Wishes, Echoes, And Desires (Godfather GR267/268)
Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY – June 17th, 1975
Disc 1: Raving And Drooling, You Gotta Be Crazy, Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 1-5), Have A Cigar, Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 6-9)
Disc 2: Speak To Me, Breathe, On The Run, Time, Breathe (reprise), The Great Gig In The Sky, Money, Us & Them, Any Colour You Like, Brain Damage, Eclipse, Echoes
Pink Floyd was always popular in the New York suburbs on Long Island with legendary shows in the early seventies. But the concerts in the metropolitan area in the summer of 1975, and specifically the two at the Nassau Coliseum sealed it in blood forever. (The Wall shows five years later would be Pink Floyd’s apotheosis, but that is another story). Both the June 16th and June 17th shows exist on excellent quality tapes. The second show has more commercial releases beginning on CDR on Nassau Day 2 (Ayanami 105). It was pressed on silver in the summer of 2005 and issued on Nice Live Pair (Highland HL675/676/677/678), a four disc set coupled with the June 18th Boston show and individually as Live At The Coliseum (Highland HL675/676). Wishes, Echoes, And Desires on Godfather is significantly more loud and clear than Highland. There are some digital clicks at some points from the source tape used by the label which are most noticable during the first song and in the middle of disc two, but the actual sound of the tape is an improvement over the Highland.
A review was published in the New York Times after the second show which interestingly singled out Richard Wright for particular praise. The author John Rockwell writes: “While the rock world is steadily inundated by German space-rock ensembles, Pink Floyd keeps indefatigably making music that antedated the Germans and is superior to nearly all of them.
“Not that the English quartet, which played the first of two consecutive evening concerts Monday at the Nassau Coliseum, is purely devoted to rambling, hypnotic instrumentals of the sort the Germans favor. Pink Floyd can boogie, almost, what with the crunching rhythm section of Rogers Waters (bass guitar) and Nicky Mason (drums), plus a fervent saxophone player and two black women singers.
“And the group’s songs have an unusually suggestive poetic quality – great literature, even, in the context of the flatulent peudo-mythology of so many recent space rock lyrics – and the singing isn’t half bad at all, especially that of Dave Gilmour, the lead guitarist.
“But the core of the act remains the instrumentals, and the core of those instrumentals is Rick Wright, the keyboard player. Mr. Wright makes music of a coloristic richness that is more entrancing that almost any of his competition that one can think of, and yet his flights say firmly grounded in lucidity and rhythmic directness. And for all the others’ gifts on their own, they do their best work in support of Mr. Wright.” (“Pink Floyd Plays At Rambling Best: English Quartet Is Sparked By Wright On Keyboards,” John Rockwell, June 18th, 1975)
The tape begins when the house lights go down and the band walk on stage. “Wait a minute. Just wait a minute” Roger Waters says. “Okay this is a new tune called ‘Raving And Drooling I Fell On His Neck With A Scream.'” This song would undergo minor variations in its development before being rewritten as “Sheep.” On this night Wright plays around with some unique keyboard motifs in the first half of the piece. “You Gotta Be Crazy” is sung more than narrated (as was the case in its earliest incarnation) and is missing the barking dog interlude after “dragged down by the stone….”
Waters makes the normal reference to their founder before “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 1-5” when he says, “This is the last new song tonight so make the best of it. It is partly to do with Syd Barrett who used to be in our band.” Just before the ten minute mark one of the roadies plays the money sound effects by accident, the sound of coins falling into the cash register. In the final section, during Part 8 Wright takes an interesting solo. The second half of the show is devoted to Dark Side Of The Moon and is given a flawless delivery with Gilmour’s wailing guitar in “Money” a standout. This is packaged in a tri-fold gatefold sleeve and is a great title to have and the improvement of the clarity and sound quality places this in league with the Boston and Los Angeles tapes from this year.