Monday, September 4, 2017

Pink Floyd, and Abercrombie

I went to the Pink Floyd exhibit at the Victoria & Albert Museum yesterday morning. Those of you who are Floyd fans will recognize the two heads above from the cover of the 1994 album "The Division Bell." I had a friend in the Peace Corps who had a t-shirt with those heads on it. Little did I know I'd be seeing them in a museum someday!

The exhibit was fascinating, especially the first few galleries covering the band's early years. I don't know any Pink Floyd before "Dark Side of the Moon," and there were several earlier albums. I loved the psychedelic light show projected on the ceiling of one gallery and all the groovy '60s promotional posters and graphics.

I also liked learning about the creation of Pink Floyd's album covers. It's fair to say I know the album covers even better than I know the music, iconic and omnipresent as they were in the '70s and '80s. Hearing how they shot the cover photo for "Wish You Were Here," for example, or how hard it was for designer Storm Thorgerson to put more than 100 beds on a California beach for "A Momentary Lapse of Reason," or how the band managed to float an inflatable pig above Battersea Power Station for "Animals." (It broke loose and drifted to a farmer's field in Kent.)

Of course it wasn't the first time I'd seen or heard about that pig, but it struck me as incredible that they actually floated it. Nowadays that album cover would be created in Photoshop. But as Thorgerson pointed out, there's value in actually doing a thing -- the doing, the reality, is part of the art. Otherwise it's just an idea.

Meanwhile, back home, Dave was watching a goldfinch on our finch feeder. We first saw him on Saturday, though I'd caught a glimpse of one -- possibly the same one -- about a week earlier. Dave named him Abercrombie the Finch, which I consider a stroke of genius. I'm just glad that feeder is getting some traffic. Goldfinches in our garden have been few and far between.

Later in the afternoon, Olga was gazing at me longingly, so I took her to Fortune Green and the cemetery. There were several women gathered at a bench in the back of the cemetery, and their yappy dogs raced toward us yapping, so Olga and I beat a hasty retreat and headed home. It's a good thing, too, because the wind blew up and it began spitting rain. Later, while lying on the couch, I heard an ice cream truck pass on the blustery high street playing "O Sole Mio," as if heralding the end of summer.


  1. I guess it cost money to get in the special Pink Floyd exhibition. How much?

  2. How did the Pink Floyd exhibition compare to the Stones exhibition?
    I never did like Pink Floyd. Not one bit.
    I do like Abercrombie though.

  3. Abercrombie the Finch IS inspired! Our goldfinches in Ohio stopped coming to our yard after we put up another bird feeder - I guess they didn't want to hang out with the hoi polloi (house sparrows, grackles, doves, SQUIRRELS, & such). I think we should try again down here in NC.

  4. I never listened to Pink Floyd, but the exhibit sounds interesting. Lucky you had some rain there. Sure would be nice to have some here to blow away the smoky haze we've been living with for days.

  5. I'm also one of those who never "got" Pink Floyd. Abercrombie is a beauty. I've never seen a goldfinch colored like that.

  6. "the doing, the reality, is part of the art. Otherwise it's just an idea."- that is brilliant, what a good true awesome quote! Dave is hilarious and very clever, that lad. Pink Floyd has been a long time fave-probably because youth and getting stoned and silly- can't wait to see the exhibit!
    Crows and jays have taken over our house, there may a be a flicker now and then but mostly just these really noisy birds that are so bossy and big. I love them even though they are rascals!
    Olga- no time for yappy little bitches! Olga has more dignity!

  7. I'm familiar with the "two heads" album cover and pink pig. It never occurred to me that they actually flew a pink pig over that giant building. I'm sure I would enjoy that exhibit. Oh how I wish I could pop into the V & A anytime I wanted. I must say that Abercrombie the Finch is simply brilliant! A perfect name for that colorful fellow.

  8. I'm a bit old for Pink Floyd but I'm not too old for a goldfinch photo.


  9. YP: I can't remember. I think it was £20 or so.

    Ms Moon: Personally, I like Pink Floyd more than the Stones (I know -- sacrilege!) so I enjoyed it more. I had a more personal connection. But the Stones show was amazing, too, in a different way.

    Bug: This morning, Abercrombie was back, alongside several other birds on the adjoining seed feeder. So apparently he's not at all troubled by company!

    Robin: There's nothing worse than having a long dry spell. Except possibly a long wet spell.

    Catalyst: He's a European goldfinch, as opposed to the American variety (which is an entirely different bird).

    Linda Sue: Yeah, I thought that was a great idea -- the value of making something real.

    Sharon: They actually flew it at least twice. The first time it became unmoored and drifted to Kent. The second time it stayed put, and they were able to take their photos.

    Alphie: Never too old! Give it a listen! :)

  10. That has brought back memories! I'd love to see this exhibition.

    I saw them live in the late 1970s with the pig floating above the audience. It was considered spectacular then.