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Thread: Being Pink Floyd

  1. #1

    Being Pink Floyd

    Recently been having a Pink Floyd (and related) splurge. Though I find a lot to enjoy in the David Gilmour-led Pink Floyd albums, I'm not so keen on the albums under his own name.

    Anyway found this interesting observation from Gilmour's wife Polly about what it was like being in Pink Floyd: 'If you're in a room with David, Nick and Rick or, as I was at Live 8, with David, Nick, Rick and Roger, nobody speaks. There is nothing but awkward silences. They have no small talk with each other, they have no big talk with each other, they just do not speak. If you happen to be the unlucky person in the room, it's the most awkward feeling you can imagine. And then they get onstage with their instruments and suddenly they're so eloquent with their instruments and the way they communicate is beautiful.'

    What a strange, fascinating and wonderful beast this Pink Floyd was.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Iris View Post
    What a strange, fascinating and wonderful beast this Pink Floyd was.
    To be honest, I can easly imagine the same kind of thing happening with virtually any band whose 'classic line-up' reunites after years of not seeing each other and mostly communicating through their respective lawyers, with - as Robert Wyatt once put it when discussing Soft Machine - "too much blood under the bridge"... 'Classic Yes' in the early 2000s would, I suppose, be a good example.
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  3. #3
    Yeah, those guys know each other very, very well. Given all they've been through, there's probably just not much to collectively chat about.

  4. #4
    Member Top Cat's Avatar
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    Our music heroes are humans like us.
    Try attending an event or social function with an ex spouse and you'll understand what Polly is saying. A band breakup is very much the same thing.
    You get together and play nice and cordial and that's it.
    I was very fortunate my ex agreed the kids were the most important priority and we never talked negative about her and I hope she didn't about me in front of the kids.
    Bitterness and hate can do terrible things to your soul and aren't healthy for anyone.

    I recently saw a video interview with Roger Waters discussing the infamous fight between he and David regarding Comfortably Numb, and how in the end they negotiated pasting together parts of each of their favorite version to make it one whole song. But he was quick to describe the fight as something that happens when you have two strong opinions about artistic direction and how he's heard David describe the process of that song exactly the way it happened. In otherwords neither one of them exaggerated the facts to support their opinion on what happened.
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    I'm sure it wasn't always like that but in the latter years they had so much baggage between them. Awkward is how I would put it, like when family members aren't on the best of terms, everyone's trying to get on on the surface but fearing someone will say something wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve983 View Post
    I'm sure it wasn't always like that but in the latter years they had so much baggage between them. Awkward is how I would put it, like when family members aren't on the best of terms, everyone's trying to get on on the surface but fearing someone will say something wrong.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3FL0Tezc6A
    Yes, this is the ultimate awkward encounter.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by lazland View Post
    Yes, this is the ultimate awkward encounter.
    That scene was nicely parodied in the Brian Pern series - Brian Pern and his band Thotch were closer to Peter Gabriel and Genesis, but they are non-specific old rock star stories that could equally be about Pink Floyd.
    Watch the section from 2:00 -2:50

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by calyx View Post
    To be honest, I can easly imagine the same kind of thing happening with virtually any band whose 'classic line-up' reunites after years of not seeing each other and mostly communicating through their respective lawyers, with - as Robert Wyatt once put it when discussing Soft Machine - "too much blood under the bridge"... 'Classic Yes' in the early 2000s would, I suppose, be a good example.
    Yeah, I agree. I think a lot of bands are like that, at least, the big bands who've been around forever and have perhaps broken up or gone through public spats and such. One can imagine that Keith, Mick, Charlie, and Woody don't talk much before or after a Stones show. In fact, when you're that big, you probably don't even see the otehr guys, until you're getting ready to go onstage.
    I'm sure it wasn't always like that but in the latter years they had so much baggage between them.
    In the early days, everyone's traveling together, in the same van or tour bus or whatever, so it's kinda like being in a gang or a sports team or whatever. In the case of Pink Floyd, I read once there was a minor divide within the band, where some of the guys were drinkers, and some were pot smokers. Eventually, that went away and everyone was doing both, but not to the extent that they were severely impaired in public or whatever. David Gilmour's first wife, Ginger, has posted pictures from the mid 70's, of things like the band at charity cricket or football (that's soccer, for my fellow Americans) matches and such. So there was a time, as recently as 1975 or so that they could stand being around each other. I think starting around the time of Animals, that started to go away.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by alanterrill View Post
    That scene was nicely parodied in the Brian Pern series - Brian Pern and his band Thotch were closer to Peter Gabriel and Genesis, but they are non-specific old rock star stories that could equally be about Pink Floyd.
    Watch the section from 2:00 -2:50
    Lol, that was spot on!

