Pink Floyd FAQ - The Early Years

The Pink Floyd FAQ


Frequently Asked Questions - The Early Years

  1. What's being said at the beginning of 'Astronomy Domine'?
  2. What does 'Pow R. Toc H.' mean?
  3. What was 'Let's Roll Another One'? +
  4. What is 'Chapter 24' about, anyway?
  5. What was the song list for the original US Piper release? +
  6. What did Syd do after being ousted from Pink Floyd? *
  7. I heard a different verse to 'Point Me at the Sky'!
  8. Who is 'Eugene,' and why should he be careful with that axe?
  9. What are the parts of 'A Saucerful of Secrets' called? +
  10. Does Syd Barrett play on any tracks on ASoS?
  11. What is happening in the middle of the live version of 'Cymbaline'? *
  12. What does the Pict say in 'Several Species....'?
  13. What were 'The Man' and 'The Journey'? +
  14. Where do the different parts in 'Atom Heart Mother Suite' start/end? +
  15. Who is 'Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast' written for? +
  16. Is Relics available on CD? +
  17. What is said at the end of 'Fearless'? +
  18. 'One of These Days' tidbits...
  19. I heard a concert recording with a different verse for 'Echoes'!
  20. What was played on the BBC's John Peel show?
  21. The lyrics to 'Echoes' on the server are wrong!!!
  22. There's a different verse for 'Free Four' in the movie.
  23. The running order on the OBC tape is wrong.
+ Changed since last version
* New since last version

This Document Copyright 1994, 1995 by the Echoes Mailing List and its Members. For questions on distribution, contact: echoes-faq@fawnya.tcs.com


1. What's being said at the beginning of 'Astronomy Domine'?

That's Peter Jenner (the Floyd's manager) listing a bunch of stars, galaxies, and other stuff through a megaphone. Exactly what's being said is real hard to decipher, but here's what Mark Brown and I have managed:

"Moon in both [houses]..."
"...Scorpio, [Arabian Skies], Libra..."
"...Pluto was not discovered until 1930..."

And then a bit that seems to be a pre-flight countdown:

"...[two/ten] seconds to [ignition]..."
"...all systems satisfied..."

Then, in the middle section of the song, you can hear something like:

"...just completed orbital..."


2. What does 'Pow R. Toc H.' mean?

Well, most people seem to feel it means "Power Toke" or "Power Tokage" or something along those lines. Another suggestion is "Power Touch," but the problem with that is that the space is between C and H, not between O and C.

Then again, my thought, "Power Torch," has the same problem. Anyway, this next bit clears up half the mystery, courtesy of Steve South and the Longmans Encyclopaedia:

Toc H, an interdenominational Christian fellowship of men and women of every social background, with branches throughout the world, which seeks to promote an understanding of the meaning and purpose of life through unreserved involvement in the community. Founded in 1915, it started its work in a soldiers' club at Talbot House (Toc H was the army signallers' designation of the initials TH) at Poperingtie, Flanders. Incorporated by royal charter in 1922, it is organized in groups and maintains residential houses called 'marks'.


3. What was 'Let's Roll Another One'? +

The flip side to Pink Floyd's first single, "Arnold Layne," was originally a song called "Let's Roll Another One." Now, the Floyd were already known to be heavily connected with the drug-influenced psychedelic underground, but their record company wasn't about to release anything with such a blatent drug reference. So, they had Floyd change the song.

The extent of the changes made are purely a matter of speculation, as no one I've talked to has ever heard the original. Waters has said they "had to change all the lyrics" (emphasis added). However, a line of the original song, as quoted by Mason, was "tastes right if you eat it right." This is awfully similar to a lyric ("tastes good if you eat it soon") in the revised version of the song, "Candy and a Currant Bun." So most probably, the changes were in detail; and not a total reworking.

