Monday, July 1, 2019

Welcome to the machine: No more turning away

The very first music cassette tape I have to call my own is A Momentary Lapse Of Reason, somewhere in the late eighties. My mates Shaun and Stephen had been raving about Pink Floyd for weeks and once they finally convinced me to give them a listen, it became the first music I really got into that felt like mine, even as it was given to me.

I was at that age where you almost feel obligated to find your musical tastes, and to get into bands and tunes, because that's what everybody else is doing, and then it all turns out to be far more rewarding than you ever thought, and there is no obligation to the obsession, because it's fierce and real.

I had no idea what to expect when Shaun gave me my own copy of the new Pink Floyd album, but was ready for anything when I put the cassette in the tape player that was attached to my alarm clock. I was aware of Pink Floyd as some kind of 'druggie' band who did that bitching song about needing no education. None of my family ever listened to them. My big sister was more Duran Duran, and Dad was more of a Hendrix man.

But the sounds that came out of that tiny little speaker on the alarm clock were like nothing I'd ever heard before, sparse and hollow and rich and echoing, something modern and glistening, and I didn't stop listening to it. I never stopped listening.

Until Shaun gave me The Wall the next week, and that became everything.


Tapeleg said...

My favorite Pink Floyd album is The Wall, even though I think there are a few clunker songs in there, which wouldn't be as big a deal if it weren't a concept album. I tell people my sense of humor is fueled equally by The Wall and Monty Python's Flying Circus.

If you haven't seen it, I highly suggest you watch Roger Waters' most recent The Wall live concert film. I watched it with my girlfriend, who knew of The Wall, but didn't know anything about it. I don't think it would have had the impact for her if I has introduced her to the film first. There is a lot more context in the concert film than in the movie, and having Waters show the more personal nature of the work left a big impression on us both.

Bob Temuka said...

I'm all about The Wall, brother. It definitely helped shape my sense of humour too.

I've seen that live concert film a few times, and it's always rewarding. Roger Waters is like Pat Mills in my head - I don't always dig 100% on what he's saying, but I always love the passionate and inventive way that he's saying it.