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    “But that’s all water under the bridge now, and we’re ..... friends.”

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    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    you know, backstage is probably not the best place for small talks anyways , especially before the show where they're all stressing differently... after it, it's better, but generally this is the debriefing moments, so it's usually tense.

    Deep Purple during the Bolin-Hughes days would arrive and leave the shows in separate limousines - which does not necessarily mean they didn't talk backstage.
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  12. #12
    When you are big enough to be your own star, there is no reason to be around others of the same caliber, So I don't think that's all that surprising that they would be uncomfortable with having to share space with another. I think that's just a good practice to maintain your distance. They all have money, they all have hutzpah, they all can afford the best lawyers. Its a bit like having a bunch of nuclear powers all in the same room. Its dangerous and anything could set one or more of them off. Best to just be "friends" at a distance. I would like to hear the details of the raw material that Dave and Roger fought over in comfortably numb. That song was perfection IMO, I think they wound up with the best, but I could be wrong. Funny thing to fight about - the end part of a song. Could there be a few more minutes of ecstasy they could have added? Did we miss something amazing?
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    you know, backstage is probably not the best place for small talks anyways , especially before the show where they're all stressing differently... after it, it's better, but generally this is the debriefing moments, so it's usually tense.

    Deep Purple during the Bolin-Hughes days would arrive and leave the shows in separate limousines - which does not necessarily mean they didn't talk backstage.
    Again, I think a lot of the "big" bands arrived and left gigs in separate limos, especially if there's discord among the members. When I staked the hotel Yes was staying in, I believe there was I believe four cars to transport the band members to the venue (a distance of less than a mile, incidentally). Steve Howe and his assistant were in one (which I think left before the others). Then three cars were lined up outside one of the entrances: one was for Jon (who was the last band member to come out), I think Squire and White were in the second, and I think Billy Sherwood and Igor Khoroshev were in the third vehicle.




    I would like to hear the details of the raw material that Dave and Roger fought over in comfortably numb.
    It was really mundane, stuff, as I understand it. The version of the story I remember went something like this:

    For that song, at least, if not the entire album, Nick Mason recorded his drums, alone, playing to a click track. Apparently, he did two takes. And Dave and Roger fought over which take to use. One interview I read, Dave said he probably couldn't tell you which take was which, if you played them both for him now, but at the time, it was more about "having the last word" than it was about an perceptible musical difference between the two takes.

  14. #14
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    I've seen interviews of all 4 members of PF. More than one have mentoned the "English way" of just ignoring a problem. It's a philosophy I ascribed to when I was a young man. Now that I'm older & have a better perspective on life, I am no longer a prisoner of my own fears & insecurity. That's not to say that they no longer exist; it's just that they no longer hold the same level of importance as they once did. If we try & cast aside our personal silliness, we can "all get along."
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  15. #15
    Found a review of The Division Bell from I think Mojo which thinks High Hopes 'would effortlessly sail on to any six track best of Floyd.' Good as the song is, a little surprised by that evaluation.

    And this seems as apposite time as any to ask: can Gilmour's guitar solo on Comfortably Numb be described as the best ever?

    I'm sure there are reams on this on the web but I can't be arsed to go through all that so I'll just ask here.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casey View Post
    I've seen interviews of all 4 members of PF. More than one have mentioned the "English way" of just ignoring a problem. It's a philosophy I ascribed to when I was a young man. Now that I'm older & have a better perspective on life, I am no longer a prisoner of my own fears & insecurity. That's not to say that they no longer exist; it's just that they no longer hold the same level of importance as they once did. If we try & cast aside our personal silliness, we can "all get along."
    I thought "Quiet Desperation" was the "English Way" (see Time)

