Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

PinkFloydAnimalTourTee

Sit back down you! If you are drinking my beer, you are going to have to listen to my “old man” music. Forget that “hippy-hoppy” crap for a few minutes, and learn some music history.

This is “Dogs” by Pink Floyd, from their great 1977 LP “Animals”. The record was a concept album (slight sarcastic inflection in Denny’s voice). Each song title describes a different domestic animal. The central theme is that people often are like the animals. Each describes some of the worst aspects of humanity. People might be greedy pigs, are often docile sheep, and may live in a dog-eat-dog world.

You are going to need the lyric sheet. I am posting the full lyrics at the end of this post, if you want to view them while you listen to this SEVENTEEN-MINUTE PROGRESSIVE ROCK SONG.

Oh, right you use your phone for everything. Try to follow along.  The song is about how people act like aggressive dogs. The song is directed at businessmen in particular. My favorite lyrical part captures very clearly how I view the cutthroat world of business.

After a while, you can work on points for style.
Like the club tie, and the firm handshake,
A certain look in the eye and an easy smile.

You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to,
So that when they turn their backs on you,
You’ll get the chance to put the knife in.

The song then describes one unlucky company man who dedicates his life to pursuing money, but in the end has accumulated nothing of true value.  Near the end he faces disillusionment with the corporate world, and how one must act in order to survive in it. The ruthless businessman must face death, realizing that he is unloved, and has wasted his life in the pursuit of financial gain. Someday you will understand the meaning of the line: “it’s too late to lose the weight you used to need to throw around.”

I can remember seeing Pink Floyd performing this live on their 1977 tour. During this song, the band had inflated blimps which hovered over the stage. The blimps were of such as objects as a car, a TV set, refrigerator, etc. All of these are objects which the protagonist sacrificed his life for.

baloons.inflatable family

Oh, you want to hear more of my “war stories” from rock life in the 1970s do you? Let me tell you a little more about the Pink Floyd 1977 tour. The band would only play five cities in North America. I saw them in Cleveland, Ohio.

It was a hot and humid summer day. Fortunately it was partly cloudy, thus I avoided a lot of sunburn …

BB-Pink-Floyd-1977-Cleveland-Stadium-admission-ticket

“General Admission” – meaning you have to fight drug addicts for a place on the baseball field close to the stage.

80,000 potheads filled the old Cleveland Municipal Stadium. I may have been the ONLY CLEAR-HEADED person in the entire stadium.

I hate marijuana. It never made me “high” — just stupid.  It was tough growing up in the 1970s when so many of my peers were using weed to attain euphoria. Everyone else would mellow out and feel great. Marijuana turns me into a paranoid psychopath. Lucky you if you can use it as a euphoric … er … I mean, to treat your glaucoma.   Luckily I attended this drug fest accompanied only by my stoner friends and a gallon jug of green Gatorade. (My anti-drug stance will have to wait for another post. I know, I’m a hypocrite because I drink like a tree). I don’t like drug culture, but I love the “altered state” which Pink Floyd transported me too. Hypnotic, perhaps ethereal, but with a small sense of underlying dread.

Denny is NOT making this up: To this day I can remember how the show opened. The crowd was waiting for the show, when all of a sudden a 747 jet airliner flies DIRECTLY OVER THE STADIUM. I mean it flew just above the top of the structure. No one had ever seen anything like it. In my minds eye, I can still remember … at least I think I do … maybe I embellish it now … seeing people inside the plane WAVING OUT THE WINDOW. That is HOW CLOSE the band plane flew to the top of the stadium. It was very quick, and as far as I know, there is no photographic evidence of the flight.Today (post- 9/11) of course, you could never get an airplane that close to that big of a crowd. I would find out later that Pink Floyd was cited for the FAA infraction.

The stoned crowd was of course freaked out. While we sat there all agog, no one noticed that the band had already taken the stage and was already playing “Sheep”. This was a great practical joke on a crowd that was already hallucinating. I guess we really were all easily manipulated sheep … good one guys!

Find the young Denny.

Find the young Denny.

Oh, back to “Dogs” … there is that one part right after the “dragged down by the stone” lyric where the word “stone” is repeated, then phased-synthesized so that the word slowly becomes a sound instead of a word. It is a good example of the dreamlike steam-of-consciousness aspect of Pink Floyd music. Also, if you are listening to this — your dog may come running into the room, as the song also has some real dog-barking, and synthesized dog sounds. Legend has it — there are also sounds which only a dog can hear are included. Test it out for yourself.

