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It has been a sad week for us, music lovers. Rick
Wright, one of the founding fathers of the band Pink
Floyd, died of cancer. Wright was a member of the 1963 R&B cover
6 that would grow, a couple of years later, into the next hip thing
when Syd Barrett joined the gang. The hip thing would soon become a
monster, a gravy train, a dinosaur, it had its up and downs, it was
praised and loathed by the so-called serious music press.
I am not good at obituaries, and who am I to write one anyway, so I’ll
pass the word to David Gilmour, not only a colleague but also close
friend of him.
In the welter of arguments about who or what was Pink Floyd, Rick's
enormous input was frequently forgotten.
He was gentle, unassuming and private but his soulful voice and playing
were vital, magical components of our most recognised Pink Floyd sound.
I have never played with anyone quite like him. The blend of his and my
voices and our musical telepathy reached their first major flowering in
1971 on 'Echoes'. In my view all the greatest PF moments are the ones
where he is in full flow. After all, without 'Us and Them' and 'The
Great Gig In The Sky', both of which he wrote, what would 'The Dark Side
Of The Moon' have been? Without his quiet touch the Album 'Wish You Were
Here' would not quite have worked.
In our middle years, for many reasons he lost his way for a while, but
in the early Nineties, with 'The Division Bell', his vitality, spark and
humour returned to him and then the audience reaction to his appearances
on my tour in 2006 was hugely uplifting and it's a mark of his modesty
that those standing ovations came as a huge surprise to him, (though not
to the rest of us).
I admit I was one of those many fans who sheered louder for Rick than
for the others on David’s last tour. Hearing him sing Echoes with David
was probably my best Floydian encounter ever, topping Dogs that Roger
Waters used (and still uses) to sing on his solo tours.
Roger Waters, normally a man of many words, has put the following
appropriate statement on his website:
Julianindica (aka Julian Palacios) wrote some great stuff about Wright
at Late Night:
Wright’s keyboard style had a unique melancholic grandeur. He had an ear
for exotic sounds, bringing in Middle Eastern Phrygian scales into his
mix. Never one to play lightning fast or pound the notes out, Wright
conjured up his unique style with patience. What was left out was as
important as what stayed in, and Wright took a calm and methodical
approach. The influence of Davis sideman Bill Evans introspective,
melancholic piano was strong. Modal jazz had minimal chords and relied
on melody and intervals of different modes. A slow harmonic rhythm
opened space in the music, in contrast to bebop’s frenzy.
On 30 June 1990 Pink Floyd played a short – albeit not very sharp - set
at the Knebworth
Festival. It has to be said that it was not the band’s sole
responsibility that the gig was, how shall we call it, mediocre by
Floydian standards. On this disastrous occasion, and this occasion
alone, a 20 minutes promo film was shown at the beginning of the show,
with a short appearance of none other than Iggy the Eskimo, somewhere
between the 4 and 5 minutes mark.
The movie consisted of a retrospective of the Floyd’s history and
included (parts of) several early songs (together with the predecessor
of the promo clip): Arnold Layne, See Emily Play, Point Me At The Sky,
It Would Be So Nice and others… Since it started with the first single,
the movie had to end with the last one as well. Storm Thorgerson's
visual rendition of the coke-euphoric-bring-on-the-digital-sound-effects Learning
to Fly from the welcome to the drum machine album A
Momentary Lapse of Reason ended the documentary.
In between the vintage scenes, Langley Iddens, who was then caretaker of
David Gilmour’s houseboat studio, sits at a table contemplating the
Langley Iddens (see top-left picture of this post) was a prominent face
on the Momentary Lapse of Reason campaign. He is the man on the cover of
the album but also acted in several promo and concert videos. He can be
seen as a boat rower (Signs of Life), in flight gear (Learning
To Fly) and in a hospital bed (On The Run). As Storm
Thorgerson directed these backdrop movies it is logical to assume that
also the Knebworth pre-show documentary was made by him.
There are however rumours that Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason was
involved in the movie as well. Besides several promo clips of the
Sixties the movie also shows pictures, newspaper articles, posters and
flyers from the Floyd’s psychedelic past. It is a well-known fact that
Mason has always been the archivist of the band, culminating in his
personal account of the history of the band, Inside
Out. That book, however, doesn’t reveal anything about Mason’s
involvement on the Knebworth movie.
A short snippet of the Knebworth teaser, showing a happy Syd Barrett
frolicking in a park with Iggy, made a collector’s career under the name Lost
In The Woods or Syd Barrett Home Movie. This excerpt can be
found several times on YouTube. Those cuts, however, are in a different
order than on the original Knebworth feature. The Church has restored
the initial flow and presents you hereafter two different versions of
the so-called Lost In The Woods video.
It's a complete, stereo, recording from the original pay-per-view
broadcast of Pink Floyd's appearance at the Knebworth '90 festival. The
concert featured seven songs. Only five of these were broadcast. Two of
the five were included on the official LD, VHS, and DVD releases. The
other three songs haven't been seen since the original broadcast.
According to its maker, the pre-concert-documentary comes from a
collector in England who had a first of second gen copy of the tape.
White Label [VHS]
Because the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit firmly believes in abundance,
we have added a second version of the same movie, coming from a
different source. The uploaded copy has been taken from a coverless VHS
tape labelled Pink Floyd film, found at an open air market stall
in London, and donated to the Church, in order to repent for his many
sins, by Dark Globe.
Dark Globe took it upon him to further analyse the clip, it is obvious
that it consists of different movies from different people at different
places, and he even went so far as harassing, although the Church
prefers the word investigating, some of the people who act in it. But
the results of that enquiry will be highlighted in the next post in a
couple of weeks.
Enjoy and don’t do anything that Iggy wouldn’t have done.
Some exciting news arrived last weekend through a Pink Floyd portal.
Alex Paterson, head spinner of the band The Orb, said in an interview
that he and David Gilmour had entered a studio ‘to work on an album’.
The news was vague and titillating enough to make all kind of
assumptions. Did this mean that LX & DG were attempting a Fireman
trick à la Youth and Paul McCartney? Perhaps Alex had finally lured Dave
in his spider web with a little help from Guy
Pratt who can be found as bass player and co-composer on several
Orb, Pink Floyd and David Gilmour records from the past? (Pratt and
Paterson also teamed up in a band called the Transit
The Orb's record output is prolific and even then a lot of tunes and
mixes stay hidden in the closet until LX decides to put them on a
compilation album somewhere. They just celebrated a third release in the Orbsessions
series from record company Malicious
Damage and according to some online reviews I read it is either
brilliant or utterly irritating, which makes it typically Orb, I guess.
I haven't bought Baghdad Batteries yet, my days that I ran to the
shop to get me their latest release are over as The Orb has left my
attention span somewhat thanks to the record Okie Dokie that
wasn't okie dokie at all but a mediocre Thomas
Fehlmann album with the brand name glued over it to sell a few extra
It took me over a year to listen to The Dream that followed Okie
Dokie and although it has Youth (Martin Glover) written all over it the
result is pretty average. Not pretty average as in pretty
average but pretty average as in pretty but
nevertheless a bit average. Probably I’ll get to Baghdad
Batteries one of these days but I wouldn’t hold my breath, if I were you…
Although one fan found that the announcement came about two decades and
a half too late the GilmOrb collaboration is making both Floyd
and Orb communities very excited but excitement is something David
Gilmour does not favour anymore in his line of work. This week the
following comment could be found on his official website…
David & Orb Rumours True – Up To A Point
Recent comments by ambient exponents The Orb's Alex Paterson that they
have been collaborating with David Gilmour are true – up to a point.
David has done some recording with The Orb and producer Youth, inspired
initially by the plight of Gary
McKinnon. However, nothing is finalised, and nothing has been
confirmed with regards to any structure for the recordings or firm
details re: any release plans.
In other words: forget it…
Update 2010: as the Metallic
Spheres collaboration album came out in 2010, the above article was
a tad too pessimistic. For a (partial) review, check here: The
History, as we know it, is the story of royalty and generals and does
not contain the memory of the millions who succumbed or who tried to
build a normal life.
This also applies to modern popular history. Pink Floyd & Syd
Barrett biographies and the so-called Sixties counter-culture
studies that have appeared all repeat the memories of a small, nearly
incestuous, circle of people who made it, one way or another. You always
stumble upon those who have become the royalty and generals of the
Underground. Others are less known, the lower rank officers, but still
Other people had less luck, but at least we know some of their stories.
Syd Barrett, although a millionaire in pounds, still is the prototype of
the drug-burned psychedelic rock star. But there are other members of
the Sixties Cambridge mafia, a term coined by David Gilmour, who didn’t
make it and whose stories are less known.
Ian Pip Carter, whose career started in Cambridge in the early
Sixties as pill pusher, had to fight a heroine addiction for most of his
life. After a visit to his friend (and employer) David Gilmour in Greece
Pip was imprisoned for drug possession where he was forced to go cold
turkey but he fell again for the drug once released, despite the fact
that the Pink Floyd guitarist send him to (and paid for) several rehab
sessions. “The needle had dug so far; searching relentlessly for a vein,
(that it) had decimated the nervous system in his left arm”, writes
Matthew Scurfield in his account of the Cantabrigian London mob.
Described by Nick Mason as 'one of the world's most spectacularly inept
roadies' the Floyd eventually had to let Pip go. He was the one who
accidentally destroyed a giant jelly installation at the Roundhouse on
the 15th October 1966 by parking the Pink Floyd van in the middle of it
or, different witnesses tell different stories, by removing the wooden
boards that supported the bath that kept the jelly. (You can read the story,
taken from Julian Palacios 1988 Lost In The Woods biography here.)
In 1988 Carter was killed during a pub brawl in Cambridge. Mark Blake
writes how David Gilmour used to help his old Cambridge friends whenever
they were in financial trouble and Pip had been no exception.
People familiar with the finer layers of the Syd Barrett history know
Charan Singh, the Master of the Sant
Mat sect, rejected the rock star for obvious reasons. The religion
was strictly vegetarian, absolutely forbid the use of alcohol and drugs
and didn’t allow sex outside marriage. Syd 'I've got some pork
chops in the fridge' Barrett hopelessly failed on all those points.
It is believed that John Paul Robinson, nicknamed Ponji, a very ardent
follower of the Path, tried to lure Syd into the sect after he had
visited India in 1967. And probably it had been another Cantabrigian,
Paul Charrier who converted Ponji first. (Paul Charrier was one of the
people present at Syd's trip in 1965 where he was intrigued for hours by
a matchbox, a plum and an orange. This event later inspired Storm
Thorgerson for the Syd Barrett (compilation album) record cover
and an impressive and moving Pink Floyd backdrop movie.)
John Paul Robinson had his own demons to deal with and in the Sixties he
visited a progressive therapist who administered him LSD to open his doors
of perception. Only after he had returned from India he ‘literally
seemed to be shining with abundance’, passing the message to all his
friends that he had been reborn. Ponji gave up his job, wanted to lead
the life of a beggar monk, but his internal demons would take over once
in every while.
