When the movie “The Wall” came out my friend Dave S. had a bad reaction. He had the album first and loved it. He was stoked to see the movie, but when he came back from it he reported hating it, with a passion. Apparently the vision he had in his head of The Wall was not the same as what was in the head of Roger Waters. He, in an overdramatic maneuver, said he would never listen to it again and gave his LP to me. I took it, at that time having only heard what Pink Floyd was on the radio: “Money” and “Time” and “Eclipse” and some old stuff that I didn’t really care for. “Another Brick In The Wall” of course was being played nonstop on the radio. I liked that one, and on that foundation I took it home and listened to it.
When I listened to it, I was blown away.
Thus began a Pink Floyd season in my life. I started talking about Floyd to the stoners in my Astrology class and to a man they recommended “Dark Side Of The Moon” and a few mentioned “Wish You Were Here”. I got both and I understood suddenly all the hoopla about Pink Floyd. They WERE good.
I remember when I was like 7 or 8 my half brother Mark playing (along with some scary Alice Cooper, I think from “School’s Out”) a track for me that was on “Ummagumma” (though I didn’t know at the time was Pink Floyd). It was the sound of the fly and the feet at the end of “Grandchester Meadows”, and then the craziness of “Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict”. It was the strangest sounds I had ever heard coming from my parents ancient and giant console stereo. Years and years later, when I heard it while playing Ummagumma for the first time with my friend Paul B. in my rented room off campus I almost lost it. THAT was the sound! To be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of most of Ummagumma, but those 2 songs were imprinted on me young and I still loved them.
Since, I have delved into Roger Waters solo stuff, like “The Pro’s and Con’s of Hitchhiking” and some later Floyd without Roger. “The Final Cut” is probably one of my favorite Floyd albums. “Animals” is a close second.
As I sit here now I cannot remember the time I first heard “Animals”, but I know that that became the album that Dalton and I would always play pre-concert-in-Madison somewhere and while driving around in his car. That CD became a staple of my bedtime music. The dog barking part always helped me drift off.
One obsession of mine was to hear “The Wall” straight through without having to flip the record (4 sides), or the tape (even recorded on tape it was longer than one side), or switch from CD 1 to CD 2 (I didn’t have the 50 CD changer in those days). It was maddening. It would take future technology to help me out.
I remember the day I got the entire “The Wall” as one MP3 file. It was tremendous. Good quality sound and of course made for headphones. I dragged our recliner over by the computer one day when I was in the house alone and put the headphones on and pulled the lever on the chair and let it wash over me, full length. There were no interruptions and no flips or breaks. From beginning to end… complete.
I was finally fulfilled.
As I sit and write this it occurs to me… I am not sure I have listened to it in its entirety in any media since.