Reading only one section of the website without the others doesn’t tell you the story.
In 1993 not only had I kept writing to my old friend Carl, asking why he wouldn’t talk to me, I begged for an answer I wrote “please just answer my question are you getting my letters, just send me a yes or a no” That was a dumb question, but I wrote it..
At the beginning of 1994, I was finally getting a bit better, enough to get a new job. But it was very rough at first. I was afraid of the unknown, still not getting answers and afraid I was being stalked. I tried so hard to keep it together without crying in front of people for no reason. But I loved secretarial work, it’s what I did most of my life. At this new job, I was an office assistant, receptionist, customer service, did banking and anything else they’d throw at me, but I didn’t mind, it helped by keeping me busy.
One day when I came home from work, there was a letter for me. It was from Victory Music in California, where I was sending my letters to Carl. It was a yellow paper advertisement and in big black letters it read “YES” and smaller letters underneath read “Talk”. It was so haunting as if I received the Yes reply I asked for. I wanted to know why he was doing this to me.I wanted it all to end. So I would buy the album and listen to it. Looking for an answer.
Some of the lyrics in the album were “Talk, like the first words ever to reach out to you” Carls first words to me were “don’t you talk”. I met him in spring. “First calling in a silent spring” The song “I am waiting” is a conversation between two people. And one song called “Where will you be” lyrics are “When will I know when you are gone where will you lie?” Made me think about where I’ll be buried..actually down the street from me is the cemetery where my parents are buried and my ashes will be one day. Down the street like where Carl was jogging from in the Welcome Back video passing a hedgerow just like mine. Then the lyrics from “Endless Dream”…”Temptation may come hope your vision doesn’t stray. Temptation may come hope your Conscience doesn’t hide..The longest trip you’ll take is inside. I bring this to you this gift of love”. The most eerie lyrics were “In the name of God you may be forced away”
While listening to the music on the way to work, I stopped my car on a bridge over an expressway. I was tempted towards taking the longest trip below, I was being forced away, I was tempted towards the endless dream..I opened the car door and the wind was in my face. I put one foot on the pavement and started to rise off the seat. All of a sudden I had the thought of my son, who I could never leave. And I got back in the car and shut the door.
I continued to pray for someone who could tell me what was happening. There still was no one I could call or write to for answers. I wondered if any other musicians knew what was going onThen in April I heard about the new Pink Floyd album. I had always loved Pink Floyd and could recall the concerts in the early 70’s. I think I loved “Meddle” the most. I remembered how Gilmour said “No” to me when I offered him a joint when I was playing roadie for a night and helping out Chris Adamson. The new album, called The Division Bell, was named after the bell in the U.K. that is rung in and around Parliament when there is a division. It is a call for members to come to vote aye or nay on a resolution. When talking about the ” Division Bell”, David Gilmour said “It’s a division bell, it divides the yeses from the noes. All the songs are connected to communication”. He also said “People can invent and relate to a song in their personal ways”.
Looking at the CD cover art for the first time, I saw the two steel heads staring into each other’s eyes with open mouths, as if having a conversation. I had an immediate thought of what it could mean to me, but I brushed it off at that time. I looked at the song titles and saw “Coming Back to Life” and knew that was what I wanted to hear first.
“Wearing the Inside Out” co-written and sung by Rick Wright, speaks on my behalf about my emotional distress and depression so accurately, that I could barely listen to it. “No more than alive, I barely survived” I wrote in my letters that I felt like my guts were on the outside of my body because I felt physical pain too. “Didn’t recognize I’d become” Seeing my face in the mirror scared me because I thought “who is that”, I looked horrid. Ricks lyrics “I don’t even hear when I think aloud” reminded me of the Asia song “The Heat goes on” where I’m described as “thinking aloud”. Of all the Pink Floyd members, it was Rick who I spoke to the most. I really do think out loud a lot, maybe he even noticed. I was so sorry to hear about his passing. He was a very sweet and gentle man. I’m so grateful to him for expressing my feelings so well. There is so much pain behind that song more than anyone will ever know. I’m the only one who really knows. The album would not be complete without this song. “I’m creeping back to life my nervous system all awry I’m wearing the inside out”
I laid down on the carpet with a knowing that this music would help me. It was too amazing to be a coincidence. My spirit was drawn into a healing light and then a whole new realm, a place I’d never been even in my imagination and it was bringing me back from everything that had taken me away from life. Where was Carl when I was burned and broken while the days slipped by from my window watching. Where was he when I was hurt and I was helpless because the things he said and the things he did surrounded me. I took a heavenly ride through our silence, but I knew the moment had begun and I headed straight into the shining sun. That previous year I was lost in thought and lost in time. And outside the rain fell dark and slow while I had pondered on a dangerous but irresistable pastime. When the song was over, I knew the moment had arrived and I killed the past and I came back to life. Not only did the lyrics heal me, but throughout the song Gilmour’s guitar sounds were pulling me up to listen and guiding me towards the light of truth.
