David Gilmour –DG
Nick Mason –NM
Rick Wright –Rick
Roger Waters –RW
Charlie Kendall -CK
CK: Prepare for the most in-depth profile the Source has ever presented. For the next four hours, it’s Pink Floyd.
“We’re not splitting up or anything, officially or otherwise, but we just aren’t doing anything right now.” David Gilmour
“Your writing I believe comes out largely from a personality that develops when you’re a child.” Roger Waters
“I don’t know what I shall do in the future, but there’s no way I can stop working.” Roger Waters
CK: The saga of Pink Floyd is certainly one worth telling. Consider the facts: Pink Floyd is one of rock’s most celebrated bands, yet its members are among rock’s most reluctant celebrities. From their earliest days with Syd Barrett, right through to the present day, Pink Floyd has defined state of the art recording, and captivating concert production. Their album “Dark Side of the Moon” is the most consistent selling record in the history of the record business. Yet how many of us could name each member? Well, you’ll get to know Pink Floyd a lot better, because Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Richard Wright, and Nick Mason are going to cover Pink Floyd from beginning to present, as the Source presents “Shades of Pink – The Definitive Pink Floyd Profile.”
[Run Like Hell]
CK: “Run Like Hell,” and “Money,” two classics from Pink Floyd. In 1965, Roger Waters, Richard Wright, and Nick Mason were architecture students at the Regent Street Polytechnic school in London. According to drummer Nick Mason, the idea to put a band together came quite by accident.
NM: We were all students together in the first year, and there was a guy in the year who was writing songs and he wanted to play the songs to a publisher. So he asked various people if they played instruments and if they might be prepared to put a little band together to play his songs. So, Rick and Roger and myself all “admitted” that we did play instruments in some sort of fashion, and so we sort of put a band together. I remember we played the songs for the publisher and he said the songs were quite good but “forget the band.” I think if we’d listened to anyone who had any taste at the time we’d have all folded up right then and there. But fortunately we were so egocentric and just carried on.
CK: Originally calling themselves Sigma-6, the T-Set, the Meggadeaths, and the Abdabs, Waters, Wright and Mason eventually recruited guitarists Bob Close and Syd Barrett. Waters and Barrett were old friends from High School in Cambridge.
Rick:While we were at the Poly we had various people in and out of the band and one particular, very good guitar player Bob Close. He was really a far better musician than any of the rest of us. But I think he had some exam problems and really felt that he had to apply himself to work, whereas the rest of us were not that conscientious. And so he was sort of out of the band and we were looking for another guitar player and we knew that Syd was coming up to London from Cambridge and so he just, well he was just co-opted into the whole thing.
CK: This is the beginning of what Syd Barrett called “The Pink Floyd Sound,” and it is Barrett who is the acknowledged founder of Pink Floyd. In February 1966, Pink Floyd was booked to play at the weekly Sunday afternoon show called “The Spontaneous Underground,” at London’s Marquee Club. Here, and later at the UFO club, the Floyd built a loyal following and became more or less the official band of London’s growing underground scene.
NM: I think we started to develop a cult following because everyone was talking about the psychedelic revolution and light and sound and all the rest of it. People were looking to try and guess, as they always are, what was going going to happen next in music. This suddenly looked like what was going to happen next. I mean, we were incredibly awful, we were a dreadful band, we must have sounded frightful, but we were so different and so odd that I think–I mean odd, for those days. Of course, now, people would look at it and laugh. You look at the early photographs and we just look like a sort of elderly version of the Monkees or something. At the time, that was what was happening and no-one really understood it, but they all thought they ought to try and get in on it. So the record deal was in fact a really rather good one considering we had no track record whatsoever and couldn’t play the instruments.
NM: I think Syd was a major talent as a songwriter and maybe could have been as a musician, I mean, he did stop. He has not done anything for the last ten years. And consequently, people who don’t perhaps entirely achieve all their potential become even more legendary.
