I enjoyed it; I’m not a Pink Floyd fan, but I have always liked that title track, with the 12-string guitar and its country-ish feel. I liked it a long time before I knew I liked country music. I was never a member of the Syd Barrett cult. Couldn’t see it, still can’t – there’s an awful lot of romance attached to those who burn out or die young. I suppose a lot of people see their own unfulfilled potential in such figures.
It brought up some memories actually, of my early teenage years and a period of time when I wasn’t quite sure what I liked and also felt very lonely. I knew I liked The Beatles, but that was about all I knew. The first album I bought was the Beatles Blue compilation; I think after that I bought the following, in no particular order: a Hawkwind (!) album; Thin Lizzy Live and Dangerous; and Pink Floyd Animals.
I liked bits of Animals. Some good melodies, but not enough guitars for me. The Hawkwind album was one that had a track I frequently heard on Radio Caroline: “Spirit of the Age”, which I confess sounded much more interesting coming over a late-night, swirling, drifting AM radio signal.
There were a couple of other kids at school were sort of interested in Pink Floyd. John, who would become my closest friend later on, had a couple of the early ones in his house. I remember hearing “Set the Controls…” and thinking it was boring. Think they were his Dad’s really. And someone else had Wish You Were Here and lent it to me.
I probably taped it.
Watching the film, it was fascinating as ever to feel the ongoing needle between Waters and Gilmour, albeit toned down. Waters spoke pointedly about the “valuable brand” of Pink Floyd. I knew that Syd Barrett was supposed to have turned up at the studio during the recording, and that bit of the documentary was a clock-stopping moment, as they one by one discussed not recognising this guy who was hanging around – before showing the shocking photo that was taken on the day. I wasn’t expecting that.
It was a strange feeling, back then, not really having any friends yet (I was in the equivalent of Year 9 and Year 10, I think) and desperately seeking something to love. Probably the loneliness meant that music was far more important to me than it might have been. By the time I was 16, although I had a proper best friend by then, music was everything.