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Pink Floyd - London - Live 66-67 CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.10 | 92 ratings

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4 stars Superb time capsule of swingin' London

I think the folks that rate this low are understandably doing so because this is being sold as a "Pink Floyd" dvd, thus people expect something like Pompeii with Syd Barrett present. But it's nothing like that. This is a video time capsule of a brief flash in London history when a counterculture youth movement was peaking, still fresh, exciting, and somewhat na´ve. The story here isn't Pink Floyd. The story is the audience, the youth, the living fashion, free sexuality, crushed inhibitions, and the experimentation of hallucinogens set against the backdrop of a vibrant club scene. Soon the media would catch wind and the masses would smother it, as they do once any cool scene becomes exploited for profit. Like the "Summer of Love" in the Haight-Ashbury, by the time the public realized something cool was happening in London, the best part of the scene would be spent and the tour busses would soon follow.

That's why I recommend this dvd so highly for those interested in the psychedelic scene-it catches things at their coolest using the footage of filmmaker Peter Whitehead. Revisionist advertisers who use 60s imagery to hawk breakfast cereals or worse, such as Dennis Hopper hawking investment portfolios, like to tell today's audience that the period was all about lava lamps, mini-skirts, and now apparently asset protection. No. It was about revolution, art, non-monogamy, non-conformity, and getting really high. It was paradise London style set to the music of the Floyd during some of their most happening experimental moments. We get to see Syd while he still "shone like the sun" torturing his guitar for the weirdest sounds he could find. I believe the Floyd footage is January '67, shortly before they signed to EMI and began working on Piper. We see writhing acid-wired bodies dancing, painted and glowing, free and in the moment. It all seems so dated in one sense and yet in another sense it couldn't be more fresh because the scene was authentic. No paying huge cash to Ticketmaster for some contrived show with a set list and a predictable experience. Anything could happen and everything did. Utopia couldn't last forever and it certainly didn't. But before it faded to memory it was one hell of a party, and thank God someone got it on tape so that we youngsters can have a taste of what we missed. The exchange from the later Astronomy performance applies here as well: Old guard music guy Hans Keller: "Why has it all got to be so terribly loud?" Roger: "Well I don't guess it has to be but that's the way we like it." A good quote for this release as well as this music is loud, obnoxious, and abrasive to pop sensabilities.

So don't think of this as a Pink Floyd dvd. This is basically a short documentary film with Floyd doing the soundtrack. Yes it is short so avoid if brevity bothers you, but frankly it is brilliant and priceless for what it captures in our cultural history. Some nice extra interviews as a bonus. Highly recommended to anyone interested in the real 60s

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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