note: The International Irish Showband, The Monarchs, played at the Two Red Shoes, Elgin on 27 June and at Tain Town Hall on the 29th. If this was the group Van Morrison was part of, 1963 would be the first of two visits to Elgin Scotland’s, Two Red Shoes ballroom.
When Van Morrison and Them visited NE Scotland to perform at the Two Red Shoes , it was not without incident though enjoyed by those who attended their performances. Northern Ireland journalist, Chris Ryder, wrote: “in Elgin rag students captured them…all were mobbed and lost cufflinks, ties and even shoes”). David Hay who was involved in the “kidnapping” wrote: “We were students at Aberdeen from 1962 to 1966 and during the Easter holidays we ran a local charities campaign which culminated in the Charities Ball in the 2 red shoes. We painted strips of newsprint with poster paint and hung them like wallpaper in the dance hall. The top was stapled to the plaster board and the bottom parts were sellotaped to the formica panels.
One of the years, I can’t remember which one, some of the guys met the group Them with Van Morrison who were playing in the 2 red shoes that night, and persuaded them to pretend to be kidnapped. They spent the afternoon in our charities headquarters where I and others were painting the decorations for the Charities Ball. They whiled away the afternoon with a case of cans of McEwan’s export. Albert Bonici donated some money to the charities campaign to effect their release.”
One of the songs was “Gloria” which brought Van Morrison international fame years before he released “Moondance” in 1970. It was in Glasgow where the band got their break and did a short tour in the north-east ending in Aberdeen: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/entertainment/music/blues-legend-van-morrison-tells-8524119
Van Morrison has recently performed for BBC1 and his hits have recently been re-released https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aINCj4dIfPk
Inspired by Van Morrison’s song of the same name, Moondance  was one of my earliest b&w cut/paste collages. [copyright DJ Dills] More illustrations at https://djdills.wordpress.com/