He'd sit on the stairs with his elbows on his knees and forehead placed
carefully at the tips of his fingers, reeling out the same old mantra
proclaiming how he was just a tramp, that his body was an illusion, a
mere prison, a temporary holding place for his soul.
The story goes that he shouted ‘I refuse to be a coward for the rest of
my life’ just before he jumped in front of an oncoming train (1979?).
We only happen to know these people in function of their relationship
with Syd Barrett. Their paths crossed for a couple of months and we, the
anoraks, are only interested in that one small event as if for the rest
of these peoples lives nothing further of interest has really happened.
But the truth is that their encounter with Barrett is just one small
glittering diamond out of a kaleidoscope of encounters, adventures,
joys, grieves, moments of happiness and sadness. It is the kaleidoscope
of life: falling in love and making babies that eventually will make
babies on their own. A granddaughter's smile today is of much more
importance than the faint remembrance of a dead rock star's smile from
over 40 years ago.
The Church should be probing for the kaleidoscope world and not for that
one single shiny stone. Syd may have been a star, but our daily universe
carries millions of those.
Dedicated to those special ones whose story we will never know.
Thanks to: Iain Moore, Paro नियत (where are you now?)
Sources (other than the above internet links): Blake, Mark: Pigs
Might Fly, Aurum Press, London, 2007, p. 47, p. 337. Palacios,
Julian: Lost In The Woods, Boxtree, London, 1998, p. 85. Scurfield,
Matthew: I Could Be Anyone, Monticello Malta 2009, p. 151, p.
208, p. 265-266. Photo courtesy of William Pryor, p. 192.
Update 2016: In the 2015 coming of age novel Life
Is Just..., Nigel Lesmoir-Gordon describes early sixties Cambridge
and the submersion into eastern religions. Update 2019 08 02:
Pip picture added.
About - let me count - thirty-four to thirty-five years ago I was
seriously investigating the so-called UFO phenomenon. Or whatever
serious means for a sixteen years old adolescent who urgently wants to
get laid but has found out that the chance to witness an encounter of
the third kind is statistically more probable than to have an close
encounter with the opposite sex.
I was a member of the Belgian Sobeps
association, long before the Belgian
UFO wave hit the skies, and as the Internet was still a
science-fiction thing we had to rely on their magazine Inforespace
and the books, case files and real UFO pictures they sold by
mail-order to their members. They also had an electronic UFO detector in
their catalogue what made me wonder, already then, if they just weren't
a bunch of petty crooks. I must still have a Betty
and Barney Hill picture somewhere that I bought through their shop
and who were then (and maybe still now) regarded as the proverbial
Saul-stroke-Paul of the Holy Church of Ufology.
The nazi dark side of the moon conspiration
After a while opportunity knocked, even for me, and I didn't see the
purpose anymore to devote my life to the flying saucer - abducting
people for out-of-orbit enemas - enigma. But I am still mildly amused by
the phenomenon, especially from a historical perspective. Not that long
ago (at least not on the cosmic timescale) I partially readThe
Coming Race (1871) from Edward
Bulwer-Lytton, a (rather tedious) adventure book that apparently
inspired Nazi-Germany to start building flying
saucers. An internet search lead me to through several dubious
websites, some that might even be legally forbidden to consult in my
country as they vehemently propagate what I will mildly describe as
Aryan beliefs, and only strengthening me in my opinion that for
crackpots from all over the world the internet is Ultima
If I have understood it well American secret services grabbed nazi
occult mysteries by the truckload although it is not clear if they could
ever restore the phone lines to the Aldebaran
star system that became an après-guerre nudist resort for
the mystical and mythical Vril
Society pin-up girls (see image above and try not to drool). Thanks
to these secret nazi inventions the Americans not only landed on the
moon (although paradoxically enough conspiracy theory buffs deny this
but they also tested anti-gravity
engines in earth-designed flying saucers and solved the so-called zero-point
Gary McKinnon is a Glasgow hacker who thought for a while he was a Lone
Gunman on a mission against the American government. Wanting to
prove the things mentioned above he hacked into 97 United States
military and NASA
computers over a 13-month period between February 2001 and March 2002,
using the name 'Solo'.
Hacking is not really the term one should use here, more trial and
error. Consulting a 1985 copy
of Hugo Cornwall's The
Hacker's Handbook McKinnon copied a Perl script that looked for
Windows computers without a password and to his amazement there were
still lots of unprotected computers residing in the NASA and military
networks 15 years after the book appeared. One can duly wonder what
these CIA, FBI and military secret service IT security guys had been
doing in the meantime. Playing Pong,
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
fools.", wrote Douglas
Adams in the twelfth chapter of Mostly Harmless (1992). That
quote may not be entirely his. Nobel price winner and inventor of the
Teller noted down a couple of years before: "There's no system
foolproof enough to defeat a sufficiently great fool." Anyway, in 2002
Gary McKinnon was the fool who undermined the American's pigheaded
assumption of safety. Military security thought they had devised this
big unsinkable Titanic and all it took was a entrepreneurial nerd
with a screwdriver and a sack of sugar to pour inside the gas tank.
Rather than admitting they had done an enormous security cock-up the
turned Gary McKinnon into a terrorist super-hacker whose sole intention
it was to metamorphose American secrets to putty and hand them over to
Al-Queda, who - as we all know - have been praying a long time for this
UFO technology. In consequence Gary could face a 60-years prison
sentence if condemned before an American judge. Unfortunately the UK
voted the 2003
extradition act making it possible to extradite UK citizens for
offences committed against US law, even though the alleged offence may
have been committed in the UK by a person living and working in the UK.
A review of the extradition act was voted down by British parliament
although there is a growing consensus amongst British members of
parliament that Gary McKinnon will not stand a fair trial in the US.
Several charities have been raised to help Gary
McKinnon in his struggle against the extradition and in August 2009
David Gilmour, Chrissie Hynde, Bob Geldof and Gary McKinnon recorded the Chicago
(Change The World) single. The only awareness it ever raised was that
extraditing Bob Geldof to Guantanamo Bay would be a benefit for
mankind to say the least. Perhaps the US authorities could consider that
for a while.
As a Pink Floyd collector for over thirty years now, with over a dozen
legit versions of Dark Side Of The Moon, I was obviously
offended. Probably I am just being jealous here but I still can't grasp
the concept that a lawbreaking idiot with a UFO fixation got a chance to
make a record with one of the ten best guitarists of this world while moi
who has in his possession the ridiculously shaped Love On The Air
(1984) picture disk and Gilmour's lamentable Smile (2006) single
will never get the change to meet his idol from less than a 100 meters
distance. Phew, nice I have finally got that off my chest.
Last year, in the aftermath of the Chicago single, Alex Paterson of the
ambient house band The
Orb made a strange announcement:
I’ve just started work on an album with David Gilmour from Pink Floyd
which I think every Orb and Pink Floyd fan will want to hear.
The news was almost immediately downsized by David Gilmour who
acknowledged he had jammed a bit in a studio with Martin
'Youth' Glover but that nothing had been confirmed 'with regards to
any structure for the recordings or firm details re: any release plans'.
But this week David Gilmour's blog
had the following news:
David's 2009 jam session with ambient collective The Orb has
grown into an album, Metallic Spheres, to be released via
Columbia/Sony Records in October. David's contribution to the charity
song Chicago, in aid of Gary McKinnon, sparked the interest of producer
Youth (Martin Glover), who remixed the track and invited David to his
studio for a recording session. With additional contributions from Orb
co-founder Alex Paterson, the album took shape from 2009 into 2010,
eventually becoming Metallic Spheres, to be released by The Orb
featuring David Gilmour.
The album will be divided into two 25 minutes parts with five movements
each, a 'Metallic Side' and a 'Spheres Side'. The Orb will
consist of founder Alex Paterson (sound manipulation, keyboards and
turntables) and part-time member Youth adding bass, keyboards and
handling the production. It is not certain if Thomas
Fehlmann (full member of The Orb since 1995, absent on The Dream
(2007), but back on Bagdhad Batteries (2009)) and long time Orb
and/or Pink Floyd collaborator Guy Pratt will be present or not. For the
moment it looks like a three men line-up with David Gilmour contributing
guitar, lap steel guitar and some of his Chicago vocals.
Ghahary created the artwork (see image above) and all artist
royalties will go to helping Gary McKinnon fight his extradition.
When Gary McKinnon logged in on the military computers he allegedly
found proof of extra-terrestrial involvement in the NASA space program,
but unfortunately his telephone line did not allow him to download the
pictures and documents. The only tangible result of his actions will be
a Floydian cooperation that Orb (and some Pink Floyd) fans have been
dreaming about for the last two decades.
Long live Gary McKinnon, long live the greys! U.F.FlOrb is finally on
its way! And don't worry, I'm sure those pretty Aldebarans will
rescue Gary if he ever gets imprisoned in the land of the free.
There was a time when I would put in the latest Orb CD and murmur
blimey! Blimey because The
Orb pleasantly surprised me or blimey because Alex
'LX' Paterson and band utterly frustrated me. They had that effect
on me for years from their very first album Adventures
Beyond The Ultraworld (1991) until the quite underrated Cydonia
(2001). Often the wow! and meh! impression could be witnessed on the
same disk, most notably on Orbus
Terrarum that probably contains the freakiest ambient track ever
(the heavenly Oxbow Lakes) but also some of the worst.
The Millennium Orb
After 2001 Paterson continued to make albums under the Orb banner but
the wow! effect has largely disappeared. His most prolific output lays
on quite a few (from good to excellent) compilation and/or remix albums:
Dr. Alex Paterson's Voyage Into Paradise, Auntie Aubrey's Excursions
Beyond The Call Of Duty (containing an Orb remix
of Rick Wright's Runaway), Bless You (the best of the Badorb
label), Orbsessions I and II (outtakes), Back To Mine, The Art Of Chill
and last but not least The BBC Sessions.
Contrary to a stubborn belief the so-called ambient (and illegal) Pink
Floyd remix albums from the Nineties are not the work from The Orb, nor
from Alex Paterson. Neither will we ever know Pink Floyd's retaliation:
when the band worked on their 1994 The Divison Bell album they ended up
with so many left-over material that - in the words of Nick Mason - "we
considered releasing it as a second album, including a set we dubbed The
Big Spliff, the kind of ambient mood music that we were bemused to
find being adopted by bands like The Orb".
Update 2015 01 15: Parts of The Big Spliff may have appeared on
the latest Pink Floyd album: The Endless River. See our review: While
my guitar gently weeps...
Exactly one year ago Alex Paterson, who has always been a bit of a
I’ve just started work on an album with David Gilmore (sic)
from Pink Floyd which I think every Orb and Pink Floyd fan will want to
But that news was hurriedly demoted by David Gilmour.
Recent comments by ambient exponents The Orb's Alex Paterson that they
have been collaborating with David Gilmour are true – up to a point.
David has done some recording with The Orb and producer Youth, inspired
initially by the plight of Gary McKinnon. However, nothing is finalised,
and nothing has been confirmed with regards to any structure for the
recordings or firm details re: any release plans.
