A Seance at Syd’s – An Anthology of Acid-Haunt-Folk-Psych-Prog- Kraut-Radiophonic-Garage-Space Etcetera is…

A collection of words, wit and wisdom from some eighty different bands, performers, artists and label heads, heralds of and spokesmen for the sprawling mass of musical notions that have made this decade so unexpectedly enthralling.

Includes an Introduction by Nik Turner (Hawkwind etc); a brand new Tale from the Black Meadow by Chris Lambert; cover art by Gregory Curvey (the Luck of Eden Hall); almost 100 illustrations; and featuring in-depth and illuminating interviews with….

Black Tempest, Sproatly Smith, Palace of Swords, Beaulieu Porch, The Rowan Amber Mill, Mooch, The Owl Service, Lost Harbours, The Blue Giant Zeta Puppies, Sendelica, The Sunchymes, Alison O’Donnell, Midwich Youth Club, Reverb Worship, Us And Them, Chonyid, Angeline Morrison, King Penguin, Comus, The Bordellos, Crayola Lectern, Army of Mice, Chris Lambert, Sky Picnic, Dodson & Fogg, Crystal Jacqueline, The Chemistry Set, United Bible Studies, Diana Collier, Drew Mulholland/Mount Vernon Arts Lab, the Striped Bananas, Crow Call, Emily Jones, Francois Sky, the Nomen, Gordon Raphael, Head South by Weaving, the Luck of Eden Hall, Amanda Votta, The Hare And The Moon, Icarus Peel, Octopus Syng, Schizo Fun Addict, Grandpa Egg, Eschatone Records, Jefferson Hamer, Ghost Box, The Familiars, Beautify Junkyards, Mega Dodo, Stay, Judy Dyble, Fruits de Mer Records, the Past Tense, The Soulless Party, the Thanes, Tir Na Nog, the Child of a Creek, Astralasia, the Gathering Grey, Mark & the Clouds, Marrs Bonfire, Black Psychiatric Orchestra, The Loons, Mikey Georgeson, Mordecai Smyth, La Meccanica Sonora, Bevis Frond, Paolo Sala, Sand Snowman, the Seventh Ring of Saturn and Will Z.

AND AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY – MELMOTH THE WANDERER

Ace remixer supremo, visionary seer of the sonic pastures that lurk beyond the imagination, Melmoth the Wanderer’s intoxicating brews can be listened to here – and they should be.  Here he takes time out from manipulating sound and dreamscape to answer the questions that Syd’s seance demands.

1. Tell us about yourself… about Melmoth the Wanderer; how long you’ve been doing it, how you started, etc etc

I come from a very musical family and have always been in bands. Alongside this, I would create sound collages and sample loops for mine and my friends’ listening pleasure whilst out in the countryside taking in the night air (ahem).  On top of this, I also DJ’d chillout and ambient stuff, but rather than mixing beats I would use samples and spoken word LPs picked up from charity shops to pull the mixes together. I guess I was always more about the weird psychedelic surreal possibilities of mixing sounds rather than a banging set list.

The Melmoth mixes started when I first heard Investigating Witch cults in the Radio Age by Broadcast and the Focus Group. I was mesmerized, and to me it not only echoed albums like Lifeforms and ISDN by Future Sound of London, but it was also a lot like the cut and paste approach to my chill out mixes. This coincided with a diagnosis of narcolepsy and a sever bout of insomnia which would have me getting about an hour’s sleep a night for weeks. During those long depressing nights when sleep deprivation started playing with my mind, I started creating The Insomniacs Almanac, which was a pretty dark amateurish exploration into the world of Hauntology, and once it was finished I immediately had ideas for the next…and so it continues.

2. Tell us about your earliest musical experiences, either as a musician or a listener.
My earliest memories of music all come from different members of my family. I remember with great fondness hearing my mother in the kitchen, cooking and singing along to the Fisher Folk and then after tea going up the room I shared with my two older brothers to find them under both sat on the top bunk listening to Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers – `Rubber Ball’ always stands out in that memory. Finally, my Dad would return from work and after he’d had his tea, he would often get the old record player out and relax to Beethoven or Mozart – I favored Beethoven!

