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View Full Version : Pink Floyd attracts a stoner crowd. Who knew?


siberian khatru
02-06-2005, 03:28 PM
"have been SAID to attract"? ROFL Who here HASN'T seen an Floyd laser show (besides Skip)? And who wasn't stoned at least one of those times?

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/05/arts/music/05lase.html

February 5, 2005
A 70's Duo Rocks On: Pink Floyd and Lasers
By JASON GEORGE

If one had bet on which fad of the early 1970's would achieve perennial popularity - and this was the epoch that brought us Pong, Rubik's cube and Wings - the Pink Floyd laser light show would probably have not been given the best odds.

Take lasers. Shine them on the walls and ceilings. Play the recorded music of a band that had only one Top 10 single in its career.

To think that such a novelty could last a month, much less be in its fourth decade, is as surprising as it is true. Every weekend thousands of Americans of all ages turn away from their video game consoles and DVD players to embrace this technological relic, a psychedelic "Rocky Horror Picture Show." Tonight, the Beacon Theater will have an updated, traveling version of the Pink Floyd shows that have long been staples of planetariums and concert halls. Nearly 2,000 tickets have been sold, said the show's promoter, Laser Spectacular.

The signs of aging have begun appearing, though. Ivan Dryer, who is considered the father of the shows, plans to open a multimedia center this year in Los Angeles that will forgo Floyd in favor of electronica music. Several venues have stopped their laser shows, blaming everything from weakening ticket sales to the undesirable "stoner crowd" the shows have been said to attract. "We were told that the laser shows no longer met the mission statement of the museum as far as being an educational facility," said Toby Winsett, who ran the shows at the Gates Planetarium in Denver until they were stopped in 1999.

Not that the Denver area goes without a laser Floyd fix. The planetarium manager in nearby Boulder said he relied on the weekly Floyd shows to help finance his educational programming, a statement echoed by several planetarium directors across the country. "It's our moneymaker every year," said Franciso Salas, operations manager and program director of the Fiske Planetarium at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

In 1970 a California Institute of Technology professor asked Mr. Dryer, then a young Los Angeles-area filmmaker, to record her laser demonstrations on film. Mr. Dryer became hooked, spending the next three years developing his technique as a "laserist" for films and on tour with Alice Cooper. His dream was to put on a laser show set to music at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, an idea that was repeatedly rejected by the city-owned planetarium until November 1973, when Mr. Dryer's company, Laser Images Inc., was given four Monday nights as a trial run. The shows sold out for weeks.

There were 12 recorded songs played during Laserium I, as the initial performances were called, with music from artists ranging from the Rolling Stones to Johann Strauss. On the set list there were also two Pink Floyd songs, "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" and "Echoes," both from albums that neither sold well in the United States nor produced any hits.

And yet the music immediately connected with the laser audiences, Mr. Dryer said. "When I first heard their music I thought it was perfect for the kind of thing we were doing," he added. "It was instrumental largely, and we were looking for something that was not widely known."

What did soon become widely known was the laser show's success, and planetariums across the United States approached Mr. Dryer about building more laser machines. It was an arrangement that some later bemoaned, he said, remembering that several museums with planetariums did not take kindly to the shows' fans. "They were called 'the wrong element,' " he said. "It was always an uneasy marriage."

By the end of 1974 Laserium was showing in Denver, at the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and in San Francisco and San Diego. Imitators began selling systems to planetariums. And some planetariums even made their own.

One constant with most of the companies was Pink Floyd, especially music from the band's 1973 hit album, "The Dark Side of the Moon." The album's seemingly endless success - it spent an unequalled 741 weeks on the Billboard 200 chart - led some laser companies to produce shows composed completely of the album's tracks. Shows for "The Wall" and other combinations of Pink Floyd songs and albums followed.

Jay Heck, art director for LFI International, a company that creates shows for planetariums, said Pink Floyd remained his most requested software. "We're still producing shows like No Doubt, we're even thinking about an OutKast show, but we cannot take Pink Floyd off the system," he said. "We updated 'Dark Side of the Moon' just last year."

Mr. Heck said his company's presence in planetariums peaked about the mid-1990's. Laserium at the Griffith Observatory ended in 2002 when the planetarium closed for renovations, ending a run of nearly 29 years. Renovations also ended the laser shows at the Hayden Planetarium in 1997, although they did continue for a couple of years at the museum's Imax theater, Holly Evarts, a museum spokeswoman, said. The museum replaced the laser shows in 2003 with SonicVision, a "digitally animated alternative music show," which with its vibrant images dancing across the ceiling is an obvious outgrowth of the Floyd shows.

