Monthly Archives: September 2011

Why Pink Floyd? The Wall

Cover of "The Wall"
Cover of The Wall

Why Pink Floyd? week culminates with my thoughts and observations about The Wall.

The Late Night with Jimmy Fallon’s Why Pink Floyd? Week ends tonight in spectacular fashion with Pearl Jam doing “Mother” from The Wall.

I find The Wall to be the creative apex of Pink Floyd’s collective musical genius. It also happens to be the split in the nuclei for Pink Floyd. The Wall is very much Roger Water’s baby, as it is his story.

The stress and strain on the band members during The Wall’s recording sessions are well documented. I won’t take the time here to get into the dynamics that took place. When The Wall collapses into rubble and the dust clears we witness a very different Pink Floyd standing in our midst.

I have always felt it was unfortunate that Richard Wright was forced to resign from the group by Roger Waters. I love his signature keyboard sound. He created a rich fullness with his textures of layered sound. In my estimation he took the Hammond B3 organ to amazing new heights. Of all the members of Pink Floyd I witnessed at The Dark Side of the Moon concert in 1973, Richard Wright organ playing etched himself the firmest in the my memories.

Much has been written and analyzed about The Wall. Certainly The Wall has taken on a life of it’s own over time. I am constantly intrigued by the dimensional variations The Wall has given us over the decades since it went on stream in 1979.

First as a limited series of live concerts in 1980 that created a major stir because a cardboard wall was constructed in front of the band, walling them in and then, being torn down at the end.

Next The Wall was turned into a film directed by Alan Parker and was released in 1982. The Wall broke new barriers with multimedia, as recorded film footage with actors was interspersed with wild animations from Gerald Scarfe (which we first saw on the double album cover art and as part of the live show). I a liken Scarfe’s graphic art to Ralph Steadman’s manic art.

The Wall was later performed and filmed in Berlin as a celebration for the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. Roger Waters engaged producer Tony Hollingsworth to create The Wall – Live in Berlin, at a location once occupied by part of the Berlin Wall. It featured such guest stars as Rick DankoLevon Helm and Garth Hudson of The BandThe HootersVan Morrison,Sinéad O’ConnorCyndi LauperMarianne FaithfullScorpionsJoni MitchellPaul CarrackThomas Dolby and Bryan Adams, along with actors Albert FinneyJerry Hall,Tim Curry and Ute Lemper. This concert features my favorite collaborative edition of “Comfortably Numb” sung with a fierce passion by Van Morrison.

File:RWTheWall90.jpg

Roger Waters has been touring steadily with The Wall Live since 2010 . He brings The Wall Live to North America Stadiums (including Yankee Stadium) in the second quarter of 2012.

Roger Waters: The Wall Live

An effort was made to produce and bring The Wall to Broadway. The closest that came to realization was a two week off-Broadway production in Boston, Massachusetts in 1996.

The Why Pink Floyd? Immersion Box Set will become available on February 28, 2012. This will complete the Why Pink Floyd? product distribution campaign.

The Wall - Immersion Box Set

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Why Pink Floyd? Wish You Were Here

Cover of "Wish You Were Here"
Cover of Wish You Were Here

Why Pink Floyd? week continues on Thursday with a look see at Pink Floyd’s follow up recording to Dark Side of the Moon. Wish You Were Here was released on September 12, 1975 (36 years ago). Richard Wright and David Gilmour have each declared Wish You Were Here their favorite Pink Floyd album.

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon honors Why Pink Floyd? week with country star Dierks Bentley playing the title track to Wish You Were Here.

I first heard Wish You Were Here at the WNEW-FM Christmas Concert at the Westchester Theater (The concert starred Renaissance, Janis Ian and The Stanky Brown Group). It was played extensively in between stage changes for Renaissance who was the headlining act. I was surprised to hear the enthusiastic crowd response to the music as it wafted through the concert hall. I developed an immediate connection with Welcome To The Machine” which to me has always signified our society’s interdependence upon technology. I am a 30+ year technology professional and “Welcome To The Machine” speaks to the engineer/designer I’ve become.

Wish You Were Here - Experience Version

Why Pink Floyd? Up through Dark Side of the Moon

Why Pink Floyd? week continues as well on the Music Of Our Heart Blog. Today’s post focuses on several aspects of Pink Floyd that help answer Why Pink Floyd? for me.

Why Pink Floyd week on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon features MGMT performing “Lucifer Sam” off The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.