On the 17th of August of this year, however, the David Gilmour blog
had the following to reveal:
David is not working with The Orb on a new album, contrary to some
reports, but you may remember that he had been in the studio jamming
with Martin “Youth” Glover in recent months. (…) Alex Paterson was not
involved in the sole jamming session and the only plan initially was for
David to play guitar on that one track.
However, as it turns out and as you can see, the result of that jam
session has now been spread across the next Orb album, Metallic Spheres,
which will be released as ‘The Orb featuring David Gilmour’. So there
you have it. He was working on an album with The Orb. Sort of.
If I may read a bit between the lines I feel some friction here between
Sir David and this Orb thingy. But the next day, David Gilmour's
had the next comment:
David's 2009 jam session with ambient collective The Orb has grown into
an album, Metallic Spheres, to be released via Columbia/Sony Records in
October. David's contribution to the charity song Chicago, in aid of
Gary McKinnon, sparked the interest of producer Youth (Martin Glover),
who remixed the track and invited David to his studio for a recording
With additional contributions from Orb co-founder Alex
Paterson, the album took shape from 2009 into 2010, eventually becoming
Metallic Spheres, to be released by The Orb featuring David Gilmour. (underlined
Calling LX Paterson an Orb co-founder is technically not untrue, but it
feels a little weird when you have just been presenting Martin 'Youth'
Glover. It is comparable to describing Syd Barrett as a Pink Floyd
co-founder while discussing Bob
Klose. Agreed, Youth (from Killing
Joke fame) was probably around when The Orb saw the light of day but
it is generally acknowledged that the band was formed in 1988 by Alex
Paterson and Jimmy
Cauty but not by Youth who only occasionally teamed up with
Alex Paterson as a temporary aid. Cauty's primary project however, the Kopyright
Liberation Front (with Bill Drummond), pretty soon outgrew The Orb
and when - at a certain point in time - some Orb remixes were released
in Germany as KLF remixes this provoked a rupture in the co-operation
between the duo as Alex and Jimmy started fighting over… copyrights.
After the split between KLF and The Orb Martin 'Youth' Glover helped LX
out with two tracks (on two separate albums): Little Fluffy Clouds (on
'Adventures', 1991) and Majestic (on U.F.Orb, 1992), but he never was a
member of the band and certainly not a founding member. In 2007 however,
Youth replaced Thomas Fehlmann and joined The Orb for a one album
Update 2018: Youth can also be found on the 2018 'No Sounds Are
Out Of Bounds' and on a 2016 live CD and DVD release of the band.
Together with the announcement on David Gilmour's website, and then
we're back on the 18th of August of this year, a promotional video for
the Metallic Spheres album is uploaded to YouTube. Depicting only Youth
and David Gilmour several Orb fans wonder where LX Paterson, and thus
The Orb, fits in.
The first, original movie disappears after a couple of days for
so-called 'copyright' reasons and is rapidly replaced with a second
version (unfortunately taken down as well, now), containing some hastily
inserted images of LX Paterson strolling through the grasslands and
recording some outdoor musique concrète.
It feels, once again, as if the Floyd-Orb connection doesn't go down
well at the Gilmour camp. Alex Paterson's image, so it seems, has only
been included on the promo video after some pressure (from LX
himself) took place. But the above is of course all pure speculation and
not based upon any fact, so tells you Felix Atagong, who has been
closely following The Orb for over two decades.
Bit by bit we learn how the album came into place. It all started with
David Gilmour's charity project for Gary
McKinnon, an X-Files adhering half-wit who hacked into American
military and NASA computers in order to find out about extra-terrestrial
conspiracy theories (read some more about that on: Metallic
Spheres). Because of this he faces extradition from England to the
USA where apparently they take these kind of idiots very seriously, see
also the 43rd president who governed the country from 2001 to 2009.
It is not quite clear if Gilmour asked Youth (David Glover) to make a
remix of the Chicago charity tune or if Youth got hold of the
project and proposed to help (I've come across both explanations). The
two may know each other through Guy Pratt who played in Glover's band Brilliant
in 1986 (LX Paterson was their roadie for a while). In 1990 Youth
Pearl with Durga
McBroom who had toured with Pink Floyd for the previous three years.
Amongst the session musicians on their Naked album are Guy Pratt,
David Gilmour and Rick Wright.
This isn't Glover's only connection with the Floyd however. In 1995 he
teamed up with Killing Joke colleague Jaz
Coleman to arrange and produce a symphonic tribute album: Us and
Them: Symphonic Pink Floyd, but only The Old Tree With Winding
Roots Behind The Lake Of Dreams remix from Time combines a
modern beat with romantic classical music.
To spice up the Chicago remix Youth invited David Gilmour in his home
studio and out of it came a twenty minutes guitar jam. Glover soon found
out that he could expand the session into an ambient suite and asked old
chum LX Paterson for some help. LX flavoured the pieces with typical
Orbian drones and samples, rather than turning this into a sheepish Fireman-clone.
The Orb featuring David Gilmour can only be a win/win situation.
Orb fans have dreamed about this collaboration for the past two decades
and that will add to the sales figures for sure. And although artist
royalties go to the support of Gary McKinnon there will always be a
spillover effect for the artists involved. That can only be good news
for The Orb whose last album Baghdad Batteries sunk faster than
the Kursk in the Barents Sea.
Rest us to say that an Orb album is an Orb album when it has got the
name Orb on it, whether you like it or not. (In the case of their Okie
Dokie album, not a bit).
Spheres starts with Gilmour's pedal steel guitar over some keyboard
drones that makes me think of those good old days when the KLF shattered
the world with their ambient masterpiece Chill
Out (LX Paterson - as a matter of fact - contributed to that album,
although uncredited). But soon after that Gilmour's guitar wanders off
in his familiar guitar style with axiomatic nods to The Wall and The
Division Bell albums. A welcome intermezzo is Black Graham
with acoustic guitar, not from Gilmour but by ragtime busker Marcia
Mello. The 'metallic side' flows nicely throughout its 29
minutes and has fulfilled its promise of being 'the ambient event of the
year' quite accurately.
The CD is divided into two suites: a 'metallic side' and a 'spheres
side' (and each 'side' is subdivided in five - not always
discernable - parts). The second suite however, is more of the same,
clearly lacks inspiration and ends out of breath at the 20 minutes mark.
So no wow! effect here (but no meh! either)... Youth has done what was
expected from him and produced an all-in-all agreeable but quite
mainstream product leaving ardent anoraky Orb fans with their hunger,
but perhaps winning a few uninitiated souls.
As far as I am concerned this is about the best Orb CD I have heard for
the past couple of years, but it is still far from Orblivion, U.F.Orb or
Ultraworld. But as this is 2010 already you won't hear me complaining.
In true Orbian tradition this album exists in different versions. There
is the regular UK version (with a 'black' cover) and the deluxe version
(with a 'white' cover). That last one has a bonus CD in a 3D60 headphone
remix, comparable to the holophonics system on Pink Floyd's 'The
Final Cut' album from 1983.
Update 2018: Just like 'holophonics' in the eighties, 3D60 no
longer exists. The 'special' effects can only be heard through a
headphone, but don't expect anything spectacular.
A Japanese enhanced Blu-spec release has two additional bonus tracks and
two videos. One of these extra tracks (remixes, actually) could also be
downloaded from The Orb website and from iTunes. One of the videos has
been made by Stylorouge, who worked with Storm Thorgerson on
several Floydian projects.
Last but not least there is a Columbia promo version, containing a
unique identification number to trace unauthorised redistribution (see
above picture). To our, but probably not to Gilmour's, amusement this
promo-CD is titled The Orb Vs Dave Gilmour (instead of David).
According to at least one Orb fan this version has a different mix than
the official release.
A couple of months ago a new Syd Barrett compilation was announced and
EMI (Harvest) was proud to proclaim that Syd Barrett had joined the
league of Jimi
Hendrix or Marc
Bolan, meaning that the man has got more compilation albums written
on his name than genuine albums.
Let's make a quick sum, shall we? Barrett, who was the founder of the
mythical band Pink
Floyd, was overtly present on their first album The
Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. On the second album A
Saucerful Of Secrets he had already taken a sabbatical, and although
present on 3 tracks (out of 7) he only takes the vocal lead (and writing
credits) on the testamentary coda Jugband
There are at least 7 Pink Floyd compilations that have Barrett's
(sometimes unreleased) work on it and the last one Echoes
(2001) turned Syd Barrett into an overnight millionaire. The fortieth
anniversary edition of Piper (2007) has (in the deluxe edition)
an extra CD containing some alternative versions and the Pink Floyd's
early singles as well.
Barrett's solo output in the early seventies is limited to two albums, The
Madcap Laughs and Barrett,
and that is all there is, give or take 5 or 6 compilations. The count
depends whether one catalogues the Opel
(1988) record as a compilation of alternative takes and unreleased
material or as a real 'third' solo album.
The most recent compilation 'An
Introduction To Syd Barrett' boasts that this is the first time in
history that Barrett's Pink Floyd and solo tracks have been compiled on
one disk. This is true, but… so what?
On the other hand a quick glance at the list
of unreleased material shows that there are about a dozen Pink Floyd
studio tracks from their Syd Barrett era, but alas this compilation
still doesn't contain any of them.
So what could possibly be the added value of this album, one might ask?
Not its cover, that doesn't show Syd Barrett at all but that has been
created, as usual, by Storm
Thorgerson. Thorgerson, and more particularly his Hipgnosis
studio, made some landmark record sleeves in the Seventies and Eighties,
but he seems not able nowadays to sell his creations to influential
bands, unless you call the freaky weirdoes of The Mars Volta
influential of course. Thorgerson's contemporaneous work flirts a bit
too much with cheap kitsch and luckily there is still Pink Floyd Ltd
that keeps him away from the unemployment office. I'm quite fond of
Thorgerson's work and I do like the cover although most Syd Barrett fans
I frequent compare it with visual diarrhoea so I leave it to you to make
up your own mind.
As a Barrett anorak I am not interested in the regular songs on this
compilation - as a matter of fact I didn't even listen to those - but I
jumped immediately on top of the so-called enhanced tunes. The
compilation boasts that 4 tracks have been remixed and one track has
been 'upgraded' with additional bass from David Gilmour who also
supervised the mixes. (The following review has been largely influenced
comments on the NPF
forum and MOB's
comments on the A
Fleeting Glimpse forum.)
Dominoes: the new mix has been so subtly done that there is
hardly any difference. The vocals are more emphasized and the backwards
guitar sounds a trifle clearer. Some corrections may have been done,
because on the original versions several (drum) parts were out of
'synch'. These errors have miraculously disappeared on the 2010 mix.
Octopus: this track is 7 seconds longer, due to the fact that a
'false' start has been added at the beginning. The "isn't it
good to be lost in the woods" vocals have been clarified and brought
to the fore and it could even be that its first part has been taken from
an alternative take (also a few drumbeats have been added that weren't
there on the 1970 version). Overall the muddled sound of vocals and
guitars have been cleaned.