There are some RoIOs that claim to include this song, but to the best of my knowledge, none of these are actually the original song. Mostly, they're just bad recordings of disconnected guitar phrases, with a lot of noise, wow, flutter, and general garbage all about. And no lyrics whatsoever.


4. What is 'Chapter 24' about, anyway?

[From a posting by Gerhard:]
Well, since we've been discussing this a lot, I have found the answer. As I was going to my local bookstore I found a book called I Ching (the book of changes) in an English translation, and I did look up Chapter 24 and guess what ??

It's called "Fu" meaning Change/success (like in "Change become success" and is a very nearly transcript of this song. It contains lines like: "A movement is accomplished in 6 stages, and the 7th brings return," only paraphrased.

Also from the same chapter: "The 7 is the number of the Young wise, it forms when darkness [.. == 6 ..] is increased by 1."


5. What was the song list for the original US Piper release? +

The US release of Piper was a bit different than the UK release. Here are the track lists for both of them [from a posting by bear]:

U.S. release of Piper at the Gates of Dawn

U.K. release of Piper at the Gates of Dawn

Note also that the double-album A Nice Pair is almost, but not quite, "Piper." The version of "Astronomy Domine" that appears on the original US Capitol pressings of ANP is not the original studio version, but was instead the live version that appears on Ummagumma. Other than that, it is identical to the original UK Piper.


6. What did Syd do after being ousted from Pink Floyd? *

In addition to making the Madcap Laughs and Barrett albums, doing a set on the Top Gear Show (released on The Peel Session EP), and recording the songs that were used to make up Opel, Syd was also involved in the following musical activities in his post-Floyd days:


7. I heard a different verse to 'Point Me at the Sky'!

When the group sang the song on their 01/14/69 Top Gear performance, (found on many RoIOs) they used a slightly different second verse. While the original goes

If you survive 'til two thousand and five
I hope you're exceedingly thin
Because if you are stout
you will have to breathe out
> to let the people around you breathe in

on the Top Gear performance they sang

> so the man next to you can breathe in

Not too big a difference, really, but it tends to surprise people when they first hear it...


8. Who is 'Eugene,' and why should he be careful with that axe? +

Well, there used to be an interesting story that explained both the identity of the protagonist and how Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead lost his right-hand ring finger. However, it turns out that the story isn't exactly true (Garcia is missing the finger, but his brother's name is not Eugene, it's Tiff.)

Here are two more possibilities:

"Careful With That Axe, Eugene" was the flip side of "Point Me at the Sky." Some people believe that PMatS starts off with the line "Hey, Eugene/This is Henry McClean/And I've finished my beautiful flying machine." [which, BTW, is another debate, for another time]. Anyway, Chris Coffman mentioned this:

I really don't want to add more fuel to this thread, but I just played "Point Me at the Sky" (my roomate's first ever exposure to this song). My roomate seems to remember a book from his childhood called Eugene and His Flying Machine, or something like that. He thinks it may have had another kid in it named Henry. I don't want anyone thinking I'm setting this forth as fact, but does anyone know of such a book?

Well, this rings a bell for me, and so I've been trying to track it down, if it indeed exists. The closest I've come so far is a book called "Wizzard McBean [ryhmes with McClean] and his Flying Machine," which is out of print.

Also, R. Brigham Lampert came up with the following:

In the early 1960's there was a small serial killing spree in the area of London near the river Thames. After three or four murders, a suspect was caught. That suspect's name was Eugene Craft. He was tried and found guilty. Hence, "Careful" might be referring to that incident.


9. What are the parts of 'A Saucerful of Secrets' called? +

On the album ASoS, the title track is simply called "A Saucerful of Secrets." On some pressings of Ummagumma, however, the piece is broken down into four sections. These sections are called:


  Something Else               00:00  (ominous opening noises)

  Syncopated Pandemonium       03:57  (with the drum tape-loop and such)

  Storm Signals                07:16  (organ-based section) 

  Celestial Voices             10:14  (the closing spacey part with the voices)

(...with times courtesy Charles Saeger)


10. Does Syd Barrett play on any tracks on ASoS?

Gilmour said (in Guitar World, Feb. '93):

He's on three or four...tracks on the album, including "Remember A Day" and "Jug Band [Blues]". He's also on a tiny bit of "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun."