1) My first lengthy encounter with the music of Pink Floyd was in the 1970  film Zabriskie Point by Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni. Pink Floyd’s music was the most memorable feature of this surrealistic movie. I made a special point of seeing this film based upon an article I read about Antonioni and Pink Floyd in Rolling Stone magazine. I came away from this movie with the visual nature of Pink Floyd firmly planted in my psyche.

File:1ZabriskiePoint.jpg

2) My next intervention with Pink Floyd was the album Meddle which I was introduced to again as a music backdrop at a fellow college student’s place. “Echoes” was the selection on Meddle that intrigues me with its evolving dynamics to this day.

3) My next visual experience was the 1972 film, Pink Floyd: Live at  Pompeii. This was a surround sound concert of Pink Floyd filmed without an audience on the floor of an amphitheatre in Pompeii. There were many interesting and novel cinematic techniques. You were taken to the heart of the sun by the director, film crew and Pink Floyd. I saw this in the movie house where the large screen amplified the sound and video experience.

Dark Side of the Moon

I was fortunate to see Pink Floyd with my fiance’ Rosemary in April 1973 at the Palace Theater in Waterbury. I purchased the $6.00 tickets to this concert at Rubber Match Waterbed in New Haven, a Ticketmaster ticket outlet (remember those…). The concert was oversold and we ended sitting on the stairs in balcony that night. I am very proud to say I  saw Pink Floyd perform Dark Side of the Moon on March 18th, 1973 the day after it hit the U.S. charts. As everyone knows Dark Side of the Moon spent 741 weeks (15 years) on the charts from 1973 to 1988. This ranks as one of my top three concerts of all time out of more than 400+ concerts I have attended in 42 years!

I purchased a copy the first week it was released in March of 1973 at Cutlers in New Haven. I actually got in trouble with the WNHU-FM station manager because I played it from beginning to end one day during our July 1973 début week. I had violated the playlist policy that was in force at the station at the time. (3 songs from the A list, 2 songs from the B list every hour…) Having seen Pink Floyd perform Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety four months earlier I just had to repeat that experience for my listening audience.

Why Pink Floyd? Product Day in North America

What an exciting week  for Pink Floyd fans and music collectors. The Why Pink Floyd?  EMI/Capitol sales and distribution campaign commences today for North America. All the studio albums are newly remastered including unreleased music from the archives & collectors’ box sets.

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon is celebrating Why Pink Floyd? all week. Tonight’s show features Roger Waters and The Foo Fighters as his backing band performing, “in the Flesh” from The Wall.

The first phase of  newly remastered Pink Floyd recordings includes:

  1. 14 Remastered ‘Discovery Edition’ Studio Albums on CD and digital download.
  2. A Discovery Box Set featuring all 14 remastered studio albums.
  3. The Dark Side Of The Moon – Immersion, Experience, Discovery & Vinyl Editions.
Tomorrow I will share my reflections about how I got into Pink Floyd in 1970,  the films Zabriskie Point and Pink Floyd: Live At Pompeii (1972), Meddle (1972) and Dark Side of the Moon.

Why Pink Floyd? Week on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Image via Wikipedia

Every night this week the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show will be celebrating the Why Pink Floyd? campaign of 2011 remasters and collectors’ editions.

Expect to see The Shins and  Nick Mason tonight.

Tuesday night musical guests will be Foo Fighters and Roger Waters.

Wednesday evening features MGMT.

Thursday’s show stars Dierks Bentley.

Friday will showcase Pearl Jam.

Today the pig was floated above Battersea Power Station in L0ndon much to the delight of commuters and fans all over the planet.

Highlights of the Emerson, Lake and Palmer, 40th Anniversary Reunion Concert DVD

We watched the Concert One Limited, Emerson Lake & Palmer, 40th Anniversary Reunion Concert DVD the other night. It was filmed at the High Voltage Festival, on July 25th, 2010 at Victoria Park in London, England.

We found the live concert video to be an exciting visual experience. Rent or own it to learn more.

SuperHeavy

I was leafing through the September 29th issue of Rolling Stone Magazine yesterday when I happened upon the article, “Meet SuperHeavy, Mick Jagger’s Wild New Crew” by Neil Strauss. I was invigorated by what I discovered about Dave Stewart’s vision realized.

SuperHeavy is a collaboration starring (Left to Right) Damian “Gong” MarleyDave Stewart (Co-Producer), Mick Jagger, A. R. Rahman (He scored the smash film Slumdog Millionaire) and Joss Stone.