The first time music meant something to me personally, and had a real effect on me, coincides with the birth of my Sherlock Holmes obsession and love of dark folkloric stories. As a young child I was given The Hound of the Baskervilles Ladybird Horror Classic on storytape and the music used throughout was `A Night on the Bare Mountain’. I fell in love with the story and the music and since then have always been inspired by the way that a piece of music can almost become another character in a story or a film – shaping the mood and the pace. Each Melmoth mix aims to recreate the atmosphere and effect that listening to that storytape at night under my covers had on me as a very young child.

3. If the Spanish Intuition came to your house and demanded you describe the music you like/work with, what would you tell them?
Music of the night, the light and the half-light. Like the backing track in a great horror film that goes unnoticed, and yet is essential to its mood, atmosphere, suspense and ultimate success. It’s music soaked with haunted echoes.

4. In every field of musical endeavor, there are bands we love and bands we hate. Xould you give us an example of each… and why? (I’ve found from other responses received that older, “classic” bands are the most comfortable target for the latter – so if you see yourself drifting in a similar field to, say, Rush, but wish that they would just go away, here’s your chance to say so. And why.)
I love Spacemen 3 – for me they hold a place in British music history alongside The Jesus and Mary Chain in that, despite being a fringe band, they have influenced, inspired and shaped so many people’s understanding of what is music and what you can use sound for. I think that much like the Velvets before them, if you got it then it stayed with you and changed how you listened to and wrote your own music. Plus, they spawned some amazing offshoots who have all produced epic albums.
I hate no one really – most manufactured pop music is shite, but it doesn’t warrant hatred.  Just a lake of my attention is enough for me.

I will no doubt make myself very unpopular by admitted this, but I do get really annoyed by the reverence and respect that the likes of Kate Bush, Sting, Elvis Costello, Bryan Ferry seem to inspire. I just don’t get why people fall over themselves to proclaim their genius and how it seems to continue to breed….. If you are really serious about your music and appreciate something a bit arty and inventive, how can you not love Kate Bush!!??… Quite easily, thank you, and I don’t need you judging me on it!

5. If you could have a band or artist record a cover of any one song from the past, what it would be – and why?
I would love to hear The Warlocks do a slowed down doped up blues drone version of Hendrix’s `Fire’.

6. Tell us one amusing/horrifying/interesting story concerned with a live performance… not necessarily onstage, either – getting there, getting home, backstage, suffering the support/headline band, absolutely anything as long as it happened on the road.
I had, for my sins, a headless bass for a while – and no backup – and my local guitar shop didn’t stock the strings, so I never had more than one set of spares. I had broken a string in rehearsal and, with a gig that weekend, had decided to clean up and completely restring in preparation. This meant, of course, that I didn’t have a spare set until the shop got my next order in.  During the opening number that weekend, I broke a string but with lightning reflexes quickly worked out how to carry on without that string. Halfway through the set I broke another string and the panicked call went out to borrow the headline act’s bass.

The headliners were a three piece consisting of drums, guitar and hammond organ……no bass. I spent the rest of the set stood back to the crowd playing random notes and dying of embarrassment.

7. Ditto about the studio… recording mishaps or triumphs
I am afraid I can’t really think of any cracking anecdotes. Most of my work is done on my lonesome on a laptop. My triumphs come with the discovery of some great old radio show or original trailer for a long lost horror film.

Recently, I have been trawling through EVP and séance recordings and found some real treats. I have just finished a three-track EP based on the EVP phenomenon, and the last track is made up entirely from these EVP and Séance recordings looped, stretched, reversed and manipulated until they resemble otherworldly drones even more than they did before

8. Wax rhapsodically, please, about any unusual musical instrument that either you can play; that you wish you could play; that someone else in your band can play; or that you simply like listening to.
I always wanted a Sitar or Dilruba and, in fact, a friend who travelled to India bought me a sitar but the closest I got to it was a photo of it sat on the tarmac of the airport in India. where some jobsworth had claimed it wasn’t packed properly and wasn’t willing to load it in case it got damaged… so instead, my friend had to leave it there.

9. What is your favorite of all the recordings you have made, and why?
I am very proud of the mixes I made for Christmas over the past two years. Trying to create a nostalgic piece that has the warm comfortable feeling that a good seasonal book/film/programme has (like The Box of Delights, A Christmas Carol or the Ghost Stories for Christmas series) without being schmaltzy or too dewy eyed was a challenge. I feel I managed to achieve just the right balance, and yet still keep hold of the signature Melmoth twilight paranoia. A nostalgic recreation of the past using sounds and summoning up feelings – pure hauntology!