[See Emily Play]
CK: “See Emily Play,” and “Arnold Layne,” two Syd Barrett compositions that were Pink Floyd’s first chart successes in 1967. Even then, the essence of Pink Floyd couldn’t be captured on record. Their early concerts featured a choreographed light show and quadraphonic sound system. Following the release of their debut album, “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn”, Syd Barrett’s behavior became more and more erratic. Barrett, the band’s leader, the one who brought Pink Floyd to prominence, was now in over his head.
RW: I believe Syd was a casualty of the so-called “Psychedelic Period” that we were meant to represent. ‘Cause everybody believed that we were taking acid before we went on stage and all that stuff….unfortunately, one of us was, and that was Syd. It’s a simple matter, really, Syd just had a big overdose of acid and that was it. It was very frightening, and I couldn’t believe what had happened, ’cause, I remember we had to do a radio show, and we were waiting for him, and he didn’t turn up. And then he came the next day, and he was a different person.
CK: In February 1968, Roger Waters asked an old friend of his from Cambridge to join the band, since Syd Barrett’s status was up in the air. Seven weeks later, Syd was phased out completely, and David Gilmour became Pink Floyd’s guitarist.
DG: The first plan was that I would join and make it a five piece so it would make it easier so that Syd could still be strange but the band would still function. And then the next idea was that Syd would stay home and do writing and be the Brian Wilson elusive character that didn’t actually perform with us and the third plan was the he wouldn’t do nothing at all. And it quickly changed ’round, and it was just….it was *obviously* impossible to carry on working that way so we basically ditched Syd, stopped picking him up for gigs.
CK: With Syd out of the band out of the band completely, in order for Pink Floyd to continue, someone else would have to write the material. Roger Waters took the controls, with some apprehension.
RW: I had no idea that I would ever write anything, when I bought my first guitar at age fifteen and decided that I was going to be a rock star along with umpteen million other kids. I had no idea that I would ever really write songs, and in the early years, I didn’t have to ’cause Syd was writing all the material and it was only after he stopped writing that the rest of us had to start trying to do it. I’d always been told, at school anyway, that I was absolutely bloody hopeless at everything, so I had no real confidence about any of it.
[Set The Controls for the Heart of the Sun]
CK: “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun,” from Pink Floyd’s second album, “A Saucerful of Secrets,” released in June, 1968. That same month the Floyd became the first rock band to play a free concert in London’s Hyde Park.
CK: Over the years, Pink Floyd has written the music for several movie soundtracks. Their film score debut was in 1969, when they wrote and performed the music for a Barbet Schroder film called “More.”
RW: His feeling about music for movies was, in those days, that he didn’t want a soundtrack to go behind the movie. All he wanted was, literally, if the radio was switched on in the car, for example, he wanted something to come out of the car. Or someone goes and switches the TV on, or whatever it is. He wanted the soundtrack to relate exactly to what was happening in the movie, rather than a film score backing the visuals.
CK: When Pink Floyd signed to EMI records in 1967, they were assigned staff producer Norman “Hurricane” Smith to work with them in the studio. Four albums later, the members of Pink Floyd felt stifled by Smith, and beginning with the live side of “Ummagumma”, started producing the albums themselves.
DG: We were phasing Norman out, through that period of time. He was doing, you know–at the beginning he was very good, he taught us a lot of things, certainly taught me a lot of things. But he was also quite frustrating at times, he would always want to even things out, make them more homogenous. I can remember just little episodes of things that I wanted to try something and he would be in our way and my way when I was trying to do things. A certain point came when we felt we had got all we could get from him and he was only hindering in certain places.
CK: “Ummagumma”, Pink Floyd’s fourth album, was released in late 1969, and featured two discs, one live, one studio. On the studio album, each member indulged himself with his own extended composition. Nick Mason for one enjoyed the experiment, but admits that the parts weren’t as strong as the whole.
NM: I thought it was a very good and interesting little exercise, the whole business of everyone doing a bit. But I still feel really that that’s quite a good example of the sum being greater than the parts, that it’s an interesting album, and all sorts of ideas are contained in it, but it actually is more satisfactory when we work as a band.