Healing music with healing words was what I needed, not some pills from a doctor. But, how did Pink Floyd know about me and what I was going through? Did Gilmour get my letters somehow?
Listening to the whole album, it was incredible how Gilmour seemed to have read my mind. The lyrics are the communication back and forth from one person to the other. In “Keep Talking” the women back up singers asking” why won’t you talk to me?” “You never talk to me?” “What are you thinking?” ” What are you feeling?”. All the things I asked my old friend Carl. Then, Gilmour who represents Carl, sings with a very drab uncaring attitude “I can’t seem to think straight” I’ll sit in the corner where no one will bother me” “I’m feeling weak now, but I can’t show my weakness”. Its actually funny writing about those lyrics now. So, Gilmour was showing me that I was begging for a reply from a loser who can’t think straight. It would take another famous musician who actually knew him well enough to tell me the truth about him. So, take his shirt off, macho drummer, Carl Palmer can’t seem to think straight? Why? Because he’s not. So all the emotional distress and head games were to erase what I knew? I took something of his with me when I walked out the door years ago, but I didn’t know it was his secret. ” There’ll be no safety in numbers when the right one walks out of the door”. And people wonder why Pink Floyd can’t say anything about the Enigma or the album. It’s obvious to me.
While looking at the album cover with the two steel heads on it I showed it to my then 15 year old son, who basically knew what I was going through. He pointed to the field and said “and there’s the Field of Gold”. My son has always been very intelligent, so I believed him immediately. Then I saw what could be considered a castle in between the mouths. Sting lived and recorded the song in his castle and said that “Fields of Gold” was about other people. The castle in between the open mouths represents the comunication in Fields of Gold and that it is between the same two people as TDB, but the communication in Stings song was all a lie, just a part of the heavenly ride. Although I have not seen the actual poster, many in the Pink Floyd newsgroup have said that the larger sized Division Bell posters has the name Eric D A Sharpe printed in the field. My sons name isn’t Eric, but his first and middle initials are D A and his last name is Sharpe.
But how did Pink Floyd know about me and what was in my letters? Nick Mason said that they had 40 pieces of material to work with for the album. That’s about how many letters I wrote to Carl. In them I mentioned meeting Pink Floyd and how I believed in David Gilmour back in the 70’s. Maybe Carl tried to use “the piper’s calling you to join him” step from “Stairway” and the “Dark Side of the Moon” concept of mental illness to push me even further. But, instead of helping Carl like Jon Anderson and Sting did, Pink Floyd helped me by telling me the truth.
The Yes album “Talk” released on March 22, 1994 is similar to the song “Keep Talking” from the Division Bell released on April 4, 1994 in that they both have a conversation in the lyrics. From Yes “Are you thinking what I’m thinking” and from Pink Floyd “Why won’t you talk to me? What are you thinking” but thank goodness Pink Floyd brought me back from the Yes lyrics. David Gilmour’s “No” reply to me in 1973 meant so much more.
Right after I heard the album, I started writing to David Gilmour at the management company at the 43 Portland Road address in the U.K and sent him many Thank You cards and letters. I had to talk to someone who knew the truth. I think I signed my letters “the sun” because sunshine was my only hope before I heard the lyrics “staring straight into the shining sun”. The Division Bell brought me a new life.
