A hater takes another look at Pink Floyd's "Live in Pompeii"

I hate Pink Floyd. Absolutely! I hate the black light posters in high school bedrooms. I hate the sound, the look, the fans and everything else about the band. If you were ever curious of knowing what my personal version of hell was, it would be Pink Floyd. Well, maybe Bob Marley, too.

Before you even bother to ask: No, I have to real rational explanation for why I loathe this band so much -- maybe it was too many long car rides with Pink Floyd as a kid. Maybe I was beaten as a child by Roger Waters. Doesn't really matter at this point. Fact is, nobody's going to change my mind, so don't bother.

I've never listened to Live in Pompeii. The reason's pretty obvious. If I hate the group, why would I want to listen to an hour-long jam session? As it turns out, though, I'm a sucker for conceptual crap, and the notion of a wall of amps in Pompeii was impossible to resist, so eventually I gave in.

This isn't the Pink Floyd I remember. The obnoxious vocals have disappeared for the most part, the faux-experimentalism is lost as the band simply jams out with some gigantic stacks of music making gear and let themselves (and a dog at one point) go a bit. Are these songs featured on other albums? Probably, but I could care less -- the Pink Floyd "live" experience is what's interesting here. Considering I already despise these guys as a band, Live in Pompeii had to redeem itself from a deep hold of hate -- and it does.

Whining guitar riffs and wah-wah vocals are still present here but to a lesser degree than what I remember from their albums. I can handle this. Hell, I might even be able to get behind this. The subdued nature of this recording is what makes it enjoyable. It's still Pink Floyd at heart -- but without "Another Brick in the Wall" or "Money." It's just a bunch of weird dudes playing giant drum sets in the middle of nowhere. Ariel Pink would kill for this shit.

I hate to admit that I actually enjoyed listening to this. I even listened to Meddle to see if maybe my hate was generated solely by Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall. I still didn't enjoy Meddle, but if nothing else, Live in Pompeii forced me to reconsider my position on Pink Floyd.

I still enjoy the Syd Barrett stuff -- but The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is not the same Pink Floyd that people who haphazardly like Pink Floyd are interested in. Maybe that's what it is -- maybe Pink Floyd fans, in general, seem like people that read too much into the band -- they get high and listen to Dark Side of the Moon while watching The Wizard of Oz.

Sadly and a bit hypocritically, I'd be totally into this idea if it was Sunn0))) or someone similar doing the same thing -- but whatever childhood trauma led me to hate Pink Floyd seems irreversible, even if I enjoyed my time with Live in Pompeii.



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