A quick short, sharp shock

Pink Floyd fans may know of this series of discs that make available a plethora of rare recordings: radio adverts, interviews, mono edits, alternate versions, etcetera. On disc three, track 20, a very special track, and one which gave me the shivers. You’ll understand when you listen to it.

From wikipedia:

Snippets of dialogue between and over the top of the songs are also featured on the recording [of Dark Side of the Moon]. Roger Waters devised a method of interviewing people, whereby questions were printed on flashcards in sequential order and the subject’s responses were recorded uninterrupted. The questions related to central themes of the album such as madness, violence, and death. Participants were commandeered from around Abbey Road, placed in the darkened studio in front of a microphone, and told to answer the questions in the order which they were presented. This provoked some surprising responses to subsequent questions. For example, the question “When was the last time you were violent?” was immediately followed by “Were you in the right?” (Henderson, Peter; Surcliffe, Phil; and Bungey, John (1998). The First Men on the Moon Part 2 (html). REG . MOJO Magazine. Retrieved on 2006-12-23.)

Recordings of road manager Roger “The Hat” Manifold were the only ones obtained through a conventional sit-down interview because the band members could not find him at the time and his responses (including “give ’em a quick, short, sharp shock…” and “live for today, gone tomorrow, that’s me…”) had to be taped later when the flashcards had been lost.

From the liner notes of A Tree Full of Secrets (disc 3):

Roger the Hat interview (07:30)
Recorded : 1972
Primary source : Capital Radio broadcast (“Pink Floyd Story”), December 1976 – January 1977
Source for the tree : unknown gen from Capital Radio broadcast. All through “The Dark Side of the Moon” album, you can hear the voices of people interviewed by the band. Here, Roger the Hat (who was a roadie for various rock bands) is interviewed by Roger Waters. On the album, you can hear his voice during “On the Run” (“Live for today, gone tomorrow, that’s me, hahaha-¦”) and during “Us And Them” (“Short, sharp shock -¦”).

Roger the Hat

(UPDATE: Very difficult to find more information on Roger Manifold on the web. The above picture came from this webpage about another band he was a roadie with, The Third World War. Apparently, the Hat monicker derived from Mr. Monicker’s recognizable top hat, sported in his daily roadie ministrations. Wish I could find a picture of it. I love top hats, too.)

About Aharon N. Varady

Aharon's Omphalos is the hobbit hole of Aharon Varady, founding director of the Open Siddur Project. He is a community planner and environmental educator working to improve stewardship of the Public Domain, be it the physical and natural commons of urban park systems or the creative and cultural commons of libraries and museums. His advocacy for open-source strategies in the Jewish community has been written about in the Atlantic Magazine, the Yiddish Forverts, Tablet, and Haaretz. He is particularly interested in pedagogies for advancing ecological wisdom, developing creative and emotional intelligence, and realizing effective theurgical praxes . He welcomes your comments, personal messages, and kind words. If you find his work helpful to your own or you'd simply like to support him, please consider donating via his Patreon account.

Leave a Reply