CK: Following the release of “Ummagumma”, Pink Floyd went to Rome to write and record four songs for the film “Zabriskie Point.” Then, David Gilmour and Roger Waters returned to London, to co-produce Syd Barrett’s first solo album, “The Madcap Laughs.” Finally, in late 1970, Pink Floyd’s fifth album was released: “Atom Heart Mother”. You may have wondered where the title came from.
DG: The day we were trying to think of it, we had a newspaper, sitting outside a pub in London, in our break in recording, 7 o’clock on a sunny evening in London, and there was a woman who had had heart surgery, and had an atomic heart pacemaker fitted on her heart, and she was a mother. It said “Atom Heart Mother blah blah blah…” We thought “Atom Heart Mother….title!” Simple as that.
CK: David Gilmour and Richard Wright co-produced the second Syd Barrett album in late 1970. For most of the following year, the Floyd toured the world, stopping occasionally to record tracks for their next album, “Meddle.”
CK: Pink Floyd’s sixth album, “Meddle”, marked the vocal debut of drummer Nick Mason.
NM: Possibly the most interesting thing about “One of These Days” is that it actually stars myself as vocalist, for the first time on any of our records that actually got to the public. It’s a rather startling performance involving the use of a high voice and slowed down tape.
[One of These Days]
CK: That’s “One of These Days,” from Pink Floyd’s album, “Meddle”. In concert, Pink Floyd strives to equal or surpass the production elements on their records.
DG: Yes we did all sorts of strange things you know for live concerts as well, we used to make up tapes for the audience to come in by. We had one half-hour long tape, which we’d play for the half an hour the audience was coming in just before we started our show, and things like that. Just tapes of bird noises in quad–quadraphonic sound, you know, with birds singing, and pheasants taking off in the distance, and swans taking off from water, a tractor driving down one side of the room, and an airplane going over the top, and all these things carrying on, all just from just different sound effects records, you just stick them in and you–you create a type of mood.
CK: Pink Floyd’s next album was their second movie soundtrack for filmmaker Barbet Schroder. Recorded in France, “Obscured by Clouds” is one of David Gilmour’s favorite Floyd albums.
DG: I love that album. Yes, it was really fast, rapid stuff without any great need to make a concept out of it. That was when we’d just got the very first synthesizer ever invented, and we were playing with it, the EMS Synthy. And all you could do was tune it up to play a note, and then press it for it to play the note, like you couldn’t play notes with a keyboard, not at that juncture. Or if you could, we didn’t know how to. That was the first time we ever used any form of a synthesizer, was on “Obscured by Clouds”.
CK: “Free Four,” from Pink Floyd’s “Obscured by Clouds”. If the Beatle’s “Sgt. Pepper” revolutionized the concept of rock albums in 1967, then Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” fine tuned that concept into genuine audio art six years later. Recorded at EMI’s fabled Abbey Road studios, where the Beatles recorded all their albums, Pink Floyd produced the “Dark Side of the Moon” by themselves, over a period of nine months. When it was released in March 1973, “Dark Side” represented a culmination of the band’s studio experiments, and Roger Waters’ insights that had only been brushed upon in their earlier recordings. The fact that “Dark Side of the Moon” was Pink Floyd’s first album to reach number one in America is easily eclipsed by the fact that today the album is still on Billboard’s top album charts. It is one of the most consistent selling albums in pop music history–over 530 weeks. With the help of David Gilmour, Nick Mason, and Richard Wright, here’s Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon.”
[Speak To Me] [Breathe] [On The Run…]
DG: We had originally go an “On the Run,” a different thing, which is on a live one if you’ve heard one of those bootlegs, you might have heard a different version of it than is on “Dark Side of the Moon”. We had a sort of guitar passage, but it wasn’t very good. We’d just got this new synthesizer, a briefcase model EMS-1, and in the lid there was a little sequencer thing. I was playing with the sequencer device attachment, and came up with this sound, which is the basic sound of it. Roger sort of heard it, came over and started playing with it, too. Then he actually put in the notes that we made…it was his sequence, that “de-di-doo-de-di-dil”- -whatever it was. He made that little sequence up, but I had got the actual original sound and I actually was the one doing the controlling on the take that we used. Then we chucked all sorts of things over the top of it afterwards.
