Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The intersection of Bay and Green Streets

So Ryan Walsh's terrifically crafted story in Boston Magazine (see the post below) sheds a little light on the mystery of where Van Morrison lived in Cambridge, Mass. But first, let's back up a bit ...

Earlier this month, Alyssa Pacy, archivist at the Cambridge Public Library, was gracious enough to look through a copy of the 1968 city phone directory and see if any Van Morrisons were listed. (She even checked under his birth name, George Ivan Morrison. Now that is being thorough.) Sadly, the name didn't appear.

But I can't say I was entirely surprised. Peter Wolf's Rolling Stone piece on Morrison mentioned how the Irishman "would walk several blocks to my place to use the phone." Walsh's story included a quote from Wolf in which he essentially says the same: "He'd come over to use my telephone. It was all business. Calls to clubs, producers, and managers." Walsh also wrote about Morrison frequently hogging the family phone of local guitarist John Sheldon. So there's enough evidence to suggest that Morrison did not own a telephone. Which means the directory route is very likely a dead end.

Now about Walsh's piece shedding a little light ... The story's closing has a wistful little anecdote involving Morrison and Wolf returning to their Cambridge digs many years after they moved away. It mentions the intersection of Bay and Green Streets and how the Morrison homestead was located just past it. Walsh has an engrossing postscript to his story on Tumblr (the picture seen above is from his post). There, he mentions that the very building Morrison lived in may no longer exist.

So the search continues ...

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