We'll say this upfront: LA Weekly's influence on legendary soul/blues/country/rock singer Van Morrison's life has been negligible, to say the least. We're a lowly free newspaper that enjoys his music and has much respect for his art, and his decisions. Which is why it gives us no small amount of pleasure to report of the continued relationship between Weekly staffers and Morrison.

To wit: LA Weekly film critic Scott Foundas is a Vanhead, and knows as much or more than most about Morrison's collected work. Last year when the singer announced that he would be performing his great Astral Weeks LP from 1967 in its entirety at the Hollywood Bowl, Foundas was the first in line to secure a sit-down interview with the notoriously grumpy singer. Foundas showed up at the Beverly Hills Hotel and conducted the interview, which went shockingly well. That same morning, expert LA Weekly photographer Kevin Scanlon took photos of Morrison for the paper.

After seeing the results, Morrison asked Scanlon to document the gig, and he got amazing shots, many of which were used in the CD and DVD release of the shows. (Check out VanMorrison.com for many of his images.) Scanlon then accompanied Morrison to both the New York City and London performances.

Foundas, meanwhile, was asked to interview Morrison for an upcoming documentary about Morrison and Astral Weeks. The title of the doc? To Be Born Again — which is the name of the feature that Foundas wrote for the Weekly last year.

LA Weekly