Special thanks and a shout out to Chris S. and the fantastic folks at 100.3 The Sound. Never have I felt like such an integral part of a radio station before… I do volunteer at KCRW and feel the same way about them, but not quite as strong… and the other stations in town, especially with the letting go of radio legend Jim Ladd and issues like that, just feel… corporate. I know it’s a business, but when a station can make its listeners feel like a vital part of the programming and music, they are doing something right!!!
I also send this out to the Veterans who protect our freedoms and democracy. They fight so we don’t have to. And regardless of whether or not you support a war or military action, you have to give it up for these brave men and women. We all wish there was no war, no evil… but until that day comes true, we need these folks around.
So… today’s album was in my brain yesterday, I’ll admit… Actually, it’s been in my brain since the special, remastered editions were released on Tuesday (11/8). The blog would have been posted earlier, but I had to go pick up my daughter from school, which in itself presented two very interesting elements.
On the way home I saw a car with the license plate “SYD BRT.” It was a fairly young kid driving and immediately I said this has to be Syd Barrett… It has to be! I mean the kid’s name could be Syd Bert… or Syd Bart… or something like that, but come on… That is a sign from the musical heavens… I’m gonna listen to and blog about Pink Floyd in a little while, and out of all the cars on the LA freeways I see that one!!!
The other issue is that my daughter started up with me just before we got home… Everything was going so great, but boom… an argument over the silliest of things… She’s stubborn, I’m stubborn… and she does not know when to stop… so out came the usual, eleven year old “NO!” This word, in that spiteful, challenge-the-adult context, costs a dollar in our house. We put the money in a Tzedakah box (Charity) and are hoping that it teaches a lesson and helps some group in need at the same time. Well, she kept going and in the heat of an argument, she pulled out an F bomb on me… Used it in the exact, correct context, too. I could not believe it. It stopped everything cold. I literally heard the word come out of her mouth in some kind of odd, movie like slow motion…
“What did you just say?” I asked in real horror.
“Fricking… I said fricking!”
I am not always right about stuff, but I remember things I hear and things people say pretty darn well… often verbatim, This was no “fricking”, this was the real deal. If “no” costs a dollar, I do not even KNOW how to price this one out? Do I give her a triple word score? I’m thinking she just used a fifty dollar word… Wow…
Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
So… on this one comes. Breathe… breathe… Pink Floyd is a band I instantly loved but with whom my love and passion has grown and deepened. Their music moves me on levels other music does not. I cannot even put my finger on it… It is just this gut, visceral connection. I literally feel the music in my chest. I can wrap my own arms around me and pull the music closer… physically keep it in my heart and soul, if that makes sense. I have had a similar reaction to some classical pieces, but it is few and far between. It is one of those powerful, unexplained things.
This album has only five tracks… FIVE… Bookended of course by “Shine on You Crazy Diamond”… 13:33 of Parts I-V and then another 12:30 of Parts VI-IX… In those five tracks is so much. Maybe all you need to know about Floyd… or at least Roger Waters. This is Floyd’s ninth studio album and came out in 1975.
“The album explores themes of absence, the music business, and former band-mate Syd Barrett’s mental decline… “Shine On” was a tribute to Barrett, who, coincidentally, made an impromptu visit to the studio while it was being recorded. The band failed initially to recognise Barrett, who had gained weight and changed in appearance.”
The story of Barrett is heart breaking and gives even more power and relevance and Kismet in seeing that license plate today.
Pink Floyd is an amazingly sonic band… It is their sound that is instantly recognizable and what most people latch onto… It;s the kind of music that soars in a darkened room or a planetarium… but their lyrics are so potent. There are some things that have been stuck in my brain since the moment I heard them…
“You reached for the secret too soon. You cried for the moon. Shine on you crazy diamond.”
“Welcome to the Machine” and “Have a Cigar” skewer the record biz and have the great line: “The band is just fantastic,
that is really what I think. Oh by the way, which one’s Pink?” Classic and a bit sad as apparently they had been asked that several times! For those of you who have not seen the amazing cover band, Which One’s Pink?, run! Run like hell. They are amazing.
One of my favorite lyrics (from any band… and I have a lot from Floyd) is from “Wish You Were Here.”
“How I wish. How I wish you were here.
We’re just two lost souls
Swimming in a fish bowl
Year after year.”
That is so good… and so true… As psychedelic and out there as this band could be, they hit on so many human truths and emotions… Even in the abstract, I can identify. That is what makes Pink Floyd such an important Rock n’ Roll band.