When I say that the songs in these posts changed my life, sometimes I mean that quite literally. Sometimes, I mean that their associated with particularly strong memories or people that played some significant role in my life.
Another Brick in the Wall, Pink Floyd’s epic, three-part opus, falls squarely into the latter camp.
My passion for music dates back just about as far as I can remember. As a child, I was bullied quite badly and quite often, so spent most of my time inside at home where I usually indulged in one of two things:
- Listening to music
The fact that I’m sat here now doing the first about the second should tell you enough about what an impact those two things made on me.
Anyway, I remember one particular day that an uncle of mine came to visit us, and brought with him some cassette tapes (remember them?) that he said I could have. I remember thinking even then that it was kind of a cool thing for someone in my family to do, especially when I didn’t feel all that much that my interest in all things creative was always that well understood by those who loved me.
I couldn’t tell you now what was on the majority of those tapes if you paid me millions, but I can tell you that one was a copy of Pink Floyd’s The Wall.
Today, I have very vivid, very fond memories of being up in my room listening to this album that was so different, so entertaining, so full. That’s probably the best word for it, full.
Even as a big fan of Queen, at that young age I don’t think I’d ever heard an album that just seemed to have so much going on. Despite that, there was one song, or rather, three songs that formed one greater whole, that stood out the most to me; Another Brick in the Wall.
The air of defiance, the energy, everything about that song just seemed to somehow fit me perfectly. I wasn’t the only one.
Just down the road from where we lived at the time, there was a guy who was just about the biggest Pink Floyd fan anyone knew. He was the type that spray painted the logo on the back wall of his house, that rode a motorbike emblazoned with Dark Side of the Moon artwork, that lived and breathed Floyd.
He lived with his girlfriend and her three kids, the eldest of whom was named John.
I might have been bullied a lot as a child, and I might have spent a lot of time hiding indoors, but I did have a friend or two, and John was one of them, the best of them even, and certainly the closest.
I often think of that Pink Floyd logo spray painted on the back of John’s house whenever I hear Another Brick in the Wall. Naturally, that leads me to thinking of my best childhood friend, someone I actually didn’t speak to for the better part of 20 years after both our families moved away to separate areas and we lost touch.
Fortunately, today’s story does have a happy ending. I did actually reconnect with John just a week before I wrote this blog, all thanks to the power of social media. It’s brought back a lot of memories of that time in my life, memories that are somehow all tied up in this one song.
Another Brick in the Wall by Pink Floyd is the fifth song in my list of 52 songs that changed my life. Other entries in this list are below: