I saw Pink Floyd once. I saw them play at a HUGE stadium in North Carolina. I think I was only 13 or 14 at the time. I went with the neighborhood boys, and their older sister. We had nose-bleed seats. Not only were they way up high, but they were near the rear of the stadium as well.
The stadium that night had more hair than the state of New Jersey. All types of hair. Hair covering up bald spots, hair making up for the lack of a redneck chin, hair covered in Aqua-Net, hair in braids, hair sticking out of sleeveless, hand-torn Boston T-shirts, hair blending in with dangling white strings from cut-offs. There was so much hair-so much hair and booze and drugs and music and food. I had a lot of deep fried food, a few soft pretzels and maybe a sip or two of some concocted booze formation (“puke in plastic”). Back then I didn’t really care for booze.
We got there early. Shana (the boys’ older sister) drove. We brought blankets to put below our bums as Raleigh nights tended to get chilly that time of year. Since the stage was so small, and I could pinch the bands’ tiny heads off, I’m not sure if that pig DID actually pee on the crowd. I’m not sure if there was a human on the moving bed. But I’m pretty sure I was the only person who wasn’t on drugs that night. But really, who needs drugs when there’s a light show?
Back then there was something about things that blink and shoot and zip along with music. Does anyone remember the light show phenomenon which became was so important during the 80s? If you managed to escape bands like Duran Duran (not that there’s anything wrong with them, believe me) you may have found yourself at the state fair, standing in line to buy cheap pewter, and dangly skull earrings, killing time before the next electric light show to begin set to the Led Zeppelin II album-
and I mean album-so don’t bounce too hard, don’t move to fast.
But I took my interest in rock and roll music to new and most embarrassing levels. I invested entirely. Much like those who purchased web-shop stock in the 90s, I bought into it all. I included bands like Whitesnake, Iron Maiden, Great White, Cinderella, Guns and Roses, Poison into my collection. Pretty much any hair metal band who amplified six strings and wore spandex, and I was into them, whole-heartedly. (While sneaking in a little “Lisa, Lisa and the Cult Jam” late at night, of course).
So at the Pink Floyd show that night, at a concert I thought I’d never get to see, I guess you might say I was moved. As they stood outside under a roofless stadium, they put on a light show. And as each beam was absorbed into thick layer of cloud, we lit our lighters and swayed, a human river of hair. And those were the days. For me, those were the days.
And every so often, I get a much needed glimpse again.
The other day, I get a phone call from my friend, Gerry. Gerry is and has been the only person in my life who can say “Go buy __. You’ll love them. I promise. Just go do it.” and he’s almost always right. In fact, I can’t think of a time where he wasn’t. So the other day, knowing about my history in hair metal and my fondness for the 70’s, he calls armed with something new. After admitting to he having spent all day driving around Williamsburg, Brooklyn with another 30+ year old, blaring this same c.d. out an open car window, he tells me to pick up the new Secret Machines c.d.
And I did.
For all of you who need a little taste of your rock ‘n roll past and haven’t MP3ed all your vinyl yet, here’s something new. And I’m still working on the light show in Flash.
Secret Machines, Sad and Lonely (5.3 mgs)