Earlier this year we posted a review entitled Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett To The Dark Side Of The Moon Book Review By AFG Correspondent Julie Skaggs, Following on from the review Julie has very admirably managed to secure an exclusive interview with the author of this fabulous book Mr Bill Kopp
Our sincere thanks go out to Julie Skaggs for conducting the interview.
I thoroughly enjoyed Bill Kopp’s new book Reinventing Pink Floyd and was grateful to get a chance to speak to him fan-to-fan on behalf of AFG regarding the process of writing it and the journey he undertook via a close examination of the music of Floyd’s transitional period. As he notes in our exchange, Bill conducts over a hundred interviews a year for various music publications as well as his website Musoscribe and possesses a thoroughly professional and insightful view of rock music and the people who create it. And also my thanks to Bill for his closing comment to me that this was the most enjoyable interview he had experienced overall in the publicity cycle for the book.
I thought it would be best to begin by discussing how you became a Pink Floyd fan, which I’m assuming coincided with the initial popularity of Dark Side. That’s the impression I got from your introduction.
Yeah, that’s about the size of it. The music was everywhere when I was a kid, I was intrigued by the album covers and then hearing the music. When I was a kid and first started buying albums, I used to have a rule: I had to like at least three songs on a record before I would buy it. And Dark Side of the Moon, certainly, there were three or four that I had heard on the radio and thought, “Wow, this is really good, I’d like to hear the rest of it.” So yeah, I fell in love with their music early on.
How would you characterize the perspective of your particular book? And I ask this because it seems to be about more than just an examination of the transitional period from a primarily musical viewpoint. I know that’s how you express it, that you’re providing something that really hasn’t been done in-depth previously, but it seems like it’s about more than just that.
I think for a lot of people – not to over-generalize – but to people who discovered the band around the time of The Wall, or even, say, Animals, or even Wish You Were Here, I think to a lot of those listeners they might have rightly developed the perspective that The Wall was largely Roger Waters’ vehicle, and in a lot of ways it really really was. And then if you go way way way back to the very beginning, back to ‘67 with the Piper at the Gates of Dawn, a strong case could be made that at that point it was Syd Barrett’s band: he was the face of the band, he was almost the sole songwriter, he was the guiding force of the band. To me, the period in between – from ‘68 until through Dark Side of the Moon – to my way of thinking it was more of a collaborative band. Maybe not four exact equals in terms of their influence and standing within the group but they seemed to have more of a collaborative band approach to things, and for me there’s a real appeal in that. Not to take a single thing away from the work they did post-Dark Side of the Moon but to me it’s inconceivable that any of that could have come about had they not had the foundation of those formative years in which they were really working together.