[…On The Run]
DG: He had just recently before we did that album gone out with a whole set of equipment and had recorded all these clocks in a clock shop. And we were doing the song “Time,” and he said “Listen, I just did all these things, I did all these clocks,” and so we wheeled out his tape and listened to it and said “Great! Stick it on!” And that, actually, is Alan Parsons’ idea.
NM: The drums used on the “Time” track are roto-toms. I think we did some experiments with some other drums called “boo- bans,” which are very small, tuned drums, but the roto-toms actually gave the best effect.
Rick: “Great Gig in the Sky?” It was just me playing in the studio, playing some chords, and probably Dave or Roger saying “Hmm..that sounds nice. Maybe we could use that for this part of the album.” And then, me going away and trying to develop it. So then I wrote the music for that, and then there was a middle bit, with Clare Torry singing, that fantastic voice. We wanted something for that bit, and she came in and sang on it.
[Great Gig in the Sky]
DG: We had people come in the studio and sit down. We’d made lots of pieces of paper, lots of cards up with a question on and we set them up with a microphone and everything and had the tape recorder on and they had to sit there and they had to answer the questions. That’s how we got all the voices and all the little lines that you hear on “Dark Side of the Moon” all over the place, that’s how we got them. We just said, you know, “What do you think of the dark side of the moon?” and that’s how we got the answer, via the Irish doorman at Abbey Road, Jerry, he said (fakes accent) “There is no dark side of the moon, really, it’s all dark.”
[Us and Them]
[Any Colour You Like….]
RW: I never kind of sit down and try and think of ideas, ideas arrive, and I’ll go “Hmm…that’s not a bad idea,” and I may make a note of it, somewhere. And then I’ll come back to it later, and then maybe it will develop, or maybe I’ll sit down at a piano one day and work out some chords for a melody that comes together with a bit of an idea. All that happens without me trying at all, I don’t have to try. The difficult bit, then, is developing those short ideas into full-length things, that’s where the craft comes in, and the graft. ‘Cause then that does take a long time–well, it can do. Sometimes the absolutely the hardest things are, you know, you’ve written two verses and a bridge to a song and you’ve got to write the last verse and sometimes to write that last verse becomes an absolute nightmare.
CK: In 1975, Pink Floyd signed with Columbia records in America, and released “Wish You Were Here”. Expanding on the three themes explored on “Dark Side of the Moon”, loneliness, alienation, and madness, “Wish You Were Here” was inspired by a simple guitar figure David Gilmour came up with.
DG: The whole thing started out of that first guitar thing, that “ding-ding-ding-ding.” I was just in the studio rehearsal room during one day and playing with the guitar and those notes started coming out, just a little motif on the guitar. I played it a few times, and I put some DDL’s and other effects on it and started playing again and it sort of pinged out and sounded nice and I said “oh, that’s really great.” Roger really got off on it, he got exactly the same from it as I was getting from it. I don’t know quite how it happened, but those sort of things happen. That was like the start of–gave us the start for making the whole record.
CK: Probably the most legendary Pink Floyd story occurred during the “Wish You Were Here” sessions. The album was unofficially dedicated to Syd Barrett, and the song “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” was written about him.
Rick: Roger was there, and he was sitting at the desk, and I came in and I saw this guy sitting behind him–huge, bald, fat guy. I thought, “He looks a bit…strange…” Anyway, so I sat down with Roger at the desk and we worked for about ten minutes, and this guy kept on getting up and brushing his teeth and then sitting–doing really weird things, but keeping quiet. And I said to Roger, “Who is he?” and Roger said “I don’t know.” and I said “Well, I assumed he was a friend of yours,” and he said “No, I don’t know who he is.” Anyway, it took me a long time, and then suddenly I realized it was Syd, after maybe 45 minutes. He came in as we were doing the vocals for “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” which was basically about Syd. He just for some incredible reason he picked the very day that we were doing a song which was about him. And we hadn’t seen him, I don’t think, for two years before. That’s what’s so incredibly…weird about this guy. And a bit disturbing, as well, I mean, particularly when you see a guy, that you don’t, you couldn’t recognize him. And then, for him to pick the very day we want to start putting vocals on, which is a song about him. Very strange.
