Saturday, June 18, 2011

day 11 - a song from your favorite band

Asking me to choose a favorite Pink Floyd song is like asking me to name my favorite child.

No, it's even harder - I only have three children. There are a thousand Pink Floyd songs I love. At least a hundred. Well, dozens. Okay, twenty some-odd. Whatever. I love Pink Floyd.

Most of their lyrics are somber, melancholy, dark, brooding, insane. Admittedly, they don't match my personality. I don't know what most of them mean, and I'm okay with that. People say you have to be on drugs to understand. I will admit here that drugs don't necessarily help. I used to watch The Wall every couple of months. It's a freaking disturbing movie, but the music is amazing. I remember my first roommate in college would get sick to death of me watching it, and would leave the room in a big huff when I put the tape in. Oops.

So why do I love it so much? I don't know. Their music is brilliance. Every song is multi-layered and dimensional. I love the maelstrom of unusual harmonies, the symphonic bits, the bluesy/jazzy riffs, the psychedelic melodies. They sounded like no one before them, and no one after them has come close to duplicating their genius.

During the course of the 90s and into the early 2000s, I got rid of all of my cassette tapes. I still have all my Pink Floyd ones, though. I can't seem to let them go. I have every one of them, packed safely in a box in my closet. Is that weird? I still haven't accumulated all of them on CD. I'm missing the more obscure ones, and somewhere along the way, I lost The Wall. I should replace it. Maybe someday.

I saw them live in 1988 at Cowboys Stadium. Three things stand out to me from that concert: 1) I learned what it meant to "drop acid". Silly me, I had no idea why my friends were sucking on little pieces of paper until hours later; 2) I was desperately trying to impress the guy I was with by smoking a cigarette, but foolishly tried to light up in the back of a convertible while flying down the freeway, and he laughed; and 3) out of the dozens of concerts I'd attended, none came close to comparing to Pink Floyd. From the lasers and crazy psychedelic effects to the infamous flying pig to the flawless musicianship, I was mesmerized.

When trying to think of what my favorite song might be, I immediately came up with four from which to choose: Comfortably Numb & Hey You (both from The Wall), Wish You Were Here (album of the same name), and Us & Them (Dark Side of the Moon). Then I remembered Pigs (from Animals), Brain Damage/Eclipse (Dark Side), Have A Cigar (WYWH), and Great Gig in the Sky (Dark Side), which has no lyrics, but features an amazing woman with an ethereal voice named Clare Torry who wails hauntingly throughout the whole song.


...okay. Three hours have passed since I started this post. I've subjected Darren to nonstop Pink Floyd, sometimes the same songs more than once. Every now and then, he'd laugh when I'd get all excited and profess that "THIS one is my favorite." He finally gave up and went to bed. I got up and poured a glass of tea, promising to head upstairs soon. When I sat back down at the computer, I realized that the challenge is simply to choose A SONG from your favorite band, not your favorite song from your favorite band. Well, then. THAT makes it easier. *whew*!

Comfortably Numb features arguably one (actually two) of the best guitar solos of all time, at the hands of the great David Gilmour. Gilmour and Waters share lead vocals - Gilmour singing the lighter parts (..."when I was a child") and Waters singing the darker parts ('s just a little pinprick). And.... it is the first song that came to mind when I started this post. One more listen, and then I'm really heading upstairs.

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