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Author: Subject: Pre-DSOTM Pink Floyd

Zen Peach





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  posted on 8/15/2008 at 08:29 PM
Anybody out there into this very ever talked about era of Pink Floyd. Honestly I find myself listening to it more and more lately. Atom Heart Mother and Obscured by Clouds and Ummagumma are favorites. Also cant forget Echoes one of Pink Floyds greatest songs ever.
 
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  posted on 8/15/2008 at 08:48 PM
Who could forget Umagumma's smash hit, Several Small Species Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving on a Pict?! Meddle was a good album, which had Echos on it. Umagumma I had but played rarely.

 

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  posted on 8/15/2008 at 09:00 PM
All of their pre-DSOTM albums have some very good moments. I'say "Meddle" is the best of the bunch. 'Echoes', 'One of These Days', and 'Fearless' are all first rate Floyd songs IMO.
 
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  posted on 8/15/2008 at 09:58 PM

Pink Floyd in Atlanta

Back in the days when I was a committee chairman at the Georgia Tech Student Center, I was buddies with all the local concert promoters ... and I took full advantage of these relationships. This was long before TicketBastard came to dominate the industry. Instead of computerized sales, the promoter divvied the actual printed tickets up and delivered them to the various ticket outlets all over the city. So at each outlet, you could only select from the tickets they had on hand.

Leveraging my relationship, I'd simply stop by the promoter's office the day before the tickets went on sale and buy them directly from him -- I could pick any seats I wanted since they hadn't been distributed yet. It's a beautiful thing to be in a office with an entire show's worth of tickets to pick from! Generally I'd purchase the same fifth row, left of center seats for every show at the Atlanta Municipal Auditorium.

Pink Floyd, however, was appearing at Atlanta Symphony Hall during the Meddle tour -- the first-ever rock concert at Symphony Hall. I was a huge Floyd fan, ever since Umma Gumma scared me silly. I'd never been to Symphony Hall and had no idea what tickets to buy -- there was no seating chart at the office since they'd never before done a show at this venue. This particular show was especially important because I was getting tickets for all my friends as well, about two rows worth. So I just took Alex's word on what the best seats were, and walked out of his office with 10 seats in row KK and another 10 in row LL.

I had no idea where these seats were located and had some trepidation -- the seat numbers were unfamiliar and I'd spent all my friends' money -- but I shouldn't have worried. Alex had taken care of me. The whole batch of us arrived at the concert tripping our brains out -- how else are you supposed to see Pink Floyd? We entered the Hall in full hippie regalia and discovered that our seats were in the direct center of the first two rows of the balcony. Whoa! The balcony in Symphony Hall swoops right down almost to the stage -- we were looking right down on top of it!

Looking down from our seats we could see a huge light boom with three rows of lights resting on the floor of the stage, stretching horizontally almost the entire width of the stage. Behind it, the curtain was closed. The show began almost subliminally with the sound of a beating heart gradually increasing in volume until it was just loud enough to hear. Then the lights started to pulse red in time with the beating heart. After a moment, the band started to play from behind the curtain. Already this was show unlike anything I'd ever experienced.

The lights continued to pulse and sequence in a manner I'd never seen before, and the curtain remained down until after the first song began to segue into the next. Suddenly, the entire massive light boom began to slowly and majestically rise from the floor until it was as high as the top of the stage -- the lights still pulsing rhythmically with the music. Then the curtain opened, exposing the band and their equipment for the first time. Suddenly the entire light boom rolled from the front of the stage to the back and the lights rotated from pointing to the audience to pointing down at the band. Given the special effects available today that may not seem so much, but in 1970 it was brain overload!

Later in the show we heard a helicopter approaching -- an unmistakable sound to anyone who had seen news clips from Viet Nam. Louder and louder, the helicopter sounded like it had entered the hall even though we couldn't see it. It flew directly overhead, then behind, then around the hall again. It dawned on me that Pink Floyd's sound crew was using quadraphonic speakers -- I looked behind me and, sure enough, there were giant PA speakers positioned in the back corners of the balcony. Still, I felt like I needed to duck when the helicopter flew overhead. One of the guys with me stood up screaming, flung his clothes off, and ran out of the hall. This is a band that likes to play with your mind ...

 

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  posted on 8/15/2008 at 10:14 PM
Hell yes, I'm into Pre-Dark Side Floyd, especially the live stuff, plenty of which is available in quality SBD boots courtesy of the BBC. They were still doing quite a bit of improvisation and experimentation back then, as opposed to the some of the highly-produced shows of later years.

For fans of AHM and Meddle, if you haven't heard a good live version of "The Embryo," you're missing out. I'll listen to all of the studio albums, maybe once every other month, but the live stuff, I spend a great deal of time with that.

