The other day, apropos of something, Prof Paul asked Mouthsounds Steph and I
How well 1-10 do you guys know Dark Side of the Moon? I’m about 12.
I reckoned I came in at about a 7.
And that’s one of the things about having too much music, and having to have it digitised to save space. One forgets that one owns Dark Side of the Moon. I’m listening to it as I blog, and I guess I can understand how that happens. It’s not very song-based song-writing.
Says he as Money comes on, natch. But one can see why the stereotype of the Floyd fan is of someone stoned out their gourd in a planetarium, or holed up in their bedroom, plugged into headphones. Pink Floyd are about the sounds, rather than the songs. You’ve got to concentrate.
At least, I think so. It’s hard to generalize, because Pink Floyd are at least three bands. Syd Barrett-era, Roger Waters-era, and after. Collectively, they’re big enough to have – quite unplanned – featured in a couple of quite large-scaled entertainments I’ve experienced.
When I saw Tom Stoppard’s Rock’n’Roll (above) on Broadway during its 2007-08 run, it felt like a minor work, coming somewhat in the wake of Arcadia and The Invention of Love. I mean, an unseen Syd Barrett was a kinda major character. I retrospect, that feeling was probably a failing on my part – well, durr.
Arcadia and The Invention of Love could have been specifically engineered to appeal to a middle-class white-boy from Edinburgh who loved Wilde and camouflaged his lawyerliness in pretensions to artiness and philosophy. Even though that part of me had loved Kundera, the works in Stoppard’s oeuvre concerned with artistic dissent against the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia were an empathetic step to far for that Ricky.
Yeah, we just watched The Big Short. Ah, those were the days. 😳😏 Still they were the days of Stoppard, Ralph Lauren and Václav Havel hanging out watching The Plastic People of The Universe at the Bowery Ballroom. [OK, that wasn’t me at that show.]
Then, quite few years later, Mrs Stroke Bloke and I went to see the… apotheosis…? of Roger Waters-era Floyd brought back to life, when he performed The Wall at the new Yankee Stadium. That opened with a fighter plane roaring over the outfield on a wire before crashing into the stage.
It was all terribly dated, really.
I mean, a story of an imaginary fascist dictator set inside an impossibly gauche building in New York City? Come on.
But, as The Dark Side of The Moon approaches its climax and Brain Damage slides into Eclipse, maybe the dinosaur that was Pink Floyd isn’t dead yet. The last words on Eclipse – the song The Prof was really thinking about – and the whole album approach.
Ian Wiki reports, via Karl Dallas’s Pink Floyd: Bricks in the Wall, that Roger Waters didn’t mean those words as a riddle:
The album uses the sun and the moon as symbols – the light and the dark…. The song addresses the listener and says that if you, the listener, are affected by that force, and if that force is a worry to you, well I feel exactly the same too.
Well, that is slightly enigmatic. But the way I choose to hear it is, if things are a bit dark, at least we’ve got each other for company. Let’s share a few things.