My one claim to fame. I played with Van one time.
We both grew up in Belfast. Before he had his first hit, “Baby please don’t go/Gloria” in 1964, his band was the house band in a small club in Belfast called Sammy Houston’s jazz club (which was more R&B than jazz)
I didn’t go to that club very often, but I went with a few friends one time. The drummer didn’t show up for some reason, and one of my friends who had gone to school with Van and knew him said “hey, Dave is a drummer, he can sit in”. So I did. I played a whole gig with Van the man.
Shortly after that, he formed Them, took off to London, and had his first big hit, and the rest is history.