The Pink Floyd concert was scheduled for the Pontiac Silverdome, indoor stadium and I hadn’t bought a ticket yet. I knew I wouldn’t be happy with a nose bleed seat with fans yelling in my ear. This was about saving my life and I needed to hear every word, I needed to feel the energy from the band not the fans. I looked in the paper for someone selling tickets and found a ticket broker who had front row seat tickets. They cost $250 each, which was a very small price to pay for what I needed. I took my husband with me, but I should have taken my son. My son was more help to me during all of this.
I didn’t tell Gilmour in my letters that I had front row seats, but I did say I’d be the one with a big Sun painted on my t-shirt. I was very creative in making it and even painted the “Dark Side of the Moon” pulse artwork all around the bottom.
When we got to the concert, I was still very leery that the tickets were even real. I was never this lucky before. Walking in and walking passed the souvenirs I saw a whole table full of t-shirts with a sun on them. It was a lady’s face in a sun and sundial. I thought, he’ll never see me now with all these sun t shirts. But the sun on my handmade t shirt was huge and very bright! Plus I had the colorful rainbow and heartbeat going around the bottom of it. We made our way towards our seats and every section we had to show out tickets. I was getting so close to the stage, this was getting real, but it felt like a dream.
We arrived at the front row, but which seat would it be? This was so freaking awesome! Our seats seemed slightly off center to the right. We sat down. There was an equipment guy on stage fixing the microphones. And I knew from being on stage before when I was taking a microphone off its stand, that the one he was fixing could be Gilmour’s mic. And it was right in front of me. I yelled to the guy “can you tell me is that Gilmour’s mic?” He looked at me and smiled and nodded yes! I said loudly “oh my God, I always wanted to sit here”. Even though I was at many Pink Floyd concerts, getting close to the front of the stage was always impossible and rather dangerous with all the male fans pushing to get close. I always wanted to sit in front of David Gilmour so I could pretend he was singing to me.
The stadium was full and the whole place was buzzing with the sound of people talking..I stood up and turned around to see what it all looked like behind me from the front row.. I knew I was the luckiest person in the entire building and that everyone would love to have my seat. After everything I had gone through, this was the perfect way to get over the bad stuff. The crowd was getting very anxious and restless and they were yelling things, so I thought I’d yell out too. Since lyrics were being used as communication on this strange road I was on, I yelled “Hey You Gilmour come on out”. Soon after that everyone from the band came out on stage. The lights were still on and the band took their places. Everyone was screaming like mad and David Gilmour walked up close to the front of the stage, bowed his head down, brought it back up and looked straight at me and smiled with a huge grin! The first thing I thought was, oh my God it’s true, he really is here to help me.
I heard the intro of Coming Back to Life and I put on the t shirt that I made, over my top. I stood up during the song, proudly displaying the huge sun on the front and the DSOTM Pulse rainbow at the bottom. I was cheering for the song, and how it brought me back to life. I didn’t care about looking silly, this was my life I was cheering for and I wanted to show David and the band that I made it through with their help. It was very important for me to do this. The rest of the crowd was going crazy screaming and yelling too, so I really didn’t stand out too much. I remember how David was looking at the Dark Side Pulse rainbow at the bottom of my t-shirt. Now I’m wondering if it could have been inspiration for the title of the “Pulse” album that came out the next year.
But it would turn out that Shine on you crazy diamond, a song for Syd Barrett, would help me almost more than “Coming Back to Life”. During the concert having David Gilmour singing SOYCD right in front me, tears streamed down my face and I struggled to stop crying. He was like an old friend telling me “Remember when you were young? You shone like the sun” Come on you stranger, you legend you martyr and shine”. And then the lyrics “well you wore out your welcome with random precision”. It was true that I wasn’t a welcomed back friend to Carl anymore. The old lyrics for Syd meant more for me that night. Even David Gilmour said that the old songs mean even more today. So instead of the piper calling me to join him, the piper joined me there during a memorable concert where even his spirit helped me to shine on.
