Episode #05 | 4.03.18

Van Morrison: Astral Weeks, Movement and Murder

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In 1968 Van Morrison was hiding out from the New York City Mafia in Boston, Massachusetts. Recently the victim of a physical attack from a Genovese crime family member, Morrison was desperately trying to piece together a band to complete what would become his landmark creative statement, Astral Weeks. One of the musicians who would help him achieve this goal; a young, handsome guitar player from Emerson College named, Rick Philp would mysteriously go missing and eventually wind up dead. Disgraceland pieces together this story using, as one of many sources, the recently released, critically acclaimed book, “Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968” by Ryan Walsh (Penguin Press).


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Ryan Walsh: Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968

Kathy West: A Song For You, The Quest of the Myddle Class

Boston Globe: Emerson Student Found Slain (May 25, 1969)

Boston Globe: Drugs Cited in Student Sentence (May 29, 1970)

Disgraceland is a podcast about musicians getting away with murder and behaving very badly. It melds music history, true crime and transgressive fiction. Disgraceland is not journalism. Disgraceland is entertainment. Entertainment inspired by true events. However, certain scenes, characters and names are sometimes fictionalized for dramatic purposes.


Score by Jake Brennan with help from Scott Janovitz and Greg Conley.

Mixed and Engineered by Sean Cahalin.

Disgraceland theme song, "Crenshaw Space Boogie" written and produced by Jake Brennan. Performed by Jake Brennan, Bryce Kanzer, Jay Cannava and Evan Kenney. Mixed and engineered by Adam Taylor.


Creepy Ghost Scream by epicdude959 licensed under creative commons 0 license with changes

Crack of Branch 3 by Onomatopaeia licensed under creative commons 0 with changes

Wobble Choir 1 licensed under creative commons 0 with changes

*illustration by Avi Spivak @avispivak