Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.
In this new series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.
Here are their love letters to records that forever changed their lives.
Gideon Priess, Husky: Pink Floyd – ‘Dark Side of the Moon’
In high school, there was this rumour going around that if you watched The Wizard of Oz and played it in time with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, all of these great things would happen in time with the music.
This was years before the internet and these kinds of rumours became legends spread by excited teenagers, faithfully committed to whatever bands they were into at the time. To find out whether or not these legends were real or not meant taking matters into your own hands and doing some of your own research.
Like most kids, the first records I came across were the ones my folks had at home. Luckily they had pretty good taste in music. For years I’d rush home from school and head straight to the record player. We had this great Sony hi-fi system from the ’70s that I still occasionally listen to records on. When you’re a teenager there’s nothing like being able to disappear, even for just a moment. Records gave me this ability to check out. When I listened to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, I did just that. As soon as that first groove dropped on track one, after a swell of wild and haunted psychedelic sounds, I was gone, no longer in the family living room, but floating somewhere far away. It was magical.
I became obsessed with this record. For me, it had it all. Great songs, grooves, solos and themes that I could connect to at that time in my life. It also had that mystical and iconic album artwork that always gave me this feeling that there’s something else out there. I never really knew what the something else was, but I wanted to chase it as far as I could.
My piano teacher taught me the chords to all of the songs on Side A. I was around 14 then, and for the first time, I was learning that playing the piano could be hip. Until then, all I could play on the piano were these corny numbers from some student exercise book that no one had heard of. I’d play songs from this album and freak out with my friends at how wild the songs were. The thing about music is that it can make you feel like you belong like you’re part of something special. Something that only you or your close friends are privy to. Great music makes you feel understood. Lost perhaps, but also less isolated somehow.
I used to drag the speakers from the lounge room to where the TV was, get the VHS ready with The Wizard of Oz, wait for the lion’s third roar (that was apparently how you made the synch work) and drop the needle onto the vinyl. Still, to this day I have no idea whether it was real or imagined, whether Pink Floyd even knew anything about it, but man it was amazing. Especially when you flipped the record and ‘Money’ kicked in and the film turned to colour.
This record made me want to make music. It made me want to disappear into that world. I often think about creating something that could transport someone else the way this record transported me, and how special it would be to be able to pass this magic onto someone else.