Living with the Truth Stranger than Fiction This Is Not About What You Think Milligan and Murphy Making Sense

Sunday, 20 November 2016


My Favourite Axe

She said it was a nervous habit
and I said that was all right
we were entitled to nervous habits
and I took her to meet Eugene.

28 August 1989

I knew a guy once who told me Pink Floyd was the most popular band amongst prisoners, all prisoners and not only axe murderers. I’ve been unable to confirm that (Google, I am disappointed) but let’s just say it’s true; I can see it being true. The first time I remember hearing Pink Floyd was with my friend George in the early seventies. He had a job delivering milk I believe and every Friday evening went round the houses to collect the money. He took me out with him one Christmastime and happened to be playing Meddle and I remember being particularly impressed by the track ‘Echoes’. It was the start of a long love affair. God alone knows when I first heard ‘Careful with That Axe, Eugene’. Presumably on Ummagumma or maybe Relics.

In 1987 they released A Momentary Lapse of Reason which I played constantly and is the only album I’ve ever worn out although I came close in 1994 with The Division Bell. Over the years I’ve gone through phases and I’ll be honest I don’t listen to anything with lyrics these days—too hard to work over although I used to be able to—but if pressed I’d have to say Pink Floyd is still my favourite band. As for my favourite track? Well… Here’s one which was included in the film The Wall but wasn’t on the album. It finally appeared on the 2004 rerelease of The Final Cut and I always get shivers when I listen to it.


vito pasquale said...
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vito pasquale said...

To correct a typo. . . but leave a few in anyway. . .

My first Pink Floyd album was Ummagumma. I'd never heard any of their music but I loved that cover. It looked like something I'd like and I found that I mostly did. The album was in the rack at a local store and I remember visiting it a number of times before deciding to buy it. Since I probably listened to it from front to back when I got home, "Careful With That Axe Eugene" would have been the second song of theirs I'd ever heard. The album would have just come out. . . so we're talking 46 years ago. When I first heard "Several Species of Small Furry Animals. . ." I realized that I'd gotten in over my conceptual head.

I would never have gotten the Eugene reference except that you'd told us.

"When The Tigers Broke Free" will always bring tears to my eyes. For all that's been lost.

Jim Murdoch said...

I have more music available to me now that any human has a right to, Vito, and much of it I only ever listen to the once and that’s it. I forget to make a note of it and when I try to remember later that soundtrack or whatever I liked it’s gone. Pfft! But when we were teenagers LPs were a serious investment. Like you, I’d think long and hard about any purchase especially something that wasn’t being played daily on the radio; I was desperate to listen to bands like Can and Gong but who had the money? The only record shop in the town was located in a small room above a newsagent so you can imagine the selection available. Sure, they’d order in anything you asked for but that was you committed. And two quid was a lot then. I don’t have any of my old LPs left. I imagine I threw then out when I parted company with F. I tossed so much at that time—several carloads—and have regretted it ever since.

vito pasquale said...

Most of my LPs are gone as well. . . damaged in a basement incident. I still have all my 45s though and a few of the albums. . . No turntable though. Sadly it has perished. We had one record store in town that would place orders-- even for imports which was a huge deal for me and liking the bands from the UK who'd not (yet) released everything in the US in the late '60s / early 70s. Those records cost like mad but were worth every penny. Today's access to music is unparalleled. . . If I wanted to listen (again) to the first time I saw Yes all I'd have to do is google, Yes live gaelic park 1971 and there it is. . . I remember hearing Steve Howe's guitar lead for Your is No Disgrace and being amazed. And I still am, 45 years later, listening to it now. I can still hear the music bouncing off the apartment buildings that surrounded the park! Yes opened for Humble Pie and Mountain that night.

I used to keep all the ticket stubs from long ago but those went somewhere as well at some point. I even had a couple of tiny fiberglas shards from the gigantic set when they performed Tales From Topographic Oceans.

So it goes.

Jim Murdoch said...

I have mixed feelings about concerts, Vito. I have mixed feelings even when it comes to live albums with the exception of Deep Purple but I guess that’s because I heard live versions of some of their classic tracks before coming across studio versions and by that time the live versions had become my defaults. I listened to a live recording of Perfect Strangers a couple of weeks back, the whole album—one of the treats I’d saved for when Carrie was away—and it was okay but it wasn’t what I was used to. I think this is why I prefer poetry as a written form because it’s unalterable. As soon as you hear someone say the words they never say them right. That was another programme I watched over the last three weeks, Poets at the BBC. Most of the clips I’d seen many times—I must’ve watched the Monitor programme on Larkin three times in its entirety—but I can’t say I was impressed by any of the recitations. Stevie Smith’s rendition of ‘Not Waving but Drowning’ was particularly bad.

Ticket stubs I do have a few from plays I’ve seen and it’s quite possible I have the stubs from the only rock concert I ever went to—Blondie post-‘Maria’—but who knows where any of them are. Probably used as bookmarks.

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