Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Australian Pink Floyd

Some years ago, I happened to have gotten into Pink Floyd. Unfortunately, it was really way after the fact of their heyday. I mean, yeah, I knew about "The Wall" and "Dark Side of the Moon", but I only knew a couple things from the former. There was a time when I would visit Laserium (when they were still at the Griffith Observatory) fairly regularly for their "Dark Side of the Moon" show, partly because their visuals were pretty cool, but mostly because they had a kick-ass sound system, certainly tons better than mine, and you really need to listen to "Dark Side of the Moon" on a nice sound system. Yeah, I paid money to listen to a CD I owned on someone else's better sound system. Leave me alone.

I became interested in them enough that I bought a boxed set of some of their CDs (though it turns out it's not really a complete collection), and I even joined "echoes", a Pink Floyd mailing list. I was way out of my league there and contributed very little. I pretty much just read other people's messages and soaked in what they had to say about the various songs and albums and such. And of course, there always seemed to be the division between the Roger Waters and David Gilmour factions. I think I even bought a "history of the band" book at the time, but I don't think I ever got around to reading it.

That was right around the time when "The Division Bell" was released, and I really love the album, and not just because of Douglas Adams' connection to it. There are some really dark and biting songs on there that just speak to me during certain times. But, that was also one of the albums that tends to get dismissed by earlier fans, so it's not always "safe" to admit that you like it. Some people would regard you as not being a "true fan", but I've always hated the "true fan" argument, which I've gotten involved in more than once on very different occasions.

One of my regrets is that I never went to a Pink Floyd show - yeah, I know, once Roger left, it really wasn't Pink Floyd anymore. Let's drop that argument, OK? They were touring after "The Division Bell", but their local concert was either the day of or the day after my return from a week-long vacation in London, and I really didn't think it was going to work out in my schedule. Had I known that was the last time they were going to be around, though, I would have gone regardless.

So the resurgence of my Pink Floyd interest started late last year. I was listening to some of their stuff again, and I noticed that a group called the Australian Pink Floyd had a couple of concerts locally. I thought about going, but the timing and venue weren't quite working out right, and I really didn't know if I wanted to see basically a tribute band to a band that I didn't really know that well anyway. Yeah, that sounds confusing, doesn't it? So I just didn't go.

And then a couple of weeks ago, I saw that Australian Pink Floyd was going to be playing the newish Nokia Center (I thought originally that they were going to be playing Staples until I actually looked up the tickets). Not that September and October aren't already very busy months for me, but I toyed with the idea of going to the concert anyway, which is in late September. And for one ticket, they had a really good seat available, and it wasn't all that expensive, and throwing reason out the window, I bought the ticket.

So in the meantime, I've been immersing myself a bit in Pink Floyd, since there's quite a bit of their stuff I don't know. I'm not exactly sure what of their songs that Australian Pink Floyd will play though, and one thing I have realized is that I am not in fact going to see Pink Floyd. I probably know David Gilmour's voice much better than Roger Waters', and David's is probably more of what I associate with Pink Floyd (put down that rock - throwing it at me is going to do neither of us any good). And I have no idea what Australian Pink Floyd sounds like, so I don't know how I'm going to react when I hear another voice singing the songs that I'm now in the process of familiarizing myself with. I'm not particularly good at handling new voices with songs that I know. As much as I liked Genesis' album "Calling All Stations", it did take me a while to get used to Ray Wilson as the new lead singer, but at least they were new songs. Listening to a recording of him singing "Mama", though, was a whole different proposition. Since I'm not as entangled in Pink Floyd as I am in Genesis, it won't be quite as bad hearing a different voice singing familiar songs, but I'm kind of preparing myself for that anyway.

Oh, and this past weekend, I bought another Pink Floyd book, this one written by one of the guys in the band. I expect it to be an interesting read. You know, in all the spare time I have.

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