When I had heard first about them, the name amused me a lot. I never thought that they would go on to be one of my all-time favorite rock groups. And the lead guitarist would be respected above all by me. I still remember when in engineering college my batch mates used to talk about them, first heard in the context of ‘We don’t need no Education’. On our farewell we sang that aloud, I still recollect those dumbstruck faces of our professors then.
Though heard in classrooms, I hadn’t heard them directly. So it was once when I was searching for a song Numb by LP, I came across the title Comfortably Numb. Initially I thought it to be some remix of the LP song, MAN what a Stupid thought it was. I went on to play that song that time and the unraveled a marvel of what music can be. That was the first time I had heard that captivating, soul-locking solo by David Gilmour. I heard many solos after that; this one has a special value in my mind.
Soon wiki came into picture and I went deep in the Floyd hole. Founded in 1965, even decades after inception the band does not fail to confound you. I got a collection of their works from my fellow engineering friends, and it begun. The wall was the first album I heard by them, I hadn’t been in the English music that much, let go rock, so the concept of the concept album was new and amazing to me. When I was posted to Chandigarh for training, I took many compressed songs in cell in my 128 MB memory card then. Floyd had a big share in it. After a hectic day, lying on the bed, I used to listen to high hopes, hey you, comfortably numb, another brick, and many more.
I realized how the band came to be, the members, mostly I had heard the songs from Roger Waters, and so I still don’t know much about the Syd Barret era. I tried a couple of times but with no avail. My mental grading still keeps David Gilmour above the two, followed by Waters and then Syd. David’s The Division Bell is one of my all time favorite album.
When I was searching for videos on YouTube, I came across the magnificent video of Comfortably numb, shot during the London leg of The Division Bell Tour. It was so jaw-dropping experience, that I till date envy the people who were present to attend that show in person. I fetched the ‘Remember that Night’ DVD of Gilmour solo, with Richard Wright. And recently I got hold of ‘P.U.L.S.E’ DVD. My long time dream has been fulfilled. I am yet to watch it completely and I discipline myself in watching just a couple of songs at a time, can’t afford finishing off such a marvelous epic in a frenzy, I want to cherish it.
Pink Floyd has given me much, I mean a LOT. Their philosophical lyrics, the analogical imagery, their supreme take on the environment. They are everywhere and so perfect, you can’t possible ask anything more. There are many commercially successful bands found their inspirations in works of Floyd, They created one whole Genre after them.
Richard Wright is no more. The keyboardist I loved, his compositions I cherished, in his ambient keys I drowned has left us. I am watching P.U.L.S.E now. I see David Gilmour’s fingers effortlessly moving on the fret-board. Combined with Nick Mason’s Drums and underlay the keys of Richard Wright Creating sound waves which water my eyes and touch my soul. The lights and larger than life charisma takes control of me, what else could I possibly ask for. May this never end, but alas the time shall take it from me, sooner or later…
“…And you run, and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinkingRacing around to come up behind you againThe sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re olderShorter of breath and one day closer to death…”
——– …………. m.e.r.C.u.r.y