Shine On

I hadn’t intended to give today a Pink Floyd theme, but sometimes reality has its own ideas.

Syd Barrett, the band’s founder, has died at age 60. Barrett retired from performing over 35 years ago due to drug abuse and mental illness, and had lived very quietly in the care of his mother for most of his life. Ironically, he is perhaps best known today not for his own work, but rather for the 1975 Floyd album “Wish You Were Here,” which was inspired by his brief time in the limelight and subsequent descent into madness.


24 Responses to “Shine On”

  1. donbodell Says:

    Welcome to the dark side of Earth. Dig in.

  2. infidel cowboy Says:

    Shine on you crazy diamond.

  3. Karol Says:

    You’re the only other blogger that seems to care!

  4. docweasel Says:

    out of the many over-rated and pretentious, pseudo-intellectual and self-important corporate rock bands of the 70’s, Pink Floyd stands alone.

    They put out ONE decent record, which was largely due to the brilliant production of Alan Parsons. WYWH: one good pop song, with overlong, techincally and musically retarded self-indulgence and celebration of a talentless hack (Barrett) whose crash and burn preserved his legend and kept him from being exposed as a ‘genius’ about the level of Country Joe (and his fish). Animals: interminable tedious crap. Walls: pendantic, misoganistic pap for alienated pre-teen boys. Everything else: eh.

    There were a lot of great musicians and composers in the same general genre, from ELP to Yes to Jethro Tull to King Crimson and even Zappa and etc. Pink Floyd doesn’t belong in that pantheon.

    They also deserve blame for the inspiration for the most pretentious, shallow and intellectually vapid ‘serious’ rock movie in history. The “Tommy” movie looks like Schindler’s List in comparison to the steaming pile known as “The Wall”.

    They don’t even deserve this comment, let alone a post. Once the drugs wore off, did you really enjoy PF?

    Careful with that ax Eugene and set the controls for the heart of the sun while a Pict and several species of small furry animals groove together for Money.

  5. Casey Tompkins Says:

    Obviously the good doctor still hasn’t recovered from that head injury, which also damaged his hearing by his own account. 😉

    He also can’t count. Floyd had two great albums, not one, doc. Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here.

    Now, if you don’t like ’em, fine. It’s your iPod. But recall that Dark Side spent fourteen years on the top 200 album list, and six on the top 75 list.

    According to Wiki, “To this day, audiophiles use The Dark Side of the Moon as a reference standard to test the fidelity of audio equipment, despite the fact that it was originally mixed from second-generation tape with Dolby noise reduction.”

    Fourteen years. Definitely the mark of a crappy album. Heh…

    Agreed that neither Animals nor The Wall measure up to the above pair, and I refuse to comment on any of the movies. 😉

  6. milesl Says:

    “Shine On You Crazy Diamond (I-V)”

    Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun.
    Shine on you crazy diamond.
    Now there’s a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky.
    Shine on you crazy diamond.
    You were caught on the crossfire of childhood and stardom,
    blown on the steel breeze.
    Come on you target for faraway laughter,
    come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!
    You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.
    Shine on you crazy diamond.
    Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light.
    Shine on you crazy diamond.
    Well you wore out your welcome with random precision,
    rode on the steel breeze.
    Come on you raver, you seer of visions,
    come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!

  7. 70sfan Says:

    Wow, someone regrets a mis-spent youth! You a big Sonic F’ing Death Monkey fan?

    The coporate rock part is laughable, they were just more successful than any of the other artists you mention. To complain about “Animals” (No arguemnt, a crap album), and then mention Zappa as some sort of musical genius is insane. Zappa was Tommy Chong with a guitar, and his “music” sounds like it. No argument with King Crimson or anything Alan Parson’s ever did, but Jethro Tull??? Your nutz, and even if you do like them, they hardly belong in this list of artists genre-wise.

    The drugs wore off well over 20 years ago and I still think WYWH, DSOTM, and The Wall, as some of the best music of my youth.

    …and you use this excuse for a post to take a swipe at The Who as well? I suppose you think Zeppelin was over-rated as well? Did you live in the 70’s or did you get all of this out of a book?

  8. Jeff Says:

    Harsh words doc, and unwarranted. Good thing musical taste, like most things artistic, are very personal and to each his own. You can have your opinion, just let us have ours, and enjoy them without criticism. I acutally like PF during and after the Waters era. I still like A Momentary Lapse of Reason and The Division Bell. The Pink Floyd show at Legion Field back in 1994 (TDB tour) still is the best show I’ve ever seen. That’s probably the only band that can make a large stadium sound good.

    On a separate note, as good as the recording of DSOTM is, I don’t use it as audio reference material. That honor is saved for Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms.