A February 1992 article in Record Collector also suggests he may have been on "Corporal Clegg," which is echoed in Schaffner's book. The "Crazy Diamond" book notes "See Saw" as another possibility.


11. What's happening in the middle of live versions of 'Cymbaline'? *

During some live versions on "Cymbaline," there's a pause of several minutes in the middle of the song, where you can hear all sorts of strange noises. This was in fact the Floyd showing off their sound system -- the famous Azimuth Co-ordinator.

In addition to their normal quadraphonic setup, they would (location permitting) also set up speakers on multiple levels -- on balconies and such. They would then, using a joystick control, send sounds up and down stairs, around the audience, and all about the concert hall. This is what you're hearing.


12. What does the Pict say in 'Several Species....'?

First off, what is a Pict?

Pict : A member of a possbly non-Celtic people who once occupied Great Britain, carried on continual border wars with the Romans, and about the ninth century became amalgamated with the Scots.

As to what's being said, that's hard to say. But I think it's been accepted that it's somebody (probably Waters) imitating a Scottish accent. The following are two interpretations, the first by Brian Tompsett, and the second by Mike Merriam.

Brian Tompsett:

Aye an' a bit of Mackeral settler rack and ruin
ran it doon by the haim, 'ma place
well I slapped me and I slapped it doon in the side
and I cried, cried, cried.

The fear a fallen down taken never back the raize
and then Craig Marion, get out wi' ye Claymore out mi pocket
a' ran doon, doon the middin stain
picking the fiery horde that was fallen around ma feet.

Never he cried, never shall it ye get me alive
ye rotten hound of the burnie crew.
Well I snatched fer the blade O my Claymore
cut and thrust and I fell doon before him round his feet.
Aye!

A roar he cried
frae the bottom of his heart that I would nay fall but as dead,
dead as 'a can be by his feet; de ya ken?

...and the wind cried back.

Mike Merriam:

Aye an' a bit of Mackeral (Fagger, wreck'n) fear
Ran it doon by the (haim)
And I (flew).
When I (slapped) me,
And I flopped it doon in the shade,
And I cried, cried, 'n cried.

The fear o' fallen down 'a taken, ne'er back t' raise.

And then cried Mary,
And I took that weighted claymore right out of (---),
And ran doon, doon the mountain side,
And back unt' the fiery horde that was fall'n round y' feet.

Never, I cried,
Never shall ye take me alive,
Y' rotten hound and the (----- --rew).

Well I (snapped fore) the blade o' my claymore,
Cut and thrust,
And I fell down before him.
Right at his feet. Aye!

A roar, he cried,
Fr' the bottom of his heart,
That I would nay fall

But as dead,
Dead as I can, by feat
(D' ya ken?)

And the wind cried Mary.

There has been much discussion on Echoes as to whether he is saying "and the wind cried back" or "and the wind cried Mary" in that last line. Personally, I plan on waiting for the MFSL/remastered version before taking a stand.

[from Adam Winstanley:]
Regarding Several Species...the most recent edition of the Amazing Pudding has a short piece on that. Waters does most of it but if you have one of those old record players that can do 16rpm you can hear Gilmour in the middle somewhere ["This is pretty avant-garde isn't it..."] and if you speed it up to 78rpm you can hear "bring back my guitar." Ron Geesin isn't on the track although he parodied it on a track called "To Roger Waters, Where-ever you are."