I'd suggest joining this site, sending them a few bucks to keep things going, and then download away:

http://www.pinkfloyd.ws/

 

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  posted on 8/15/2008 at 10:16 PM

Pink Floyd Part Two

Ok, so I had a wonderful, mind-bending experience the first time I saw Pink Floyd -- these guys had caught me by surprise with a show unlike any I had seen before. I knew they were going to mess up my mind, and still, they did it anyway. So next time they came to Atlanta I figured I was ready for them.

This time they were playing in support of their brand new album, Dark Side of the Moon, at the old Atlanta Municipal Auditorium instead of Symphony Hall. (Could the naked, screaming guy have had something to do with that?) The Municipal Auditorium was where I'd seen most of the shows that hit Atlanta -- Traffic, the Who, Mountain, Elton John, the Dead, the ABB, among many others -- most of them from my regular fifth row, left of center seats.

But this time, remembering the quadraphonic experience from Symphony Hall, I decided to get creative. Instead of sitting up front, I figured I'd get the seats with the best sound. So I took out a seating chart, drew a big X on it, and determined the exact center of the floor seating. This is where I bought two rows of tickets for Floyd (since I could get seats anywhere I wanted).

Well, when we arrived for this show we were even more psychedelicized than the last time, I mean we were on a different planet! We were a little late getting there (for obvious reasons) and, although the show hadn't started yet, the auditorium was very crowded. Rather than work my way through the crowd in my precarious state of mind, I decided to ask an usher for help. Now I'm a tall guy -- I seldom have to look up at anyone and when I do, it tends to make me a little uncomfortable. So when the usher told me to wait and came back with a guy about a foot -- a foot! -- taller than me, I was discombobulated to say the least. Then this giant of a man looks down on me and says in a voice I'll never forget, a basso profundo not unlike Lurch the butler, "Come. With. Me."

Yikes! The show hadn't even begun yet and already the mind games had started. Lurch led us right past the rows I'd purchased, all the way to the front of the auditorium. I freaked when we went by the seats I knew were ours -- I had no clue what could be happening. Turns out the soundman for Floyd had done the same thing I'd done -- he'd drawn an X on the floor plan and situated his soundboard in the exact spot I'd selected for our tickets. In order to accommodate the missing seats, they had set up two rows of rickety, wooden folding chairs in the space between the front row and the stage. We were all seated, crammed together within touching distance of the stage.

Oh glory! The show started and Floyd proceeded to blow our minds. There were three black chicks doing back-up vocals all wearing sequined dresses. Each girl was wearing a different colored wig in bright neon red, blue and green. A guy wearing a gorilla suit cavorted across the stage, climbed some scaffolding, and began swinging on a rope from the balcony. Another guy dressed like the Mad Hatter walked down the aisle through the audience on stilts. When he reached the stage, he took one giant step up and started walking around the musicians. They ignored him as if he wasn't there. Same with the gorilla. This is all happening right in front of us. No other concert experience had ever prepared me for this. The music was incredible and our minds were unlimbered from reality.

My buddy Jim was seated right next to me and was white-knuckled, grabbing the arms of his chair. Later he told me he thought he'd been kidnapped by aliens, for real. I can understand why. A truly unforgettable concert experience.

 

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  posted on 8/15/2008 at 10:25 PM
If you don't have the Live At Pompeii DVD, IPowrie, you need to stop whatever you are doing and get it immediately. One of the great events in the history of live music, with Floyd playing in an ancient Roman amphitheater, right in the middle of the era you're talking about. The version of "Echoes" is worth buying the DVD for, trust me.

The early Floyd was some of the most unique and interesting music of the 20th century, in my opinion. When you are listening to something like "Saucerful of Secrets," at no point during the song could it ever be anybody but Pink Floyd making that sound.

 
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  posted on 8/15/2008 at 10:30 PM
Those are great stories Ron! I hope there's a part 3. My first concert was Floyd at Atlanta Stadium in '75. I was tripping too, though only on redbud, but that was all a 15 year old needed at the time. An Airplane crashing into the stage! Cosmic.

 

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  posted on 8/15/2008 at 11:37 PM
Wow, Hop. That must have been some incredible acid.





See . . . I was at the same show . . . there was neither a Gorilla nor a Mad Hatter on stilts anywhere to be seen.










 

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  posted on 8/16/2008 at 12:09 AM
Piper at the Gates of Dawn is my personal favorite...Syd!

 

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  posted on 8/16/2008 at 12:19 AM
My fave Floyd album is MEDDLE but my old college roomie has been shipping me plenty of live Floyd, 1968-1972, most of it BBC, and WOW WOW WOW - you have to love the way they really let the music/ experience BREATHE.

