Ha, you thought I’d make a lude reference to something along the lines of a derogatory term used for people that you may not enjoy the company of. Not so much.
Honestly, this is more of a reference to a fantastic song that happens to be echoing through my mind the past couple of hours, for no particular reason. Well, maybe there is a little one – I’ve been reading Chuck Klosterman – he always puts me in an interesting state of mind. Anyways, the “Mother” happens to be “Atom Heart Mother” the fifth album by Pink Floyd released something like 14 years before I was born. Music like that never dies, Chuck Klosterman understands this.
It’s not so much the entire album that is stuck in my head, but one particular song – “Fat Old Sun” which in comparison to all other early Floyd albums seems a little tame, but that’s what makes it special. At this point in the musical history, Syd Barrett has gone mad, the band goes on, and everything is proceeding as normal. This was fine for the rest of the band mates, even poor Syd that had gone mad. This madness of his didn’t prevent him, however, from participating and showing up at the studio to be there, to experience what was once his band. What was once his life, what was once normal.
Syd, however, was never normal again, he went from moderately mad, to a psychedelic mess, which is a shame. The last album of Pink Floyds that I actually like after Syd left was in fact, Atom Heart Mother, due to the song “Fat Old Sun“. There is something about the melancholy of the lyrics that seems to resonate the feelings that the rest of the band had towards Syd – the sad feeling of departure and the separation of, well, Syd and his mind.
Lyrically, vocally, and musically, I like the Syd days of Floyd, but at the same time, this post Syd album reminds me of me at this very moment. I’m separating myself from the norm, perhaps not becoming mad, but certainly not exactly following the path of least resistance as far as sound decisions are concerned. The fact that I can identify with Syd going mad, the song “Fat Old Sun” and the downward spiral of depression it’s an interesting life to exist in. That’s precisely why “Fat Old Sun” speaks to me. That’s why the album Atom Heart Mother speaks to me. It’s off the wall, it’s different, and anybody willing to listen to Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast for more than three minutes is a saint.
But the lyrics, they haunt me “The last sunlight disappears”. Is that the last light of Syd and his sanity? Is that the last glimpse of what used to be? The fat old sun of reality is crashing down into proverbial darkness and doom? “When that fat old sun in the sky is falling, summer evening birds are calling”.
Those birds are calling to me, from California, I have no option but to follow their calls. I’m that deep.