson said...

This is so incredibly detailed that it's scary.

Sarah Stevenson said...

And also, I laughed my ass off.

Afe said...

My vote for dream of the year. Compelling character development and plot.

Chris Cope said...

Ry, it was a real dream. Of course I've evened things out a bit in the sense that, like all dreams, it had that revolving setting thing of Vegas turning into Reno turning into San Antonio turning into Vegas.

Andraste said...

I have a story about Van! A musician friend was palling around with him in Boston, and they went to a well-known Irish pub in Cambridge and asked for a sandwich, but were told the kitchen had closed five minutes earlier, so they couldn't get lunch. So they left, and the bartender, SUDDENLY realizing just WHO IT WAS that he had just turned down for a sandwich, came running after them, apologizing, saying "come back, we'll get you some food."

True story.

Dave Morris said...

I have a rival for "most warped mind." This is good news for me, I thought I was alone.

Thomas said...

I am reading a Bill Bryson book now.

Goo said...

bloody irishman knows how to party.

mo** said...

I want to drink whisky with Van now. and be you in your dream instead of you- (with the mens volley ball tem of course!)