She Took a Long Cool Look: this track has always been
called She Took A Long Cold Look in the past, but the
title has now been changed. This is one of so called 'live' bits from
Barrett's first album. These included false starts, bad guitar playing,
unstable singing and Barrett generally loosing it… David Gilmour said he
included these demos in 1970 to reveal Barrett in all his fragility, but
later regretted his choice…
The 2010 version snips some of the unnecessary background sounds
(Barrett turning some papers) and the guitar breakdown in the middle of
the song is replaced by some strumming from another take. And - as with
all of these remixes - Barrett's voice sounds more crisp than before and
with less disturbing echo.
Matilda Mother (Pink Floyd): the 40 years anniversary edition of Piper
already had this alternative take but in a much shorter version. This
one takes 50 seconds longer and has benefited from a real mix. Probably
the 2010 version is a sound-collage of several outtakes.
Here I Go: this little dance hall tune has always been my
favourite Barrett track. For over 40 years I have wondered how this song
really ended and now the ditty lasts 5 seconds longer. Gilmour has done
a fine job by adding extra bass and after my second listen I already
felt that this was the way it should always have been. (There is also a
tiny rhythm correction - compared with the original version - at 01:46.)
Personally I find it a bad judgment from Gilmour & Co to keep the fade
out but the closing chord I had been waiting for can still be heard. And
I know it's starting to sound repetitive, but Barrett's vocals have been
upgraded as well and sound crispier than ever. You don't need to buy the
album to listen to this track as a promo video has been put on the web
as well: Here
I Go (official video).
Update December 2019: Peudent, over at Late
Night, had some fun remastering the 2010 version of Syd Barrett’s Here
I Go. This version has got no fadeout and the ending can now be
heard at full volume. URL: https://voca.ro/3O3YGCsdWT7
The few remixes on this compilation are subtle, have been done with
great care and love for the original material so that my initial anoraky
opinion of 'don't touch the originals' has now been switched over to
'why didn't they simply enhance all tracks'?
But the real revelation of the album can't be found on plastic. The CD
contains a key to download the mythical Rhamadan track from the official
Syd Barrett website and this is what the next chapter is all about.
I won't get into the old story, legend or myth, of Rhamadan as it is all
old news by now. The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit wrote a bit about it
and Pontiacs and Rob Chapman in A
Very Irregular Head describes it as a 'conga-heavy jam session
lasting eighteen minutes and of little merit', although it is highly
doubtful that the biographer could get hold of the piece.
The only person, apart from some EMI alumni, who could listen to the
track in its full glory was David Parker, author of Random
Precision. In order to get EMI's permission he had to sign a 'scarily
draconian declaration', so scarily draconian that he even had to
delete a forum post wherein he had simply admitted it had been 'scarily
draconian'. The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit sometimes threatens with
the Holy Igquisition but apparently that secret service is
peanuts compared to the EMI 'unlimited supply, there is no reason why'
David was the only author who could write, in detail, how the piece
sounded and as it is so damn accurate I see no point of trying to give
my own description.
Peter Bown announces Rhamadan take 1 over some bass and organ
noises. He pronounces the title Rarmardarn like a 1950's BBC
newsreader. The piece itself begins with the conga drums (probably Steve
Took from Tyrannosaurus Rex).
The bass comes in and immediately takes the lead role (whoever the bass
player is they are extremely proficient) with some very fast Stanley
Clarke style runs and slides in places. The vibes then begin to come in,
along with some disjointed organ chording (mostly on one chord). This
then continues for a couple of minutes with the bass leading over the
conga beat, vibes and organ chords. A piano then enters playing a loose
boogie rhythm, and someone starts playing some very staccato mellotron
notes as well. Things settle into a groove, and a second drummer joins
in, mainly on cymbals. After about 5 minutes Syd's guitar starts to
appear, playing muted chords to fill out the sound. The bass falls back
slightly, and the piano takes the lead, Syd's guitar feeding back
momentarily as he begins to play solo notes. (…)
The piece eventually starts to fizzle out with some mad staccato
mellotron, the ever present organ chord and a lot of bass improvisation
with a sprinkling of piano notes. Syd plays some open chord plucking and
everything gets rather free form with Syd letting his guitar build-up
feedback and then fades it out. (…)
Syd starts another riff but it begins to fade until the bass player
picks up on it, and everyone begins following along. Another crescendo
of feedback builds up as Syd picks out what sounds like the Close
Encounters three note theme (!). (…)
Things build up yet again, with everyone in random improvisation, then
everyone stops except the organ chord. The bassist begins a strident
riff, giving the vibes a chance to solo (with staccato mellotron
accompaniment). The bass rockets off into a hyper-drive riff, then
everything finally falls to bits, ending with our old friend the organ
chord drone, the mad mellotronist and a few bass notes.
We don't really know who are the players on Rhamadan, but Steve
Peregrin Took is a name that appears in almost all biographies.
Biographer Julian Palacios, however, seems to disagree now:
Talking to my friend GH today, he wrote: 'I don't think that Steve Took
is the conga player on these sessions. I knew Steve and discussed Syd
with him on a few occasions, he said that Syd had jammed with him round
at his flat and that he had recorded it, but there was never any mention
of going into a recording studio with Syd. My understanding was that
Steve didn't get pally with Syd until after his split from Marc (Bolan).
Back in 68 Tyrannosaurus Rex where gigging like crazy and still very
much a going concern.' (Taken from Late
Night Discussion Forum.)
Rhamadan isn't half as bad as everyone, who had never heard it, claimed
it to be. Especially when one remembers that the same biographers and
journalists tend to praise AMM, The Soft Machine or The Third Ear band
for their revolutionary musical approach. Rhamadan is of course a highly freakadelic
experiment, almost free-jazz in its approach, a genre Syd Barrett was
not unfamiliar with.
If you have bought the CD, Rhamadan can be downloaded (legally) from the
official Syd Barrett website, but unfortunately only in the MP3 format
with a rather cheapish 152kbs bitrate. But its bitrate is not the only
amateurish characteristic. While millions of people all over the world
have discovered MP3 tags, EMI is of the opinion that this invention is
way over their heads. The tags are all empty and reveal that the track
is untitled (Track 1), comes from an unknown album,
is from an unknown artist and from an unknown year. Not
even the Publisher and Copyright data are filled in. My 8-years old
godchild can rip MP3 tunes better than EMI does, she at least knows how
to attach a (sleeve) picture to the file. (Although I worked this out by
myself, Jen D at madcapslaughing
beat me by a day by publishing the same findings before me. As I haven't
got an irregular head I'll give this bloke the credits.)
While EMI has been nagging us for years that copying is killing music
a closer look on the MP3 tags reveals us that the file has been
converted with FreeRIP.
Here is the biggest music company in the world and it uses a freeware
version of a (quite good, I agree) MP3 converter to spread around a
track belonging to the founder of their second most commercially
successful band, next to The Beatles.
I know of the bad financial situation of the music company but I wasn't
aware that EMI was that close to bankrupt that they can't even afford a
29,75 dollar software program anymore.
None really. The best thing is to decide for yourself if the 5 remixes
and the 1 download are sufficient to buy the album. As a Barrett anorak
myself, I simply had no choice.
Sources: (other than internet links mentioned above) Chapman,
Rob: A Very Irregular Head, Faber and Faber, London, 2010, p. 215. Parker,
David: Random Precision, Cherry Red Books, London, 2001, p.
Words: Mark Blake. Pictures: Storm Thorgerson, Iggy Rose, Rank
Organisation. Date: 20 January 2011. Previously published on
If there is one image of Syd Barrett that never ceases to fascinate it's the
back cover of his debut album, The Madcap Laughs. The reason: the
mysterious naked woman perched on a stool with her head thrown back and
face obscured by swathes of long dark hair. Syd's companion was known
only as "Iggy The Eskimo". But as Barrett fans have been
wondering since 1970 - who was Iggy and where did she go?
Rock believed that his cover girl had "married a rich guy and moved
off the scene". Barrett's old flatmate, the artist Duggie Fields,
heard that "Iggy had become involved with one of the voguish religious
cults of the time", before adding to the mythology with a story of once
seeing her disembarking from a Number 31 bus in Kensington, wearing a
1940s-era gold lamé dress, and very little else.
In 2002, Mick's coffee-table book Psychedelic
Renegades featured more shots of Syd and Iggy posing outside the
Earls Court mansion block, alongside Barrett's abandoned Pontiac. Rock's
photos found their way onto most Pink Floyd fansites, where Iggy
had acquired cult status. Before long, The
Holy Church Of Iggy The Inuit, a fansite in her honour, had
appeared, its webmaster, Felix Atagong, sifting through ever scrap of
information gleaned from MOJO and elsewhere with a forensic scientist's
attention to detail. Among Felix's discoveries was a
November 1966 issue of NME which featured a photo of "Iggy who is
half eskimo" dancing at South Kensington's Cromwellian club.
While researching my Pink Floyd biography (2007's Pigs
Might Fly: The Inside Story Of Pink Floyd) I quizzed everyone about
Iggy's whereabouts. Anthony Stern, formerly a schoolmate of David
Gilmour's, told me he had met her at a Hendrix gig and had
just discovered photos he had taken of her on a houseboat in Chelsea;
Anthony had also filmed Iggy dancing in Russell Square. Meanwhile,
former Middle Earth club DJ Jeff Dexter recalled meeting "the
mysterious-looking" Iggy in 1963, when she was a "part of a group of
very wonderful looking South London girls" that danced at The Orchid
Ballroom in Purley. Jeff even hatched a plan with his friend, the late
DJ and Shadows songwriter Ian "Sammy" Samwell, to turn
Iggy and two of her friends into "a British version of The
Supremes. We booked a studio but unfortunately none of them could
sing." Believing that Iggy may have gone to school in Thornton Heath,
Jeff and Anthony contacted The Croydon Guardian, who ran an article - So
Where Did She Go To, My Lovely - enquiring after the whereabouts of the
girl "who entirely captured the spirit of the '60s".
Then, in March 2010, MOJO received a letter from ex-Cambridge mod Pete
Brown, who had "shared some wild nights on the town with Iggy in the
1970s". Pete informed us that Iggy had been last heard of in the '80s
"working at a racing stables... and has since been keeping her
whereabouts quiet." Pete sent a copy of the letter to The Croydon
Guardian, whose reporter traced Iggy through the stables and phoned her
out of the blue. Their subsequent article included a handful of quotes
from its reluctant subject, including the words: "I have now left that
life behind me." Which is why it came as a surprise when my mobile rang
late one Saturday night. "It's Iggy!" declared the voice at the other
end, as if I would have known that already. "I've been reading what you
wrote about me in MOJO... about the pictures of my bottom."
The local newspaper's call had prompted Iggy to borrow a neighbour's
computer and go online for the first time. She was amazed to discover
MOJO, the fansites, the photos, and the wild speculation and
misinformation about her time with Syd Barrett. Which is why, in October
2010, I found myself stepping off a train at an otherwise deserted
Sussex railway station to be met by the woman that had once graced the
cover of The Madcap Laughs. Three hours in a local gastro-pub and
countless phone calls later, Iggy pieced together her story. Some of it
was printed in MOJO
207, the rest is here...
