To be an American teenaged male and to be infatuated with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon seems inevitable. According to Wikipedia, it is the third best selling album of all time, which must mean somebody is still buying it in order to get loaded, lie in the dark and listen, just listen. I myself was 17 the month it premiered and I got it as a graduation present from high school. I thought it was perfect; I am slightly embarrassed to say how very much I still am attached to it.
The summer after high school, when the album and I were both very new, I took a road trip with my brother Ed from Houston to Seattle. He had a van he’d upholstered in baby blue shag carpet and installed a top-of-the-line 8 track stereo (it was the 70s darling, bear with me.) In an attempt to make good time, he drove though a big chunk of Texas and then handed the wheel over to me late that night in far west Texas and pointed me down Interstate 10. The eight track was positioned, for reasons that elude me, behind the driver’s seat so you couldn’t reach it to change tapes while driving. Eight track tapes are, or were, a loop; they didn’t end, they just started over. I roared off into the desert with Dark Side humming along and kept it on all the way through Texas and New Mexico while Ed snored away on the back. By the time I finally surrendered near the Arizona state line, I was hallucinating, but I knew every word on that album. I still do.
Thirty five years later, thanks to the wonder of I Tunes, I have stumbled across a most amusing album of solo piano covers of Pink Floyd songs by some group or misrceant called Vitamin Piano Series. It’s totally charming with many of the songs culled from Dark Side and most of them with an odd twist, like a jazzy Money or a even more poignant Shine on You Crazy Diamond. Sometimes I wonder if I’m still in the van,hallucinating. It could happen.