13. What were 'The Man' and 'The Journey'? +

[With much help from Adam Winstanley and others]: In fact several concert recordings exist of The Man and The Journey and many people probably possess RoIOs of these pieces without realising it. The Man and The Journey were two parts of "More Furious Madness From The Massed Gadgets of Auximenies" and consisted of several well-known Floyd tunes linked into a concept piece as follows:

More Furious Madness From The Massed Gadgets Of Auximenies

The complete piece lasted about 70 minutes.

This information comes from the 1969 Pink Floyd tour programme, parts of which were reproduced in an early Amazing Pudding (No. 13 I think) and also from listening to RoIOs and tapes from this period:


14. Where do the different parts in 'Atom Heart Mother Suite' start/end? +

The "Atom Heart Mother Suite" is a side-long instrumental split into six different parts. Most of the divisions are marked by a return of the main theme of the piece, played by everybody (group and orchestra).

Beyond this, there is some controversy over where each section starts and ends. The EMI and MFSL versions of the disc have index markers; they are essentially the same on both discs (give or take a few seconds), and are given below. Many echoesians, however, are somewhat unsatisfied with these divisions, and so have developed an alternative indexing scheme. This is also given below, along with an explanation...

			       

	   Section Title            EMI/MFSL Index      echoes

 ---------------------------------+----------------+----------------

    a. "Father's Shout"           |     05:20      |     02:59

    b. "Breast Milky"             |     10:09      |     05:22

    c. "Mother Fore"              |     15:26      |     10:11

    d. "Funky Dung"               |     17:44      |     15:25

    e. "Mind Your Throats Please" |     19:49      |     17:44

    f. "Remergence"               |     ..end      |     ..end

The first part, naturally, is Father's Shout, with all the weird sounds, horses, and ends with the motorcycle.

The second part, Breast Milky, starts off as a duet for organ and viola, and gradually includes drums, guitar, and the rest of the orchestra. (2:59)

Then Mother Fore begins, this section is a quiet choral section, with mostly chorus and organ. (5:22)

Funky Dung has a lot of guitar, strong bass, and that weird choir singing things that sound vaguely like "toast....coffee...yeah...." or "saa saa saa saa saaa.....brrrrrrrrrroooooooooonnnn." (10:11)

Mind Your Throats Please is the strange (like it's not all strange?) part that begins with alternating organ notes. After the slower beginning with organ & such, a section that Echoes has been calling the "Overload" section begins, with lots of out-of-sync voices and sounds & such, sounding a bit like the Beatles' "Revolution 9." This is either part of "Mind Your Throats" or "Remergence," depending on whose opinion you ask. (15:25)

"Remergence," then, is the climactic final section, where the main theme gradually "re-emerges." (17:44)

As you can see, the main argument lies in the question of the lengths of "Father's Shout" versus "Remergence." I guess this just goes to show how subjective some of these things can be...


15. Who is 'Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast' written for? +

It's named for Alan Stiles, a roadie of Floyd's back then. The band was never very happy with this piece, even though it was played in several concerts. Early British pressings of the album had the sound of the water dripping from the tap continue into the trail-off groove in the record, allowing some turntables to play dripping water forever (or until someone turns it off, whichever came first).

The song is divided into three named sections:

  1. "Rise and Shine" 00:00
  2. "Sunny Side Up" 04:22
  3. "Morning Glory" 08:17


16. Is Relics available on CD? +

Yes. Relics is avaliable on a 1995 Digital Re-master.


17. What is said at the end of 'Fearless'?

The chanting you hear at the end of "Fearless" is from a football (or soccer, if you're American) game in Liverpool. It's "You'll Never Walk Alone," originally from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "Carousel." A really popular cover of "You'll Never Walk..." was done by Gerry and The Pacemakers, and it was this version which was "adopted" as the sort of anthem for the Liverpool team, and is even engraved over the gate at their home stadium. The recording on Meddle is sung by Liverpool's loyal fans, and includes:

And you'll never walk/alone/in the dark/alone

Followed by some screaming, whistling, then

LIVERPOOL LIVERPOOL LIVERPOOL!

