(Featuring Performances By Syd Barrett And Pink Floyd)
Written by Glen Boyd
Published October 12, 2008
A Technicolor Dream is a documentary film chronicling the development
of London, England's counter-culture underground of the 1960s, and
the events which led up to the 14-hour "Technicolor Dream," a benefit
concert for what was at the time England's largest underground
newspaper the International Times (or I.T.).
The concert has long since gone on to legendary status in the history
of London's 1960s underground movement. More important to modern-day
students of that era, however, is the involvement of Pink Floyd.
At the time, "the Floyd," as they were then often referred to, were
the unofficial "house band" of London's underground. Although then
Pink Floyd bandleader Syd Barrett's mental health was already on a
fast road to deterioration as a result of one too many acid trips,
they were also the main attraction at the legendary gig that was the
14-hour Technicolor Dream.
So, in many ways, this DVD is as much Pink Floyd's story (at least in
their early formative years) as it is a chronology of that singular
event legendary as it was.
Through interviews with key players including Pink Floyd members
Roger Waters and Nick Mason, as well as key scenesters like Barry
Miles and John "Hoppy" Hopkins A Technicolor Dream recalls the
formative years of London's fledgling underground.
The film follows events as the movement grew from a couple hundred
like-minded "freaks", to a force which the British government itself
would eventually view as a threat in many ways mirroring what was
happening in American cities like New York, L.A., and especially San
Francisco at the same time.
As Barry Miles organized a massive London "beat summit" at the Royal
Albert Hall featuring poets like Allen Ginsburg, and "Hoppy" Hopkins
was publishing the earliest issues of the International Times, a
group called the Pink Floyd, led by an iconoclastic genius named Syd
Barrett known for things like running steel ball bearings across
the strings of his guitar were also making a name for themselves in
So when Hopkins underground paper the I.T. was eventually raided by
the London cops ostensibly because of publishing "obscene" material
it made perfect sense for the media voice of London's artistic and
political underground to team up with the band providing its
soundtrack Pink Floyd.
Pink Floyd was already garnering attention with their wildly
experimental "multi-media" shows at the UFO club, providing financial
support for I.T., while at the same time developing a reputation for
themselves as musical innovators. So it was only natural when Hopkins
turned to Pink Floyd to headline the Technicolor Dream, where by all
accounts they played to a packed house of stoned attendees, including
John Lennon, as the sun came up behind them through stained glass windows.
In never-before-seen footage, this DVD captures portions of that
performance, and also includes early Floyd videos for the songs
"Arnold Layne" and "Scarecrow." There is also a live performance of
"Astronomy Domine," from a 1967 show at Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Most interesting to Pink Floyd fans are the remarkably candid
interviews with Floyd's Waters and Mason, which shed new light on
Barrett's rapidly eroding mental condition, even as the band went
from that legendary gig to the sessions for it's debut album, The
Piper At The Gates Of Dawn.
For anyone interested in the early history of Pink Floyd, or in
learning more about the incendiary times this film so vividly
captures, A Technicolor Dream is a must purchase. It becomes
available October 28.