I harboured no ill-will toward Pink Floyd for giving me the flick. I realised that they’d put up with me far longer than anyone else would have. And when I considered that even Rick Wright had been shown the door I knew I had no real cause to feel aggrieved. But I do derive some morbid satisfaction from what happened to the band once I was gone.
As everybody knows, all hell broke loose during the making of The Final Cut. With me out of the picture there was nowhere else for Roger and David’s tensions to be directed but at each other. Up until then I believe I’d been, to use one of Roger’s lines, “the rusty wire that holds the cork that keeps the anger in”.
But it was when I heard the solo albums they came out with after The Final Cut that I realised the poor sods were totally lost without me!
Rick Wright joined up with Dave Harris, formed Zee and came up with an Identity which failed to look, sound or feel like his own. Still, I almost bought it one day (it must have been the only copy ever seen in an Australian record store) but decided instead to spend the money on something more enjoyable. I paid a skinhead twenty bucks to kick my teeth in.
About Face by David Gilmour was a far better effort, with some pretty good songs. But what on earth was he thinking, getting Pete Townshend to write lyrics for him? I know for sure that if I was around I would never have allowed that to happen! One way or another I would have convinced him not to do it. No matter how crappy the lyrics were that David himself may have come up with, they surely would’ve been better than Townshend’s Who-style piffle! And at least they’d have been his.
For me David’s lapse of reason, and the pungency of those lyrics tainted the whole album. Whenever I play it – and I still do from time to time – I delete tracks 3 and 6. But the spectre of those songs hovers in the background. I can almost hear them saying “We’re still here, Magoolie. You-better-you-better-you-bet we are!”
It’s really unfortunate because, as I said, there are some pretty good songs, which I enjoy listening to.
Until We Sleep, Out Of The Blue, Cruise, Near The End, and the brilliant, obviously Waters-inspired You Know I’m Right .. But… y’know…. “Love on the air, I keep transmitting….” Errrrrgggghhhh. Always knew it was crazy. David, you should have called me!
Still, David Gilmour would’ve been happy when he heard The Pros And Cons Of Stupid Ideas For A Concept Album. If I’d wondered what David was thinking while making his solo album, I was soon convinced Roger hadn’t thought at all while making his!
An album based on a series of dreams, with each song title being the time of the morning at which it occurred? My brain hurts already! It featured limited use of music or melody, but plenty of talking and sound effects, and the obligatory ranting and raving, and tortured screeching ( even on such innocuous lines as “We cut down some trees and trailed our ideals throught the forest glade”. Yeah, Rog, we feel your agony! ). Add a story-line inaccessible to anyone, and just for good measure the crappiest cover artwork you could imagine. Hmmmmm. Sounds like a recipe for success to me. Not!
I tried to like it, really I did. Man, the amount of times I played that album, trying to get into it! I gave it more of a chance than anything else I’d ever listened to. But I just couldn’t convince myself it wasn’t a load of complete and utter tripe!
Ahhh, what I could have said to Roger if he had run the idea by me. “Roger, you’re dreamin’!”
“Roger, an album like this would be a nightmare!” Or “Roger. Wake up to yourself, man!”
Then again, he wouldn’t have taken any notice of me anyhow. But I suppose I could then have tried some reverse psychology. Like; “Gee, Rog. I think that sounds like the best idea for an album I’ve ever heard of!” That would have made him dump the whole thing in an instant!
Surprisingly the one shining light to appear on the solo front was that of the least musical Floyd member, Nick Mason. His Profiles album, on which he teamed up with former 10cc guitarist Rick Fenn was the album I found the most listenable and enjoyable out of all the solos to come out of this period. It seemed to me like Nick was the only one around this time who really knew what he was doing. Which was nice in itself after his (?) first effort, Nick Mason’s Fictitious Use Of His Name, with all those abominable Carla Bleyyhhh songs. ( After listening to that album I had to put my head in a garbage can and bang it with hammers until my ears recovered! )
So, getting back to the early-to-mid eighties, it was a pretty sad period. But the main thing was lessons were learnt, and within three years things were well and truly back on track.