Welcome to the machine

What does it feel to hear someone from forty years ago?

Or more specifically hear ‘Welcome to the machine’ from Pink Floyd?

The song feels quite dystopian to me. But that’s not important. What’s striking is that forty years ago things were not very different from what they’re today. Not a bit different.


Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.

Where have you been? It’s alright we know where you’ve been.
You’ve been in the pipeline, filling in time,
provided with toys and Scouting for Boys.*

You bought a guitar to punish your ma,
And you didn’t like school, and you know you’re nobody’s fool,

So welcome to the machine.

Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.

What did you dream? It’s alright we told you what to dream.
You dreamed of a big star, he played a mean guitar,
He always ate in the Steak Bar. He loved to drive in his Jaguar.

So welcome to the machine.

– Pink Floyd, 1975

Welcome to machine tokenizes the band’s own disillusionment with music industry — a selfish greedy money-making machine rather than a forum for artistic expression — but aren’t we sure about that quality of industry even today?

I’m sure some believe that Internet does a better job at this (I mean artistic expression) but this post isn’t about those ideas. That things haven’t changed much in forty years also has a happy side to it. We still have an awesome legacy of Floyd to follow.

And thus this post. My wife and I are going to attend Brit Floyd’s live concert here in Washington D.C next month. I’ve heard good things about them. Let’s see. Besides it’s about time to green out a bit. Without the grass of course. Get high on psychedelic rock.


Here’s their show from Liverpool, just in case you’re searching them:

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