Years ago I had read about Roger Keith “Syd” Barrett and how he was a magical soul and had a childlike heart and with his lyric writing too. I connected with that so much. Its difficult for a soul to function in a world that doesn’t understand you, so you try to escape it because it hurts too much to live in it and you can’t handle rejection. ” I don’t think I’m easy to talk about,” Barrett confessed to Rolling Stone in 1971, “I’ve got a very irregular head. And I’m not anything that you think I am anyway.” Maybe I have a magic soul too. So, it’s like the spirit of Syd helped me and I don’t care if people call me crazy, I’m not anything they think I am anyways.
Back to the concert…
I heard the sounds of the heartbeat and the clocks ticking..it was “Speak to Me” and that familiar voice from the Dark Side of the Moon album “Ive been mad for fucking years absolutely years, that is Chris Adamsons voice. I thought “Pink Floyd is playing DSOTM and I’m in front row in front of Gilmour”. Then I realized that the song “Breathe (In the air)” was next and it was my chance to do something I’d always wanted to do. Back in the 70’s whenever I’d hear “Breathe” at a Pink Floyd concert, I’d stop wherever I was and whatever I was doing and concentrate on singing the song out loud. And I was always far away from the front of the stage. I’d stand there and sing the song loudly and sometimes with my girlfriend, in hopes that my spirit would carry my voice up to the stage. Most times in the 60’s and 70’s we wouldn’t just sit at concerts like kids do now. We’d walk around, look for friends, meet new people, smoke weed and the now legendary music was background music to our lives. It was like a guide to me directing me to where I am today. I think I took the lyrics quite literally without knowing it and I followed them and they weaved into my life.
So here I was in 1994 directly in front of David Gilmour and “Breathe” was starting…I heard a voice inside me say “Do the best you can, remember how you sang it years ago and don’t go beyond his voice, stay within it”. I totally went for it, stood up and sang it as loudly as I could and tried blending my voice with his, just like I remember doing before..I didn’t care if I was bothering people next to me. I’m sure others were singing it too, but I was loud and very good. A spirit was guiding me along. At one moment I almost forgot the lyrics, but I didn’t. It’s a very beautiful song “Breathe breathe in the air, don’t be afraid to care” Writing about this very important part of the story is emotional for me and my heart is racing and beating so hard, but I have to breathe and continue..you’ll understand when I talk about the “P.U.L.S.E CD and DVD. So thankful to Roger Waters for writing such a beautiful song.
Singing it was also like I was telling Gilmour “Leave but don’t leave me, look around choose your own ground” like..don’t forget about me even though you have to leave. “and when at last the work is done, don’t sit down it’s time to dig another one” is like what I’m doing now writing even though I’m done with one chapter it’s time to write another one. But my favorite line is “For long you live and high you fly” and I wish for everyone to live a very long life and I hope that through this writing Gilmour and all the others can watch me fly.
The song Comfortably Numb was starting and once again I felt like the band was talking to me Rick, Jon and Guy singing “Hello is there anybody in there just nod if you can hear me..Is there anyone at home. Come on now I hear you’re feeling down, well I can ease your pain get you on your feet again. Relax, I need some information first just the basic facts, can you show me where it hurts” It was like old friends asking me how I was doing and if they could help me out. The music was the medicine and they were telling me that it would ease my pain.
Then, it was as if God himself broke through the clouds, but it was Gilmour in the dark with a light shining on him and he said “There is no pain, you are receding.. a distant ship’s smoke on the horizon”. To me, it meant that the ELP Pirates ship was long gone and all that was left was a distant ship smoke from their canons.
During the song, listening to the guitar solo took me away and I had what seemed to be an out of body experience. I was floating high up.. And when the song was over and the lights came on, I was still out there..and had to shake my head to come back down. All that time my spirit was floating near the ceiling, I didn’t know that behind me and above was a huge glitter ball that opened up into what looked like a chandelier. When we were leaving I saw the glitter ball way up in the ceiling and I wondered what it was for. During the Pulse concert on DVD, I saw what I missed going on behind me.. When I was up high floating around with something, my spirit must have been inside the glitterball.
Pink Floyd played DSOTM in its entirety in Detroit, which they hadn’t been doing at other cities. The whole show was amazing like a dream, and I can’t think of a way to describe it other than that place where music takes you through a door to another world of pure magic and bliss. This was even more than that. It was the answer to all my questions, it was medicine, it was the truth I was looking for.
