Saturday, August 27, 2011
Pink Floyd: A fan's point of view
Since I’m a huge fan of the Progressive Rock genre from bands like; Rush, early Genesis, Van Der Graaf Generator, and the Annie Haslam-era of Renaissance and having an iPod filled with obscure and the big giants of Prog, the band that got me into the genre of Prog was the Floyd and the Post-Barrett era of Floyd was one of the best that I really get a huge kick out of.
As we approach the Floyd reissues on September 27th, I've been a huge Pink Floyd fan since 1996 far beyond anything I could sink my heart into. Space, Haunting, Deep, Heartfelt, and Sonic Sound that would have my blood veins pumping of the Syd Barrett and the Post-Barrett era of Pink Floyd from The Piper at the Gates of Dawn to The Wall. The first Pink Floyd song that got me into them, was Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2). I first heard the song on the radio when I was 11 years old, and I thought to myself, “now that’s one hell of an anthem! Who is this band?” It was the Floyd. When I was in Elementary School, my music was top secret.
I was into real good music like; The Beatles, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and The Who. So it was a hush-hush for these bands to keep it a low profile while some of the people at school and at camp were into bullshit music like; No Doubt, Salt-N-Pepa, TLC, Mariah Carey, Green Day, U2 and all that lovely-de-love crap, it made me want to puke. Anyway, my Mom bought The Wall for me as a surprise after I finished up Elementary and headed towards Junior high I played the whole album and that was where I became a Pink Floyd fan.
There was this darker side of isolation, hallucination, loneliness, and aftershock that the Floyd had embarked on. Then the three albums after my love of the Wall were; Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, and Meddle. Dark Side had become like a huge mentor for me during those High School years where it lets you know that the World isn’t a safe place between greed, betrayal, war, empathy, and death. Songs like Brain Damage/Eclipse, Time, The Great Gig in the Sky, Us and Them, and Money, was like something exploded out of nowhere and the flaming fire that was run by gasoline made me realize there’s no stop sign there.
Right about there, I went through their catalogue trying to look at what treasures I was looking at inside the chest. I would listen to the Ummagumma live version of Careful With That Axe Eugene with Roger’s high pitch scream that would flood the room as Set The Controls For the Heart of the Sun and Pigs (Three Different Ones) were my obsession.
Although they dealt with political issues of the big business and corporate greed, the space rock sounds were the Floyd’s sound in their early days. The atmospheric music of the keyboards shows that they were making music for not just progressive rock, but the future and the 21st century to allow the music to go beyond where the listener to see where the Floyd was taking them. The ‘70s Floyd surely was cup of tea and coffee and really became my baby and seeing where the lyrics were taking the listener and dealing with the issues I’ve mentioned and how time stands still.
While I was in my Senior year, I did a project on why Dark Side of the Moon stood the test of time. It was an easy project for me to do back in 2003 and I’ve made an A+. I was describing how the music and the structures that the music had encounter. My friends were blown away when I did that including my English teacher as well. Some of them wanted to know how they could have done a better project in what I’ve done, I said, “Practice man, Practice.” (My Jeff Bridges Dude style came in, folks)
As I am in College, I feel the music of Floyd inside me, it felt like the emotions that prove to me I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Now we are in this Post 9/11, Post Kartina, Post Ike and now approaching Hurricane Irene, I feel that my political brain has just knocked on the door and said, “It’s time to smear the shit written all over the Graffiti wall!” There was tension, bringing dead soldiers from Iraq in a casket, I remember watching the towers being hit by terrorist on the TV in High School and asking myself, “What the hell did we do wrong here?!”
“Can’t we all just get along?! I’m sick of the fucking killing and the murdering is going on here.” The Floyd’s music was there to comfort me and there was no one like Pink Floyd that dealt in where we are right now, the New America. People were protesting against wars and saying to Bush and FEMA to fix the god-damn levees, felt like the door had been open. You think that The Beatles were the soundtrack of our lives; well The Floyd was like the soundtrack of our lives.
My music love of Progressive Rock has still keep me growing and while some of them say Pink Floyd’s overrated, they can go fuck themselves. Since it’s been 15 years and my love of the Floyd’s music train hasn’t stop chugging and I still realize how much affection that Syd Barrett plays an important role in their music. His madness and destruction shows how much they love Syd before he went crazy. I have a soft-spot of the Floyd’s later days including Momentary Lapse of Reason and The Division Bell, but it wasn’t the same without Roger Waters and dealing Syd’s destruction was not there. Now does that say I hate them? absolutely not.
Since there’s been a drawing of a line in the sand on whether they prefer Syd or Post-Syd era of Floyd really has people deciding where to jump to. I still can’t jump out of the boat and feeling some sadness of Syd’s life as he was the heart and soul of the band (no doubt about it!) They all cared for him and the songs that dealt with his life still struck a chord with me in my life as you can hear it on Shine On You Crazy Diamond.
There’s a lot of structures and walking the yellow brick road for me where to go to. Why the Floyd still stood the test time? I think its because not just the music, but dealing with what we’re going through and what’s it like to live in this new world that we’re living in right now, the human race of hell, and the regret of not being there to support your friends, family, and loved ones. The Floyd are one of the best bands to come out of the ‘70s and let me say there is no stop sign for the music to grow on a new generation.
Pink Floyd are one helluva band that would make your mind blow away.