Van ‘Morrison covers – BelfastTelegraph.co.uk
Van Morrison has become one of the best-known public faces of the campaign to protest against the restrictions and lockdowns of Covid-19.
But now her face is reproduced on masks designed to protect people from the virus.
Images of the Belfast singer adorn dozens of masks that have been produced for sale on the internet by artists and entrepreneurs around the world.
The selection of masks is huge with choices ranging from photos of Morrison himself to his most famous album covers and posters.
It’s unclear whether the producers of the masks applied for permission to use any of the megastar’s copyrighted images or whether they offered to pay Morrison’s companies to license them.
A number of other companies are using images on face masks of other stars like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen, who has been a strong supporter of people wearing face coverings.
One of the most prolific companies to advertise Morrison face masks is called Redbubble, which has been described as “a global online marketplace for print-on-demand products based on user-submitted artwork.” .
The Australia-based company said it offered a platform for independent artists as a “significant new way to sell their creations.”
The masks promoted on their site sell for an average of £ 10 and among them are reproductions of Morrison’s classic 1968 album, Astral Weeks. Another album depicted on a protective mask is Morrison’s 1997 LP, The Healing Game.
A face mask that has no pictures of Morrison instead includes the title of one of her most popular songs, Brown Eyed Girl.
Another has a photo of Morrison’s band in Belfast, Them, which enjoyed success in the ’60s with Baby Please Don’t Go and Here Comes the Night. A number of companies market their Morrison masks through Amazon.
Morrison has released a number of songs opposing public health restrictions that have required him to cancel or revamp a number of concerts.
One of them was recorded with guitarist Eric Clapton who, like Morrison, is 75 years old.
The song was called Stand and Deliver, a phrase associated with 18th century English highwaymen like Dick Turpin. The lyrics ended with the line “Dick Turpin also wore a mask”.
In rock music bible Rolling Stone magazine, Health Minister Robin Swann criticized Morrison’s anti-containment songs and accused him of defaming everyone “involved in the public health response to the coronavirus “.
Morrison, who had called the government’s preventative measures against Covid pseudoscience, took his protests to the stage of a postponed concert at the Europa Hotel in Belfast in June with a verbal attack on Mr Swann.
Morrison was joined in chanting: “Robin Swann is very dangerous” by Ian Paisley of DUP.
During pandemic shutdowns, Morrison set up a distress fund to help local musicians who were unable to earn money due to the executive’s blanket ban on live music, which he also challenged in legal proceedings before the High Court.
He dropped the case over the summer after Stormont voted to allow live music to return.