Last week Bob Boilen and I asked you to share your favorite memories of Pink Floyd and what the band's music has meant to you. It's one of those bands that stirs up powerful feelings. As Bob shares in his remembrance, Pink Floyd put on the best show he's ever seen — it was more than 40 years ago and Bob has seen A LOT of shows since then. For me it's largely a sonic experience. The mix of oblique poetry, mysterious sound effects and spacey jams just makes my ears stand at attention. And the band packed its songs with innumerable musical easter eggs — lyrical or audio clues to deeper narratives that beg to be discovered and mulled over. It's not really a band you dance to, or something you put on the background. Pink Floyd's music is a conversation with your brain.
Below you'll find a few of the listener stories we liked the most, from one fan who got to see a Pink Floyd concert for free after delivering "some combustibles" to the band, to one whose entire life took a different direction because of Pink Floyd's music. Not all of them mention drugs.
You can listen to each listener tell their story with the audio links, or read the transcripts.
"One of my favorite Pink Floyd memories is when I got Live At Pompei on vinyl and I'm playing 'Careful With That Axe, Eugene,' and I have these two ball pythons sitting in a tank next to me and they're about three feet long each. And as soon as they start whispering and saying, 'Careful with that axe, Eugene!' the snakes just start coming out of nowhere. And they just start slithering all around the cage to the song. They were definitely going to the beat of the song. It was one of the weirdest, craziest moments ever and I wasn't even on anything. And usually you are when you listen to Pink Floyd. But this moment was quite amazing because of that. And it was just wild. They were like snake charmers in the room... but they weren't. It was very cool. 'Careful with that axe, Eugene.'" -- Anonymous listener
"Pink Floyd's 'Wish You Were Here' was the first song when it came on the radio I recognized and remembered. Especially the part that says 'We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl.' That part for some reason stuck out to me even at that age. And I have never forgotten that. Fast forward to when I'm in high school. I'd been dating this person for about four years and it ended up ending really badly. And it was a horrible experience. And music really helped me get out of this deep depression and sadness that I was felling at that time. Especially Pink Floyd's Momentary Lapse Of Reason. There's a song on there called 'On The Turning Away.' Every lyric resonated with me, especially the part that goes, (singing) 'And the words that they say, which we won't understand, don't accept that what's happening is just a case of other's suffering. Or you'll find that you're joining in the turning away.' It just fit perfectly with what I was going through and actually made room in my mind for hopefulness and brought me out of that place I was in." -- Corey B, Texas
"This was the early '90s, so this is the peak of when the band members were feuding. And if you were a true Pink Floyd fan you had to choose a side. Was Roger's Pink Floyd the best? Was Dave's Pink Floyd the best? Was Syd's Pink Floyd really the best? Well I agreed with most people and really thought Dave and Roger together were the best era of Pink Floyd. But I lean toward Roger and that had a lot to do with how much I loved The Final Cut. So I was still collecting tapes when [Roger's solo album] Amused To Death was scheduled to be released. So I went out and got myself a CD player and bought Amused To Death and unboxed it in the fancy long-box with the ominous picture of a monkey staring at a TV with that one big eye staring back.
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