Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

7. Van MorrisonAstral Weeks

When I was maybe 21 I had a job at a xerox store, and a coffee shop, and as an artist’s assistant, and I was cleaning apartments, and I was a nanny, and I was really sad. I was really sad. I was goin’ through a lot of shit, and this guy – the drummer from the Blues Explosion, Russell Simins – I went to the guitar store with him. He was like ‘Oh, Chan, you gotta hear this record, you don’t know this record? Oh man’ and then he gave me a copy of Astral Weeks by Van Morrison. And I thought oh yeah yeah yeah, record record shmecord. Another guy, telling me what’s great, you know. I’ve got shit pretty figured out myself. But it blew me away. I was allowed to cry; I was able to cry and dance around like a fruitcake… I was so happy to release my pain. ‘Sweet Thing’ changed my life. Hearing ‘Sweet Thing’ was like going to church whether you wanted to or not. That record is just a masterpiece.

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