Firstly, why Iggy? "My real name is Evelyn," she explains. "But when I
was a child, my neighbour's young daughter could never pronounce Evelyn,
and always called me Iggy. Now everyone calls me as Iggy. But 'The
Eskimo' nickname was a joke. That was something I told the photographer
from the NME when he took my picture at The Cromwellian." Iggy's father
was a British army officer, who served alongside Louis Mountbatten, and
attended the official handover ceremony from Great Britain to India's
first Prime Minister, Jawaharial Nehru in 1947. "My father also knew all
about Mountbatten's wife's affair with Nehru," she adds mischievously.
During a spell of leave, he had travelled to a remote village in the
Himalayas "where he met the woman that would become my mother." Iggy was
born in Pakistan, and attended army schools in India and Aden, before
the family moved to England. But not, as believed, Thornton Heath. "I
grew up by the seaside," she reveals. "I went to art school. I became a
mod in Brighton, and saw the fights with the rockers, and I met The
Who when they were on Ready Steady Go! I loved soul music, loved The
Righteous Brothers, and I loved dancing, so I used to go to all the
clubs - The Orchid Ballroom in Purley, where I met lovely Jeff Dexter,
The Cromwellian, The Flamingo, The Roaring Twenties..."
It was at The Cromwellian that Iggy encountered Eric Clapton. "I
didn't know who he was at first," she insists. "He took me to meet Lionel
Bart and to a party at Brian Epstein's place..." By the
mid-'60s Iggy had become a Zelig-like presence on the capital's music
scene, sometimes in the company of Keith Moon, Brian Jones,
Keith Richards.... She saw Hendrix make his UK debut at the Bag
O' Nails in November '66, and in February '67, narrowly avoided the
police raid at Richards' country pile, in West Wittering: "The night
before, I decided not to go, thank God." A year later, still in the
Stones' orbit, she found herself watching the recording sessions for
what became Sympathy For The Devil.
By then, Iggy had made her film debut. In 1967, IN Gear was a short
documentary screened as a supporting film in cinemas around the country.
Its theme was Swinging London, including the chic Kings Road clothes
shop Granny Takes A Trip, a place, according to the breathless narrator
that "conforms to the non-conformist image of the !" A
mini-skirted Iggy can be seen in one silent clip, sifting through a
rack of clothes and chatting with Granny's co-owner Nigel Waymouth.
By 1967, pop music had changed. The summer before, Iggy had met Syd
Barrett's girlfriend Jenny Spires, and drifted into the Floyd's social
clique, showing up at the UFO club nights where Pink Floyd played
regularly: "When I recently watched that Syd Barrett documentary [The
Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett & Story] and saw Syd in the kaftan,
chanting [on Pow R Toc H], the memories came rushing back," she
explains. "I'd been there. I'd seen that." In April '67, Iggy joined the
counter-culture throng in Alexandra Palace for The
14-Hour Technicolor Dream - "all 14 hours of it!" - where Floyd
played a hypnotic set at dawn.
By early 1968, though Barrett had been replaced by David Gilmour, and,
according to many, was on a drug-fuelled downward spiral. Towards the
end of the year, he moved into a new place with his level-headed friend,
the would-be artist Duggie Fields. The pair took over a two-bedroom flat
Wetherby Mansions in Earls Court. Around January '69, at Jenny
Spires' suggestion, Iggy, needing a place to stay, moved in. She hooked
up with Barrett, but shared a musical bond with Fields: "Duggie and I
were into soul music, and Syd used to laugh at me dancing around to
As Iggy told MOJO 207: "I didn't know Syd had been a pop star."
Elaborating further, "I didn't make the connection between him and the
person I had seen at UFO. I knew he was beautiful looking and he had
real presence, but that was all." Once, when she picked up his acoustic
guitar, fooling around, he took it off her and started playing properly.
"I was overwhelmed. The way he played the guitar, the way he moved. He
said, 'Do you think I look good?'," she laughs. "I said, 'You look
amazing. Wow!' He then said, 'Would you listen to this?' And he bought
out this big, old-fashioned reel-to-reel tape recorder, and said, 'Tell
me what you think'." Syd then played her the songs that would end up on
The Madcap Laughs. One track, Terrapin,
made an immediate impression. "I said, 'That's quite catchy', and, of
course, I don't think Syd was really into catchy...It was a long tape,
and he didn't demand any opinion, but just asked if I thought it was OK.
At the end he said 'Someone at EMI - I cannot remember the name - wants
me to make a record. How would you feel about having a rock star
Words: Mark Blake. Pictures: Iggy Rose, Chris Lanaway. Date: 20
January 2011. Previously published on mojo.com.
While there are many reports of Barrett being withdrawn and even
aggressive at this time, Iggy remembers it differently. "People talk
about Syd's madness and his dark side, but I never saw it," she states.
"We had a wonderful giggly time. There were no sinister moments." Only
briefly did she glimpse a more troubled side to his personality. "One
day, he said to me, 'How do you feel? Are you sad?' I was naked, and he
went and got some paint and painted two great big eyes on my breasts
with two tears coming down, and on my belly button he painted an arrow
and underneath that a picture of me with a big belly, and said, 'There
could be life in there. I could give you life.' But I didn't want that
at all. So I panicked, and scrubbed it off." He was also uncomfortable
with some aspects of fame, as Iggy discovered on a night out with Syd to
The Speakeasy, a music-biz haunt in Margaret Street. "We'd persuaded Syd
to go, but it was full of posers," she admits. "There were a few of us
there. Someone asked the DJ to put on See Emily Play, which was a stupid
thing to do." A hit for Pink Floyd more than two years before, the
dance-floor cleared. "So I went on and started dancing, but Syd ran off.
He was obviously very sensitive about it all."
"We had a wonderful giggly time. There were no sinister moments."
In March '69, Barrett began recording The Madcap Laughs at Abbey Road,
but his erratic behaviour in the studio resulted in Roger Waters
and David Gilmour helping to oversee the sessions. Gilmour was now
living in Richmond Mansions, a block so close to Wetherby Mansions that
he could almost see into Syd and Duggie's kitchen window. One evening,
Syd announced that he had to go out. Iggy wanted to go with him, but
Barrett insisted she remain at the flat. "I think I thought he was
seeing another woman," she says. "I got a bit jealous, a bit pouty -
very silly. Duggie knew where Syd had gone but wouldn't tell me." With
Syd gone, Iggy decided to pay a visit to David Gilmour instead. Fields
helped Iggy back-comb her hair, plaster her face with make-up and paint
her lips black. "I looked like Medusa. Like a banshee. Duggie then took
me round to Dave's place. Dave was very beautiful and very cool, and his
flat was nicer than Syd and Duggie's - it was warmer for a start. Dave
opened the door, took one look at me, but didn't bat an eyelid."
When Iggy walked in, she saw Syd sat in Gilmour's living room. "I went
in, shouting, 'OK, where is she?' thinking there was a woman hiding in
one of the rooms. But, of course, the meeting had been with Dave about
the record they were making together." Barrett left Iggy with Gilmour,
but rather the worse for wear, she knocked the stylus on his record
player accidentally scratching his copy of Pink Floyd's brand new album.
"I have no idea what album it was, only that it was their new album,"
Iggy sighs. (The likely candidate seems to be Soundtrack From The Film
More) "So Dave threw me out... If he ever reads this I would like to say
sorry for scratching his record." Back at Wetherby Mansions, Barrett was
unfazed by her planned defection: "Syd just said, 'Come in love, and
I'll make you a cup of tea'. How sweet."
By now, Barrett had prepared his bedroom for The Madcap... cover shoot,
painting most of the floorboards orange and mauve. On the morning of the
shoot, Syd asked Iggy to help finish the job. "He jumped off the
mattress and said, 'Quick, grab a paint brush.' He did one stripe and I
did another. If you look at Mick Rock's pictures, I have paint on the
soles of my feet." When Rock arrived with the Floyd's sleeve designer Storm
Thorgerson to take the photos, a naked Iggy went to put some clothes
on. "But Syd said, 'No, don't'. That was his wicked sense of humour. I
put the kohl around his eyes that day and tousled up his hair: come on
Syd, give us a smile, moody, moody, moody! But he knew exactly what he
was doing. He was as sharp as anything. He set the tone. He was the
"Syd just said, 'Come in love, and I'll make you a cup of tea'. How
Iggy joined Syd for further photos outside the flat. Later, Rock
recalled showing Barrett one of the pictures and Syd mysteriously
scratching around Iggy's image; an act that has acquired some
significance among Barrett's more earnest devotees. "They're making
something out of nothing," she insists. "Later on, Syd showed me one of
the pictures and said, 'You like that one, don't you? I know why,
because of your cheekbones'. I think I was sucking on a cigarette, and,
yes, I was being vain, I liked the way my cheekbones looked. So he tore
the pic in half and gave it to me. There was nothing more to it than
that." Strangely, Iggy also recalls other photographs being taken that
day, which have never appeared since. "I don't think Storm and Mick were
very impressed by them. If you've ever seen the cover of the Rod
Stewart album, Blondes Have More Fun, they were a bit like that...
Of me and Syd. There were others of me and Syd, as well, which remind me
of the picture of John and Yoko [on Two Virgins] which came out later.
I'd love to see those pictures now."
Before long, Iggy had drifted out of Wetherby Mansions and out of Syd's
life as quickly as she had drifted in. When she returned later, Duggie
told her: "Syd's not here. He's gone back to Cambridge. Don't bother
trying to find him." She never saw him again, and is adamant she only
became aware of her presence on the cover of The Madcap Laughs
after being phoned by the Croydon Guardian: "I went to a boot sale with
my husband... When I saw the cover, I thought, Oh yes, that is my
Although the stories of her marrying a rich banker and joining a
religious cult are untrue, there is a kernel of truth: after Syd, Iggy
began seeing a wealthy businessman who was also a scientologist. However
Duggie Fields' recollection of spotting Iggy climbing off a bus in a
gold lamé dress is not in dispute: "It was a beautiful dress that cost
£50." Still a fixture on the music scene, Iggy recalls accompanying Pink
Fairies' drummer Twink to the Isle Of Wight Festival and turning up
"for the very first Glastonbury... ". But in 1978 Iggy married her
husband, Andrew, and "left that life behind me".
"I heard on the radio that Syd died, and I felt sad, but it was so long
ago," she says. Since reading about those times in MOJO, the memories of
the people and the places have slowly come back to her. "Mick Rock took
some beautiful picture of me," she smiles. "But, of course, I wish I'd
been paid some money for them. Still, it is amazing that people have
been looking for me... and that someone has even set up a website. I
still don't know what to make of all this." The fascination continues.
