Pink Floyd

I had a number of problems with the direction of the band in our recent past, before Roger left. I thought the songs were very wordy and that, because the specific meanings of those words were so important, the music became a mere vehicle for lyrics, and not a very inspiring one... Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here were so successful not just because of Roger's contributions, but also because there was a better balance between the music and the lyrics than there has been in more recent albums. That's what I'm trying to do with A Momentary Lapse of Reason more focus on the music, restore the balance. -- David Gilmour

Anyone who is familiar with my work and with the comments I've made during the course of my career will know that I have an antipathy towards football stadium rock shows. These arenas are perfect for sports, political rallies, and Bill Graham-style revival meetings ... I mean, they suit God and football, but I don't think their scale is appropriate for rock 'n roll which has always worked at its best in circumstances which allow for a greater degree of intimacy, and contact, between the performers and their audiences. -- Roger Waters

If there was one band, that was the band of the late 20th century, it would have to be Pink Floyd.

There were others of the progressive rock genre, Canterbury-based Soft Machine, the German Tangerine Dream, and the Greek composer Vangelis, but Pink Floyd were the rock band.

The very early Pink Floyd were Bob Klose (lead guitar), Syd Barrett (vocals, rhythm guitar), Richard Wright (keyboards, vocals), Roger Waters (bass, vocals) and Nick Mason (drums). Bob Klose left to be replaced by David Gilmour. This line-up is what would be considered as the original Pink Floyd.

Syd Barrett, the genius behind the early Pink Floyd, completely lost it, too much tripping out on LSD. The four remaining were what would be regarded as the Pink Floyd.

Classic albums are: Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Wall.

Dark Side of the Moon remained in the US album charts for more than a decade.

The early albums The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, A Saucerful of Secrets, Ummagumma, Atom Heart Mother, Meddle are worth having, to see how Pink Floyd evolved.

After The Wall, Pink Floyd fell apart. The later albums are not worth having, with the exception of Pulse, a live album, which is Pink Floyd, minus Roger Waters and a live version of The Wall.

In the later years, individual members of Pink Floyd have done their own thing.

David Gilmour gave a couple concerts at The Royal Festival Hall in London. Now available on DVD as David Gilmour in Concert (also available on CD).

David Gilmour is regarded is one of rocks legendary great guitarists, to be ranked alongside Brian May (Queen), Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Carlos Santana and Eric Clapton.

May 2003, David Gilmour sold one of his London houses and contributed the $5.9 million he made to a housing project for the homeless.

Following the fall of the Berlin Wall, Roger Waters staged a live version of The Wall in Berlin amid the ruins, The Wall Live in Berlin. Roger Waters has also released In the Flesh Live, a live version of many of the Pink Floyd classics. Pink Floyd released concept albums. A mixed bag of Pink Floyd tracks sounds like it would not work, but surprisingly it does. In the Flesh Live is an album well worth having. It is also available on DVD.

September 2004, Roger Waters released two new tracks 'To Kill The Child' and 'Leaving Beirut' (released only on the Internet). Both these tracks were inspired by the US/UK illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003. Typically, his message was clear in the lyrics in lines such as: "Oh George! Oh George! That Texas education must have fucked you up when you were very small". Following the tsunami disaster that occurred 26 December 2004, Roger Waters performed 'Wish You Were Here' with Eric Clapton at the NBC benefit concert.

Pink Floyd were renowned for their lavish stage shows, spectacular lighting effects. Douglas Adams makes reference to Pink Floyd in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, with the rock group Disaster Area (creators of the loudest noise in the universe, and making use of solar-flares in their stage show). The stage version of The Wall was in itself a parody of Pink Floyd, the group anonymous, remote, hidden behind a huge wall.

What makes Pink Floyd stand out is the darkness of their music. It encapsulates the world at the end of the 20th century, a world that is doomed, a world of no hope.

Roger Waters gives his account of what went wrong with Pink Floyd in a booklet included with In the Flesh Live. Drummer Nick Mason has written a book Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd giving his version of events.

To many, Pink Floyd produced nothing more than pretentious crap. Punk was a reaction.

Easy Star All-Stars have recorded a reggae version of Dark Side of the Moon entitled Dub Side of the Moon. It sounds as though it would be bloody awful, but it's not, it is brilliant. Listening to the live version of Dark Side of the Moon on Pulse I have to say, and it sounds sacrilegious to say so, Dub Side of the Moon is actually better. Pink Floyd were not amused.

Roger Waters is putting together a musical version of The Wall for Broadway.

Pink Floyd reformed for the Live 8 Concert in Hyde Park, London. This was the first time the band had played together since their acrimonious split in the early 1980s.

(c) Keith Parkins 2005 -- June 2005 rev 1