Listen here and here

10. What is the most bizarre thing that has ever happened to you, or that you have witnessed, in relation to being around bands?

The soundman at Reading Alleycats complaining to us that he’d had a band in the previous week and, try as he could, he just couldnt get rid of the feedback coming from stage – the band had been The Jesus and Mary Chain!

11. You have a time machine, which you can pilot to any time and place you like, for the purpose of making music. Where and when would you go, and why?
If you believe in the Stonetape theory, then studios should absorb something from every person to have recorded there and contain echoes of every track – so, based on that, I would want to record nowadays so as not to miss out on any influences and otherworldly assistance.

However I would love to sit in on Brian Wilson at the CBS Columbia recording studio, when he was in full mad, mad genius mode trying to record Smile, and I would gladly hang around all day every day making tea for The Band at the Big Pink.

A Seance at Syd‘s is available now as an e-book (USA, UK and more); paperback (USA, UK etc); and as a limited edition hardback with two CDs stuffed with music 

Don’t miss the launch party at the Half Moon, Putney, Tuesday August 11

A Seance At Syds 4A Seance at Syd’s – An Anthology of Acid-Haunt-Folk-Psych-Prog- Kraut-Radiophonic-Garage-Space Etcetera is…

A collection of words, wit and wisdom from some eighty different bands, performers, artists and label heads, heralds of and spokesmen for the sprawling mass of musical notions that have made this decade so unexpectedly enthralling

Forget all the doom and gloom that surrounds the music industry of today; forget the epitaphs that are written almost every day; and forget the widespread insistence that we’ve never had it so bad.  Behind all those words, the modern music scene is actually pretty darned healthy.

No longer the Anglo-American hegemony that once held all the cards, contemporary music now drip feeds its sonics from every corner of the globe. This book interviews musicians from Portugal, France, Germany, Finland, Spain, Italy and Sweden, releasing their music in a variety of formats and across a wealth of platforms.

Once, the major labels held all-consuming sway, swatting aside any upstart indies that might challenge their dominance as though they were less than gnats. Today, it’s the majors who are the endangered species, as bands prove they don’t even need record labels any more.

Self releasing through Bandcamp, spotlighting on the Active Listener, financing via Kickstarter… those three sites (and they are by no means alone) could keep you discovering new music for the rest of your life.  Broadcasting on Melmoth the Wanderer, delighting through Fruits de Mer, and gigging in the places where it actually matters, this is the sound of 2015.

And here is a great chunk of it.

E-book AVAILABLE NOW (USA), (UK), (Germany), (France) and more

Paperback – AVAILABLE NOW (USA), (UK), (Germany), (France) and more

Limited edition hardback featuring two bonus CDs of featured bands – due July

FEATURING…

Introduction by Nik Turner (Hawkwind)

A brand new Tale from the Black Meadow, by Chris Lambert

Cover art by Gregory Curvey (the Luck of Eden Hall)

almost 100 illustrations and 500 pages

and featuring interviews with the following lovely people….

Black Tempest, Reverb Worship Records, Sproatly Smith, Palace of Swords, The Rowan Amber Mill, Mooch, The Owl Service, Lost Harbours, Blue Giant Zeta Puppies, Sendelica, The Sunchymes, Alison O’Donnell, Midwich Youth Club, Us And Them, Chonyid, Angeline Morrison, King Penguin, Comus, The Bordellos, Crayola Lectern, Army of Mice, Chris Lambert, Sky Picnic, Dodson & Fogg, Beaulieu Porch, Crystal Jacqueline, The Chemistry Set, United Bible Studies, Diana Collier, Drew Mulholland/Mount Vernon Arts Lab, the Striped Bananas, Crow Call, Emily Jones, Francois Sky, the Nomen, Gordon Raphael, Head South by Weaving, the Luck of Eden Hall, Amanda Votta, The Hare And The Moon, Icarus Peel, Octopus Syng, Schizo Fun Addict, Grandpa Egg, Eschatone Records, Jefferson Hamer, Ghost Box Records, The Familiars, Beautify Junkyards, Mega Dodo, Stay, Judy Dyble, Fruits de Mer Records, the Past Tense, The Soulless Party, the Thanes, Tir Na Nog, the Child of a Creek, Astralasia, the Gathering Grey, Mark & the Clouds, Marrs Bonfire, Black Psychiatric Orchestra, The Loons, Mikey Georgeson, Mordecai Smyth, La Meccanica Sonora, Bevis Frond, Paolo Sala, Sand Snowman, the Seventh Ring of Saturn, Will Z….

