Lunch Break: Pink Floyd, “Sheep” (Lamb Chops?)

Since I was able to retire first of this year, I have been playing a lot of golf, upwards of 3-4 times a week, either doing nine, 18, or just hitting the range and putting green for a spell in the lovely spring sun.

It is funny, since I played a lot between the ages of 12-21, but then quit after an argument within the group I was playing. The issue never involved me personally, but I was disgusted that the game I thought we played for fun would erupt into near violence.


Well, as an older (and theoretically) wiser human, I started playing again, looking for some exercise, some time outside, and also something I could work on and hopefully improve (plus per our Remnants Friend, Jeff Erickson, of Rotowire, I can play with other friends Jason Grey and Joe Sheehan this November when we all converge upon the AFL).

So, I have been trying to muster all my patience and Zen in playing this extremely aggravating and at the same time satisfying game where we chase a little white ball around 6000 yards for five hours, or so.

It is tough. You have to have an easy swing, and keep your eye on the ball, which is no small trick when the sphere is down there, dormant, sneering, begging you to knock the shit out of it.

Anyway, there are no courses near where I live save a country club that costs a zillion dollars to join, so I have about a 20-30 minute drive, irrespective.

As a result, I seem to really enjoy playing CD’s in the car that I really love, and when I say love, I mean the entire album, start to finish.

For some reason this fine May day, I feel compelled to share my favorite cut from Pink Floyd’s Animals disc, which just spaces on, with some killer David Gilmour riffs and a nice little philosophical breakdown (which includes a quasi digitized recital of The 23rd Psalm) . Also, the Floyd are another band that gets little attention here at the Remnants, it seems, and that is not right, for they were (I saw them twice) a terrific collective.

The reason Animals made it to my fave list for the band is though I do think it is a really fun and listenable disc, shortly after the vinyl was released I had my first trip to Europe. I spent a few days in London with my Aunt and Grandmother, and then headed off to the continent for some adventures (note this was the same trip where I first heard the Pistols, as the punk movement was just taking off).

Anyway, I spent three weeks messing around in France and Holland and the BeneLux countries, and was returning back to London to spend my final 10 days with my family and really check out London. I took a night boat from Hook von Holland, and landed back in England in the early morning, and we then took the train into town proper.

I was travelling with some kids (I was 25 then, and they were about my age): a couple of Americans, a Dutch girl, and a boy from Sweden.

As we approached the city, the Swedish kid calls out, “Annimaaalls.” We looked perplexed, and he repeats, “Annimaaalls,” and points out the window, and he is pointing at the giant power plant/building/whatever it is that is on the album cover with the four giant smokestacks pictured above.

Funny the things we remember, and forget, but that memory is clear beyond belief. And, Sheep is really a great cut, and particularly good for getting the golf Zen.

4 thoughts on “Lunch Break: Pink Floyd, “Sheep” (Lamb Chops?)

  1. I dutifully listened to each new Pink Floyd album. I could never listen to them for long, because they always insisted on noodling. They had their moments but their first single is still their best song. Several of their songs have good parts but go on forever; Interstellar Overdrive comes to mind. They got big in 1973 with Dark Side of the Moon, an album made for teenagers stoned in cars. It turned out to be mere deep engineering that got the kids off. Figures.

    When I wanna get atmospheric I turn to Roxy Music. I didn’t like them at first – well, I liked the music but thought Ferry’s voice was too weird. My roomie D dragged me to see them at the Academy of Music for the Stranded tour. We began the night by driving to 146th St and Lennox Ave to cop some coke. We walked into a crowded bar and I swear as we walked in the music stopped. The only two white people for a mile around and every black face in the joint is looking at us. I was shitting bricks. D turns to the guy next to him and says “Is JImmy Digs here?” The guy says “in the back” and that was that.

    But JImmy Digs, he was unique. He had four thumbs. Yes he did. He had a little thumb growing out of each big thumb. He lived in a huge apartment in the Bruckner projects with his wife and son, and although he was a coke dealer in quantity he always kept a job – a brutal job which I know because I did it for a short while, hauling animal carcasses in the Brook Ave meat market (the real South Bronx), back in the days before Hunts Point opened. Actually Jimmy didn’t haul that much, he was a cutter. In his apartment he had a room for getting high in. It had a beautiful TV, stereo, couch and coffee table. The first time I was there Jimmy sits us down and whips out about half a pound of coke, slaps it on the table and asks me, “You sniff?” I said “yeah.” And that was that.

    But Roxy, I got it when I saw them live. From that moment I liked Ferry’s voice and I still do, more than ever. But we were talking atmospheric. This one always gets me. Great guitar underneath on the verses. And the bass is as good as it gets.

  2. My Pink Floyd story:

    In high school, I knew this kid who was pretty much a badass stoner dude, but, for some reason he liked me. (Worst thing I know he did was literally brand a kid in our chemistry class by heating up the beaker tongs to red hot with the bunsen burner and sticking it on the kid’s arm – I’m not making this up.)

    I was totally straight-laced in high school, but liked hard rock music. This guy insisted that I would enjoy music much more if I’d get high before I listened. He even offered to give me some pot for free. He was also big into Pink Floyd.

    I resisted his marijuana advances, but decided I needed to give Pink Floyd a try. Their latest album was “Animals” and I got it (on 8-track no less).

    So, I listened to it close to every day for about two weeks. It was pretty slow-moving and boring, but I kept looking forward to the more upbeat parts (few and far between) and telling myself I liked it.

    Then, one day I had this “screw this” revelation. I didn’t like it and I quit living in denial. That was it for me and Pink Floyd.

    That kid from high school was the first to die from my graduating class, by the way, in a car accident within a year of our graduation.


  3. I am sort of embarrassed to say that I laughed out loud when I read the final graph of that one, Steve. Funny. And, I get it. I really like the sound and words and Gilmour’s pyrotechnics. But, ain’t everyone’s cup, too.

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