WHAT Van Morrison - Astral Weeks
WHEN Morlais Quarries - Summer 1988
Due to a fortunate hiccup in college timetables, the summer vacation of 1988 started in May and went through to October. It was a long, hot one where I spent most days solo climbing in the Morlais Quarries near Merthyr Tydfil after a 25 mile hitchhike. I’m not sure how ‘Astral Weeks’ came into my life… maybe Q magazine mentioned it? I remember getting a cassette of it from a 2nd hand stall in Newport Indoor Market. I think it might have been a bootleg. Anyways, it was stuck in my clunky Sony Walkman for most of those journeys to the Quarry as I stood on the side of the road trying to get a lift.
I really don't remember having anything to compare it to - then or now. It has a unique sense of space and spiritual searching which is even more remarkable when you consider that he was 23 years old when he recorded it and the whole thing was done in 3 days. Timeless.