“More cracks started to appear later on, during the quiz. Like a trivia contest. All the questions are about Van Morrison and John Mellencamp’s careers, and though the people on the cruise are diehards, they still said some things that seemed to annoy both Van and John... Someone wanted to include that contractual obligation LP that Van did for Bang... y’know, ‘You’ve got ringworm!’... that crazy thing, writing songs to get out of his deal... Van didn’t like that. I mean, he disowns this record, so he blew a gasket... He’s got a substantial body of work, and this is like a joke record... So he walks off the stage with his little scorekeeping clipboard, and this nice old book of poetry that someone gave him as a gift, and he looks really mad. He walks to the back of the boat, and he throws the clipboard and the book in the ocean... violently. And Mellencamp was mad when someone stated that Pat Benatar had a bigger hit with that song “I Need A Lover” than he did... and the only way he could hold back his anger was by lighting up four cigarettes at once... he just sat there, smoking four cigarettes... Just smoking in silence, staring at the ground.”

“Was he wearing a white T-shirt and jeans?”

“Yep... So the trivia contest, it ended abruptly... And I heard the captain say to Van and John, ‘Look, you creeps. Keep smilin’ or no one gets paid.’”

“That’s what the captain said?”

“He did. And he said, ‘Make nice with these fat middle-aged idiots, or you’re both gonna be sharing a dinghy back to the mainland.’”

— “Darren Takes The Van Mellen Cruise,” Scharpling & Wurster, Best of the Best Show (Numero Group, 2015)

Advertisement