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Eugene's rock fans love the band Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd back when the played Eugene in 1971.
Pink Floyd back when the played Eugene in 1971.
Photo courtesy Wikipedia

EUGENE, Ore. – It's a bit of a stretch, but Eugene loves the band Pink Floyd.

In fact, Pink Floyd "is one of those bands that has a very long fan connection," says Jeb, who at age 23 says his father Ben, age 57, and his grandfather Steven, age 74, "are all Floyd fans.

"I can't think of a band, with the exception of the Beatles or the Stones who have such a broad fan base as Pink Floyd," adds Jeb who says his father "saw them live, man, here in Eugene!"

Floyd opens Eugene concert with "Eugene" song

The power of Pink Floyd is huge here in Eugene where – 40 years ago on Oct. 19, 1971 – the band opened their concert at Eugene’s National Guard Armory with “Careful with That Axe, Eugene;” while today’s three surviving band mates are back together leaving “egos behind.”

“I will never forget it. It’s a cold and wet October 19th in a remote area of Eugene where – because of Pink Floyd’s reputation as a ‘stoner band’ – they were booked for a concert in the nondescript, gray National Guard Armory building where soldiers had gathered before heading over to Vietnam. It was just wild, and when they opened with ‘Careful with that Axe, Eugene,’ we just imploded. It was awesome, no it was more than that – legendary,” explains Eugene Floyd fan Jim “Craig” Clements. Meanwhile, David Gilmour told Rolling Stone magazine -- in an Oct. 13 cover story about the band today in 2011 -- that “the greatness that we did together is a collaborative achievement between four people who have ego problems, all of them.”

Egos to blame for Pink Floyd break-up in 1985

While Gilmour goes on to state in his recent interview with Rolling Stone that “in every single of us there’s a slight difference between the reality and our perceptions of ourselves.”

However, Roger Waters doesn’t buy that view completely but admits that egos were the problem in the break-up of the band in 1985 when he walked away and Gilmour continued with Nick Mason and Richard Wright as “Pink Floyd.”

In turn, Rolling Stone’s interview with Waters notes how “in a perhaps not entirely ego-free move, Waters recites the lyrics to ‘Flickering Flame,’ a 2002 solo tune.

“When my synapses pause in my quest for applause, when my ego lets go of my end of the bone/To focus instead on the love that is precious to me/Then I share be free.’ So maybe that’s the position I have come to recently,” said Waters in the interview.

Surviving Pink Floyd band mates now back together

Eugene Floyd fan Jim “Craig” Clements says he’s still “not over” that Pink Floyd concert from Oct. 19, 1971, when the band rolled into what was then (and still is) a very liberal Hippie enclave that was in the midst of heated protests against the war in Vietnam.

“Funny, but today I’m over here on Eleventh Avenue, and near our Saturday Market involved with ‘Occupy Eugene,’ and we’re still playing Floyd music. It definitely has had a major influence on my life since that concert that was 40 years ago today,” explained Clements during an Oct. 19 interview.

Meanwhile, a local are band, dubbed “The Pink Floyd Experience,” still produces a “full sensory tribute” to what it calls as “the most notable bands in music history.” The history of Pink Floyd’s Oct. 19, 1971 concert in Eugene – and the band recognizing the coincidence in the name “Eugene,” with their 1968 hit “Careful with That Axe, Eugene,” is still not lost on fans here in Eugene who say “we were lucky that Floyd finally made it here after what was their fifth tours of the U.S. in 1971.

As Pink Floyd fans know, “Careful with That Axe, Eugene,” is an instrumental song that was originally released on the B-side of their hit single “Point Me at the Sky. Careful with That Axe, Eugene – that’s currently being broadcast over loud speakers in downtown Eugene at the current site of the “Occupy Eugene” protesters – is also featured on the “Relics” album; while live versions are featured on “Ummagumma” and in the film “Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii.

Also interesting is Pink Floyd re-recorded Careful with that Axe, Eugene -- after completing their visit to Eugene, Oregon, and their U.S. tour – for the film “Zabriskie Point,” while retitling it “Come in Number 51, Your Time Is Up” on the film’s soundtrack that is now view as a cult favorite of “true Floyd fans.”

