Tuesday, July 23, 2024

The beautiful remains of Pink Floyd

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No, there’s no little pile of Rogerwatersian spit. We searched. No jar, like Einstein’s brain in formalin. No cryogenic throat clearing either: we are not at Walt Disney, who was clean of his person at the time of freezing his secretions for eternity. And no one dared ask Roger Waters or his victim for a reconstruction of the crime.

Especially since the story has changed the culprit. As we did not fail to specify on Thursday morning during the press conference where the Pink Floyd exhibition was presented to the media. Their Mortal Remains is about that poor hypersensitive Waters, exasperated by rambunctious fans, who allegedly gagged and decided to spit on a fan, the infamous time. At the Olympic Stadium in Montreal. July 6, 1977. In front of 80,000 spectators drowned in the sound porridge projected by the giant amplifiers. “Roger has lost his mind”, sums up Nick Mason himself, a real Pink Floyd drummer and the group’s official consultant in the organization of the exhibition.

A lasting relationship with Montreal

Much is made of this “historic moment” in the presentation, as if Montreal should gorge itself with pride for having inspired Waters with the image of a wall between the public and him to the point of erecting the double album The Wall. . Still happy that Michael Cohl, producer of the exhibition, and Guy Laforce, of Arsenal contemporary art, have taken care to recall that the links between Pink Floyd and Montreal span five decades, starting with the CEPSUM show, November 9, 1971: a souvenir bag given to journalists provides the complete list of the group’s appearances in town. Note, when Nick Mason is asked what is his best memory of Montreal, it is the very recent show of his Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets (at St-Denis last October 11) that he underlines.

All around the moon

And the exhibition in all this? We would end up forgetting it, wading through the old juice like this. Extraordinary journey, moving collection of “mortal remains”. Very, very nice leftovers. If there is no shortage of screens and visual finds to bring to life the “immersive experience” (according to the press release) now essential in the museum world (including the mythical psychedelic sound and light show at the UFO in London in 1967) , it is the phenomenal amount of artifacts that is astounding. Reading an enthusiastic letter from Syd Barrett to his lover Jenny Spiers, written in 1965 about his new band, moves everyone, and not just the obsessive fans of the creative genius driven mad by LSD.

There are spine-chilling EMI master tapes (Apples and Oranges!), fabulous Binson Echorec reverb machines you’d want to plug in, bizarre consoles, posters, diaries, contracts (especially with NEMS, the company of Brian Epstein of the Beatles), the various keyboards used by the very late Richard Wright (with the necessary details to levitate: the Farfisa in one song, the Fender Rhodes in another), sketches of covers , etc. Aubrey Powell, known as Po, designer at Hipgnosis, is besides at the sides of Nick Mason to speak about it. Her favorite cover design? No, not the one he proposed among others for The Dark Side Of The Moon. Rather his photo on the front of Wish You Were Here: “It’s not every day that you set someone on fire…”

Suggested by Nick Mason

Yes, oh yes, it’s worth the price of admission, yet au gratin (double cheese on weekends). It’s certainly not a family outing, but fans of all eras and all the repertoire will be delighted, from Arnold Layne to the new song created in support of Ukraine (in sync with a Ukrainian singer). To the great displeasure of Roger Waters, notorious conspirator, a pro-Putin who justifies the Russian invasion. “He’s lost his mind again,” comments Mason laconically, quite proud of having done “the thing that had to be done”.

“David [Gilmour] and Roger have always had a knack for being diametrically opposed. “As for the affair of the Stadium in 1977, Nick Mason has a solution to end it:” I suggest to all those who were present that evening to take a lawyer, and to claim their share by writing directly to Roger. With their saliva on the flap.

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