Ryan H. Walsh is the author of Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968, a highly entertaining and adventurous book chronicling the development of Van Morrison’s 1968 masterpiece Astral Weeks in Boston and many other surreal and interrelated Boston stories from the same year. Ryan joins Free Association to talk about some of the stories from 1968, including The Velvet Underground’s popularity in Boston, the so-called Boston Sound bands, and Jim Kweskin and Mel Lyman of the Jim Kweskin Jug Band.

Original air date: January 11, 2019

Listen or download this podcast episode on Spotify or iTunes.


Van Morrison, “Sweet Thing”
Astral Weeks (Rhino/Warner Bros. 1968 Rock)


Jim Kweskin, “Stealin’”
America (Collectible Records 1971)


The Velvet Underground “White Light/White Heat”
White Light/White Heat (Verve 1968)

The Velvet Underground “Sister Ray (Live)”
Live at the Boston Tea Party, May 1969 (ODL 2014)


The Velvet Underground “Femme Fatale”
Sunday Morning/Femme Fatale (Verve 1966)

The Modern Lovers “Astral Plane”
The Modern Lovers (Beserkley 1976)


Earth Opera “The Red Sox are Winning”
Earth Opera (Elektra 1968)


Beacon Street Union “Mystic Morning”
The Eyes of The Beacon Street Union (MGM 1968)


Van Morrison “Astral Weeks”
Astral Weeks (Rhino/Warner Bros. 1968 Rock)

Hallelujah the Hills “Theme From Astral Weeks 1968”
Against Electricity (Discrete Pageantry Records 2018)