David Gilmour was my hero, he saved me and I couldn’t help but care for him deeply and I always will. Even though my spirit was lifted and my mind was healed, I had to realize that it was all true that Carl was hurting me on purpose.. I had to face the fact that all those years of being proud to have known him had gone to waste. I felt I lost someone I couldn’t replace. Aside from the love wasted, I had to try and let go of being a fan of his drumming too, which really didn’t happen until some years later..
On 6-6-95 Pink Floyd’s PULSE was released in the US. After I purchased the CD, I couldn’t wait to see if there was further communication with clues in the artwork. Just outside the door of the record store, I took off the wrapper. I looked at the PULSE cover and song listings, but there didn’t seem to be anything I could interpret. The songs were from the Division Bell tour, so I already knew those. I knew about the LED flashing light, that they came with, but mine didn’t have one. I could only imagine this light and I swear it emerged blinking to tell me it’s alright. It was a guide, like I was a ship trying to fix on a beacon.
When I got home, I started listening to it. Not sure what songs I listened to first, but I decided to skip to the song “Breathe (In the air)” When it started I knew I had to hear it clearer even with headphones, so I went to my room and closed the door. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I thought to myself “that’s me, that’s from Detroit”. I was listening to myself singing “Breathe” with Gilmour. This is crazy to even think about. How did they do that? I thought. They must have been recording at the Detroit show. I was definetly close enough to get on Gilmour’s mic. I don’t know how they isolated the voices like that. It was incredible to hear. It is incredible to know that the world is hearing my voice to this day and forever, but 23 years later people still don’t know about me.
I haven’t been able to tell this story very well, it’s like many enigmas rolled into one. And I know there are a lot of people who want me to get the story out. But when it’s as unbelievable as this, and the musicians can’t say anything, what are my chances of being believed? But it doesn’t matter, I’ll keep trying to tell it. Years ago I wasnt telling the entire story because I didn’t want it being ripped off and used by someone else and I wanted to be paid for my story. I approached book publishers, but since I wasn’t a writer, I wasn’t taken seriously. I was even on live radio trying to talk about it. After it was over my girlfriend called me and said I sounded weird. I’m not weird, the story is unbelievable and since I’m the only one who can tell it, it seems to others that it’s all in my head. This whole thing has been very frustrating. Just because it’s about famous people doesn’t make me famous. But I’ll keep trying by sending the story out. It’s even harder now since so much time has passed. It isn’t easy being rejected, when I’m trying to tell the story of my heart. If I get any reply at all, it’s “I’m busy right now, I’ll email you if I have time”. I shouldn’t be talking about the rejections, but I have to let people know why I haven’t been able to get such a big story out. I guess it’s just too big and goes over people’s heads. It’s like I’m trying to do something that’s never been done.
I wrote about “Breathe” in the newsgroup, but the fans didn’t care. They said it was from the Earl’s Court show on October 20, 1994. And that is true, but they’re playing to a recording from Detroit. I know my own voice. It’s obviously a woman singing with Gilmour and it wasn’t a back up singer. And my voice sounds like it’s off in the distance, because it was. So what was I suppose to do with this knowledge? The recording was also used at other concerts, including the 2005 Pink Floyd reunion with Roger at Live 8 and 2006 Remember That Night concert and Live in Gdansk. I told the newsgroup how they used the recording again. What was I suppose to do, hold a press conference? I did try telling Associated press once and they told me “lady, go take your medication” How was I suppose to prove that that’s my voice? I’ll gladly go to a recording studio to have my voice compared or take a lie detector test..But I will keep trying to tell it. All fans have to do is listen to those versions and compare them for themselves.
It is really cool for me, though and I love that on YouTube “Pink Floyd Breathe 1080p HD Pulse 1994” fans say “I think this is what you hear when you go to heaven” and “This is better than the original album version” and “My God, that run rabbit run line sounds incredible, I love this” That line was one of my favorites. I was at the Pink Floyd concerts in the 70’s and I lived the spirit that goes into that song. For me, it’s not just singing, it’s my spirit from the past that went into the singing that makes it special.