Though SonicVision's projectors produce visuals that have a clarity and complexity far beyond the depth of any classic laser program, the music, most of it pop tracks a couple of years old by artists like Prodigy, White Zombie and Moby, feels more dated than many of the Pink Floyd shows, which enthusiasts say have a timeless quality.

"The laser Pink Floyd has it's own mystique," said Marc Rouleau, an aging fan and the director of the Paulucci Space Theater in Hibbing, Minn., which rents a laser system every holiday season for a Pink Floyd show on New Year's Eve. "Even though personally, I now prefer to listen to the news on public radio."

FloridaChief
02-06-2005, 03:37 PM
Mr. Heck said his company's presence in planetariums peaked about the mid-1990's. Laserium at the Griffith Observatory ended in 2002 when the planetarium closed for renovations, ending a run of nearly 29 years.

I actually saw the PF Laserium show at Griffith Observatory in 1996 on a visit to Los Angeles. It was pretty striking, I must say. They did DSotM in it's entirety and a couple other Floyd songs. Wasn't bad, though I should add that I wasn't stoned at the time. The place sure did reek of ganja that night, though...

Rain Man
02-06-2005, 03:45 PM
I wonder if they'll replace them with Grateful Dead music. That ought to fix it.

chiefs4me
02-06-2005, 03:45 PM
I knew...I knew...what do I win?ROFL

Dr. Facebook Fever
02-06-2005, 03:48 PM
I knew...I knew...what do I win?ROFL
You get to take a toke.

FloridaChief
02-06-2005, 03:55 PM
I knew...I knew...what do I win?ROFL

You earned the right to ruin a perfectly good Pink Floyd thread for me...

seclark
02-06-2005, 03:56 PM
we don't need no education

Dr. Facebook Fever
02-06-2005, 03:58 PM
I've always wondered.....how exactly CAN you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

chiefs4me
02-06-2005, 04:04 PM
You earned the right to ruin a perfectly good Pink Floyd thread for me...



PBJ

Dr. Facebook Fever
02-06-2005, 04:06 PM
PBJ
It's pretty obvious FloridaChief is in love with you... why don't the two of you just sloppy kiss and make up.....

FloridaChief
02-06-2005, 04:09 PM
PBJ

Bus stop rat bag - haha, charade you are
You f*cked up old hag - haha, charade you are

siberian khatru
02-06-2005, 04:10 PM
There's no dark side of the moon, really. As a matter of fact it's all dark.

FloridaChief
02-06-2005, 04:12 PM
It's pretty obvious FloridaChief is in love with you... why don't the two of you just sloppy kiss and make up.....

The day you tongue the dingleberries out of GoChiefs' anus is the day I share spit w/ chiefswhoreme. Okay?

FloridaChief
02-06-2005, 04:13 PM
There's no dark side of the moon, really. As a matter of fact it's all dark.

The only thing that makes it look dark is the sun.

Dr. Facebook Fever
02-06-2005, 04:14 PM
The day you tongue the dingleberries out of GoChiefs' anus is the day I share spit w/ chiefswhoreme. Okay?
You two crazy kids...... people in love are so cute....



:)

HemiEd
02-06-2005, 04:14 PM
I got to see Pink Floyd do Dark Side of the Moon in Providence or Boston can't remember which for some reason, 72 I think. Only concert that I ever had to go outside for a break, smoke was so thick. They have been at it a long time! :bravo:

chiefs4me
02-06-2005, 05:40 PM
The day you tongue the dingleberries out of GoChiefs' anus is the day I share spit w/ chiefswhoreme. Okay?


Even if the above came true...You would never touch me...The thought of your fleshy wrinkled white skin coming next to me is enough to make me wish for death...I shudder to think about it.

chiefs4me
02-06-2005, 05:41 PM
You two crazy kids...... people in love are so cute....



:)



So totally wrong on this one buddy...I think he is a disgrace to man. ROFL

FloridaChief
02-06-2005, 05:46 PM
Even if the above came true...You would never touch me...The thought of your fleshy wrinkled white skin coming next to me is enough to make me wish for death...

So basically, that makes two of us that wish for your death...