A musical experience:
Dark Side of the Moon, Part 4
Previously, Conrad wrote about his first exposure to Pink Floyd in the early ‘70s with his friend Joe and their unique concert.
First, I was remiss when I wrote Part 1 by not mentioning what I felt was a profound revelation in the lyrics of “Breathe.” If you read them, you will get the message. What struck me as a profound statement was “Run rabbit run, dig that hole forget the sun…And all you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be.”
The second thing I’d like to share with you is about the 1988 Pink Floyd concert held at what I believe was the Greek Amphitheater in Los Angeles. As the lights went down, the concert started with a song from their current LP at the time, “Dogs of War.”
My wife to be was there with me. We had attended an Earth Wind and Fire concert at another amphitheater the night before.
The only thing she seemed to know about Pink Floyd at the time was their hit song “The Wall.” So, as the round screen behind the stage depicting German shepherds barking and going through their paces, at their trainer’s behest, marked the beginning of the song, I had settled in to experience my second Pink Floyd concert.
As the music began and continued, a man with straight, long blond hair halfway down his back appeared from behind the stage with a saxophone and began to play a blues sound, bridging to a rock n’ roll change in the tempo. It was an impressive and dynamic solo!
When he finished, my fiancé looked at me and said, “This is going to be GOOD!” That solo certainly was.
The videos on the round screen were basically the same at the first concert. And the only other prop that I remembered from the earlier concert was the airplane coming from the back and seemingly exploding when it reached the stage.
This was another great show! See the video, “The Delicate Sound of Thunder,” by Pink Floyd.
The last experience that I want to share with you is about the Brit Floyd concert that I had the privilege of attending in April 2018, thanks to the generosity of my regular customer, Chris. I told him about the concert at the Warner Theater, and he bought the tickets.
While we were waiting for the show to start, he told me that, while he was in college, he was a DJ for a radio program and would play Pink Floyd. He also revealed to me the source of the band’s name. Chris explained that, “Syd Barrett, when he was living in London, back in the late ‘60s, had a couple of blues albums. One was by the blues man Pink Anderson, and another was the blues man Floyd Council. So he took the name Pink Floyd from those two albums.”
Chris later started a band in Albuquerque in the mid-’80s using their second names. He called it “Anderson Council.”
The stage was set with the familiar round screen in the background. The lights went low, and they began with that iconic intro to the “Wish You Were Here” LP, “Shine on You Crazy Diamond.”
It took me back four and a half decades to that first concert, which started the same way.
This time, the audience would cheer with the beginning and end of each instrumental segment of this five-part song: the synthesizer, lead guitar, and eventually the saxophone. I felt so elated during the experience, all I could say, repeatedly, was “Oh my God!” I only hope that it wasn’t disturbing my friend.
The final solo of the 13-minute intro song is performed by the saxophone, starting with a blues-type sound and changing to an escalating jazzy uptempo sound. The audience roared.
The concert continued smoothly with familiar tunes to me, but about three of them were not. I noticed three female background singers, and, from what I heard of their voices, I realized they would be awesome performing “That Great Gig in the Sky.” But it was not to be.
All in all, it was a great concert and I enjoyed it immensely, so much that when I realized a pickpocket had stolen my wallet before I got outdoors, I said to myself, “That’s not going to ruin my evening. I’ve had too much fun!”
The wallet was found and returned to me three days later by Metro.
So many readers of this column have approached me and mentioned that, if you start the movie “Wizard of Oz” and then start the album “Dark Side of the Moon” on the third roar of the lion, the music is mysteriously in sync with the movie. Someday, I may have that unique audio-video experience.
In the near future, I will write about the “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin, and my epiphany about one of her hit songs.