Frank W. Ockenfels

I gave the CD SuperHeavy an extended listen on Spotify this morning. I love what I heard and felt. The melting pot of rhythms, ideas, cultures, and raw energy works cohesively. The 18 months these artists have spent working on this recording is a testament to their belief in each other and the music they are turning out.

Give SuperHeavy a view and listen to the entire recording on Spotify. You’ll be grooving in your chair and elsewhere.

Happy 85th Birthday John Coltrane – A Love Supreme

A photograph of the icon of John Coltrane at t...
Image via Wikipedia

Today, Friday September 23, 2011, we celebrate the 85th Birthday of John Coltrane.

As a Sirius/XM subscriber and rabid jazz music fan, I am enthralled that Sirius XM is offering a four-day music tribute to John Coltrane. It’s sympatico that Carlos Santana is hosting this event. Carlos Santana is a subject matter authority on Coltrane. He is directly responsible for expanding my field of vision for  John Coltrane’s music. I welcome the further education of gaining valuable insights from Carlos Santana, Cindy Blackman-Santana, Ravi Coltrane and others during the width of this broadcast.

I have attended 16 Santana concerts and it never fails to touch my spiritual core when the Santana Band performs, “A Love Supreme”.  I lift my arms in praise of God during the chanting of this hymn. It is a magnificent way to thank God for the gifts of spirituality and healing power of music channeled by John Coltrane and Santana.

I highly recommend the book A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltrane’s Signature Album by Ashley Kahn. It is the definitive work about jazz’s most definitive recording.

If you study the book site Web link closely you will see that there was an event at Joe’s Pub in NY City on November 12, 2002 which was a tribute to the reissue of the Deluxe Edition of A Love Supreme. We attended that event and I was very honored to meet Alice Coltrane, Ravi Coltrane and Ashley Kahn that evening.

I felt the most wonderful spiritual vibe when I shook Alice Coltrane’s outstretched hand backstage. She had not seen the CD packaging before I asked her to sign it for me. She was so pleased to have a physical copy as she shared it happily with her family and friends. Then she asked me, “May I borrow your silver pen to sign other autographs? I said, “Certainly, Alice”. She made a special point of saying to me, “Do come back for it in a little while.” Which I did. Her smile was so radiant, I still beam thinking of her aura.

Carlos Santana Hosts John Coltrane Radio

John ColtraneIn celebration of the legendary jazz saxophonist and composer’s 85th birthday, John Coltrane Radio airs on Real Jazz from Thursday, September 22, the day before Coltrane’s 85th birthday, at 9 am ET through Sunday, September 25 on channel 67.
John Coltrane Radio will be hosted by Grammy® Award-winning musician and Coltrane aficionado, Carlos Santana, as well as his wife, musician Cindy Blackman-Santana and Coltrane’s son, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, featuring the music spanning the jazz legend’s career, including his over 100 albums, performances and music from his years playing with Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk.
The channel features performances by the Asian-American Jazz Orchestra and Devin Philips recorded at the Portland Jazz Festival, as well as a special tribute performance by Roy Haynes and His Fountain of Youth Band recorded at the SiriusXM studios in New York. Additionally, you’ll hear musicians such as Roy Haynes, Hugh Masekela and Stanley Clarke and share personal stories and memories about Coltrane.

Facebook Music Launches with Spotify! Yessssssssssssssssssss

Today, September the 22nd, is a big day for everyone who loves music.

I second that emotion with the music of our heart! Media share away 🙂

The members of R.E.M. end the “band”. Stay tuned for what’s next :)

R.E.M. published their “collective” and individual sentiments about ending R.E.M. as a “band” on their Web site today. I wasn’t surprised to see their announcement when the news appeared in my Facebook stream. I have anticipated a major fundamental change from the members of R.E.M. ever since they released Collapse Into Now. 

Personally as a 30+ year fan, I am grateful for their music and activism accomplishments. I am genuinely excited for Michael Stipe, Peter Buck and Mike Mills individual future growth however they each define that.

R.E.M.’s Collective Statement

“To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening.” R.E.M.

As a couple who have been very moved by your art,  we extend our deepest regards to all the members of R.E.M., past and present, for making the music of our heart enriched and full.

You have taught us that:

We offer in return with affection (taking liberties with one of your lyric stanzas…)

It’s the beginning of their next phase, as they grow it

And I feel fine!