Ah yes, the masters; Gilmour, Waters, Wright and Mason! My all-time favorite band!
Consistently innovative, superb hard-rockin’ musicians, composers, instrumentalists, arrangers and lyricists who created music that could literally transport you to other dimensions and yet looked just like one of us with an admirable rock star image of blue-jeans and t-shirts worn by true sophisticated pioneers and Gods of Psychedelic Space-Rock!
The world got to know and love Pink Floyd’s music in 1973 when “The Dark Side of the Moon” LP went on to become the longest charted album in history; a record 741 weeks on Billboard’s top 100; that’s fifteen years!
Their contribution to rock history previous to this LP was simply incredible, but with DSOTM PF transcended their own plateau of greatness and created another level where they unveiled an emotionally-moving masterpiece, a perfect blend of light and dark, of outward observation as well as inward.
Filled with heavenly choruses and a capella solos, stratospheric guitar excursions, sexy and savage keyboard riffs, lyrics that I’m sure changed lives; (“…ten years have got behind you, no one told you when to run; you missed the starting gun.”) perfect rhythms and the dreamiest, saddest, ecstatic and coolest saxophone passages ever! This music opened PF to millions of instant fans who may have otherwise never made the trip to the Pink Floyd Universe.
On the other hand, I had been enjoying PF since their earliest LPs with Syd Barrett back in ’67 and literally played “The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn”, “A Saucerful Of Secrets”, “Music from the film More”, “Umma-Gumma”, “Atom Heart Mother”, “Relics”, “Obscured By Clouds” (the soundtrack to the French film “La Vallee”) and “Meddle” (along with my world-class collection of bootlegs – Rubber Dubber? Trademark of Quality? Korny Fone? Ah, yes, bootlegs, er, um, RoIO!) so much that I replaced new copies regularly and had stashed copies of virgin-vinyl imports for special occasions – really.
PF started the concert off with the debut of their new album; “The Dark Side of the Moon”, in its entirety. Immediately we were entranced and spellbound by “Breathe” and “On the Run” but “Money” blew everyone away as the sound of huge cash-registers circled the Bowl in quadraphonic sound! I remember giggling in exhilaration of the whacked-out music I was hearing – they weren’t even halfway through before I knew that Rock ‘n’ Roll as we knew it (and as I liked it) was again being defined by PINK FLOYD!
Historic! We were hearing “The Dark Side of the Moon” for the first time – LIVE – and the LP wouldn’t be available for another six months!
I rarely brought a camera to concerts but we had good box seats so this time I did and caught a split-second classic Pink Floyd moment in time through my Minolta SRT 101 during “Careful with that Axe, Eugene” as the crescendo builds, and just as Waters screams; pink-lit smoke bombs explode and fill the stage! A truly amazing analog shot from that era. (See photo.)
This outdoors among-the-stars incredible Pink Floyd concert experience had a dream-designed set of songs – seemingly hand-picked by myself and the rest of the fortunate PF fans that filled the Bowl – absolute gems!
Set 1: “Dark Side of the Moon” – Breathe, On The Run, Time, Breathe Reprise, The Great Gig In The Sky, Money, Us And Them, Any Colour You Like, Brain Damage, Eclipse.
Set 2: One Of These Days, Careful With That Axe, Eugene, Echoes, A Saucerful Of Secrets.
Encore: Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun.
Lineup: David Gilmour (guitar, vocals), Roger Waters (bass, synthesizer, vocals), Nick Mason (drums), Rick Wright (keyboards, synthesizers).
Hear what I experienced 40 years ago today:
PINK FLOYD Hollywood Bowl 1972 Complete Concert!
Epilogue: This was my virgin PF concert; I should have seen these guys earlier in their career but I was still in Jr. High and early High school, with little or no transportation and less cash. When I had the car and cash I was too involved with my Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll Hippie Pad Life-Style and missed the “Atom Heart Mother” tour at the SMCA, shame on me!
But I vowed to see them every time they came to town in the future; and did, for the most part.
For while I did miss the “Animals” tour, I had great seats for the rare L.A. performance of “the Wall”!
And I had FRONT ROW CENTER SEATS, that’s right, absolutely no one between me and Pink Floyd, for the FIRST THREE NIGHTS of five sold out shows at the L.A. Sports Arena on 4/23-24-25/75!!
(PINK FLOYD L.A. SPORTS ARENA 1975)
Check out the other 9:
ALL TIME TOP 10 HISTORIC CLASSIC ROCK CONCERTS 1968 -1972 #1 – #10