Pink Floyd etc etc…………
Posted on July 21, 2011
I have recently embarked on my latest once in a decade attempt to listen to Pink Floyd and actually enjoy what I am hearing. I have attempted this now at ten or eleven, my early twenties and my early thirties so as I approach forty four it really is high time I gave them another bash as I am perpetually told by Floyd fans (proper Pink Floyd fans remove the Pink bit) that if I am a genuine fan of good music I should really have a Pink Floyd collection. Apparently, if I don’t like The Piper at the Gates of Dawn there must be something seriously wrong with me. I was encouraged this time round by a chap called Ed who lives near Diane. Ed has a mutual hatred of James Blunt which I really appreciated, so it had to be time take his advice and convert myself in to a Pink Floyd, or dare I say Floyd fan.
My first exposure to Pink Floyd (I’m not calling them Floyd yet) came from my eldest brother, Bruce, who had accumulated a huge record collection over the years that included bands such as Nazareth, Black Sabbath, Hawkwind, Status Quo and Deep Purple amongst others. Bruce was, and still is, a bit of a rocker, he even owned a pair of Brutus Gold Jeans. He also was (and still is) seven years older than me, so when he used to go out, I would without his permission, enter his room and play all his albums. There was Status Quo Hello, Black Sabbath, Paranoid, various Deep Purple albums and of course The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. There were singles too, from Bands like Rainbow, Whitesnake and Judas Priest. Most bizarrely though, considering his taste, amongst all of these albums and singles I discovered a little treasure called David Watts by The Kinks, the B side was called Waterloo Sunset, a song that was released in the year of my birth and remains my favourite ever track to this day.
Just as I was considering asking my mother for a pair of junior sized of Brutus Gold jeans I discovered that my other brother Graham (six years my senior) had bought an album called In the City by The Jam. Rather than the old looking blokes with long hair and moustaches in rock bands, these lads had a much younger urban look to them, I had to give them a try, they were cool. The Jam blew me away, it was pretty obvious they weren’t as well composed as the old rockers, but that didn’t matter really, the were raw, they were young and they even said the word fuck in their songs. They were brilliant. So that was that really, Pink Floyd had their moment in my life, now they were gone, consigned to the dustbin of stadium rock bands who I now hated, because if you loved The Jam, you had to hate the old prog rock farts, it was the law.
Over a decade on, during a pub conversation, I was informed that by saying that Pink Floyd were crap I was committing musical Blasphemy and that as a small boy I had obviously not been mature enough to appreciate the musical genius that was being bestowed upon me. To appreciate Pink Floyd in their true form, I was told to buy Dark Side of the Moon and listen to it whilst smoking a big fat joint. I was quite enjoying sampling various soft drugs during this period so I thought I might as well give it a go. I finished the first joint by about track three and started lying to myself by saying things to myself like “Yeah I get this man” but in truth I still didn’t get it, I was just convincing myself the dope was working. I played it again combined with another joint and fell in to sleep giggling. The joint worked, the music didn’t. It certainly wasn’t the moment of enlightenment I was searching for and definitely not as much fun as listening to the Happy Mondays with half a gram of amphetamines on my tongue.
I briefly tried again in my early thirties during a period when I also thought I might like a bit of classical music and jazz. This is what I now look back on as my attempt at a mature period when I tried to start acting like a proper adult; I even went to Volvo showroom at one point. Once again my efforts to fall in love with Pink Floyd were in vain, though during this hideous period of attempting to be middle class, I can admit to buying a Coldplay album as well as doing the Daily Mail crossword. It is only now, on reflection, that I realise just how mentally ill I actually was, I should have been sectioned really. There is a time in your thirties when being comfortable can be dangerous, complacency sets in and before you know it you are inviting neighbours around to dinner so you can curse about immigration laws and children having no respect whilst James Blunt plays in the background.
The great thing about passing forty is that you know longer give a toss what people think of you and the old rebellion returns but under a different guise. Being rebellious in your forties actually equates to being what is known as a grumpy old cunt, a title I am well accustomed to. How this will combine with my latest attempt to like Pink Floyd will be an interesting experiment. This what I am going to do. I am going to listen to them on my docking station, I am going to listen to them in my car and I am going to listen to them on my IPOD for the next two weeks solid. If ever Pink Floyd were going to find something in my inner soul that appreciates the undoubted talent they had, this is going to be it. If in two weeks time I still don’t appreciate See Emily Play or Arnold Lane I guess I will have to try again when I am fifty four.
One thing is for sure and that is that the song Money on Dark Side of the Moon is, in my opinion, a load of old shit. Forget the marijuana, I could swallow the entire contents of a police narcotics lab and you couldn’t convince me otherwise.