Every once in a while, we hear a song we like but there is no reference to or insufficient information for the song’s name is or who the artist is that created it. This means there is a good likelihood that the song will disappear as a frustrating memory. This happened in the 1980′s when we were living in San Diego for a summer. An intriguing song came on the radio and we gathered only two pieces of information that might give us hope of finding it again: 1) the chorus contained the phrase “take off the mask” and it seemed to be an important element of the song, and 2) we caught a brief indication that the song was a solo performance by a member of a rock mega-group. Was it Pink Floyd? Something the announcer had send made us think that was possible. We thought it might be. Who though? Perhaps David Gilmour? Yes, we’re sure it was David. We went to the local record shop (Licorice Pizza) to see if we could uncover what album the song could be on. Our collective hearts jumped when we discovered that Monsieur Gilmour had released a solo album titled “About Face.” We giddily searched the track list. Was there a song with the word “Mask” in it. No, no such thing. It could be any number of those songs. We considered buying the album. After all, it was worth it surely, yes? The song had tickled our fancy.
But alas, the decision was made to save our pennies instead. The desire for pleasure was overrun by the desire to accumulate money – such was a theme in our early lives. The discovery process would have to be placed on hold. We lived in Venezuela at the time and had only come to the United States for a “home leave” from our father’s assignment. There was a foreboding feeling that the song would be lost to time. The memory of the song began to fade. The assumed recollection of the artist’s name began to be difficult to hold onto as our memories became cluttered with alternative nonsense.
Years passed. The song was stored in an archive in our minds. However, as an adult, a nostalgic sensation began to grow. Things past were now recalled for moments of delicious delight. The song appeared again in our thoughts. Was it possible that a more mature investigation would uncover the missing pleasure? No, not quite. Other responsibilities and a now even more distracted distance placed the song out of reach. The memory of the song again returned to dormancy. But, something appeared a few years later that bore the promise of help. What was this … thing … that had suddenly manifested itself as a possible resource to uncover answers for many mysteries hidden in our memories? Behold, the Internet. Already we had discovered many, many interesting tidbits that illuminated subjects of interest previously lain fallow. The very first one? Giant Squids! What the hell are giant squids?! Do they exist in the awesome magnitude and fearsome nature as Jules Verne had led us to believe in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? With eagerness that was reminiscent of childhood discovery, we learned so much more about the giants of the deep. What rapture! But I digress.
Eventually, the memory thread of the “Mask” song reappeared. With anticipation, we ran to the nearest computer and began the hunt. First, we typed “mask AND david AND gilmour” into the Yahoo search … thing (before Google, Yahoo was perhaps the best search engine at the time). Results? Nothing. Perhaps we had it wrong? Perhaps it was not David Gilmour, but Richard Wright? No. Nick Mason, maybe? Seemed to have a jungly sort of rhythm. Seemed like a logical connection. Result? Nope. Hmm. And, no, it most definitely not Roger Waters. We felt confident of this. Our early investigation had started with Roger and there were no positive indications that he might be the auteur.
Again time passed. Keep in mind that the resources on the Internet were still very limited in the early 1990′s. So, with tenacity, we continued to poke around over a period of time. And lo. Finally. An epiphany. What if it was not Pink Floyd after all? Maybe we had been peeing on the wrong hydrant all along. With some clever deduction, we decided to look at members of various bands from the 1970′s and 1980′s to discover or at least eliminate potential candidates. The name “Roger” had stuck in our head during this period of investigation. No, not Roger Waters, apparently, but was there another Roger that might fit the bill? Then, a search manifested a result that looked very promising. Roger Glover. I knew the music of Deep Purple quite well (loved Hush, by the way) and was familiar with Rainbow, but didn’t know much about the bands. Ritchie Blackmore, yes, but the rest? Not so much.
So, had Roger Glover established a solo career? Yes. Was there a solo album released in the early 1980′s? Yes. (The anticipation builds!) What was the name of the album? Mask! Could it be? Could it really be?! OK, now, how does one go about hearing the song to make sure? Allmusic and its song snippets weren’t known to us at the time. Youtube did not exist yet. Amazon may have been the eventual assistant or perhaps another resource – we don’t remember. But eventually indeed, we found an mp(2 or 3 or something) for the song. We have to admit that the pace of our collective hearts elevated in anticipation. The song began to play. It was hard to tell. Was it the song? A feeling of deep disappointment rushed in within seconds of the initial sounds. What if all that searching had been in vain? But, no. Do not give up quite yet. The song progressed. Then suddenly! “Take it off. Take off the mask. Take it off. Take off the mask.” We were sure. We had found it. Perhaps a full decade later, we finally heard the rhythms and melodies of the long since escaped lyrical pleadings.
So, now we had heard it again. What a feeling! Settling back, we listened to the entire song. At the end, we paused for a moment. Thought? Eh. It was alright.
Well, there you go.
Now, after all that. Here is a track for something we found and actually like quite a bit. Still, no name of song or artist. Well, we have the mp3 right? Why do we need the to know other than to satisfy curiosity? Simple. The mp3 is has a less than 128kps bit rate. In other words, the quality sucks. It would be nice to hear the song in all its audio glory.
Can anyone please help us poor sods discover the original source or at least acquire a higher quality version of this tidbit of fun? Apparently, the Youtube member that has posted the song has no idea either. We would appreciate whatever legitimate assistance you can lend.