That reminds me…
A couple of months ago, I was poking around in iTunes for one reason and wound up finding something else – the Flaming Lips with Henry Rollins covering Money by Pink Floyd. I could have wasted a lot of time concerning myself with the whys and wherefores of such a partnership, but fortunately, all the extra time I’ve been devoting to rock prayer and rock meditation has given me new insights into my faith, such that I’ve stopped asking so many gosh-darned questions all the time. Everybody knows that the truth will be revealed in time, don’t they?
Well, they should. The gist of it is, someone asked a question, Wayne Coyne gave a less than serious answer, and next thing he knew, he was being invited to go ahead and make that silly thing real. It reminds me of that interview that Dave Eggers did with some Harvard smartypants a few years ago now, in which he both praised the ‘Lips, and made the strongest case ever for not saying ‘no’:
“No is for wimps. No is for pussies. No is to live small and embittered, cherishing the opportunities you missed because they might have sent the wrong message.”
It also happens to remind me a little bit of the time Luther Wright and the Wrongs brought a hickified version of the Wall to market, which made me think about this other thing about Pink Floyd winning a court case recently against their record company. It basically forbids the breakup of their albums into discrete units (some call them songs) that can be sold individually on iTunes. The author of the piece argues that the Pink Floyd Principle*, that upholds the integrity of an entire album as a complete work, over whose presentation its creators should have some say, is largely illusory, and not a right the artist should be able to assert anyway, given his assertion of the listener’s right to experience the albums on their own terms. I wouldn’t necessarily say I disagree, but I would say that, no matter the particular listener’s skill at experiencing the album in a unique and personal fashion, the experience still depends on the possession of the work in question, the basic form of which the artist has already succeeded in dictating, soooo…
But anyway, do Pink Floyd really exert unreasonable influence over the overall presentation of their work? Considering the Luther Wright and Flaming Lips examples, they will appear to give permission for people to do what they will with the compositions while also expressing a preference for their own version of the work to be considered as a whole. Is it so wrong for them to do this?
But that’s all totally off-topic. What I meant to say, before I so rudely interrupted, aren’t the Flaming Lips freakin’ AWESOME?
*regarding that name, the Pink Floyd Principal? That’s mine.