The radio-friendly hit maker and young rocker Van Morrison was just 22-years-old when he appeared live to perform “Brown Eyed Girl” 52 years ago on this day on the Dick Clark TV production American Bandstand. He was never a man of many words during interviews, and throughout his long and complex solo career, became known for letting his music doing the talking.
Freshly departed from the Belfast blues and rock band Them at the time, “Brown Eyed Girl” helped launch Morrison’s solo career with its swift flight as a Billboard Top Ten hit.
The catchy song that evoked cheery images of “slipping and sliding, all along the waterfall,” and “making love in the green grass,” helped cement Morrison as an artist gone stag within the American mainstream, and resurfaced in compilation albums spanning across his multi-decade career, including the 1990 album Best of Van Morrison.
During his 1967 interview, Dick Clark asked, “You ever have spare time to yourself?”
Morrison mumbled in reply, “Not much - I kind of, just walk up to parts of cities, the rain.” He briefly acknowledged that he does compose music in his free time, but the highlight of this cameo is really just the performance of “Brown Eyed Girl,” which induced the delighted youth in the audience to clap and sway along to the song in rows.
Listen to the official audio version here: