For the last week, I've been rocking out to some awesome music. Whether it is great CDs in my car, good tunes on the mp3 playlist at my computer, listening to Kenna's tunes on his myspace page, or catching a Jim Croce rock block on the radio, music has blessed me recently. I have always had a great mental connection with music from classical to bad '80s New Wave tunes. Heck, in high school I was in the Southern Maine All Star chorus, a tenor, and one of the leads in my high school musical (Grease). When I get down to it, I think my wife only married me because I can dance really well. Something about my hips. I would rather go blind than deaf because of music. Well that and two other reasons: 1. never hearing "I love you" again and 2. wouldn't you rather be blind during sex than deaf? I think my grandfather told me that once.
Stay on target. Over the last few days, I have had the Pink Floyd song "Young Lust" stuck in my head. I have no clue what the lyrics are besides the line "need a dirty WO-man". I end up walking around the office going "oooooooo, I need a dirty WO-man" under my breath. Now I know how the song goes, so then I make up lines to mumble so I can then get to the one line I know. Sometimes it is "somehow-thinkin'- 'bout-a-sawdo-sayo". I really have no clue what the heck he sings. Reading the lyrics, I like my made up lines better. Because of my fear of the HR dept, I am going to stop mumbling this song through the aisles at work.
Having "Young Lust" stuck in my head, I have pondered Pink Floyd's place in rock and whether there will ever be another band like Pink Floyd. Their place is all on their own, as they really do not fit any category (a problem Kenna has right now). Luckily for PF, their time came before the music industry destroyed itself and compartamentalized the industry. You are black therefore you must be hip hop; you are young and white therefore you are 'alternative'; you are over 40 therefore we do not want to market you. I doubt any band has ever created music with as powerful a philosophical, political, and satirical edge as PF and gained commercial success and a such a huge following. U2 has put together pieces of this, but I have always considered them a bit too aware of being cool. I think it comes down to Bono being more and more douchey as he ages. U2 is a brilliant band, but not on PF's level of political, cultural commentary.
Pink Floyd's album "Animals" is a musical representation of George Orwell's classic "Animal Farm". The world being divided into Pigs, Dogs and Sheep. Somehow they made this work well enough to tour. No one could do this now and sell out theaters/arenas. The beauty of the "Animals" album is that it forced them to tour and mental breakdowns to occur, which created "The Wall". "The Wall" being about a rock star's descent into madness and the machinery of being in rock 'n' roll. Ever seent he film? Brilliant animation, and I recommend seeing it stoned. Might make it easier to take. The masks for the students always freaks me out.
How does Pink Floyd appeal to classic rock listeners, stoners, non-stoners, music lovers and more mainstream music listeners? I think it is the intricate instrumentation combined with good lyrics. Listen to the song "Time", and it feels more than just a song. It is a call to yout, the listener, to think and live. Somehow my wife listened to a ton of Pink Floyd, lives as an artist, did the "Dark Side of Oz" trick, and has never smoked marijuana. Bless her soul.
Here's the last bit about Floyd that separates them from a lot if not all bands..... How many bands do you listen to alone that their music scares you? Ok, so you're stoned and it scares you. Driving home at 2am through the Maine woods, I have had Floyd on and had to turn it down because it was spooking me out. I don't get scared by much, so that says something. Could another band come around that is as anti-commercial yet commercially successful, as brilliant in their satire and wit, as scary with their arrangements, and as beautifull blended as their instrumentation and lyrics? No. Not in this day and age. They would play with "Honda" sponsoring the North American Tour, sell songs for an SUV advert, and make absolutely no controversial statements. Any political comments would be the extremely safe Hollywood "Republicans are evil" (which is mostly true) or "I don't like guns" stock phrases. Thank you Pink Floyd for being so wonderfully different. Peace.