Once again the Vail Valley has turned pink. Often considered the least manly of colors, the shade that now symbolizes hope, has also had quite the run in rock and roll. From the Psychedelic Furs’ song that inspired the movie “Pretty in Pink” to Neil Young’s boisterous back up band The Shocking Pinks, the blushing color between red and white has its cherished place in rock and roll right down to the 1996 induction into the Hall of Fame of Pink Floyd. Here are my Think Pink highlights of music.
Pink- Alecia Beth Moore debuted as a solo artist in 2000 with a LP called Can’t Take Me Home. It launched her career that reached its peak with a Grammy for her performance of “Lady Marmalade” in Moulin Rouge! A year later she got the party started when she sold 15 million copies of Missundaztood. It seems people understood the miss loud and clear.
“Pink Cadillac” by Bruce Springsteen- There have been a number of rock and roll vehicles from Wilson Pickett’s “Mustang Sally” to Prince’s “Little Red Corvette,” but the boss’ ode to Elvis Presley’s car of choice can park along side any of them. Turned into a top 10 hit by Natalie Cole of all people, Springsteen’s lament starts up at the original sin and transports us along the bumpy highway ride of rock.
Neil Young’s Shocking Pinks- The ultimate middle finger to his record company, Everybody’s Rockin’ featured a rockabilly band and 50’s style reverb for an amazingly short 25 minutes as Young’s response to David Geffen’s request for a rock and roll album. The album lead to a major court fight eventually won by Young over the record company and led to a subsequent apology from Geffen to Young. Shocking indeed.
Music from Big Pink- Members of Ronnie Hawkins’ back up band The Hawks, holed up in a run down house painted pink in the then unknown enclave of Woodstock, NY and proceeded to produce an endearing document that is credited with launching the Americana genre of music. Robbie Robertson, Levon Helms, Garth Hudson and Richard Manuel spent endless days and nights recording literally hundreds of songs both with and without co-conspirator Bob Dylan throughout 1967 and 1968. A dramatic left turn from the sounds coming out of the hippie movement in California, the songs that emerged from the basement of this salmon shaded house continue to impact musicians far and wide.
Pink Floyd- The Sid Barret inspired rock band has at one time or another been the absolute biggest band in the world. Their theatrical albums are pure masterpieces of art and vision. From the longest top 200 charting album of all time, Dark Side Of The Moon, to the grander than epic The Wall, Pink Floyd’s place in rock and roll will never be in doubt. In fact, with the recently discovered treasure trove of recordings, it is likely that the band, who hasn’t recorded together since 1983, will continue to release ‘new’ material for the next decade-Keeping us all in the pink.