We are in the age of instant gratification, of MTV camera editing, of SOMETHING MUST BE HAPPENING AT ALL TIMES, AND BETTER YET TEN THINGS HAPPENING, and that can be cool sometimes. I love the video for Peter Gabrriel's "Sledgehammer."

But give me the wonderfully relaxed and mellow live "Granchester Meadow" any **** ing day of the week.

 

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  posted on 8/16/2008 at 12:42 AM
I can't add to Hophead's great pre-DSOTM stories, but my first Floyd experience was in '77, on the Animals tour. There's some significance to this tour as the Floyd devotees will state it was the last time the four of them played on tour without major support from a lot of other musicians. The girls were there, but otherwise it was Roger, David, Rick, and Nick, assisted only occassionally by Dick Parry on sax and Snowy White on guitar. And many will say it was the last tour where there was relative harmony still between David and Roger. Relative is - well,... relative - as it's also the tour where in Montreal, Roger got so fed up with the crowd he spit on some guy who had been clamoring at the front of the stage all night.

But back to my experience...

I was home from college on an extended leave, working at a publication printer in Passaic, NJ. They printed all sorts of supermarket flyers, weekly and monthly ethnic and religious newspapers, all pretty low quality stuff. I didn't have any good connections to score any weed because I hadn't lived there in a few years, being in upstate NY for college. But I met a guy at work who became a friend and hooked me up.

I had been seeing great shows all spring and summer, either over in the city or in northern Jersey, usually at the Capital Theater in Passaic. You name it, they passed through that summer. Zeppelin, Eagles, ELP, Kansas, Yes, Return To Forever, Rush, Dave Mason, Al Stewart (yeah, I know, but the Year Of The Cat tour was pretty cool) - I caught lots of great shows. But when I heard Floyd was coming to the Garden, that was it. I had to be there.

They were playing multiple nights - I don't remember how many - and I managed to get pretty good tickets. About 15-20 rows back from the stage, dead center on the floor. I was ready.

About a week before the show, I had run out of my favorite herb, and needed to re-supply. My buddy at work said, "yeah, I know somebody, but it's a different guy than we've used before". So we go over this dudes place and score an ounce each during our lunch break. We worked second shift, so that night, getting off around midnight, I rolled one up for the drive home. About 10 minutes later, I start noticing some things happening that were a bit beyond the usual high. I was having a hard time discerning just where my feet ended and the pedals of the car began. At first I was a bit concerned, but I was driving otherwise ok, and home was near. One thing was clear: this was the greatest dope I'd ever had!!

So by coincidence I have a) killer seats for Floyd in the Garden in a week, and b) some of the finest ganga I'd ever enjoyed, stuff that will knock you into next week. The powers of the universe had shown their favor and I was very grateful.

By the Animals tour, Floyd was renowned for their shows. Each tour was growing more spectacular than the last. Stories of quad sound, and planes flying over the crowd, an exploding bed, and a light show beyond belief were all you heard. I was ready for the experience of a lifetime - and they did not disappoint!

They opened by playing the recently released Animals - in it's entirety - end to end. The stage was the greatest thing I'd ever seen: Mr. Show (the circular screen with the projections and the lights surrounding it), booms with lights that moved over the band, and..... Gilmour's guitar! Holy sh!t he played loud!! This was long before the pussy days of maximum sound levels and all the crap that's imposed today. He was cranked to ungodly levels, and his tone was very aggressive. If you listen to Animals, you'll note how much of an "edge" his tone has versus previous work. Imagine that live, at 110+ decibals. To this day, 31 years later, I still can't get that sound out of my head. I've never heard a guitarist before or since whose tone cut through the air so sharply. It was chilling and glorious all at once.

So there we are; stoked up and seeing the greatest show in rock, at the Garden with 15,000+ Floyd fans on the edge of their seats. And then ........ the pig makes it's appearance, floating out above the band, stage left, starting it's flight over the fans. Holy Sh!t!!!!

I have to divert my story here to recount the concert environment in Madison Square Garden in the summer of '77. It will be very hard, given today's decorum and security-conscious mindset, to believe this if you weren't there. Going to a show in the Garden at that time was rather like entering a battlefield. There was no serious security. People could bring in anything they wanted to. And usually that meant fireworks. Firecrackers were the least of your worries. Cherry bombs and M-80's were frequently tossed from the upper deck. If you were sitting down low, you just hoped they would explode before reaching the ground. It was serious warfare and seriously dangerous at times, and the Floyd had just presented the NYC crazies with the greatest target in rock history: a giant, floating pig

The appearence of the pig signaled the call to arms. As it floated in a lazy semi-circle around the arena, explosions lite up the dark of the arena, and bangs echoed around the hall, for a brief moment cutting through even the Floyd's massive volume. It was wild by any standard. How that damn pig made it all the way around I'll never know, but it did. The band finished out with the balance of Animals, and took a break between sets.