Last week, Iggy called to tell me she had found a poem online written
about her by a professor at a university in Missouri. "And it's in
French," she said, sounding astonished. "'Iggy l'esquimo, Fille De Le
Space'...it goes. I never believed anyone would ever write a poem for
The next months will be musically dedicated to Pink
Floyd and several, if not all, of the serious music magazines are
hanging a separate wagon at EMI's gravy train.
Rock 162 (with AC/DC on the cover) comes with a separate Pink Floyd
24 pages booklet, titled at one side: The making of the Dark Side Of
The Moon, and at the other side (when you turn the booklet around) The
making of Wish You Were Here, written by Pink Floyd biographer Glenn
Povey, with pictures of Jill Furmanovsky.
215, ridiculously called the October 2011 edition while we purchased it
now in August (somebody ought to tell those Mojo editors what a calendar
is), has a 12 pages Pink Floyd cover story from Pigs
Might Fly author Mark Blake and with pictures from... Jill
Furmanovsky, but more about that later.
Rock Prog (out on August 31) will be celebrating the 40-th birthday of Meddle,
an album that – according to their blurb – changed the sound of Pink
Floyd and prog rock forever.
But we start with the most recent Uncut
(that has a Marc Bolan / T-Rex cover, but it didn't cross the Channel
yet) where Nick Mason expresses his belief that there still is room for
a combined Piper/Saucerful Immersion set. That extended CD-box-set would
have early Pink Floyd rarities as Vegetable Man and Scream Thy
last Scream but also...
...we've got some demos that were made really early on, which I think
are just charming. these come from 1965 and include 'Lucy Leave', "I'm A
King Bee", "Walk With Me Sydney", and "Double O-Bo". They're very R'n'B.
Of course we were yet another English band who wanted to be an American
style R'n'B band. We recorded the demo at Decca. I think it must have
been, in Broadhurst Gardens. A friend of Rick's was working there as an
engineer, and managed to sneak us in on a Saturday night when the studio
As all Immersion sets come with some live recordings as well all eyes
(or ears) are pointing into the direction of the Gyllene Cirkeln
gig that was recently sold by its taper to the Floyd. But Mark Jones,
known for his extensive collection of early Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett
pictures, heard something else from his contacts at Pink Floyd Ltd. He
fears that this gig will not be put on an early Floyd immersion set:
I doubt it, my answer from someone 'high up' was 'the Stockholm
recording does not feature Syd's vocals'. I take that means either his
mic was not functioning properly or he was singing off mic. (…) My
answer was from 'high up' and from what I gathered it meant they weren't
Like we have pointed out in a previous article (see: EMI
blackmails Pink Floyd fans!) the September 1967 live set does not
have audible lyrics, due to the primitive circumstances the gig has been
recorded with (or simply because Syd didn't sing into the microphone).
But that set also has some instrumentals that could be put on a rarities
disk: a 7 minutes 20 seconds unpublished jam nicknamed 'Before or
Since' (title given by the taper), Pow R Toc H (without the
jungle sounds?) and Interstellar Overdrive.
It will be a long wait as an early Immersion set can only see the light
of day in late 2012 and only after the other sets have proven to be
Back to Mojo with its Dark Side Of The Moon / Wish You Were
Here cover article. Obviously the 'Syd visits Pink Floyd' anecdote
had to be added in as well and at page 88 Mark Blake tells the different
versions of this story once again (some of them can also be found in
Big Barrett Conspiracy Theory).
In his Lost In Space article Mark Blake also retells the almost
unknown story about an unpublished Pink Floyd book that has been lying
on Roger Waters' shelves for about 35 years. After the gigantic success
of Dark Side Of The Moon the band, or at least Roger Waters,
found it a good idea to have a documentary of their life as successful
rock-stars. Waters asked his old Cambridge friend and golf buddy Nick
Sedgwick to infiltrate the band and to note down his impressions.
Another sixties Cambridge friend was called in as well: Storm
Thorgerson, who hired Jill Furmanovsky to take (some of) the
pictures of the 1974 American tour. Nick and Storm could follow the band
far more intimately than any other journalist or writer as they had been
beatnik buddies (with Syd, David and Roger) meeting in the Cambridge
coffee houses in the Sixties. In his 1989 novel Light Blue With Bulges
Nick Sedgwick clearly describes how a loud-mouthed bass player and the
novel's hero share some joints and drive around on their Vespa
Life on the rock road in 1974 was perhaps too much of a Kerouac-like
adventure. The band had its internal problems, with Roger Waters acting
as the alpha-male (according to David Gilmour in the latest Mojo
article). But there weren't only musical differences, Pink Floyd had
wives and families but they also had some difficulties to keep up the
monogamist life on the road. Then there was the incident with Roger
Waters who heard a man's voice at the other side when he called his wife
When David Gilmour read the first chapters of the book he felt aggrieved
by it and managed to get it canned, a trick he would later repeat with
Nick Mason's first (and unpublished) version of Inside Out. But
also Nick Mason agrees that the book by Nick Sedgwick was perceived, by
the three others, as being to openly friendly towards Roger Waters and
too negative towards the others. Mark Blake, in a Facebook reaction to
the Church, describes the manuscript as 'dynamite'.
Unfortunately Nick Sedgwick died a couple of days ago and Roger Waters
issued the following statement:
One of my oldest friends, Nick Sedgwick, died this week of brain cancer.
I shall miss him a lot. I share this sad news with you all for a good
He leaves behind a manuscript, "IN THE PINK" (not a hunting memoir).
His memoir traces the unfolding of events in 1974 and 1975 concerning
both me and Pink Floyd. In the summer of 1974 Nick accompanied me, and
my then wife Judy, to Greece. We spent the whole summer there and Nick
witnessed the beginnings of the end of that marriage.
That autumn he travelled with Pink Floyd all round England on The Dark
Side Of The Moon Tour. He carried a cassette recorder on which he
recorded many conversations and documented the progress of the tour. In
the spring of 1975 he came to America with the band and includes his
recollections of that time also.
When Nick finished the work in 1975 there was some resistance in the
band to its publication, not surprising really as none of us comes out
of it very well, it's a bit warts and all, so it never saw the light of
It is Nick's wish that it be made available now to all those interested
in that bit of Pink Floyd history and that all proceeds go to his wife
To that end I am preparing three versions, a simple PDF, a hardback
version, and a super de-luxe illustrated limited edition signed and
annotated by me and hopefully including excerpts from the cassettes.
For those interested in the more turbulent episodes of the band Pink
Floyd this will be a very interesting read indeed.
Update 2016 12 04: the Sedgwick Floyd biography 'In The Pink' has
not been published yet. In a 2015 interview for Prog magazine Roger
Waters, however, said that the project was still on. Update
2017 07 30: The 'In The Pink' journal can now be bought at the Pink
Floyd Their Mortal Remains exhibition in London or at a Roger Waters
gig: see In
The Pink hunt is open!
The Church wishes to thank: Mark Blake, Mark Jones & although he will
probably never read this, Roger Waters.
Business as usual at The Anchor. Felix Atagong, that old
drunk hippie, was sitting at the bar, ogling some of the mojito
girls eagerly discussing Justin Bieber's posterior. At his fifth
Guinness Felix usually starts to get all glazzy eyed and wants to start
a Pink Floyd fight. Most of the time it suffices to name-drop Rob
Chapman to make Atagong throw a tantrum, but there weren't enough
spectators today to make this trick worthwhile.
"Alex", he said, "Did I already tell you that David
Gilmour wore a Guinness
t-shirt during the 1974 French tour, just to piss off their sponsor Gini?"
I pretended not having heard this story a dozen times before.
"In 1972", he orated, "Pink
Floyd signed a lucrative publicity contract with Gini, a French übersweet
soft drink. The band went to the Moroccan desert where they had some shots
taken by photographer William Sorano, a fact not a lot of people know
of." Felix likes to brag a lot, especially when he gets a bit light in
"Of course Pink Floyd wasn't a millionaire's super group yet when they
agreed with the deal. They liked to describe themselves as an
underground art band and only the French were daft enough to believe
that. British have this national sport to fool the French and for three
full decades those have thought that 'pink floyd' was English for 'flamant
rose' or 'pink flamingo'. That rumour was started on the mainland by
journalist Jean Marie Leduc after he returned from a trip to London in
sixty-seven. Asking a freaked-out acid head what a pink floyd
really meant he turned into the proverbial sitting duck and eagerly
swallowed the bait."
"So whenever Pink Floyd wanted to get arty-farty they only had to hop
into the nearest ferry to Calais where they were hauled in as national
heroes. One of their sillier projects was to play behind a bunch of men
in tights, jumping up and down in an uncoördinated way, and calling that
a ballet. Of course there was a kind of 'intellectual snobbery' involved
in this all, but even more the Pink Floyd's fine taste for champagne and
oysters that was invariably hauled in by the bucket." Felix had
certainly reached lift-off and would be raving and drooling now for at
least the next half hour to come."
"Another project was the soundtrack for the art movie La
Vallée, a typical French vehicle for long pseudo philosophical
musings about the richness of primitive culture and the sudden urge of a
French bourgeois woman to hug some trees and to hump the local Crocodile
Dundee. Part of the movie is in the kind of English that would turn
Inspector Clouseau green with envy. What does one expects from a bunch
of hippies, making a tedious long journey to a mythical valley they call
'obscured by cloud' (not 'clouds')?"
"The hidden valley is supposed to be a paradise and the story sounds
like a cheap rehash of the ridiculous Star Trek episode, The
Way To Eden. Over the years journalists and biographers have
rumoured that the movie is saved by showing a fair amount of frolicking
in the nude, but it miserably fails in that department as well. Quite
unusual for a French movie of the early seventies, I might add, as the
cinematographic intellectual trend was to show the female form in all
its variety. The only bush that can be seen is the New Guinean forest
"Obviously the Floyd couldn't resist this challenge and helped by the
easy money soundtracks brought in they were wheeled into a château
with a stock of red wine and boeuf bourguignon. Two weeks later
they emerged with one of their finest albums ever." Atagong took another
drink and belched loudly. This had only been the introduction, I feared,
I was right.
"Rick Wright recalls in a 1974 Rock & Folk interview how
their manager Steve
O'Rourke met a bloke on a French beach, waving a fifty thousand
British pounds check in front of him. O'Rourke frantically jumped up and
down, like a dancer from a French avant-garde ballet dancing troupe,
making hysterically pink flamingo quacking sounds. Little did he know
this was going to be first time in Floydian history that the band didn't
manage to trick the French, a tradition that started in 1965 when Syd
Barrett and David Gilmour busked the French Riviera. Of course it is
easy to say in retrospect O'Rourke was duly screwed 'up the khyber'
by the Gini coöperation, but in 1972 it appeared not to be such a bad
deal after all. Part of the deal was that Gini promised to sponsor a
French tour, including radio and television promo spots that
unfortunately have not survived into the 21st century."
"The main problem was that in 1973 Pink Floyd suddenly turned into
millionaire superstars thanks to Dark Side Of The Moon and that
50,000 pounds was now something they spent on breakfast orange juice.
But Gini, waving with the two years old contract, threatened with legal
action and the Floyd reluctantly agreed to meet the conditions."
