Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Cult corner

I've never been that bothered about bootlegs but years ago, after reading an article in MOJO or some such, I went on a search for Pink Floyd's Vegetable Man. I'd heard the version of it on the b side of the Mary Chain's Upside Down, and fine though that is, the lyrics are drowned under an avalanche of feedback. I approached likely looking stalls from Camden to Portobello Road only to find the vendors there couldn't help and seemed reluctant to discuss bootlegs. Eventually I did acquire a copy on vinyl but it was very murky indeed.

Anyway, about a week ago (I don't know why I hadn't thought before) I realised I could probably, quite easily, find a decent version of it online somewhere. And so I did. Because I could never clearly make them out I'd looked up the lyrics ages ago and they're some of my favourites ever. Incredibly simple - I think what I find so compelling about them is that they're so direct. A description of his physical trappings that's so straight forward that it becomes weird, especially the bit about his watch.

Pink Floyd Vegetable Man


  1. I had never heard that before. Wonder why I hadn't looked for it before as I love the Mary Chain version and after hearing the original it is still the Reid Brothers version for me.

    One thing though, how did the Reids know what it sounded like as it had never been released and things were a hell of a lot less accessable then?

  2. They're virtually different songs - the Mary Chain's vicious lash through it is one of my favourite things in their back catalogue. But Syd's vocals are more affecting. At the moment I'm favouring Pink Floyd.

    On your second point, I dunno, I suppose they were just into obscure stuff. Have you read My Magpie Eyes are Hungry for the Prize? It was only because their demo had some Syd Barrett tunes taped after it that fluked them being signed to Creation.

  3. I read MMEAHFTP quite a few years ago now, it was a good read even better since McGee doesn't approve of it!

  4. I’m not surprised, he does come out of it looking like a bit of a knob. It’s the best book I’ve ever read about the music biz, probably cos I was so into a lot of the bands while they were actually happening. That said I could never get into Felt but all the bits about Lawrence are hilarious – his short exchange with Bobby Gillespie over Let the Snakes Crinkle their Heads to Death, I nearly bought it in Record & Tape Exchange a few years ago just because of the title, unusually though common sense kicked in and I walked away.

    I used to work in EC1 and in my lunchbreaks I’d often stroll to the end of Leather Lane market to the junction with Clerkenwell Road. Something in my memory used to nag away at me and it was only when I read the book that I realised that Creation Records’ old HQ pretty much marked the spot on which I’d turn around to walk back to the office.