What do you mean it is depressing? Of course it is dark … it is ART! A lot of Pink Floyd is kind of depressing … and kind of scary. Like a bad dream.

It was a great show. The band played the full “Animals” and “Wish-You-Were-Here” albums. The WYWH set had a big-screen animated movie to accompany it. I once saw a song from it on VH1, but I have been looking forever for the full movie. Like a lot of PF, it will put you into a trance.

Unfortunately, people CAN be animals. I saw a lot of bad behavior. Plenty of mean dogs, sloppy pigs and clueless sheep. One of my friends had his pockets picked and lost his ticket, There was a lot of fighting between the druggies of course. The police were harassing a lot of the stoners, but there is no way that they could arrest all 80,000, so they had to let a lot of drug use slide.

I was very saddened to see that inebriated fuckwads kept trying to take down the animal balloons as they flew over the crowd. Jerks were grabbing the tethers. At one point, the show had to stop so that an announcement could be made to stop pulling down the pig.

REFERENCES:

See this radio station blog for further description, but it looks like they got it mostly right.

http://wncx.cbslocal.com/2014/06/19/pink-floyd-makes-history-at-world-series-of-rock-77/

Other blogger’s hazy memories can also be read here.

http://www.pinkfloydonline.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=12468

Facebook (ugh) has a page dedicated to the 1977 tour. Some Clevo photos may be seen there.

https://www.facebook.com/PinkFloydAnimalsTour1977

Some historic PF photos are also observable here.

http://concertstagedesign.blogspot.com/2011/01/pink-floyd-in-flesh-tour-1977.html

Don’t pull down the Pig!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEB2P13T3tM

DOGS (Written by David Gilmour and Roger Waters)

You gotta be crazy, you gotta have a real need.
You gotta sleep on your toes, and when you’re on the street,
You gotta be able to pick out the easy meat with your eyes closed.
And then moving in silently, down wind and out of sight,
You gotta strike when the moment is right without thinking.

And after a while, you can work on points for style.
Like the club tie, and the firm handshake,
A certain look in the eye and an easy smile.
You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to,
So that when they turn their backs on you,
You’ll get the chance to put the knife in.

You gotta keep one eye looking over your shoulder.
You know it’s going to get harder, and harder, and harder as you
get older.
And in the end you’ll pack up and fly down south,
Hide your head in the sand,
Just another sad old man,
All alone and dying of cancer.

And when you loose control, you’ll reap the harvest you have sown.
And as the fear grows, the bad blood slows and turns to stone.
And it’s too late to lose the weight you used to need to throw
around.
So have a good drown, as you go down, all alone,
Dragged down by the stone… (stone … stone …)
[instrumental]
I gotta admit that I’m a little bit confused.
Sometimes it seems to me as if I’m just being used.
Gotta stay awake, gotta try and shake off this creeping malaise.
If I don’t stand my own ground, how can I find my way out of this
maze?

Deaf, dumb, and blind, you just keep on pretending
That everyone’s expendable and no-one has a real friend.
And it seems to you the thing to do would be to isolate the winner
And everything’s done under the sun,
And you believe at heart, everyone’s a killer.

Who was born in a house full of pain.
Who was trained not to spit in the fan.
Who was told what to do by the man.
Who was broken by trained personnel.
Who was fitted with collar and chain.
Who was given a pat on the back.
Who was breaking away from the pack.
Who was only a stranger at home.
Who was ground down in the end.
Who was found dead on the phone.
Who was dragged down by the stone.

——————–

Regarding the “Animals” album: I wondered why there were not more songs about more animals. If people behave like Sheep, Pigs and Dogs, then why not “Monkeys”? People basically are like monkeys, so why not another animal song. Yes, humanity is often ape-like. We are basically “monkeys” … just a bunch of wild monkeys. Just a bunch of masturbating, feces-throwing, infant cannibalizing  monkeys.

Starlight: … 1977? (Denny slaps forehead).

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Comments on: "“Just another sad old man, all alone and dying of cancer.”" (4)

  1. (comment edited)

    Like

  2. Thanks for your comment David.
    Indeed, “pretentious” is progressive rock’s middle name!
    : )

    Like

  3. “Oh by the way … which one is Pink?”

    Record Industry Weasels got to me again! Oh let me go get my mop and pail. I need to clean up this scat job left by the record company.

    Like

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