[Shine On You Crazy Diamond, parts 3-5]
Rick: We started doing outdoor gigs, so we had to have a roof, so I thought “I know what we can do…why don’t we build an enormous pyramid, and we could fill it with helium, and at the end of the show we could let it go.” This was 60 foot- -the base of this thing was 60 feet. There was a lot of trouble getting that past the rest of the lads. Nicky was always a great ally, Nick Mason, was always a great ally in all of these things. He liked the idea of it, and finally we did it, and it was unbelievable. It was at Three Rivers stadium in Pittsburgh, and suddenly this thing went WHOOSH! It was on a cable, you know, so that we could try and get it back again. Then it turned upside down and the balloon that was inside it short off into outer space and the rest of it fell to the earth in the crowd and was ripped into a million pieces and they all took a bit home.
[Welcome to the Machine]
DG: It’s quite easy to make an audio illusion, you know, to create one, like you know, the one of the door opening and people being behind that door. It’s a very easy thing to do. You just have a sound of this thing, the buzzing “mmmmmmmmmmm” of the door opening well you’ve got to get some sort of humming noise and then you just fade up a fader with talking and laughing and clinking of glasses noises. And it sounds just like the door’s opening and you can suddenly hear all these people at the other side of it. And those things are very very simple audio illusions that one can create.
CK: If you’d like to get in touch with the band, here’s an address to write them: Pink Floyd/43 Portland Road/London, England/W11 4LJ.
[Have A Cigar]
Rick: Everyone never understood, really, one couldn’t believe how we reacted to the business side of it. For example, refusing to do interviews, or being told “well, if you do an extra week in America you’re going to earn this amount of money” and this and this and we’d say “No, we don’t want to do it.” We always went in a way against the accepted business way of doing things, right from the beginning in some ways. When we started playing the music we were doing, I mean everyone in the business just said–they couldn’t understand it, or believe it. They never believed we’d be successful.
[Wish You Were Here]
CK: That’s “Wish You Were Here,” and “Have A Cigar,” both from Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here.” By the way, “Have a Cigar” features English street singer Roy Harper on vocals.
[Pigs on the Wing, Part 1]
CK: Following the success of “Wish You Were Here”, Pink Floyd released “Animals” in early 1977. David and Nick give insight into some of the effects used in recording the song “Sheep.”
DG: Roger was singing a note, and he sort of dragged the note out long, and it just suddenly struck me that we could cross- fade it with a synthesizer note–you know, as his note comes down you just bring up the synthesizer, and you cross-fade them together, and turn the vibrato up on the synthesizer. Just to make a strange effect, and it worked.
NM: I think most of the effects are backwards echoes. The drums are put on normally, then the tape reversed, and echo put on, so that you just–as I say, you get that slur, instead of a decay. With something going “CCCHHHHEEEeeeessssshhhhh…,” that’s reversed, so you get the thing building up to the actual sound, so it goes “sssshhhhheeeeeEEEEEHHHHHC!”.
CK: “Sheep,” from Pink Floyd’s “Animals”. “Animals” signaled the end of Rick Wright’s tenure with the band, as more and more, Roger Waters became the Floyd’s dominant member.
Rick: “Animals” was in a way, the beginning of the departure of me from the Floyd, because “Animals” was Roger’s concept, if you like, and I didn’t actually write anything on “Animals”. So I was just like Nick, playing the music.
CK: Three years and several tours passed before the fans would have a new album. In 1980, Pink Floyd released “The Wall”, an ambitious two-record set that included the bands first number one single in America, “Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2.” Roger Waters’ view of the world had grown progressively bleak, and even David Gilmour found Roger’s demos for “The Wall” a little too depressing.
