Goin' Down Geneva
|"Goin' Down Geneva"|
|Song by Van Morrison|
|from the album Back on Top|
|Released||March 9, 1999|
|Back on Top track listing|
Recording and composition
The song is blues influenced and is set in European cities (Geneva, Salzburg and Montreux) instead of the American South as typical for blues songs. The line "Last night I played a gig in Salzburg outside in the pouring rain/Flew from there to Montreux and my heart was filled with pain" refers to Morrison's European tour in 1998. He had recently played at Wiesen, Austria, near Salzburg on July 4, and two days later he performed "Goin' Down Geneva" live for the first time at the Montreux Jazz Festival.
The lyrics of the song allude to British singer Vince Taylor, prominent in the 1960s, who lived and died in Geneva: "Vince Taylor used to live here/No one's even heard of him/Just who he was/Just where he fits in." Contrary to the lyrics biographer Brian Hinton argues that Taylor was, in fact, widely known. He comments that "David Bowie's 'Ziggy Stardust' was based on him, The Clash covered his near-hit 'Brand New Cadillac', and he recently appeared (2000) as one of Mojo's 100 essential cult heroes." Morrison's concert performances of the song usually include a section of Taylor's "Brand New Cadillac", starting off as a slow twelve-bar blues for the "Goin' Down Geneva" section and the pace immediately quickens for "Brand New Cadillac". In late 1999 and 2000 the medley also included Bob Dylan's "Rainy Day Women ♯12 & 35".
- Van Morrison - vocals, acoustic guitar
- Mick Green - acoustic and electric guitars
- Geraint Watkins - piano
- Ian Jennings - double bass
- Bobby Irwin - drums
- Heylin. Can You Feel the Silence?, p.528
- Graham, George (1999-03-18). "Van Morrison: Back on Top by George Graham". georgegraham.com. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
- Becker, Gunter. "concerts". ivan.vanomatic.de. Retrieved 2009-08-29. The performances, 1998
- Thompson, Gordon. "1960s British Rock and Pop Chronology". www.skidmore.edu. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
- Hinton. Celtic Crossroads, p.356
- Chrispell, James. "allmusic review Back on Top". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
- Elder, Sean (2000-09-19). "Van Morrison". archive.salon.com. Retrieved 2009-11-14.