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Interview: Siobhan Fahey on her love of Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd
(Image credit: Image credit: Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music - Getty)

“It’s always about a boy, isn’t it?  When I was 14 I had a milk round in Harpenden and there was an older boy, about 16, who I had a crush on. So there I’d be, 5.30 on those freezing mornings in December, waiting to be picked up by ‘Ernie’ and his attractive assistant.

I knew nothing about rock music. But I was obsessed with Tamla Motown and Joni Mitchell, and I was a huge Melanie fan. This boy very quickly turned me
on to Pink Floyd and Roxy Music. To begin with, he lent me the first three Roxy albums and although I couldn’t get my head round them, I totally fell for them and would be listening to them for the rest of my life [and where Bananarama would get their name from, via Pyjamarama – Ed].

Then we progressed to the Floyd. They are in a place way above prog rock, they have a space all of their own. My first taste was Meddle – the whole of Echoes on side B – wow. I would send myself off to sleep with that, utterly fantastic. And next I heard Dark Side Of The Moon and although I preferred the trippier aspect of Meddle, I grew to really love Dark Side...’s depth and scope. Sadly, I never got to see Floyd, and by the end of the 70s I was a punk rocker. So that was it, you hid your Floyd records – and I now had an uneasy relationship with this thing called ‘prog’. My first proper boyfriend was an art student, and he took me to Frank Zappa – but I was bored to tears and fell asleep at the gig. He was really angry with me, he’d paid £3.50 for the tickets! But this same boyfriend took me to see Hawkwind at the Roundhouse, which was amazing, a sound and vision spectacular. I knew the single Silver Machine, which I loved. It was 1976 and here was a prog band that fitted with the punkier things that I discovering. They were angry, they were krautrock, they were trippy. Even today I would see them again. I hear they have the Angels of Death dancing with them, so I’m there, ha ha!

Many years later I revisited Floyd. I love the title song from Wish You Were Here very much and two years ago I did a version with my eldest son on guitar as a download from my website. Then, on holiday in Ibiza, someone started playing Syd Barrett’s The Madcap Laughs, which I’d never explored and it was a revelation. In my mind, people like him are seers, they’re not mad, everyone else is. They see the truth.”

This feature originally appeared in Prog 7. 

Jo Kendall

Embracing weird, wild and wonderful sounds, Prog's Associate Editor Jo's also a Classic Rock columnist, an avid tea-drinker and cupcake fancier.