Pink Floyd Concert

The most fantastic concert I never saw was an intimate performance by the original Pink Floyd.

That’s to say, Syd Barrett was still in the band, though hanging on by his teeth and not for much longer.

It was September 10, 1967, a Sunday. The venue was the Golden Circle Jazz Club in Stockholm, by Odenplan—Oden Place, a large square in the northern part of town.

I’m not sure how I learned about the concert—probably from someone at work, it was well know that I liked Pink Floyd—but it was a given, it was an absolute given: I was going, of course. Yes, I was a huge Pink Floyd fan (had almost worn out their debut album—The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn). Yes, absolutely no doubt, I was going. Of course, I was.

In fact, I made plans with a good friend of mine, we were to meet at my place around five or so (the concert was not until ten that evening) to give us time to smoke enough hashish to make the concert memorable, as it were—or immemorable, more likely, if immemorable is even a word, but that’s beside the point.

And yes, he showed up, right on time, my friend did, with enough hashish to see us through, and so we smoked and smoked and then smoked some more that then, probably around seven or so, we set out for Oden Place and the Golden Circle.

Here my memory turns as dim as my awareness at the time, but it seems that we ran in to some people on the subway who were on their way to the best party ever and would we like to come? I’m sure we explained that we were on our way to see Pink Floyd but since we still had mountains of time (three hours or so for the thirty-or-so-minute trip), yeah, sure, what the hell, why not?

It was a very large apartment, I remember that, and lots of people. The apartment was kind of dark, as if secretive. That’s all I really remember. I think I lost my friend at some point, or not—not very clear on that point either.

The much too-clear a point, however, was that time—seeing us shipwrecked and deciding to play us for the fools we were—took off, ran away and it was not until, oh, midnight or so, that either of us consulted his watch to discover, yes, yes, yes, oh, no, no, no we’ve missed the concert. We’ve missed the damn concert.

Would they still be playing? Possibly, but we were still the good thirty minutes away and most likely they would not be playing by the time we (if we) got there. Oh, man. Oh, man.

I think we laughed at this point, at our own stupidity, at how stoned we still were, at how lost you can get, at who knows what.

I made it home by two, shy one unforgettable Pink Floyd concert.

Over the years I have regretted this brilliant piece of stupidity more than just about any other for Syd Barrett was only to play with Pink Floyd for another month, perhaps not even that. I could have been one of the few people on this planet who saw the original band, and that’s a feather that’s very much missing from my cap.

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