DG: He gave us all a cassette of the whole thing, and I couldn’t listen to it. It was too depressing, and too boring in lots of places. But I liked the basic idea. We eventually agreed to do it, but we had to chuck out a lot of stuff, rewrite a lot of things and put a lot of new bits in, throw a lot of old bits out. And when we actually were making it, and Roger was under pressure, and we had said “That wasn’t good enough,” Roger actually wrote some of the best ones after that point. When we were actually doing it, when he was under pressure and being pushed to do things, he did some of the best things, I think.
[In The Flesh?]
CK: That’s “In The Flesh.” Over the years, Floyd has developed an approach that has satisfied them artistically and financially.
RW: When you start coming up with ideas for things like this, of course the immediate reaction always is: (inhales sharply) “It’s going to cut into the profit margins…,” you know, “Oooh, I don’t know if we want to do…” And there have been some ludicrous things that I’ve done in the past that were, well that Floyd did in the past, that were, that was a real battle to get them done because they were going to slice $150,000 off the bottom line.
RW: Your writing, I believe, comes out largely from a personality that develops when you’re a child. And that how successful you may become, you don’t change inside. You may become crushed by the weight of your success, and that weight may prevent you from expressing the feelings that are still that you will always have inside. I don’t think that the way a person feels ever really changes through their life. Do you?
CK: “Young Lust” and “Hey You,” both from “The Wall”. As you know, when the Floyd took “The Wall” on the road, their American tour played only two cities–New York and Los Angeles. The elaborate show featured the construction and demolition of a wall 31 feet high and 160 feet long.
NM: The problem, really, with the show is that it wasn’t a touring show, so it had to be set up, and left, and taken down again. There were a lot of light operators and stage operators and wall builders. Because of the amount of stuff that went up and down, floated across, did this, did that, there were a lot of operators, rather than just people putting stuff up. And, of course we had lots of semis, as I believe you call them, because of the special lighting pods that we used which needed, each one needs a trailer unit to hold it. And the special stage, because of the way the stage was actually used, there was a sort of structural bracing piece for the building of the wall. So it was all special equipment, I mean it was absurdly expensive. It’s not something other people will do, generally, because it’s just so expensive to put on, it’s simply not feasible. But it was great to have done it once.
CK: For David Gilmour, one of the highlights of that tour was performing the guitar solo of “Comfortably Numb.”
DG: It was a fantastic moment, I can tell, to be standing up on there, and Roger’s just finished singing his thing, and I’m standing there, waiting. I’m in pitch darkness and no one knows I’m there yet. And Roger’s down and he finishes his line, I start mine and the big back spots and everything go on and the audience, they’re all looking straight ahead and down, and suddenly there’s all this light up there and they all sort of–their heads all lift up and there’s this thing up there and the sound’s coming out and everything. Every night there’s this sort of “(gasp!)” from about 15,000 people. And that’s quite something, let me tell you.
CK: “Comfortably Numb,” co-written by David Gilmour, from Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”. Following the release of “The Wall”, a feature-length film of the album appeared, starring Bob Geldof of the Boomtown Rats as the central character “Pink.” Of course Pink Floyd’s music is featured throughout, including “When The Tigers Broke Free,” a song that wasn’t included on the album.
[When The Tigers Broke Free]
CK: “When The Tigers Broke Free,” from Pink Floyd’s film soundtrack of “The Wall.” “The Wall” would become Richard Wright’s final cut with the band–he announced his resignation after the “Wall” tour. “The Final Cut” is the most current Pink Floyd album, and according to Nick Mason, was meant to be a sequel to “The Wall”.
NM: It was an aftermath to “The Wall”, at one time it was actually, the “Final Cut” was, the title meaning that it was the final cut of “The Wall” that it was going to contain a lot of old “Wall” material that hadn’t made it onto the album or that was a sort of finale to “The Wall”. So the two albums are actually rather interconnected.
CK: Founding father Syd Barrett recorded two solo albums in 1970, and left another unfinished and unreleased in 1974. Guitarist David Gilmour re-united with his high school band “Joker’s Wild” for his solo debut in 1978. The lineup was Gilmour on guitar and vocals, backed by Rick Wills of Foreigner on bass, and Willie Wilson on drums. Gilmour’s guitar style is one of rocks most identifiable. You may have wondered how he started, and how he approaches the instrument.
