Thursday, May 14, 2015

Seclusion Within THE WALL

This month’s vinyl has to be chalked up to my brother's bad influence, considering he was letting me listen to such things when I was probably around five or six. Granted, given his extensive love for hair metal bands, Pink Floyd wasn't the worst thing in the world, but I'm pretty sure I was a bit too young to understand that messages littered through The Wall.

Even still, I remember one of the family road trips, when we had this old Toyota van. We took that thing everywhere, from Texas and back to California and back on multiple occasions. My parents would pack everything underneath the seats, then lay down the middle seat so they could spread a rollaway mattress across the back, creating a giant bed. So instead of seats and seatbelts, we slept across America to all manner of misadventures.

One year in particular, when I was quite young, they'd made me my own little Christopher cave in the very back of the van, in the "trunk" area, where I hung out and listened to my brother's cassette of this album one too many times. In particular, I remember rewinding and listening to “Goodbye, Blue Sky” over and over and over again. I don't know if it was the simplicity of the guitar or what exactly it was that struck my little heartstrings, but I loved this song. Who knows, maybe it was simply the voice of the little girl at the beginning? I couldn't tell you then--or now--why I kept listening to this song. Regardless, I listened and listened until my mother found out, freaked out, then wouldn't let my brother have his tape back until he promised not to let me listen to it any more.

As I’ve grown older and have owned my own CD and MP3 versions of the album, I’ve fallen more in love with the story and themes throughout--”The Trial” becoming one of my favorites on the album, especially given it’s follow-up of “Outside the Wall.” Of course, I love many of the classics as well, “Comfortably Numb” and “Another Brick in the Wall Pt. II”, but others like “Mother” and “Hey You” have worked their way through system, and “Goodbye Cruel World” still breaks my heart in its own way.

I’ve been wanting this on vinyl for some time--even if it is one of those albums that everyone into vinyl wants. But it is always so expensive, including the repressings. And while I didn’t find an original pressing or any such thing, I was able to track down an older version in gorgeous shape, and I couldn’t be happier. Such a wonderful album with gorgeous artwork and a timeless message. It doesn’t get much better.

And while I don’t know where my parenting strategies will come from, I feel like there will be worse things in the world than discovering my hypothetical six-year-old holed up in a tiny sanctuary, rocking out to The Wall.

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