The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older.
One could argue, the last pure Pink Floyd album was ‘The Dark Side of the Moon.’ Sure, the albums that came after had some bangers, but the band slowly devolved ‘Roger Water’s Therapy, The Musical.’ Don’t get me wrong, The Wall is an amazing piece of work, pop psychology and all.
‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ is just such a cohesive piece of work, more dreamscape than rock ’n roll album. The quiet heartbeat in every song carries you on a sonic journey on the life cycle.
As profound as ‘Mother’ can be on ‘The Wall’, for those of us with our own smothers, I mean, mothers, none of it comes close to ‘Time’, let alone ‘Great Gig In The Sky’ or ‘Us and Them’.
When I was in my twenties trying to recover from my childhood, The Wall spoke to me.
But, today, Dark Side’s cycle mirrors my own long journey. ‘The Wall’ had an impact, but ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ has constancy.
The equally fascinating ‘Animals’ and ‘Wish You Were Here’ are between those two. The late seventies were very good for Pink Floyd and would greatly influence any kid of the time. And of course, ‘The Wall’ hit me right between my young adult eyes when it came out. Even with that, I put on Dark Side when I wanted to chill.
‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ is arresting in its complex arrangements, hitting the same emotional notes whether it’s teenage angst or old man acceptance. Resonance is the key to great music. The pain of life is much better understood through the prism of time.
In all of this are the memories associated with music. They come back, thick like an encompassing fog.
Boston’s ‘More Than A Feeling’ is playing. We are at a restaurant in Cle Elum whose name I don’t remember. I am tapping my feet and humming. My dad yells at me to stop.
Aerosmith’s ‘Big Ten Inch Record’ is playing. I am at a party in Clackamas. It’s a rich girl’s house, and I am drunk. Very drunk. I want to go home, so I am stepping over what seems like scores of couples making out on the floor, calling for my ride. Definitely, not being cool.
Barenaked Ladies ‘If I Had $1000000’ is playing. I am in the car with my boys. The Hale-Bopp comet is clear in the cold winter sky. My oldest is probably eight or nine. It is dark and I have turned the car off. We listen, much to their delight. And to mine.
Captain & Tennilles’ ‘Come In From The Rain’ is playing. I am having my first slow dance with Diane. Looking back, it felt like a promise. She made good. I hope I did, too.
Pink Floyd’s ‘Time’ is playing. I am laying on some deep shag carpeting in some typical seventies living room, complete with one of those open conical fireplaces. I had never heard anything like it before. It was like it came from outer space. Music became a vision. Both the artists and my own.
I was mesmerized; it was the first time music opened my eyes to a bigger musical world.
My life will always have a soundtrack. Whose doesn’t? Behind it all, like that heartbeat strung throughout, The Dark Side of the Moon has been that musical constant. If I have to ride off into that sunset, queue and turn it up for me.
And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
If there is no room up on the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon