Van Morrison – Bulbs

I must admit…the first line threw me off when I first heard it at age 19. “Kicking off from centerfield” left me confused. Baseball has a centerfield but you don’t kick off. Of course, it’s soccer but back then I had no clue about the game.

Bulbs was the only single to be taken from his 1974 album Veedon Fleece, with a B-side of “Cul de Sac” for the US release and “Who Was That Masked Man” for the UK release.

I bought Veedon Fleece sometime in the mid-eighties right after I bought his first six albums. I was heavily into Van the Man at that time…and still am. I thought this album was an improvement to the previous one called Hard Nose The Highway. The song kicked off the second side of the album. I would always buy the album and record it on cassette immediately so I could listen to it in my car.

Van Morrison is an interesting person. His musical landscape spanned so many genres in his career. You had the garage rock of Gloria and Here Comes The Night, the blues with Thank God For The Blues, jazz with Moondance, and everything in between including conventional rock and roll with Wild Night.

Van would be in the top 2-3 of my favorite vocalist of all time. I saw the man live on March 7, 2006, at the Ryman Auditorium. I had admired his voice for years but was knocked out by how great he was in concert. I’ve seen film clips of him live but you don’t get the full effect unless you see him in person.

Veedom Fleece peaked at #53 on the Billboard album charts, #80 in Canada, and #41 in the UK in 1974. He had a stretch of albums from 1968 to this one that is hard to beat. Astral Weeks, Moondance, His Band and the Street Choir, Tupelo Honey, Saint Dominic’s Preview, Hard Nose The Highway, and this one. I do like his other albums also but I like his late sixties to early seventies sound…The first time I noticed Van was on Saturday Night Live when he appeared and played songs from the album Wavelength. I was too young to know who he was though. It was when I heard Brown Eyed Girl in 1985 that I started to buy his albums and haven’t stopped liking him since.


I’m kicking off from center fieldA question of being down for the gameThe one shot deal don’t matterAnd the other one’s the same

Oh! My friend I see youWant you to come through (alright)And she’s standing in the shadowsWhere the street lights all turn blue

She leaving for an American (uhuh)Suitcase in her handI said her brothers and her sistersAre all on Atlantic sand

She’s screaming through the alley wayI hear the lonely cry, why can’t you?And her batteries are corrodedAnd her hundred watt bulb just blew

Lallallal, alright, huhuhhuh

She used to hang out at Miss Lucy’sEvery weekend they would get looseAnd it was a straight clear case ofHaving taken in too much juice

It was outside, and it was outsideJust the nature of the personNow all you got to rememberAfter all, it’s just show biz

Lallalal, huhuh, lallal

We’re just screaming through the alley wayI hear her lonely cry, ah why can’t you?And she’s standing in the shadowsCanal street lights all turn blueAnd she’s standing in the shadowsWhere the street lights all turn blueAnd she’s standing in the shadowsDown where the street lights all turn blueHey, hey, yeah