"In the summer of 1974 Floyd hit France and wherever they appeared a
publicity caravan of 15 people would follow them. It had cute girls who
gave Gini drinks, stickers and fluorescent t-shirts away, 4 'easy
riders' on 750 cc super-choppers
(painted by Jean-Paul
Montagne) and a green 1956 Rolls-Royce Silver
Wraith (numberplate: 567 AAF 75) with a loud stereo installation.
Rumours go that at a certain point the atmosphere was so heated between
the Pink Floyd management and Gini that a minimum distance between band
and publicity people had to be agreed on. But according to Nick Mason,
in his auto-biography Inside Out, it was only the band that got
infuriated, the technical crew quite enjoyed the promo girls and they
exchanged more than soft drinks alone."
"French journalists immediately accused Pink Floyd of a sell-out and the
band rapidly declared that the money was going to charity, something in
the line of a school for handicapped children. Rock & Folk squeezed out
the names of the Ronald
Laing Association and the French hôpital
de Salpêtrière, but reality may have been a bit different.
Nick Mason told Mojo's Mark
Blake this summer that they probably just shelved the money,
although David Gilmour and Roger Waters still keep up it was donated.
Rest me to say that Waters was so angry at the situation that he wrote
an unpublished song about the Gini incident, titled Bitter Love
(aka 'How Do You Feel')." Felix Atagong paused a bit, to have a drink,
so this was a moment for immediate action.
"Out!", I said, "The Anchor is closed."
"But", retaliated the Reverend, "this was just a mere introduction to
start talking about the Wish You Were Here Immersion set that has
just been issued and I would like to say something more about the 1967 Stockholm
Cirkeln show that has finally been weeded out to the public..."
"Out!", I said again, "There is no time for your drunken ramblings any
I pushed Felix Atagong out of the door and I heard him staggering back
home, murmuring incomprehensible things. He'll be back tomorrow anyway.
(The above article is entirely based upon facts, some situations have
been enlarged for satirical purposes.) The Anchor wishes to thank:
Nipote and PF Chopper at Y.
Sources (other than the above internet links): Blake, Mark: Pigs
Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2007, p. 179-183, 214. Blake,
Mark: Lost In Space, Mojo 215, October 2011, p. 85. Feller,
Benoît: Complet, Rock & Folk, Paris, July 1974, p. 44. Leduc,
Jean-Marie: Pink Floyd, Editions Albin Michel, Paris, 1982, p.
125. Mason, Nick: Inside Out, Orion Books, London, 2011
reissue, p. 197-198. (unknown): La "caravane" Pink Floyd-Gini,
Hit Magazine, Paris, July 1974.
One of the promo Pink Floyd Gini choppers is still around today and has
its own Facebook page: The
Pink Floyd Chopper.
The Anchor is the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit's satirical
division, intended for people with a good heart, but a rather bad
character. More info: The
Anchor. Read our legal stuff: Legal
On Wednesday, 9 May 2012, it was reported that Clive
Welham passed away, after having been ill for a long time.
50 years earlier, he was the one who introduced a quiet, shy boy to
Roger 'Syd' Barrett at the Cambridge College of Art and Technology. The
boys had in common that they both liked to play the guitar and
immediately became friends, that is how Syd Barrett and David Gilmour
met and how the Pink Floyd saga started.
Just like in the rest of England, Cambridge was a musical melting pot in
the early sixties with bands forming, merging, splitting and dissolving
like bubbles in a lava lamp.
Clive 'Chas' Welham attended the Perse
Preparatory School for Boys, a private school where he met fellow
student David Gilmour. As would-be musicians they crossed the
social barriers and befriended pupils from the Cambridge and County
School for Boys, meeting at street corners, the coffee bars or at home
were they would trade guitar licks. Despite their two years age
difference Clive was invited to the Sunday afternoon blues jam sessions
at Roger Barrett's home and in spring 1962 this culminated in a
'rehearsal' band called Geoff Mott & The Mottoes. Clive
Welham (to Julian Palacios):
There was Geoff Mott [vocals], Roger Barrett [rhythm guitar], and
“Nobby” Clarke [lead guitar], another Perse boy. I met them at a party
near the river. They’d got acoustic guitars and were strumming. I
started picking up sticks and making noise. We were in the kitchen, away
from the main party. They asked me if I played drums and I said, “Not
really, but I’d love to.” They said, “Pop round because we’re getting a
Clive Welham (to Mark Blake):
It was quite possible that when me and Syd first started I didn't even
have any proper drums and was playing on a biscuit tin with knives. But
I bought a kit, started taking lessons and actually got quite good. I
can't even remember who our bass player was...
Although several Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett biographies put Tony Sainty
as the Mottoes' bass player Clive Welham has always denied this: “I
played in bands with Tony later, but not with Syd.”
Another hang-around was a dangerous looking bloke who was more
interested in his motorbike than in playing music: Roger Waters.
He was the one who designed the poster for what is believed to be The
Mottoes' only public gig.
After Clive Welham had introduced David Gilmour to Syd Barrett, David
became a regular visitor as well. Surprisingly enough Syd and David
never joined a band together, starting their careers in separate bands.
Although they were close friends it has been rumoured there was some
pubertal guitar playing rivalry between them.
1962: The Ramblers
The Mottoes never grew into a gigging band and in March 1962 Clive
Welham, playing a Trixon
drum kit, stepped into The Ramblers with Albert 'Albie' Prior
(lead guitar), Johnny Gordon (rhythm guitar), Richard Baker (bass) and
Chris ‘Jim’ Marriott (vocals).
The Ramblers’ first gig was at the United Reformed Church Hall on Cherry
Hinton Road. They used their new Watkins Copycat Echo Chamber giving
them great sound on The Shadows’ Wonderful Land and Move It.
The Ramblers soon acquired a certain reputation and gigged quite a lot
in the Cambridge area. One day Syd Barrett asked 'Albie' Prior for some
rock'n roll advice in the Cambridge High School toilets: “...saying that
he wanted to get into a group and asking what it involved and in
particular what sort of haircut was best.”
Unfortunately the responsibilities of adulthood crept up on him and lead
guitarist 'Albie' had to leave the band to take a job in a London bank.
On Tuesday, the 13th of November 1962, David Gilmour premiered at a gig
at the King's Head public house at Fen Ditton, a venue were they would
return every week as the house band. Gilmour had joined two bands at the
same time and could also be seen with Chris Ian & The Newcomers,
later just The Newcomers. Notorious members were sax-player Dick
Parry, not unknown to Pink Floyd anoraks and Rick
Wills (Peter Frampton's Camel, Foreigner and Bad Company).
Memories have blurred a bit but according to Glenn Povey's Echoes
Gilmour's final gig with The Ramblers was on Sunday, 13 October 1963.
Beginning of 1964 The Ramblers disbanded but three of its 5 members
would later resurface as Jokers Wild.
1963: The Four Posters
But first, in autumn 1963, a band known as The Four Posters was
formed, although it may have been just a temporarily solution to keep on
playing. David Altham (piano, sax & vocals) and Tony Sainty (bass &
vocals) were in it and perhaps Clive Welham (drums). Unfortunately their
history has not been documented although according to Will Garfitt, who
left the band to pursue a painting career, they played some gigs at the
Cambridge Tech, the Gas Works, the Pit Club and the university. Contrary
to what has been written in some Pink Floyd biographies John Gordon was
I was never in The Four Posters. Clive and I were together in The
Ramblers, and we left together to join Dave, David and Tony to create
Jokers Wild. I don't know whether Dave and Tony came from The Newcomers
or The Four Posters...
1964: Jokers Wild
The Ramblers, The Four Posters and The Newcomers ended at about the same
time and the bands more or less joined ranks. Renamed Jokers Wild
in September 1964 it was at first conceived as an all-singing band. “We
were brave enough to do harmony singing that other groups wouldn’t
attempt, including Beach Boys and Four Seasons numbers”, confirmed Tony
Sainty. The band had good musicians, all of them could hold a tune, and
they soon had a loyal fanbase. They became the house-band at Les Jeux
Interdits, a midweek dance at Victoria Ballroom. Clive Welham: “We
came together in the first place because we all could sing.”
Some highlights of their career include a gig with Zoot
Money's Big Roll Band, The
Paramounts (an early incarnation of Procol Harum) and a London gig
as support act for The
Animals. This last gig was so hyped that a bus-load of fans followed
them from Cambridge to the big city of London.
1965: Walk Like A Man
Mid 1965 the band entered the Regent Sound Studios in Denmark Street,
London. They recorded a single that was sold (or given) to the fans
containing Don’t Ask Me What I Say (Manfred
Mann) and Big Girls Don’t Cry (The
Four Seasons). Out of the same session came a rather limited
one-sided LP with three more numbers: Why
Do Fools Fall in Love, Walk
Like a Man and Beautiful
Delilah. This is the only 'released' recording of Jokers Wild
although there might be others we are not aware of. Peter Gilmour
(David's brother) who replaced Tony Sainty on bass and vocals in autumn
1965 commented this week:
Sad news. A great bloke. I'll replay some of those old recordings doing
Four Seasons and Beach Boys numbers with his lovely clear falsetto voice.
Somewhere in October 1965 they played a private party in Great Shelford
together with an unknown singer-songwriter Paul
Simon and a band that was billed as The Tea Set because Pink
Floyd sounded too weird for the highbrow crowd. Clive Welham:
It was in a marquee at the back of this large country house [that can,
by the way, be seen on the cover of the Pink Floyd album Ummagumma,
FA]. I sat on and off the drum kit because of my wrist problems. Willie
Wilson sat in on drums and I came to the front on tambourine.
The musicians enjoyed themselves, jamming with the others and Paul Simon
- 'a pain in the arse', according to drummer Willie Wilson - joined in
on Johnny B. Good. A couple of days later Jokers Wild supported Pink
Floyd again, this time at the Byam Shaw School, Kensington, London. Each
band was paid £10 for that gig.
1965: the Decca tapes
By then Jokers Wild were seriously thinking of getting professional.
They were not only known by the locals in Cambridgeshire, but did
several society parties in London as well. Also the military forces had
discovered them: Jokers Wild was invited for the Admiral League dance at
the Dorchester Hotel in London and played several dances at the RAF and
USAF bases of Mildenhall, Lakenheath, Alconbury and Chicksands. Their
repertoire changed as well, shifting more towards soul, R&B and Tamla
Motown. Libby Gausden: “How we danced to David Gilmour, Peter Gilmour,
David Altham, John Gordon, Tony Sainty and dear Clive xxx.”
Some promoters were sought for and the band recorded a single for Decca:
You Don’t Know Like I Know (Sam
and Dave) / That’s How Strong My Love Is (Otis
Redding), but unfortunately it was never released because the
original version by Sam and Dave had already hit the UK market.