BookCoverPreview.do“Prog stood for progressive, but progression happened before the genre was coined. Progressive meant musicians could experiment, push themselves and their musicianship into new and fascinating areas. They could stretch themselves and fly free and, for the most part, their followers soared with them” – Judy Dyble

“Time And Some Words” is the ultimate Prog Rock bath-time book, a compendium of the words and wisdom of over 150 different artists representing the cream of British, American and European Prog Rock of 1969-1976, many of them culled from the author’s own interviews.

Featuring… King Crimson, Jethro Tull, ELP, Pink Floyd, Henry Cow, Eleventh House, Kraftwerk, Quiet Sun, Genesis, Steve Hillage, the Nice, Hawkwind, Yes, Renaissance, Procol Harum, Caravan, Peter Hammill, Patrick Moraz, Nektar, Refugee, Gentle Giant, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Kevin Ayers, Black Widow, the Moody Blues, Comus, Curved Air, Family, Medicine Head, the Strawbs, Matching Mole, Spooky Tooth, Brainticket, Gong… and many more!

Available from Amazon US; Amazon UK; and all points beyond.

 

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In January 1976, a double live album was released that changed the face of the music industry forever. “Frampton Comes Alive” was released, said its maker, as a stop-gap between studio albums, a discographical makeweight to preserve a live show that had been developing for five years. Four months later, it was #1; ten weeks later, it was still there. “Frampton Comes Alive” ultimately became the biggest selling album of the year, the most successful live album of all time. And that, says Frampton, is when everything changed. “All of a sudden, all these people saw that one record or one artist could sell that many records in one go, and they got interested in the corporate world. That’s when all the big mergers started, that’s when all of that started.”

Peter Frampton – The Ultimate Listening Guide is the story not only of this remarkable album, but also of the career that led up to it – and fought to exist in its aftermath. It traces Frampton from his earliest days with the Preachers and Moon Train, proteges of Bill Wyman; through his first taste of mega success as “the Face of 68,” fronting the Herd; his dream of joining the Small Faces and its partial fruition with Humble Pie. 

From Frampton’s Camel to the Sergeant Pepper movie; from “I’m In You” to Ringo’s All Star Band, and onto the Guitar Circus that took the live circuit by storm in 2013, and packed with exclusive interviews, including Bill Wyman, Steve Marriott, Jerry Shirley and, of course, Frampton himself, “Peter Frampton – the Ultimate Listening Guide” is the story of one of the most extraordinary careers in rock history.

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Out now! An entire herd of fun little e-books about a few of our favorite pop stars! Fire up your kindle and groove a little!

The Ultimate Listening Guide is a series of short (approx 40 page) guides to the lives, times and most crucial recordings by a wide range of artists.

Many are based around exclusive interviews featuring the artist’s own recollections and reactions to his or her unfolding career, and are packed with both personal information and key collector’s data.

All just $2.99 from Amazon/Kindle

For the past thirty years, author Dave Thompson has been a contributor to a variety of collectors publications, including Goldmine, DISCoveries, Record Collector, Spiral Scratch, Live Music Review, Big O and British Punk Collector. He is also editor of the long-running Goldmine record price guides.

Titles in this series include (click to purchase)
Eric Clapton
The Clash
Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Peter Frampton (coming soon)
Peter Green and Fleetwood Mac
George Harrison
Robyn Hitchcock
Kraftwerk (coming soon)
John Lennon (coming soon)
Bob Marley & the Wailers
John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
Paul McCartney & Wings (coming soon)
Joe Meek
the Mothers of Invention
Mike Oldfield
Elvis Presley
Queen (coming soon)
The Rutles (coming soon)
Status Quo
Thin Lizzy

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Image interview by Chrissie Bentley

 With close to 150 books to his name, Dave Thompson must be one of the most prolific entertainment authors around.  He is also one of the most heartfelt, layering his books with a love for (or, occasionally, hatred of) his subject that cannot help but ensnare the reader.  

Published earlier this year, his study of television’s Doctor Who, the Docto Who FAQ, almost caused certain corners of the Internet to meltdown as readers argued the merits of Thompson’s opinions, while another recent title, a biography of folk singer Steve Ashley, shines the brightest literary light imaginable upon a performer many people have never even heard of.  And demands that they remedy that situation immediately. 