For "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" fans, part of "You'll Never Walk Alone" is sung by Eddie, the ship's computer, at the end of Chapter 17.


18. 'One of These Days' tidbits...

The voice in the middle of "One of These Days" is Nick Mason, and he says "One of these days I'm going to cut you into little pieces."

At about 3:00 or so, there's a faint organ riff that sounds a lot like the Dr. Who theme to a lot of people.

Also, from Scott Eberline (with help from Gerhard): In the Westwood One broadcast of Waters' Quebec performance of Radio KAOS, a member of the audience asked Waters who it was he wanted to cut into little pieces. Apparently this brought back fond memories for Waters, who replied that it was an English disk jockey named Jimmy Young. The song was meant as a personal attack. The band used to play bits and pieces of Jimmy Young's radio show spliced together in a completely nonsensical manner, immediately before playing "One of These Days".

[example--on the RoIO "Lost in the Corridors," during "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast," you can hear things like "Georgia, lovely greenwood" and "And here's for you, Monkey doo."]


19. I heard a concert recording with a different verse for 'Echoes'!

The Floyd, in their pre-Animals days, often performed as-yet unrecorded tracks in concert ("Murderistic Woman," "Raving and Drooling", etc.) These would often undergo significant changes before appearing on albums, and Echoes is such a case.

The opening verse of Echoes originally had a "space" theme, and several RoIOs exist with these lyrics. One is called "Mauerspecte" (which, BTW, has been known to be defective many times, so try before you buy). It comes from Berlin on 5 June, 1971. Another recording of the same show is available on "Lost in the Corridors."

Here are a few attempts at deciphering the lyrics, the first by Jonathan Baumgartner, the next two by bear & Gerhard den Hollander, and finally a bit from P.C. de Bondt:

??? sitting face to face
Onto the ??? now sweep
If ever swinging light ???
A path in union deep in space

Ever might this monster land(?)
And fearlessly, two shadows watch
??? (can't understand this whole line)

And if that volume(?) to be won
the parting song sound is gone
I'll see you got to travel on
and on and on around the sun

Then comes the "Strangers passing in the street" verse.


	     (bear)                              (Gerhard)

    Planets sitting face to face        Planets sitting face to face

    Sun to the air and land how sweet   bound to the air of life, how sweet

    In every single lighting place      in ever single fighting pace

    The planet here in dreaming space   the planet here is deep in space



    Perfect night this was so grand     Echoes might this once were land

    And give us leave to share as one   And give us leave to share as one

    Our two lights in the land          Our two lights in the land 



    For one light can                   For one light can



    And in that coming to the one       And in that coming to the one

    The parting sighs sound as one      The parting sighs sound as one

    I see you've got to travel on       I see you've got to travel on 

    And on and on around the sun.       And on and on around the sun

and P.C. de Bondt's 2 cents worth.

This one is rather interesting--if anyone finds a boot from a different date, or with a clearer recording & can make out more lyrics, please post and let us know!


20. What was played on the BBC's John Peel show?

These shows include some of the best "live" performances of early Floyd material. Here's some information (from "Journey Through Time & Space..." (as posted by Adam Stanley)):

16 September, 1970. Paris Theatre, London UK.
"Sounds of the Seventies: John Peel Show," BBC 1 Radio.
(Broadcast at 6:00 pm).
[This is the broadcast of the show; the recording date is unknown, but it was probably a few days prior to this.]
The Embryo - 10:30
Green Is The Colour/Careful With That Axe Eugene - 11:30
If - 4:30
Atom Heart Mother - 26:00
Total time: 55:00
(This is the only live performance of "If" (as far as we know) by the Floyd, with Roger on acoustic guitar and Rick on bass and organ simulanetously. "Atom Heart Mother" was performed with the accomniment of The Philip Jones Brass Ensemble.)
30 September, 1971. BBC's Paris Theatre, London UK.
(Recording for the "John Peel Show")
(Recorded live on the 30th, and broadcast on 5 October on BBC 1)
(Yes, folks..it's the 5th, not the 3rd, check your 1971 calenders!)
(Broadcast at 10:00 pm, BBC 1 Radio, London UK.)
Embryo - 10:30