Gilmour and Waters explain how they’re getting on now in 2011

“It’s not unfriendly,” Gilmour says in an Oct. 13 Rolling Stone interview about his current relationship with Waters. “But it’s almost nonexistent.”

Still, there recent pictures of the two Pink Floyd band leaders shaking hands, hugging and even partying together.

“We had a great night at the charity gig,” Gilmour explains in an Oct. 13 Rolling Stone interview. “Afterward, I told Roger I filmed it and he said, ‘Fantastic!’ And I didn’t say, ‘Well, you wouldn’t fxxxing allow me to have a halfway-decent camera up there.’ But, no, we had a great time. We got fairly pissed drunk afterward for a few hours. Then he goes his way and I go mine.”

Moreover, Rolling Stone noted that “from the outside, it seems that relations between Gilmour and Waters are the strongest they’ve been since Waters left the band in 1985.”

In turn, Gilmour says, “pursing his lips and staying silent for a moment. “You could say that, but when I hesitate, it’s almost nonexistent. I played on Roger’s Wall show here on night a few months ago, and I haven’t seen or heard a word from him since.”

Still, Waters – age 68 -- admitted in a recent interview that the surviving band mates are “good friends.”

Also, Floyd band mate Nick Mason said “when David calls, Roger is there, and when Roger calls, David and I are there. We’ve come together and leaving those egos behind.”

Tell your mom and dad how Pink Floyd got its name

Pink Floyd is akin to the Beatles or the Rolling Stones in terms of mass appeal in the world of rock and roll. However, Pink Floyd has a separate category that fans say is unique to this band that developed something dubbed a mix of “progressive and psychedelic rock music.”

According to the band’s website, Pink Floyd’s unique name is derived from the names of two popular American blues musicians named “Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.”

The band – that’s now been broken-up for the past 26 years – originally consisted of Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Richard Wright and Syd Barrett. The band was founded in 1965. Popular guitarist and vocalist David Gilmour joined Pink Floyd as its fifth member in December 1967.

Sadly, Wright died in 2008.

In brief, Pink Floyd is considered one of the top rock bands in history, and can still sell out a large concert arena in just minutes.

“Money, it’s a hit,” Gilmour sang on the legendary “Dark Side of the Moon” making a 741-week run on the U.S. pop charts.

“Looking back, we shouldn’t have gone back in the studio so soon after Dark Side,” says Mason in a Rolling Stone interview. “We should have toured for another year.”

Pink Floyd opens the vault, re-releases all 14 studio albums plus new songs

Pink Floyd’s recent massive release of their re-mastered lot of all 14 studio albums, and a “deluge of unreleased material,” states the band’s website that also reminds fans “money, it’s a crime,” and “is the root of all evil today.”

Even while the British band Pink Floyd is famous for the song “Money” – that reminds fans that “Money, it's a crime. Share it fairly but don't take a slice of my pie. Money, so they say is the root of all evil today” – the lavish “Immersion” edition of “The Dark Side of the Moon,” (that includes rare and unreleased audio and video material, plus a 40-page oversized art book) will set you back nearly $180 when it’s released Sept. 26 in the U.K., and Sept. 27 in the U.S.

Also, “Floyd fans” will want to spend their money on the massive new box set of remastered versions of all 14 of Pink Floyd’s studio albums that’s priced at about $300, and includes a 60-page art book, states the band’s popular website www.pinkfloyd.com.

Pink Floyd sends message to devote fans that “you can have it all for a price”

After more than 20 years of rumors that Pink Floyd was going to “open their vaults” and give their fans “the lot,” Waters was quoted in a London newspaper saying “you can have it all for a price.”

In turn, the London newspaper The Independent reported Sept. 26 that in addition to the massive re-release of all of Pink Floyd’s studio albums, there will other special releases later this year and in early 2012: “On November 7, Wish You Were Here will be re-released in five-disc and two-disc versions, along with the single-disc collection,A Foot in the Door: The Best of Pink Floyd. OnFebruary 27, The Wall will be reissued as both a seven-disc and three-disc set.”

The Independent also explained that Pink Floyd’s “label EMI stated in May that the massive reissue campaign, dubbed "Why Pink Floyd...?," aims to broaden the famed British band's legacy. Pink Floyd has sold more than 200 million albums worldwide.”

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