Friday, October 12, 2018

My Musical Notes 8 - PinkFloyd "The Wall"

The first version I heard of this iconic album was from a cassette that my good friend Dr. Satyanath Patnaik (or to all of us, simply Mani) gave me. This was early 80s. I was amazed that people could make music like this - such different sound, so radical and clearly political. This music was not just about entertaining, it had something to say. They said then that it was banned in India, but after checking the net I find that South Africa had banned the album and the song 'Another Brick in the Wall'.

For a novice just starting out, Pink Floyd breaks all conventions. 'Another Brick in the Wall', 'Thin Ice', 'Hey You', 'Mother', 'Empty Spaces' grab you. But what you can listen to again and again year on year, decade on decade, is 'Comfortably Numb'.

After 'The Wall' I listened to several of Pink Floyd's albums. 'Division Bell', 'Dark Side of the Moon' were certainly those that caught my imagination. But more on them when I come upon hem later.

20 years after I first heard 'The Wall' I attended a Roger Waters show at Bangalore with Kiran (we drove down and drove back) and was amazed at the professionalism, the care and passion that goes into their craft. How could anyone sing what they wrote and sang twenty years ago, when they were youngsters, with the same emotion, passion? I decided then that is what I would like to be like. The lasting memory of that concert - it winding down with 'Comfortably Numb' in an ethereal setting under the Bangalore skies and the image of a fan lying down and soaking it in, eyes closed, behind the screen right in front of the stage. He didn't want to see them, he just wanted to hear the music.

'Comfortably Numb', 'Another Brick in the Wall' and 'Hey You' are my favs from this album. There have been many many evenings spent on 'Comfortably Numb' which is an anthem song for all those high spirited evenings with the boys and will probably remain till the end of days. Usual suspects that I enjoyed it with are Kiran (as recently as last week), the irrepressible Anil Menon and several other victims of mine when I was handed the keys to the music.

Thought I heard it first from Mani's tapes, my first possession of this cassette came when I picked it up from a music shop in the shopping arcade outside World Trade Center in Bombay in 1994-95. The shopping centre had a bookstore and a music shop and I would walk in every payday and buy one cassette and one classic book to read. This cassette was one of those golden collections. 

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