Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Summer '68

Aside from his backing vocals on "Echoes" and "Us and Them", my favorite Rick Wright (RIP) moment is the song "Summer '68" from one of my favorite Pink Floyd albums, Atom Heart Mother.

Would you like to say something before you leave 
Perhaps you'd care to state exactly how you feel 
We said good-bye before we said hello 
I hardly even like you, I shouldn't care at all 
We met just six hours ago, the music was too loud 
From your bed I gained a day and lost a bloody year 
And I would like to know 
How do you feel, how do you feel, how do you feel? 

Not a single word was said, delights still without fears 
Occasionally you showed a smile but what was the need 
I felt the cold far too soon - the wind of '95 
My friends are lying in the sun, I wish that I was there 
Tomorrow brings another town and another girl like you 
Have you time before you leave to greet another man 
Just you let me know 
How do you feel, how do you feel, how do you feel? 

Good-bye to you 
Charlotte Kringles too 
I've had enough for one day

Of course, Rick Wright having parted will now join Syd Barrett and play "See Emily Play" and "Remember a Day" at the Great Gig in the Sky. The saddest realization is that he passed having suffered from cancer.

  He was the harmonic backbone of Pink Floyd whose gentle piano and voice was an added layer to Syd or David Gilmour vocals. The Dark Side of the Moon benefitted from his ethereal voice and thoughtful keyboard playing. Earlier songs like "Theme from More" and "Sysyphus" (from Ummagumma) pointed to everything that would follow, whether it was the low-budget orchestration in Obscured by Clouds, Dark Side or the synth themes in Wish You Were Here. And let me not forget all of the fantastic playing in the unreleased album Zabriskie Point Sessions (some of which appeared on the soundtrack record of that film), which included "The Violent Theme"; though not used in the film this song became a basis for other themes that Pink Floyd later wrote including "Us and Them".
  Rick Wright, we're sorry to see you go.

This is a clip of Pink Floyd performing "Atom Heart Mother" suite back in the 70's. To me 'Floyd will always be this spacy blues band with albums like More, Ummagumma and Atom Heart Mother. Anything else after Obscured By Clouds (beginning with Dark Side) is just the hits. They were good hits, but they had obviously evolved into something else...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Aside from the Usual, What I've Been Listening To or Watching

It's been a while since the last update. Hopefully the other blog has been a stop-gap in between this and that. I was occupied by everything else in my life which can often equal to nothing, but also including my vacation, work, work, writing something or another, spending a modicum of time with close friends and family. It's all a whirlwind.
Lately we've been on a Ben Gazzara kick, a continuing hangover from our previous Marlon Brando/Clive Owen/Robert Mitchum/Lee Marvin hangovers. (Of course The Wild One also stars Lee Marvin so it's like two for one).

This month's kick is Ben Gazzara, known for such films as Killing of Chinese Bookie, Tales of Ordinary Madness and Roadhouse; also Buffalo 66, Capone,

and The Big Lubowski. We viewed Killing of a Chinese Bookie and Tales. Who could imagine Gazzara playing Charles Bukowski? Director Marco Ferreri, that's who...

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie was everything I would want from John Cassavetes: grit, authentic sets, hand-held work, rambling plot. Somewhere there is an attempt at a noir plot, but it comes off very anti-noir, like Gloria, but 110% better. Don't believe anything you hear about The Killing of a Chinese Bookie. Just see it for yourself. It may bore you, it may make you laugh, it may make you cry, it may arouse you. It includes some of the most bizarre striptease scenes ever filmed.

So for Robert Mitchum it was Thunder Road, Cape Fear and Night of the Hunter. With Marvin it was Point Blank and Prime Cuts. For Clive Owen it was Chancer, Children of Men, Sin City and Inside Man (which is rumored to have a sequel in the works).
For Marlon Brando it was the usual: On the Waterfront, The Wild One and The Fugitive Kind (my second-favorite after On the Waterfront).

In the mail this week from Greencine: Orson Welles' Don Quixote'. Of course this will start an Orson Welles kick...