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Wish you were here!

"Wish You Were Here": is my favourite Pink Floyd album.

The story is famous: Syd Barrett, who founded Pink Floyd with Roger Waters, and who wrote their early material, became increasingly erratic, appearing on stage stoned, playing the same chord over and over etc, until one day the band decided to go on without him.

Some years later "Wish you were Here" was released, including such tracks as "Shine on you Crazy Diamond". It was clearly a dedication to Barrett, who had suffered a breakdown, but wasn't it also 'too little too late'?

Another dimension to the story is that Roger Waters had a monumental ego and it seems - in retrospect - that he always wanted to take over the band - in fact, he and Dave Gilmore got entangled in a bitter dispute ten or more years later over this exact issue. So maybe this album is tinged by the guilt of excessive ambition or maybe it represents a Hail Mary by Waters for the treacherous act of sacrificing his friend in the interest of fame and success.....

"Welcome to the Machine" seems like it might have been written yesterday. It's such a pertinent track to the dilemma of living today and so resonant for those who despair over the society we have created for our children.

I bought this record - the desirable Japanese pressing - for 300 yen on a Sunday in a small 2nd hand shop on Route 6 - which is the highway that connects Ibaraki to Tokyo. A friend drove me there; we bought some other trinkets at the same time. It was October or November and you could smell the aroma from the oil heaters that were commonly used to provide warmth at that time of year in Japan; the smoke from these heaters permeated the evening air as we drove home.

Edits: 07/16/17

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  Kimber Kable  

Topic - Wish you were here! - B.K. 22:06:48 07/16/17 (15)


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