Blues - 5:00

Fat Old Sun - 15:00
One Of These Days - 8:00
Echoes - 28:00
Total time: 68:00

Note: "The John Peel Shows" was only 55 minutes long. "Embryo" and "Blues" were never broadcast in the UK. They were only aired on WNEW-FM, New York City, USA (sometime in 1971?) This WNEW portion was broadcast only once, unfortunately. The 5 October 1971 and 16 September 1971 shows are re-broadcast nearly every year in the USA on the "King Biscuit Flour Hour." However, it is a combination version of the two shows and is incomplete.

This is some additional information that I have figured out on my own. The version of Embryo that most people have is from the 1970 show. It is easily identified by the Echoes-like section in the middle. The version of Embryo from 1971 is much different. It is available on the Wavelengths RoIO. Almost all of the CD RoIOs of these shows are combination, except for the Swinging Pigs discs, and one called Early Tour Years, which is a double disc with each show on its own disc. And as a side note: When the BBC recorded the Dark Side show at Wembley in 1974 for a broadcast, they also recorded Echoes, but it has never been aired. So as a result, we are missing a great version of Echoes, with a sax solo!


21. The lyrics to 'Echoes' on the server are wrong!!!

Well, maybe they are, and maybe they aren't. This has been discussed to death (and then some) on the list, and what you see on the server represents about the best compromise that we have been able to achieve.

Okay. We'll get into one particular about this song, and hopefully that'll help keep the noise level down. Does the line say "Everything is green and submarine" or "Everything is green and summery?"

Proposition: It says "submarine."

Supporting evidence: [thank you, Dean Herbert]

And, of course, in the Shine On lyrics, it's "submarine", and one would think that DG knows what he was singing.


22. There's a different verse for 'Free Four' in the movie.

[Thanks to Geoff Rimmer (grimmer@nyx.cs.du.edu) for this one.] I don't remember seeing this in the FAQ or on the mailing list, so for those who haven't rushed out and bought the video of "The Valley Obscured By Clouds" (Warner Home Video. Cost me $69.95 + POSTAGE!), here are the lyrics of Free Four in the film version:

(fades in ...)
Are the deeds of a man in his prime
You shuffle in the gloom of a sick room
And talk to yourself as you die

And life is a short warm moment
And death is a long cold rest*
You get your chance to try
In the twinkling of an eye
In eighty years with luck
Or even less

So take my advice
And cut yourself a slice
And try not to make it too big
'Cos things are hard to grow
And I can tell you
'Cos I know
It's better not to make yourself sick.

This is roughly the same tune as "So all aboard for the American tour... you may find it hard to get off"

(jumps horribly to the following...)
He was buried like a mole in a foxhole
And everyone's still on the run
And who is the master of foxhounds
And who says the hunt has begun?*
And who calls the tune in the courtroom*
And who beats the funeral drum?*

The memories of a man in his old age
Are the deeds of a man in his prime
You shuffle in the gloom of a sick room
... (fades out)

* are sung differently from the OBC album.

[Note that the film has dialogue over the top of the music, and this version isn't available w/out the dialogue, at least not that we know of.]


23. The running order on the OBC tape is wrong.

Yup. Not sure why that was done. Sometimes the order of songs is changed for cassettes, in order to make it all fit on a shorter amount of tape (without wasting extra tape at the end of one side because of a longer opposite side). That's probably what's happened here.

NOTE: A similar discrepency has been noted for the tape of Ummagumma, which apparently excluded about half the album in some releases (for a one-tape release).


Hehey Technologies Ltd © 1997-1999