At the end of the first instalment of this two-part blog, I briefly mentioned hearing a song which would be a great influence on my creativity. I first heard this song in December 1988, in Central London, whilst I was waiting for my brother outside the Virgin Megastore.
The track in question is ‘Shine on You Crazy Diamond’ by Pink Floyd. It starts off with a slow electric guitar solo, which builds up in complexity. Three minutes into the track, the drums kick in. It’s then a further five minutes before the vocals start, and the track later ends with a saxophone crescendo. In total, this blockbuster comes in at just over thirteen minutes long. Hearing this song, that day, was my introduction to a life-long love affair with Pink Floyd.
The song was on Floyd’s newly released ‘Delicate Sounds of Thunder’, a live double album for the lucrative Christmas market of that year. Originally, I owned the cassette version but now have upgraded by purchasing the recent remastered and extended box set, which also includes a DVD of the concert. Not that I’m one to be seduced by glossed up profiteering merchandise, of course…
‘Shine on You Crazy Diamond’ was written about one the band’s founding members, Syd Barrett. Let’s just say, in the late sixties there were plenty of illegal substances around. Whether Syd was on the eccentric side before he encountered LSD, is up for debate. However, if he wasn’t, extensive drug taking pushed him so far over the edge that he never recovered. The song first appeared on Floyd’s 1975 studio album ‘Wish You Were Here’. The track comprises nine parts, split into two groups of five and four segments, bookending three other tracks on the album.
Studying the creative world, including listening to the aforementioned song and band, has helped me realise that being eccentric (without the aid of drugs!) is something to celebrate rather than be ashamed of. Music genres such as Psychedelia, Progressive Rock, and ‘Ambient Dance’, featuring groups such as Pink Floyd, Genesis, and Primal Scream, respectively, have been an important backdrop to my life. I always have music playing, most particularly whenever I’m in the artistic groove (excuse the pun). This helps me to forget the everyday stresses and gives me a great feel-good factor.
In my next blog, I will be sharing something from a recent course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which I undertook earlier this year.