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Small Widget Spot
September 24, 2009

wish they were here

wish they were here

pink floyd, that is. the floyd were one of my favorite bands growing up…and i’d still put at least three of their albums in my top 100 list if i were ever forced to make one. but the ‘real pink floyd’ disappeared a long time ago in a huge explosion of acrimony between roger waters and the rest of the band. david gilmour tried to keep the pig afloat, so to speak, through a couple of mediocre albums and bloated tours. waters, on the other hand, kept the creative juices flowing with some occasionally inspired solo albums, but the phrase “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” has never been more apt than when describing pink floyd.

one of my greatest regrets in a life full of amazing live music memories is not seeing pink floyd in their heyday. back in 1977, as an already-music-obsessed 13-year-old, i was living in atlanta, georgia. in the span of one week, both led zeppelin and pink floyd rolled through town, both playing at the omni. the pink floyd show, however, was on a school night. and as cool as my mom was back then, there were a few rules. and late-night concerts on school nights were generally verboten. led zeppelin, on the other hand, were playing on a saturday night. so i got to see the mighty zep, but missed out on floyd’s “in the flesh” tour in support of the album “animals.” in hindsight, i’d have to say i made the right choice. word on the street was that pink floyd got booed for not playing loud enough, and waters’ bitterness toward rowdy audiences was what inspired “the wall.”

all of which makes for a rather lengthy intro to the video posted below. last tuesday, i went to the beautiful fox theater in oakland to see the australian pink floyd show (TAPFS). now, i’m not normally one for ‘tribute’ bands. but after discovering the truly amazing dark star orchestra a couple of years ago, i’m no longer a dismissive snob. well, about tribute bands anyway. so after reading and hearing about TAPFS for a couple of years, i thought “what the hell.” sometimes a ‘have a cigar’ is just a ‘have a cigar’.

i have to say that i came away mightily impressed. i don’t think i’d go see them again; for my money, it’s not that kind of a band or show (though i met a few people there who had seen them multiple times). but for a one-off, it was an incredible night of music. a live greatest hits, if you will. highlights for me were the selections from “animals” (“pigs (three different ones)” and “sheep”), a stunning “shine on you crazy diamond (parts I-V),” and stirring versions of earlier works “set the controls for the heart of the sun,” and “one of these days.”

these days i’m carrying around a flip HD video camera to record small snippets of shows. i managed to keep the arm steady for the entire performance of “time,” and thought i’d share it with my faithful big micro readers. (all five of you.) enjoy.

a business-owner/husband/father/musician/voice actor living in san francisco with a wife and three boys


  1. Leslie Lagomarsino
    September 27, 2009

    Funny, I was considering going to that show. Maybe next time. By the way, David Gilmour’s “On An Island” is awesome, as is he. Saw his show at the Paramount 2 years ago. Did you? Loved it. Prefer his voice to Roger’s. On that note, have a great day.
    Hi to the fam,

  2. Enrico Limcaco
    June 2, 2010

    Thanks John, you just reminded me how much I loved the Wish You Were Here album. Or was it an EP? I owned it on MiniDisc :)

  3. Nick
    September 21, 2010

    You might be interested in a postscript to your story. Remaining truly authentic to Pink Floyd, TAPFS has recently disintegrated in spectacular style, with most of its members decamping to form The British Pink Floyd Show, leaving TAPFS to regroup with new musicians and crew. Rog couldn’t have done it better.

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