    Quote Originally Posted by Iris View Post
    Found a review of The Division Bell from I think Mojo which thinks High Hopes 'would effortlessly sail on to any six track best of Floyd.' Good as the song is, a little surprised by that evaluation.
    The brilliant High Hopes is the best track on any Floyd-named album since The Wall (that's incl TFC), hands down....
    And it maybe the only worthy Post-Waters Floyd track (as Cluster 1 and Signs Of Life instrumentals are good, but rely too much on Shine On You, IMHO).
    But it's certainly not in the top 6 or even in the top 20.
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  17. #17
    I have always had trouble with the slow tempo of Gilmour’s guitar work; I often felt I could read a short novel between the notes in some of his solos. They were undoubtedly atmospheric. But fast and furious? Absolutely not. Way back in the day, when ‘Wish You Were Here’ was first released on vinyl, I was living in southern Africa, where the weed was strong and plentiful. One night, after an intake of some particularly strong stuff, I thought it was time I reappraised Gilmour, that perhaps I was doing him an injustice and that he could, in fact, take on Clapton or Alvin Lee in the speed-guitar stakes. I put ‘Wish You Were Here’ on the turntable and was just floored by Gilmour’s lightning-quick solo on Shine On You Crazy Diamond. I was staggered. How had I been so wrong for so long? I listened again – no doubts – and then, in awe, wandered off to do other things. The next morning I jumped up to give it another listen ... and saw the turntable was set at 45rpm.

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    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munster View Post
    I have always had trouble with the slow tempo of Gilmour’s guitar work; I often felt I could read a short novel between the notes in some of his solos. They were undoubtedly atmospheric. But fast and furious? Absolutely not. Way back in the day, when ‘Wish You Were Here’ was first released on vinyl, I was living in southern Africa, where the weed was strong and plentiful. One night, after an intake of some particularly strong stuff, I thought it was time I reappraised Gilmour, that perhaps I was doing him an injustice and that he could, in fact, take on Clapton or Alvin Lee in the speed-guitar stakes. I put ‘Wish You Were Here’ on the turntable and was just floored by Gilmour’s lightning-quick solo on Shine On You Crazy Diamond. I was staggered. How had I been so wrong for so long? I listened again – no doubts – and then, in awe, wandered off to do other things. The next morning I jumped up to give it another listen ... and saw the turntable was set at 45rpm.
    lmao.gifrotflmao.gif
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  20. #20
    High Hopes probably is the best track on any of the latter-day Pink Floyd albums. But's not the first song from those albums I'd go to (or even the second or the third). From the moment I first heard it I have loved Poles Apart. That would certainly sail onto any six-track best of Floyd I was to compile.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Iris View Post

    And this seems as apposite time as any to ask: can Gilmour's guitar solo on Comfortably Numb be described as the best ever?
    There's certainly a lot of Gilmour-philes who think so. I don't know I'd call it the best by anyone, ever, but it certainly ranks high for me. I know if I had played those two solos, I'd certainly be a proud geezer.

    I believe Steve Lukather was asked once what his top ten guitar solos were, and Comfortably Numb was in the list, along with "Anything by Gilmour " and "Anything by Jeff Beck". So if the endorsement of the guy who played on Rosanna, She's A Beauty, Beat It, and I Love L.A. means anything to you, there you have it!
    I have always had trouble with the slow tempo of Gilmour’s guitar work; I often felt I could read a short novel between the notes in some of his solos. They were undoubtedly atmospheric.
    Funny, that's the very reason many of us like Dave's playing: because it's not "fast and furious". It's melodic, emotive, and he knows when and what not to play. He feels that for the most part, "leaping about maximum velocity" all the time isn't really appropriate, so he doesn't do it.

    As for High Hopes, it's one of the better songs on The Division Bell. But I'm not sure I'd rate it over Sorrow, On The Turning Away, Marooned, or Signs Of Life.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Iris View Post
    Recently been having a Pink Floyd (and related) splurge. Though I find a lot to enjoy in the David Gilmour-led Pink Floyd albums, I'm not so keen on the albums under his own name.
    I consider On an Island one of the best albums this millennium so far.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iris View Post
    Found a review of The Division Bell from I think Mojo which thinks High Hopes 'would effortlessly sail on to any six track best of Floyd.' Good as the song is, a little surprised by that evaluation.

    And this seems as apposite time as any to ask: can Gilmour's guitar solo on Comfortably Numb be described as the best ever?

    I'm sure there are reams on this on the web but I can't be arsed to go through all that so I'll just ask here.
    "High Hopes" is one of my all-time favorite Floyd tracks for sure. "Comfortably Numb" would have to rank right up there as one of the best ever.

  24. #24
    Yes, Poles Apart!

  25. #25
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    It was really mundane, stuff, as I understand it. The version of the story I remember went something like this:

    For that song, at least, if not the entire album, Nick Mason recorded his drums, alone, playing to a click track. Apparently, he did two takes. And Dave and Roger fought over which take to use. One interview I read, Dave said he probably couldn't tell you which take was which, if you played them both for him now, but at the time, it was more about "having the last word" than it was about an perceptible musical difference between the two takes.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from heroin-addicts to crazy ones

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