What an interesting day. I’ll start with a happy belated birthday to one of my drumming godfathers, Charlie Benante, who celebrated a birthday yesterday. I love Charlie for so many reasons. He’s really a renaissance man. He’s responsible for not only some of the most amazing drum parts, but also many of the guitar riffs and the album art for Anthrax over the years. He’s on the same level as another drumming godfather (but more of a peer since we’re less than a year apart agewise), Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson. I bring up Questlove because he posted today about his disappointment at never being exposed to Pink Floyd’s The Wall until this week. It really struck me how we can all live in our music bubbles even as supposed educated adults. I know how he refers to Soul Train as his babysitter and his musical tutor over the years. I discounted that show as a kid but it was really an amazing showcase for so many artists.
The Pink Floyd connection flows farther into what me finally watching the first episode of Get Back, the new Beatles documentary from Peter Jackson. It turns out that as a part of that documentary and the making of Let It Be and Abbey Road, they were considering doing their first live performance in 3 years at Sabrata, a Roman amphitheatre in Libya, before ultimately deciding to do that rooftop gig. It’s relevant to the Pink Floyd discussion since they did Live at Pompeii in another amphitheatre only about a year later. I have to wonder if they somehow got the idea from the Beatles or someone involved in the Beatles or if that was just a common idea at the time?
I’ll note that going full circle back to hip hop, apparently the video for Gratitude by the Beastie Boys was an homage to Live at Pompeii. In fact, Money Mark commented about it in Questlove’s Instagram post about The Wall.