  9. Will Collier Says:

    I was at that show, Jeff. Terrible seats, way back in the upper deck. The sound was so good I might as well have had headphones plugged into the mixing board.

    The main thing I remember about that concert (other than the music and the lights), though was the temperature, which dropped something like 35 degrees (no exaggeration) during the show.

  10. Jeff Says:

    I remember it that way too, Will. Very cold, good thing I had a cute girl next to me. I was on the “floor” (the field). Great seats. Behind the mixing board area, but off to the side, but still amazing. Worth every penny.

    I am still upset at you for you giving away those Momentary tour seats at the Omni in ’87. I know, it was some other good friend. Actually, that’s why I went to all extremes I did to go to that show at Legion Field. I was going to make sure I didn’t miss it, no matter the sacrifice.

  11. docweasel Says:

    Casey: I addressed Dark Side: I attribute that one good piece of work to Alan Parsons, not Floyd.

    And the tin-ear above who dissed Zappa, you obviously aren’t a musician or serious audiophile.

    In 100 years I predict that Lennon/McCartney will be seen as good pop song writers, much like Stephen Foster (I Dream of Jeannie, Old Folks at Home, Beautiful Dreamer) is seen today. But Zappa will be seen as the _only_ great composer to come out of the rock and roll culture.

  12. Casey Tompkins Says:

    Um, doc, y’all got me cornfused.

    Ok, I’ve sussed the first rebuttal. You don’t like Wish You Were Here. Too bad the charts don’t agree with you; not as strong as Dark Side but what the hey. 🙂

    What really has me floored is the crack about Zappa. Don’t recall even mentioning him, so I’m all at sea, here. Me, I think Zappa is at the second left-hand seat of God.

    Hm? What? Oh, why the second left-hand seat?

    That’s because Hendrix sits on the left hand of God.

    Chet Atkins sits on the right… 🙂

  13. docweasel Says:

    Someone else dissed zappa, I can’t be bothered to rebut him by name.

    WYWH has too much dross (i.e., empty, monotonous droning keyboard empty space, lame instrumental jams, 2 halfway decent songs in teh whole dreary mess (WTTMachine and WYWH) so yeah, I don’t consider it a great album. Those were good songs. Plus it taught a generation the correct way to pronounce Jaguar.

    My point is Parsons (who also engineered for the beatulz) was the mind behind DSOTM, bear witness to how it resembles his own solo efforts and how it does not resemble any Floyd album he did not produce, fer instance, its listenable and the self-indulgenct rambling is kept at a minimum.

    Besides the fact they were short on great songs, the technical prowess of every single member of PF has the talent knob turned way down to like 3. Wright would be helpless without long keyboard sustain so he can think of what chord to play next, Gilmore would be helpless without banks of flange, digital and tape delay, chorus, phase shifting, harmonizer, envelope follower, screaming treez, reverse reverb, echoplex, wah 2x, vol-yoom pedal, tape punch in wizardry and etc. so he sounds like he can actually play lead guitar and include less coherent notes than the average Neil Young (the premier sucky lead guitarist) solo. Both he and Waters have like a 5 note vocal range, and they don’t even let Mason play half the time.

    Waters is plebian on bass to complete the quadrafecta.

    Big deal they have a 7/8 hit song, it was probably an accident because Nick kept dropping a beat. Anyway, the Beatles did it way earlier (AYNILove is sorta 7/8, its 4/4 alternating 3/4 so wtf).

    I could go on and on like this but I think I’ve proved empirically Floyd sux ballzac. They did have funny song titles on the early stuff though. I’ll go that far.

  14. Patti Says:

    ditto what infidel cowboy said…

  15. Billy Beck Says:

    The person who dismissed Zappa is an ignoramus. Period.

    Doc — try it like this: Pink Floyd has always been, in their closest essence, a blues band. Try putting it together like that, and it might start to dawn on you.

    In re “Momentary Lapse”: I spent late ’87 and a lot of ’88 rigging those shows all over the country. The first one I worked was at Syracuse University (Oct, ’87, I think).

    The second lights cue of that show was revolutionary. The second I saw it, I realized that we were in a whole new production world. I had figured out, beforehand, what was going to happen, but to see it was just wild.

    Nobody does like those guys.

  16. docweasel Says:

    Well, ok they are a blooz band. But then why do they not have a soloist in the friggin’ band who can play blooz? Most bands who claim to be blooz band, they have your basic Clapton, Rory Gallegher, Robin Trower, Tommy Bolin, SRV, Jimmy Page what have you. Glimour doesn’t have a blooz bone in his boddy. And I’ve never heard Wright do anything other than play pads or a wash behind the bands. Can he even solo?

