Monday, January 18, 2016

What is best in life? Getting over the Floyd hate!

When I'm a very young teenager, my mate Shaun Holden talks me into buying two Pink Floyd cassette tapes - the first albums I will ever buy - telling me they'll change my life.

He's not wrong, and The Wall and A Momentary Lapse of Reason are my first exposure to the Floyd, who become one of my first great musical obsessions, along with other British rockers like Queen and Iron Maiden.

Even though Pink Floyd are monumentally uncool for many of my per group, I get lost in their surreal imagery, high-faluting chords, chunky riffs and ethereal melodies.

I get into the early stuff, and into the long, long songs of their seventies, and the cleaned-up and only slightly weird eighties incarnation. It's all beautiful.

It costs me $35 (in late 1980s money) to buy a video copy of The Wall, and I sing along to Mother with my late cousin Mike, and I freak the fuck out when I think somebody is sitting behind me chuckling the first time I listen to Shine On....

I'll never get sick of this.

By my twenties, I was sick of the Floyd. I was all about the punk, and anything with the taint of progressive rock was right out. Pink Floyd were always uncool, but now they were shameful.

Some of the Sid stuff is still all right, mind....

And then I'm in my thirties, and it's taken me this fucking long to realise that just because you love something means you have to hate everything that's different from that, and it's perfectly all right to listen to The Buzzcocks and Wu Tang Clan and Townes Van Zandt and yeah, even Pink bloody Floyd if I wanna.

And after not listening to it for years, it's all new again, with songs I'd completely forgotten existed, and music that sparks nostalgic yearning more powerful than anything, as the first steps of a faltering life of music appreciation were taken to these beats.

Looking back, I was a pretty miserable shit in my twenties, and sneering at Pink Floyd was only a fraction of it. But Dark Side of the Moon still sounds as spooky as ever, and I'll be lost there again tonight.

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