Now Thompson brings us Roger Waters: The Man Behind The Wall, and if you think it’s going to unspool as just one more book about Pink Floyd, think again….  Once past the opening couple of chapters, they scarcely even get mentioned again until halfway through the book. 

Q: You open the book with the making of The Wall, which I’m sure will confuse some people.  Tell us why you did that.

A: I wanted to get it out of the way.  Bloody thing.  I really didn’t like it when it came out and I’ve not really changed my mind since then.  I actually preferred The Final Cut when it came out  But it’s also the lead-in to the solo career, because it almost was his first solo album.  When it came time for Floyd to make a new album, Waters gave them two concepts, The Wall and The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking.  And they chose Pros and Cons.  They changed their minds a few weeks later, but  that’s how close it came.

Also because too many books, and my own are among them, are obsessed with the music that an artist made first, charting the day-to-day doings of the sixties and seventies, then treating the rest of the career as an afterthought.  Which runs the risk of encourages readers to do the same thing.

Q: Well, for many acts, it is.   

A: Okay, that’s true.  Not many people would argue that Paul McCartney’s post-Wings career is anywhere near as enthralling as his days with the Beatles.  Or that Bowie in the Eighties and beyond tells a more intriguing story than the decade that preceded them.  A Rolling Stones book that analyzed the years since Undercover would be an even bigger drag than getting old.  There’s a reason why Keith Richards’ autobiography spends more time on his favorite recipes, than documenting the creative process of the 2000s.

Q: So how is Roger Waters different?  

A: Because… okay, he’s scarcely been prolific, but the music he’s made since he left Floyd has been a master class in maintaining both relevance and opinion, without once sidelining any of the reasons we consider those qualities to be of interest.  Again going back to why The Wall is important, in a lot of ways it was a sketchbook for concepts and imagery that he would return to and… it’s kind of like a demo for everything he would write about in the future.  Plus, if we go back to the 1980s, The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking and Radio K.A.O.S. were, and remain, the finest efforts released by any so-called veteran mainstream artist that whole dismal decade long.

Q: Tell us about the first time you heard Pink Floyd.

A: It was fall 1973, newly returned from the school summer holidays. One of my classmates was raving about an album he’d discovered while we were away. It was called The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd, and he was so mortified by my lack of interest that he insisted on playing the whole thing there and then.

Q: You weren’t impressed?

A: I was thirteen and I was into Glam Rock.  Bowie, Bolan, Slade… wham bam thank you slam.  Pink Floyd?  Horrible, hairy… not one of them knew one end of a tube of lipgloss from the other, and listening to their endless album, I didn’t believe they had time for me.  I remember suffering through the interminable “Us and Them,” and feeling it suck all the joy from the room.  “Money” was a dour disco plod at a time when “disco” translated into anything that might make people feel like doing anything so uncool as dancing and, by the time the stylus hit “Brain Damage,” I was so dispirited that I condemned it as a pompous rewrite of David Bowie’s “Laughing Gnome,” and left the room.

Q: At which point, Bowie himself made you change your mind

A: Yeah.  The rat.  Bowie was the bee’s knees at that time.  He was really only two albums into his reign of stardom, but he was already more than a simple pop star.  He was also an arbiter of taste and, in the fifteen months since “Starman” set the children boogie-ing (in an age when fifteen months actually meant something, and wasn’t simply a moment in time that flashed by in ten minutes), he’d already bent my ears towards a wealth of music that I knew I’d be listening to for years to come.   Jacques Brel, Iggy, Lou Reed and the Velvets… Bowie had never let me down, which is all a very convoluted way of introducing my next exposure to Pink Floyd, courtesy of the album he delivered just a few weeks after my encounter with Dark Side Of The Moon.

Q: That would have been Pin Ups?

A: Right.  Pin Ups was Bowie’s tribute to the music that surrounded him as he was making his own way through the 1960s, and spending his spare time doing what every teenaged kid of the age was doing, listening to the radio and going to gigs.  Pin Ups was him reliving it all, revisiting his favorite oldies on an album of covers that demanded you investigate the originals.  Including the Pink Floyd song (“See Emily Play”), which I dimly recalled from the radio of the day, and which briefly made me wonder whether I’d misjudged my schoolfriend’s tastes.   Or maybe even my own.