Coming back for the second set, we heard the familar mechanical sounds that open the Wish You Were Here album. And just like Animals, they proceed to play the full record, end-to-end, in glorious quad sound. And for their encore, they played a fair bit of DSOTM. How can you beat that? Arguably their three best releases, all played live, all in one show. Unbelivable! - and still one of the greatest concert experiences of my life. There's only been 4-5 concerts in my life that I walked out of knowing that I'd just had one of the greatest musical experiences I would ever have. This was definately one of them!

 

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  posted on 8/16/2008 at 03:42 AM
quote:
Wow, Hop. That must have been some incredible acid.

See . . . I was at the same show . . . there was neither a Gorilla nor a Mad Hatter on stilts anywhere to be seen.



Oops!

 

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  posted on 8/16/2008 at 06:46 AM
quote:
Wow, Hop. That must have been some incredible acid.





See . . . I was at the same show . . . there was neither a Gorilla nor a Mad Hatter on stilts anywhere to be seen.













Dude, you went to a Floyd show when you were 5 or 6?

 

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  posted on 8/16/2008 at 08:50 AM
Some great Floyd stories here. I certainly "Echo" RJ's comment about Live At Pompei. Great viewing a band not afraid to go where none others have gone before.
 

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  posted on 8/16/2008 at 10:05 AM
Meddle is my favorite Floyd album.

One of these days I'm going to cut you into little pieces!

Fearless

Echoes..


great stuff

 

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  posted on 8/18/2008 at 09:52 AM
Thanks Hophead & Fujirich for the great stories. Can't get enough of The Pink Floyd. being too young to see the real deal, I listed to Relics frequently though, trying to figure out what was going on with this crazy music. I had to wait until Rog toured for Pros & Cons to hear some live PF songs. Sat 4th row in the Omni for that, and my teenage mind was blown away. Saw the Gilmour led re-united tour a couple years also.

Careful with that Ax, Eugene

 

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  posted on 8/18/2008 at 02:28 PM
BIG Pink Floyd fan here - they have been a constant on top of my faves list since 60's! Love Meddle, UmmaGumma, Atom Heart Mother, Piper at the Gates of Dawn and Saucerful of Secrets but must admit - I played Meddle so much I went through multiple vinyl copies.

 

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  posted on 8/18/2008 at 03:53 PM
meddle
 

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  posted on 8/18/2008 at 05:50 PM
I've always put this era Pink Floyd in the same regards as this era Allman Brothers. To me David Gilmour is as much of an original guitarist as Duane Allman.

If you get a chance get any of the below shows. They are fantastic!

03/12/70 Auditorium Maximum
04/22/70 Capitol Theater
04/29/70 Fillmore West
04/29/70 KQED TV Studios
06/16/70 Paris Theatre(BBC)
07/16/70 Paris Theatre
09/16/70 Playhouse Theatre
09/26/70 Electric Factory
10/21/70 Fillmore West
10/23/70 Santa Monica Civic Auditorium
11/21/70 Altes Casino
12/22/70 City Hall
01/04/71 Amsterdam Rock Circus
06/05/71 Berliner Sportpalast
09/18/71 Pavillion de Montreux
09/30/71 Paris Cinema
10/03/71 Unknown
10/04/71 Roman Amphiteatre
10/12/71 Paris Cinema
10/17/71 Convention Hall
11/06/71 Emerson Gym
11/16/71 Lisner Auditorium
11/20/71 Taft Auditorium

 

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  posted on 8/18/2008 at 06:06 PM
quote:
I've always put this era Pink Floyd in the same regards as this era Allman Brothers. To me David Gilmour is as much of an original guitarist as Duane Allman.

If you get a chance get any of the below shows. They are fantastic!
I agree, Clay, on David Gilmour's guitar playing - he's one of the masters! Thanks for the list of great shows dates/venues.

(ps - hope you are feeling well. )

 

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  posted on 8/18/2008 at 06:50 PM
quote:
quote:
I've always put this era Pink Floyd in the same regards as this era Allman Brothers. To me David Gilmour is as much of an original guitarist as Duane Allman.

If you get a chance get any of the below shows. They are fantastic!
I agree, Clay, on David Gilmour's guitar playing - he's one of the masters! Thanks for the list of great shows dates/venues.

(ps - hope you are feeling well. )

I feel great! Best in twenty years.

 
 


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