    Or, alternately, you’d have a bloozy vocalist. They don’t have a blooz soloist nor vocalist. So where do you get they are a blooz band? Also, I never listened to anything I could avoid after The Wall so I have no idea if they did indeed magically morph into a blooz band, but pre-Wall they don’t have much of a blooz catalogue going. Money is basically 12 bar blooz structure, but that’s about it. They needed Sanborn to even give THAT a patina of blooziness.

    They just suck and aren’t worth all these pixels. If you want to talk about a good band, like say Klaatu, or Tull, or Zephyr, or Sparks, or Nilsson, or something worth the discussion I’m with you, but PF is craptastic in my book. MOST OVER RATED BAND EVER. Even more than U2.

  17. Casey Tompkins Says:


    I’ve already agreed with you about Zappa. I’m also more than happy to agree with you on your “other great blooz bands” list, so I’ll just say I disagree with you about Floyd, except that I don’t think they’re a “blooz” band either, even if they started out with blues/rock influences. Hell, the Beatles started out as a blues/rock cover band, and look what happened to them… 😉

    Which remind me; I think that Elenor Rigby, at least, deserves a nod in the composition category.

    While I’m at it, whaddya say to Joe Cocker, SRV, or Blues Traveler? Or Indigo Girls, for that matter?

  18. BuddyPC Says:

    “Plus it taught a generation the correct way to pronounce Jaguar.”

    Actually, Marc Bolan taught two generations that years earlier with “Jeepster”.

  19. Billy Beck Says:

    “Glimour doesn’t have a blooz bone in his boddy.”

    Oh, dear. I dunno, man. Of course, as a consumer, your opinion is as good as anyone else’s, certainly to you, which is all that counts in your case. (I’m not being facetious. That’s the way these things run.) I’m a guitarist, though. And I know what’s going on when I play some of that stuff. Gilmour & Co. are pretty damned blue to me, even if they are bent around a corner a bit.

  20. Will Collier Says:

    I once read (I think in Rolling Stone) Gilmour’s style described as “acid-washed blues.” Great line, whoever came up with it.

  21. triticale Says:

    The Fish were not Country Joe’s. Chicken Hirsch owned the band name. As a performer, Mr. McDonald should be judged by the album Tonight I’m Singing Just For You. Competant cover performance, the title track, his own composition, was the only weak number.

  22. docweasel Says:

    I’m a huge Indigo girls fan, have all the cds (come on social, shaming of the sun are my favs) and lots of other girl rockers: shawn colvin, Liz phair, kd lang and my all time fav, Aimee Mann (post TT)

    I did tabs/chord charts to all her solo songs for fun and posted them over at Ultimate guitar
    did a few articles there as well, the best is the Jeff Beck one, I think

  23. Billy Beck Says:

    I didn’t get The Indigo Girls at all until my first tour with them. Then, I got it. It’s funny how sometimes (with me, anyway) it doesn’t work out until I see ’em live.

    A girl rocker out of Atlanta who I really enjoyed was Michelle Malone. Both of her bands that I saw were really very good: Drag The River and Band de Soleil. She liked to play her guitar loud and she was pretty good at it.

  24. docweasel Says:

    I worked as house sound guy at Skipper’s Smoke House here in Tampa (mostly roots, folk and blues acts) and Indigo Girls appeared just a duo, with exactly NO entourage or crew and played a long set. They were bitchy, unreasonable and profane but the set was good. My major recollections of the gig were that, although they were both only playing acoustic guitars/mandolin and singing, they kept bitching they couldn’t hear their moniters (half the time they couldn’t hear their guitar, the other their vocals. I walked onstage and the volumn blew my hair back, it was so loud. The night before I’d done a 6 piece blues band with organ and horns with no problems, but these 2 women on acoustic guitars couldn’t hear themselves. Go figure.

    Also, the gig set me straight on the common popular representation of sexy lesbians. It was pretty much a crowd of mulleted, stocky, unmake-uped “Pats” who constantly stopped by the mixing board, convinced as an evil male I was sabotaging the IGirls’ set, and gave me contradictory advice the entire show to turn up Amy or not-Amy (forget the other ones’ name) or either guitar or to make everything louder than everything else.

    I felt a palpable animosity to my genitals, as well.

    One thing I did forget about Floyd, they did have the sense to be the first to recognize the genius of HIpnosis, the greatest album cover creating entity of the rock era. I became aware of Hipnosis through UFO (still one of my fav bands) and Venus and Mars, but ended up checking out all their work, and Floyd used them on almost every album, I believe.

    more here:

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