LOST SOULS – A Fictional Journey Through 50 Years of Pink Floyd by Edwin Ammerlaan
Reviewed by Richard Hobo
Like most dedicated Pink Floyd fans, I have amassed quite a collection of literature about the band, (a quick glance at my bookshelves reveals at least thirteen tomes by various scribes) and have even considered writing one of my own, but I have never considered the format chosen by Edwin Ammerlaan in his book Lost Souls – A Fictional Journey Through 50 Years of Pink Floyd where the author has placed himself as a fictional central character in the work called Matt.
As the story progresses, Matt becomes an observant bystander to the very inner workings of the band’s lives. It’s a great idea and I would especially recommend this book to younger fans who are just embarking upon their voyage of discovering Pink Floyd. For well-read old dogs like myself, it is fun to spot paragraphs lifted verbatim from interviews that have been published down the ages.
Pink Floyd refer to old friends of the band who hailed from Cambridge, (Dick Parry, Storm Thorgerson, Tim Renwick, etc), as The Cambridge Mafia and the premise of the book is that the narrator finds himself circulating in one of the band’s outer circles after a chance meeting involving a bike, Roger and Syd in Ibiza, Spain. Over the years, he is drawn closer towards the band’s beating heart to see what life is really like behind the wall of rock and roll. The style is languid and easy to read, not at all pure gonzo in the Hunter S Thompson vein and is a wonderful journey through the band’s existence.
As Lost Souls is written in an evolutionary, chronological layout, one can listen to the band’s music in a similar fashion, starting out with the early albums and moving on to the later, massive hits such as The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall as the story progresses. Matt’s not always around in the Floyd circus, however; he has his own life to run as well. He dips in and out of the band’s lives during the barren, rocky years of the Floyd Wars and beyond the horizon of The Division Bell and onwards to Roger Waters’ latest solo album Is This The Life We Really Want? Oddly, David Gilmour’s solo albums On An Island and Rattle That Lock and his utterly brilliant live albums Live in Gdansk and his incredible return to Pompeii aren’t mentioned at all.
The band’s performance at Live 8 is a fitting way to tie up the many loose ends of the Pink Floyd story and a meeting with Roger Waters in a London hotel room proves that the old dog that has broken away from the pack still has teeth.
The final paragraphs cover London’s Victoria and Albert Museum’s Their Mortal Remains exhibition and the narrator’s amazement that this quirky underground band formed by three architects, an artist and a van-driving guitarist had gone on to become one of the biggest musical forces in the world.
Our sincere thanks go to Richard for all his efforts and contributions.