Hillman City Haibun 2 (Pink Floyd)

January 15, 2015

Pink Floyd Soldier FieldPink Floyd, Soldier Field, June 19, 1977, Chicago, IL. One estimate suggests the crowd was 95,000 people. This is likely the largest concert attendance at a show I’ve ever attended, although there was a concert that summer also at Soldier Field with Ted Nugent, Journey, Lynyrd Skynyrd, R.E.O. Speedwagon and 38 Special that was pretty packed as well.

But for Floyd it was the Animals tour, a record we greeted with much anticipation and ultimately disappointment. It was not close in terms of quality to their two previous records, Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here, which are no doubt their best, but they performed all of Wish You Were Here which was augmented by a huge round screen that played animation that was synchronized to the music. A silhouette of a man was floating as if in space and, timed to the tune, had his head cut off by a sword! Holy Shit!

And it being the summer before I was to start my senior year at Lane Tech High School, I was ready to party. I bought a ticket for my date, Patty Palencia, but then she found her own way to the stadium, which was disappointing. I hung out with guys from the neighborhood, one of whom, the son of a cop, Mark Drygalski, attempted to blow up the band’s inflatable pig with an M-80, but he did not have the balls to hold on to it long enough, so it is likely that he injured someone. And I learned that making your moves on a girl when you are high on acid and there are 94,998 other people around is not a recipe for romantic success.

1.15.15 – I saw Pink Floyd, Soldier Field, took blotter, drooled into my girlfriend’s mouth.

Sorry Patty.


  1. Peter Munro

    You wrote:

    “But for Floyd it was the Animals tour, a record we greeted with much anticipation and ultimately disappointment. It was not close in terms of quality to their two previous records . . .”

    Seriously? Not close? Quality? To me it is the album that lets you hear into their musicianship in ways that were allowed by neither Dark Side Of The Moon nor Wish You Were Here. Over and over in Animals they were in the pocket in ways most rock musicians (or even most jazz musicians) can only dream about.

    I listen to Animals on a regular basis, several times a year, probably. I do listen to the other two albums more often since Animals is so much stronger medicine. I don’t listen to quartets by Bartok or Shostakovich as often as I listen to Dark Side Of The Moon either, but that doesn’t mean the quality of the Bartok and Shostakovich is less. It is just the demand on the listener is enough higher that it’s harder for me to be in the right space for receiving such work.

    Animals always impresses me. The more I am able to allow the music to happen to me and not get caught up in the abstractions of its overt commentary, the more it affects me. It may not be quite the achievement as Dark Side Of The Moon (which they will be teaching in music appreciation classes centuries from now), but it is every bit the equal of Wish You Were Here (which I love dearly, by the way).

  2. Splabman

    Peter, thanks for taking the time to write. To me Wish You Were Here is such a fine moment and has such resonance for me, Animals was a disappointment. I did listen again to Animals while taking a walk a couple of months ago, Found the Youtube link and listened to the whole thing, but it seems a little contrived to me. Still potent I guess, but I think I let the hype back then cloud my judgment. Still, grateful you are here chiming in.

  3. Mr. Norman

    I was at that concert and consider it one of my greatest days in a young 18 year-old life. Had a car load of buddies from York High School in my 72′ chevy impala rag top. Long hair, flannels and probably shirts off on the way home. Keep on trucking keeping us happy!

  4. Mark

    Rode motorcycles there from the Quad Cities (and back home after), thought there were 98,000 that day


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