Pink Floyd–Live in 1975

The Wish You Were Here Tour!

The concert came after my first year at Georgetown Law Center. Like me, the upperclassman who led our law club (an intro to 1st year students on how to do legal research, etc.) was a big Pink Floyd fan. He got us tickets for Floyd on June 10, 1975, at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland—just outside Washington, DC. We had seats high on the sides of the arena. Of course, we were high anyway—nothing to do with the altitude, more on that later.

The staging and the props were stupendous, but we were there for the music. Like “Welcome to the Machine,” “Have a Cigar,” “Wish You Were Here,” the eponymous title of the album and the tour. The big hit, of course, beingShine On You Crazy Diamondwith its multipart instrumental and lyrical homage to Syd Barrett, cofounder of the group. Schizophrenia is difficult even without recreational drugs. The lyrics metaphorically tell the story of what the pressure of performing did to Barrett with his disabilities.

But you don’t need a glossary, do you? Floyd’s psychedelic rock melded lyrics and orchestration better than most groups then and later, too—until the usual dissension among band members (David Gilmour & Roger Waters).

I wish I had been to more Floyd shows. But now I watch and listen to the remastered 1994 PULSE live concert video on YouTube. Without continually watching the images, it’s a great impetus for writing.

It seemed essential to include the the concert episode below in Waiting for Westmoreland, the memoir of how Vietnam became the path to my enlightenment. Not that the Pink Floyd concert story contributed to enlightenment. 

Like me, my mentor smoked dope—so did a substantial majority of attendees. A smoky haze of burning marijuana hung thickly in the air. We were so stoned that the cascade of stairs seemed perilously steep. I hadn’t suffered such spatial distortion since my first time smoking dope in Vietnam. The people nearer the floor appeared the size of ants. The way some of  them scurried around on unseen trails, they might well have been ants. I stayed put, avoiding the challenging descent until the concert’s conclusion. Finding the right seat was itself a challenge for some and a memorable part of the evening.

“Can I see your ticket please?” the usher, with four other concertgoers in tow, asked the first person in my row.


“Can I see your ticket please?” he asked again.


“Can I see your ticket, please?”

“Oh, my ticket. Uh, yeah, here.” The first guy finally put it together.

“You belong in the next section, over there,” said the usher, pointing across the aisle.

“Uh, Ok.”

“Can I see your ticket please?” the usher asked the second guy in the row.


“Can I see your ticket, please?”


“Can I see your ticket, please?”

“Oh, yeah, my ticket. Uh here.” The second guy got it together.

“You belong in the next section, over there.” Said the usher, pointing again across the aisle.

“Can I see your ticket, please?” the usher asked the third guy.

We couldn’t take it anymore and fell out laughing, so I didn’t hear the rest of this scene. Eventually, the patiently insistent usher penetrated the hemp-induced brain-fog of the foursome next to us, replacing them with some slightly less stoned folks.

NOTEs: Five years after the Floyd show, I gave up the weed for thirty years-we had plans for kids coming soon. I tried it again a few times, but it’s too strong now, especially since it has become legal–DAMN! While in law school, I did go to parties with fellow tokers–including the valedictorian from another local DC area law school. There are appellate court judges who smoked it then. Maybe they still do.

BTW: I got my JD from Georgetown in 1977 and passed the bar that year, on the first time.

2 thoughts on “Pink Floyd–Live in 1975

    1. One could have got some of that fog from the proverbial “contact high” in the smoky arena. But we came prepared anyway. Wish I’d seen more shows of others posting here in weeks to come. Plus the ones I never saw–like the Rolling Stones. Mick is still going strong, though.

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