Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P is for Pink Floyd

When I was at university I befriended a girl called C. She was a big fan of The Wall by Pink Floyd. She'd invite me to her room and cook for me at times. She may have had designs but she wasn't very happy.



In the end she dated my best friend, although I always find the American term "dated" a curious term for relationship. She still wasn't particularly happy. When he broke off the relationship she was even less happy. She'd dart out suddenly in front of cars, although it was unclear if it was a play for attention or a genuine suicide bid.

By the second year C. became less relevant. She lived in a house on another street with some almost equally unhappy people. It was like visiting the House of Usher. Just grimmer.

Sometimes she'd come to our place and watch The Wall. We'd all watch it and by the end even the most upbeat soul would feel at one with C. All those scenes of flying coffins that became crosses, people with jellied faces and Bob Geldof lying on a filthy floor with his hand down the toilet, tended to negate against spontaneous happiness. There was a wall between us and the undergraduate world which is supposed to be jovial and hedonistic.

Jeff was certainly hedonistic. He'd come up to me in the law faculty common room and tell me about the exploits of Jeff and his girlfriend Vikki, which was the last thing I wanted to hear about given that I'd spent the previous night alone nursing a tin of baked beans.



"Man. I got wasted with a capital W," he'd tell me. "Smoked some stuff, Shoved on Dark Side of the Moon and woke up two hours later thinking I was on the moon."

Ah. Floyd again.

I'm not sure that I can even attempt to sum up Floyd in their progressive and psychedelic awesomeness.

The band was formed in 1965 by  university students Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Richard Wright, and Syd Barrett, the latter who took too many drugs and went loopy.

As a kid the massive hit Another Brick in the Wall affected me. I thought it subversive with its anti schooling message and depiction of Gradgrindesque Scottish school masters, while the part with the kids being fed into meat grinders appalled me. Kids of a certain age tend to be conservative and I was no exception.

The film The Wall was based on the central character of Pink, drawn from Waters' childhood experiences, the most notable of which was the death of his father in World War II.

This first 'brick in the wall' led to more problems; Pink became drug-addled and worn down by the music industry becoming a fascist megalomaniac, a development inspired partly by the decline of Barrett. At the end of the album the increasingly fascist audience would watch as Pink 'tore down the wall', once again becoming a normal caring person.



Comfortably Numb is very powerful in The Wall and is perhaps one of the best Floyd songs.

The album The Dark Side of the Moon was apparently an allusion to lunacy rather than the moon. Floyd were those kind of guys; probably safer to listen to than to hang out with.

Curious fact about Pink Floyd: Shooting for the cover of the album Animals featured The a 30 feet pig-shaped balloon that was floated over Battersea Power Station in London. Bad weather delayed filming and the balloon broke free in strong winds, and landed in Kent where it was recovered by a local farmer, reportedly furious that it had apparently scared his cows.

23 comments:

  1. I never 'got' Pink Floyd's stuff. Perhaps a scientific study could determine how some of those guys are still alive. Your comparison to the Fall of the House of Usher was brilliant. Said it all!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's amazing how music can play such an important role in people's lives.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was never into Pink Floyd much, but it did seem like the ones who were into it when I was in college were all the pot heads. I guess the song "Comfortably Numb" will always bring to my mind the images of those guys from college who smelled funny and who had a constant haze of smoke around them.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like Pink Floyd....Dark side and the Wall, and I love the post-Watters "Learning to Fly". One of these days I'm gonna do the Wizard of Oz/Dark Side thing and see if it's true that the music matches the first 40 minutes of the film perfectly.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Never cared much for Pink Floyd. Out of all of the letters, this is the only one I haven't loved...so you're still way ahead in my book! :) I can definitely get into dark music and obviously I like the unusual LOL...but Pink Floyd...not so much. No worries, I'll be back tomorrow ;)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Poor cows! I just went to a Rodger Waters "The Wall" concert last year. It was great. I was actually pregnant with twins at that concert. I can see how it can get you or poor C down if listened to in excess!
    Stopping by from A to Z
    Leigh
    http://www.oneandoneequalstwinfun.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hahaha that girl sounds like a riot. I wonder if she's still unhappy!

    I'm a fan of a few PF songs, such as Comfortably Numb. I think I would like more if I heard more.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Kittie - thx so much. I know Alyson, life or death or deaf perhaps.

    ReplyDelete
  9. maybe so Daisy, they were psychedelic. Really Jo Jo, that'swild - I never knew it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. eek sorry about that Tracy but glad you'll be back. Although how much latitude do I have with Q? Thanks for stopping by Leigh

    ReplyDelete
  11. probably so Jen, especially if she sees my post...yeah I need to check out more obscure stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  12. David, you're a hoot! You've got all the latitude in the world. I really love the blog and wouldn't blackball you just because you might like some things which aren't on my favorites list. ;) Q is giving me a headache! I usually have a few ideas the night before, but not today. Guess it'll get sorted out in the morning. Have a great night.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Haha I liked this post. The bits that I've heard of The Wall were really good, but I still want to listen to more of their music.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I know many friends who absolutely love the Wall believing that the true message of life is within the experience.
    Following # 191
    Kate
    http://solidhappiness.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  15. I never did get too "into" Pink Floyd. I guess I would've rather drank wine than smoke weed at the time. ♥

    ReplyDelete
  16. In my next book Cass, written from that PF time, I have the song, 'Money' in one of the chapters to express a setting and some feelings my character is going through. It was also remembered as a period of time before I went all jazz and classical for a time, when many began to grow into the next phase of punk.

    Still, the PF days still hold some amazing memories for me! I was a London girl back then:)

    Loved this post. You sure seem to know a lot about them.

    By the way, PF is still being played at times.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I discovered PF in college, as well. Though not as dramatically (poor C) as you. But it did have to do with a guy that I dated (yes, I said "dated.") Hearing those songs now take me back ten-plus years.

    Thanks for the musical education and for a trip down memory lane.

    ReplyDelete
  18. When I began listening to Pink Floyd, I was so absorbed by Barrett's talent, I forgot about the rest of their career. I still want to see The Wall, though. It sounds like a horror musical and I love them!

    ReplyDelete
  19. aw thanks Tracy; I fear there are some difficult letters to come, tho - you too. Thanks for visiting Misha, will be checking out your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  20. thanks so much for 191 Kate - just 9 to go!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Mind you, a combination of the two might work Scots Lass; that sounds great Jacqueline, the new book sounds exciting.

    ReplyDelete
  22. well thanks so much for visiting Ophelia. Although it's kind of depressing it is moving Starla, sure you'd like it.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I got into Floyd in college, husband, then bf, was a huge fan. Comfortably Numb got me thru college, full stop.

    I have seen them live but post Waters and then saw Waters perform Dark Side of the Moon... great music.. great

    ReplyDelete