But I even got laughed at in the Pink Floyd Fan mazagine called “Brain Damage”. I wrote to them and tried to share what I knew, but all they did was make fun of me in the next edition and write about me. Trying to tell a story like this right after it happens, was very difficult. All these years later, it’s still beyond the imagination. But isn’t that what Pink Floyd is all about? And don’t fans know David Gilmour well enough to know that this is just the thing he would do? He did something this awesome to help me. And also, so that I can share it with all the other fans.
May 1995 the album “A Spanner in the Works” by Rod Stewart was released..
The first thing I thought of was the meaning of the title which is “To cause problems which prevents something from happening in the way it was planned”. To me it meant that this album was the spanner to stop the others from getting to me….he was helping me by telling my old friend crazy Carl and his friends to leave me alone from all their haunting lies of love and head games.
My favorite on the album is “Leave Virginia Alone” which was written by Tom Petty. I’m still so sad about his passing, but I really feel his presence and that he’s a star in the sky, still guiding me and others with his music.
In my letters to Gilmour after TDB, I clearly remember writing “Why won’t they leave me alone?”
“Well they chased her down the alley and over the hill to steal her will” Carl Palmer, Asia, ELP, Sting and Jon Anderson haunted me with lies of love to steal my will to live because I know too much. “When the A crowd came to adore her brain” The A crowd, to me, means Asia and the others. They adored my brain with love songs, but they were lies meant to make me break.. The video for “Leave Virginia Alone” is hilarious with the paper mache big head people bothering the girl and she keeps trying to get away from them and hide. Rod is telling the others “She’s not like you and me” meaning she’s not a rock star like you and me.
I’m not sure where Tom Petty got the name Virginia from, but I am a Virgo and was rather a virgin to all the rock stars I met. Except for that 3 fake seconds with Carl.. But for me the name comes from the old song “Sweet Virginia” by The Rolling Stones. It encourages and begs a friend to come down from whatever high or trouble they are having, and that they “got to scrape that shit right off your shoe”. And Carl was the shit and I needed to rid his crap from my mind.
This was some rock music lyric adventure I was on and it’s still growing. But ever since 1971, I was following something that I didn’t know what it was, all I knew was that it involved music. I let it take me wherever I needed to go. Sometimes I didn’t even want to go where it was leading me, but I knew I had to follow it. It was part of the journey. I never really told anyone about it until The Division Bell came out and it gave me answers and helped me to tell what happened in 1993. Then when I had difficulty telling that story, more bands came to help me with their songs and lyrics, so that I would be believed when I told the story and it kept growing until it all seemed too unbelievable to tell.
I’m so thankful, but for me to come all that way and go through so much, I still felt lost and incomplete, like I couldn’t find the missing piece. Getting letters via lyrics in songs was like a language others couldn’t speak, but the bands were talking it to me and I could understand. Sometimes while I’m writing here, I’ll use actual lyrics to help me tell the story, because I guess some other lyrics were written to help me tell the story, so I may as well incorporate them into the story itself. But you have to know rock music well enough to tell. David Gilmour and Nick Mason of Pink Floyd said many times that the Division Bell was communication to the fans..And when people didn’t believe my story, the communication continued with other bands. And it still continues to this day. I tried to tell the fans who were discussing the Enigma about it all, but they didn’t get it. It was really cool, but I felt isolated and stuck.
In 1996 we went to see The Who on the Quadrophenia tour. I was still writing to David Gilmour and I told him that I’d be going and to tell Pete thanks for not hitting me in the head with his guitar at the Grande Ballroom. It was ’68 or ’69 that I was standing right at Townshend’s feet watching the show. Pete kept swinging his guitar around and I ducked my head a few times. The energy of the loud music with his speakers close to me, I almost fainted. We were so lucky as teens to witness these now legendary bands upclose and personal.
So back to The Who concert in ’96 and in between songs, Pete starts talking about the Grande Ballroom. He said “There’s a guy in the audience and I hit him in the head with my guitar at the Grande Ballroom”. I immediately said “what”? Out loud. For me it was an obvious reply to my letter to Gilmour. But Pete changed the story around a bit because he couldn’t say he almost hit a woman. That wouldn’t be cool. And it would be too obvious. But from what he said, it was obvious to me that Gilmour got my letter with my message to Pete and he gave it to him.