I made it my goal, with that evangelical fervor that so easily overpowers a lad of that age, to pick up the originals of every track on the album.  The Who, Them, the Easybeats, the Merseys, the Pretty Things, the Yardbirds. Most were easy.  Boscombe, which is a small town on the [English] south coast where I was living at the time, was lousy with used record emporiums, and between Steptoes on the Christchurch Road, and Boscombe Electrics deeper into town, I found most of what I was searching for, either on a well-loved old single, or on a battered used LP.

Now, “See Emily Play” had been a major UK hit, and it sold a lot of copies.  But, either everyone who bought it had decided to hang onto it, or else there were other people bent on the same mission as me, who were snapping up every copy before I could find it.   It wasn’t showing up anywhere.  So finally I bit the bullet.  A meander around a “real” record store, where pristine new vinyl was sold at full price, revealed a budget-priced Floyd compilation called Relics.  It cost, I believe, a little less than twice the price of a new 45; which, according to a mathematical formula that I invented on the spot, meant if I liked four songs on it, I’d already broken even, and if I liked more than that, I was streaking ahead.

Q: I’m guessing you liked it.

 A: I think I must have.  Either that, or my record collection is haunted.  I don’t even want to count how many times I’ve bought every single Floyd album, between vinyl, CDs, remasters, reissues, box sets…  Right now, I’m looking at half a dozen different versions of Dark Side Of The Moon, without even considering six more in the Immersion box set; half a dozen Wish You Were Here’s, and as for Piper At The Gates Of Dawn….

Q: Is that your favorite?

 A: Funnily enough, More was my favorite for a long time, especially when it was my turn to proselytize Floyd.  “The Nile Song” never let me down.  I also have an only partially suppressed memory of presenting an essay or poem to the school one day, with “Careful With That Axe, Eugene” cranked loudly enough on the school gramophone that it drowned out whatever twaddle I had composed for the occasion.  More and Saucerful of Secrets.

Then I discovered bootlegs, beginning with Winter Tour 74, which appeared from nowhere that same Christmas, and fooled a lot of people, including myself, into thinking it was a new Floyd album.  And when I realized that it wasn’t, I went looking for more.  I didn’t get too far because at five pounds a pop, they were almost twice the price of a legitimate release.

But I found a few and I adore them still.  In Celebration of the Comet: The Coming of Kahoutek; Magnesium Proverbs; Oenone.  At a time when Pink Floyd were releasing new albums at what then seemed the hyper-glacial rate of one every two years or so, Floyd boots soon outstripped even Bowie on my shelves. And at least half of the thrill of first hearing Animals in 1977 was the realization that those two unknown songs on my first ever Floyd boot were now the centerpiece of their latest LP.  Which might be why, to answer your question, that’s probably my true favorite Floyd record.  Except when it’s Obscured By Clouds.

Q: What do you think of the current state of their catalog?  

 A: You mean the reissues and box sets?  Well, obviously I won’t be happy until we have the Piper box.  And another for Animals.  But apart from Bob Dylan and King Crimson, I don’t think any band could claim to have better served its archive-scouring public.  And the fact that Pink Floyd remain the only major act in rock’n’roll history to still be awaiting a career-spanning box set is readily balanced by the fact that almost every one of their albums deserves a box to itself.

Which is the other reason why I wanted to present the book ass-backwards, and why we begin in the middle, travel through to the end, and then loop around and continue on from the beginning.  Which… to digress… is not to say you shouldn’t read it in chronological order, because of course you can.  Just turn to the beginning of… I think it’s Chapter Nine…. and away you go.

For the rest of us, though; those whose journeys with the Floyd began in an age before The Wall was built, and certainly before it came tumbling down, the suspension of our own personal timeline allows us to investigate patterns that we might never otherwise have cared to; permits, too, the satisfaction of seeing how the past will always repeat itself, whether as an influence or an intrusion, without having already been reminded precisely what that past originally was.  Because the story of the band in general, and Roger Waters in particular, is not a linear one. It does convulse, it does circle back and, most of all, it does demand that you pay attention.

Q. Even to The Wall?

A: Personally, I still don’t like The Wall, and I could probably tell you exactly the number of times I have actually listened to it all the way through, without taking at least one extended break.  But it is where this story begins, and thanks to his current tour, it’s also where it ends.  So I never did get it out of the way, really.  It was always waiting somewhere.

Roger Waters: The Man Behind The Wall is published by Backbeat Books on September 17, 2013.