DG: It’s very hard to tell what made me first decide to play the guitar. “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley came out when I was ten, and that probably had something to do with it. I was a big fan of all that stuff, I was also a fan of “lead belly” and other guitar-y type things, from when I was about 10 onwards. I didn’t actually pick one up until I was about 14 or 15. I’ve never had fast fingers, they’re really pretty slow compared to most, and the coordination between left and right hand and stuff is not great. If I start trying to do too fast then this one gets–the right one gets out of sync with the left hand, so I have to rely on other things. I rely on effects, fuzzboxes, anything that I can lay my hands on. Then I just try and make nice, sort of, melodies with it, like try to make it sing, I try to imagine that the guitar’s kind of singing, you know?
[There’s No Way Out Of Here]
CK: “There’s No Way Out of Here” from David Gilmour’s solo album. Here’s a fact for you: David picked that up tune from a band he produced in the mid 70’s called “Unicorn.” Earlier this year, David released his second solo album, “About Face”.
DG: Doing this album I wanted to make a really good record. I didn’t want to do it very very quickly, and I wanted to get the best musicians in the world that I could get hold of to play with me, so I thought I’d just make a little list of all my favourite musicians, you know, best drummer, best bass player, best keyboard player, and I’ll work through the list to see who I can get. Jeff Peccarro was top of my drummers list, Pino Palladino was top of my bass players list, and Ian Quely, or the Rev, as he’s known, he actually came and did the bulk of the hammond and piano playing, and he was terrific. Steve Winwood was top of my keyboard playing list but he couldn’t do most of the album, but I got him to do a bit.
CK: “Murder,” from David Gilmour’s second solo album, “About Face.” Following its release, David assembled a touring band, and successfully toured Europe and America this past spring and summer. Keyboardist Richard Wright’s solo album “Wet Dream” more or less coincided with the release of David Gilmour’s first album. Now that he’s officially out of Pink Floyd, he’s formed a new band, called “Zee.”
Rick: I’ve been working with Dave Harris, who used–he was in a band called “Fashion,” and we just released a record in the UK, an album, under the name “Zee,” that’s the last nine months. What’s it like? It’s…you’ll have to hear it.
Rick: We plan, hopefully, to start writing the next album, and then on the strength of having material from the first album and the second album, we would go on the road. But it’s very tentative at the moment, there are no definite plans.
CK: Nick Mason’s lone solo album was called “Fictitious Sports,” and aside from producing records, his real passion is motor racing and collecting vintage race-cars.
NM: I want to be involved in making a film, really, about my motor racing. But the idea with that is, possibly that we’d do a section, part of the film would be some modern racing, and I might work with someone else and do some music for that.
CK: Following on the heels of David Gilmour’s recent album, Roger Waters released his first solo effort “The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking.”
RW: Well, the idea for the album came concurrently with the idea for “The Wall”–the basis of the idea. I wrote both pieces at roughly the same time. And in fact, I made demo tapes of them both, and in fact presented both demo tapes to the rest of the Floyd, and said “Look, I’m going to do one of these as a solo project and we’ll do one as a band album, and you can choose.” So, this was the one that was left over. Um…I mean, it’s developed an awful lot since then, I think.
[The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking]
CK: That’s the title track from Roger Waters’ solo album, “The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking.” The short American tour that just concluded was definitely one of the must-see concerts of this year. Roger’s band included Eric Clapton, and a stage show nearing Pink Floyd’s proportions. Roger’s next move is up in the air.
RW: I don’t know what I shall do in the future, but there’s no way I can stop working. If I stop working for a bit I…I find myself drifting into the room with the piano, sitting down, starting to tinker, you know, “What if…?” I shall go to my grave with “Well, I wonder if….” And from those “I wonder if”s, something happens.
CK: Pink Floyd’s mark on live and recorded music is indelible. If the hallmark of a great band is to have a signature sound, then certainly Pink Floyd meets the qualifications, because no band sounds like Pink Floyd–they’re an original, a classic, and are legendary.