BY MANISHA WOHLFORD
In 1996, almost thirty years after their formation, Pink Floyd was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (O’Brien, 2018). The band is very creative, and this avant-garde creativity, although unique, poses societal issues. Through their unconventional use of technology and visuals, political messages represented during performances, and their characterization of women in their work, Pink Floyd has had a vast and complex impact on popular music culture. From the beginning of their stage career, they have been enhancing their performance beyond pure musicianship, further sharing their artistic vision with the use of elaborate stage production. Pink Floyd’s use of technology and visuals, in particular, allowed the band to be known not only as musicians but also as audio-visual artists, helping them avoid the monotony that often occurs when bands perform for large audiences. The shows were very elaborate, and they got more intense and deep as the shows continued. The props used in the production of their shows included blimp-like balloons, notably a pig balloon, and these balloons were at the forefront for political statements posed by the band. After Roger Waters, the bassist, separated from the group, he continued to use the floating pig to provide further commentary on political issues affecting the world in his solo shows. This usage has gotten him into trouble -- Although Waters used the pig to promote many political messages and initiate conversations among members of society, some of his themes raised strong controversy and backlash, mainly his usage of the Star of David on one of the pigs. Pink Floyd’s controversial messages were not limited to live performances. The depiction of women in the rock music scene, a scene primarily dominated by men, is problematic, and with all of the fame Pink Floyd was granted in the rock world, their adverse representation of the female mother in the 1982 film Pink Floyd: The Wall exemplified the misogynistic symbolism plaguing the genre. It is through these three lenses that some of the impact Pink Floyd has had on the popular music scene can be understood.