After the Decca adventure the original band slowly evaporated over the
next few months. Peter Gilmour left (probably after the summer of 1966)
to concentrate on his studies. Clive Welham had difficulties combining
his full time job with a semi-professional rock band and had some
medical problems as well. John Gordon further explains:
Clive [Welham] became unable to play any more (with a wrist complaint)
and was replaced by Willie Wilson... and that line-up continued for some
time. It was later still that Tony Sainty was replaced by Rick
[Wills]... and then, when the band was planning trips to France, I had
to 'pass' to finish my degree at college.
1966: Bullit & The Flowers
Now a quartet with David Altham, David Gilmour, John 'Willie' Wilson and newcomer
Rick Wills on bass, they continued using the known brand name, a trick
Gilmour would later repeat (but slightly more successful) with Pink
Floyd, touring around Spain, France and The Netherlands. Another failed
attempt to turn professional made them temporarily change their name to Bullit
and when David Altham also left the remaining trio continued as The
Flowers, mainly playing in France. Around camp-fires on this planet
it is told how a sick (and broke) David Gilmour returned to London, just
in time to get a telephone call from Nick Mason, asking if he had a few
minutes to spare.
2012: Nobody Knows Where You Are
Clive worked at the Cambridge University Press but always continued with
his music. According to Vernon Fitch he played in a band called Jacob's
Ladder in the Seventies and was a successful singer with local
Cambridge band Executive Suite in the Nineties. Helen Smith
remembers him as the leader of Solitaire, what must have been
(according to Colleen Hart) in the mid-Seventies:
A brilliant front man in his band 'Solitaire' - he had a wonderfully
sweet singing voice and could easily hit the high notes!
Update 2012 08 12: In 1978 Clive made a private, non commercial
recording of Peanuts, originally a 1957 hit from Little
Joe & The Thrillers:
David Altham: guitar, saxophone, keyboards, vocals David Gilmour:
guitar, vocals, harmonica John Gordon: rhythm guitar, vocals (1964 to
late 1965) Tony Sainty: bass, vocals (1964 to early 1966) Peter
Gilmour: bass, vocals (early 1966) Clive Welham: drums, vocals (1964
to late 1965) John 'Willie' Wilson: drums (from late 1965)
Jokers Wild #2 (Summer 1966 - Summer 1967 / Source: Glenn Povey) AKA
Bullit (3 summer months in 1966 at the Los Monteros hotel in Marbella?) AKA
The Flowers (end 1966)
David Altham: rhythm guitar (to December 1966) David Gilmour: guitar,
vocals Rick Wills: bass (from January 1967) John 'Willie' Wilson:
According to Julian Palacios in Dark Globe, quoting David Gale,
'perse pigs and county cunts' were friendly nicknames the pupils of
these rivaling schools gave to each other. David Gale's assumption can
be found on YouTube
although it may have been a raunchy joke towards his audience and part
of his 'performance'. (Back to text above.)
Syd Barrett in Jokers Wild?
In an interview for the Daily
Mirror in August 2008 Rosemary Breen (Syd's sister) told:
He [Syd] started his first band, Jokers Wild, at 16. Sunday
afternoons would see Cambridge chaps and girls coming over for a jamming
session. The members of Pink Floyd were just people I knew. Roger Waters
was a boy who lived around the corner and Dave Gilmour went to school
over the road.
This seems to be a slip of the tongue as Syd Barrett never joined the
band. In a message on Facebook,
Jenny Spires adds:
Syd was not in Jokers Wild... He jammed with all the various members at
different times, but he wasn't in it. When I met him in 64, he was
playing with his old Art School band Those Without. He was also in The
Tea Set at the same time. He played with several bands at the same time,
for example if someone needed a bass player for a couple of gigs they
may have asked him to stand in. Earlier, he played with Geoff Mott and
also with Blues Anonymous. There were lots of musician friends in
Cambridge that Syd played and jammed with. (Jenny Spires, 2012 06 30)
Many thanks to: Viv Brans, Michael Brown, Lord Drainlid, Libby Gausden,
John Gordon, Peter Gilmour, Colleen Hart, Chris Jones, Joe Perry,
Antonio Jesús Reyes, Helen Smith, Jenny Spires & I Spy In Cambridge. All
pictures courtesy of I
Spy In Cambridge. ♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥
Sources (other than the above internet links): Blake, Mark: Pigs
Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2007, p. 22-23, 34. Clive
Welham at Cambridge News Death
Notices, May 2012. Dosanjh, Warren: The music scene of 1960s
Cambridge, Cambridge, 2012, p. 42, 46-47. Free download
Spy In Cambridge. Fitch, Vernon: The Pink Floyd Encyclopedia,
Collector's Guide Publishing, Ontario, 2005, p. 342. Gordon, John: Corrections
re Jokers Wild, email, 2012-05-12. Palacios, Julian: Syd
Barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark Globe, Plexus, London, 2010, p.
27-28, 31. Povey, Glenn: Echoes, the complete history of Pink Floyd,
3C Publishing, 2008, p. 13, 20-24, 29.
What is there to say about Storm, except perhaps, like someone put in Birdie
Hop, that he had a great name and a great life?
Thorgerson was a member of the so-called Cambridge mafia, who in the
early Sixties fled their home-town en masse to seek fame and
fortune in the great city. They wanted to study in London, at least that
is what they told their parents, but frankly these youngsters just
wanted to get away from parental guidance and have an uncensored bite of
adult life: sex, drugs and rock'n roll. Paradoxically, or maybe not,
once they arrived in London they immediately flocked together, sharing
apartments and houses and meeting in the same clubs and coffee houses.
The term Cambridge mafia was coined by David
Gilmour to denominate that bunch of relatives, friends and
acquaintances who stuck together, not only in the sixties, but are still
doing today. As a relative young and unknown band Pink
Floyd looked for associates, sound- and light technicians, roadies
and lorry drivers in their immediate neighbourhood, often not further
away than the next room in the same house.
Thorgerson was no exception, he had played cricket in the same team as Bob
Klose and Roger
Waters, and when the Floyd needed a record cover for A
Saucerful Of Secrets, Storm managed to squeeze himself in, staying
there till the end of his life, as the recent variations
of the Dark Side of the Moon cover show us.
But even before Saucerful Storm had been involved with the band, it was
at his kitchen table at Egerton Court that the members, minus Syd
Barrett, discussed the future of Pink Floyd and decided to ask for a
little help from yet another Cantabrigian friend: David Gilmour.
Obviously, this blog would not exist if, in the week from the 14th to
21st April 1969, Storm hadn't made an appointment with history to start
a magical photo shoot.
Julian Palacios in Dark Globe:
Storm Thorgerson supervised the photo session for the cover of The
Madcap Laughs, bringing in Mick Rock to photograph at Syd’s flat. ‘Syd
just called out of the blue and said he needed an album cover,’
confirmed Rock. When Thorgerson and Rock arrived for the shoot, ‘Syd was
still in his Y-fronts when he opened the door,’ Mick explained. ‘He had
totally forgotten about the session and fell about laughing. His lady
friend of two weeks, “Iggy the Eskimo”, was naked in the kitchen
preparing coffee. She didn’t mind either. They laughed a lot, a magical
There has been some muffled controversy who was the brain behind the
pictures of The Madcap Laughs, not really helped by some contradicting
explanations from Storm Thorgerson and Mick
Rock. They both arrived the same day, both with a camera, and
probably Rock handed over (some of) his film rolls to Storm as this was
initially a Hipgnosis
Unfortunately we will never be able to ask Storm whether there was a
third photographer present or not, but the chance is he wouldn't have
remembered anyway. The rumour goes Storm was a rather chaotic person and
that most Barrett negatives disappeared or were misplaced through the
Perhaps the best, or at least the most personal, the most touching, the
most emotional album art by Storm is the cover of the 1974 Syd Barrett
vinyl compilation. It is a simple brown cover with Syd's name in
handwriting and a small picture, taken from what probably was an autumn
or late summer photo session also destined for the cover of The Madcap
Laughs. The pictures of the so-called yoga photo-shoot however where not
used, as we all know, for Syd's first album as Storm decided to use the
daffodil and Iggy session from April instead. Hence the misdating in
nearly all biographies.
In 1974 Harvest decided to package Barrett's two solo albums as a budget
release. Storm, by then de de facto house photographer of Pink
Floyd, was asked to design a new cover. Storm rang at Syd's apartment
but the recalcitrant artist smashed the door when he heard about the
reason for the visit.
Thorgerson went back to the office and decided to make a cover out of
leftover pictures. On top of the brown background he put a plum, an
orange and a matchbox. This was probably the first time that Storm
played a game that he would later repeat with other Floydian artwork,
leaving enigmatic hints that were initially only understood by that
select group of Cantabrigian insiders who had known Syd personally.
Thorgerson's riddles culminated in the art for The
Division Bell (and its many spin-offs) that had a visual companion
for every song of the album, and rather than clarifying or portraying
the lyrics they added to the mystery. It still is his opus magnum
and unfortunately he will not be able any more to top it. We will never
know if he was in with the Publius
Enigma hoax although there have been a few leads pointing that way.
At a later stage Storm lost me somewhat. His mix of photographic
surrealism and mockery became too much a gimmick and the freshness and
inventiveness were gone. The covers of the latest Syd Barrett and Pink
Floyd compilations were not always appreciated by the fans. Perhaps he
was already sick by then.
But these few failings disappear at the magical
visual oeuvre Storm Thorgerson has left us (and not only for Pink
Floyd): A Nice Pair, Argus, Cochise, Dirty Things Done Dirt Cheap,
Flash, Houses of the Holy, Lullubelle III, Picnic, Savage Eye, Sheet
Music, The Lamb Lays Down On Broadway, Tightly Knit, Venus and Mars and
many many more...
Thorgerson was a rock artist without having recorded a single note of
music, he will be missed on Earth, but if there is that nirvana he will
surely be welcomed by Clive, Nick, Pip, Ponji, Rick, Steve, Syd and the
Many thanks to: Lori Haines. ♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥
Sources (other than the above internet links): Palacios,
Julian: Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark Globe, Plexus, London,
2010, p. 340.
Interstellar Overdrive is the name of a January 2014 Shindig
guide and it's worth every penny you spend on it. In 35 articles on 170
pages, it tries to define and explore the space rock phenomenon. It has
in-dept articles on Amon Düül II, Gong, Hawkwind, Pink Fairies, Spacemen
3, Sun Ra and many others without forgetting the sci-fi movie
soundtracks of the fifties (Forbidden Planet!) and the BBC Radiophonic
Workshop (Doctor Who!).
In a six pages article 'The Reluctant Spacerockers' the on-off
relationship between Pink Floyd and space rock is examined and
what an enjoyable essay that is.
While journalists, who are nothing but a bunch of lazy buggers anyway,
have labelled the band as space rockers, its members denied this, in
particular Roger Waters who reacted in his usual diplomatic style:
“Space – what the fuck are they talking about?” Probably the bass player
is so demented nowadays that he has forgotten that his lame Amused to
Death album features some alien anthropologists trying to find out
why all these skeletons are sitting before their TV sets.
Then Austin Matthews chimes in and quite intelligible shows where and
how the Pink Floyd used space rock tricks to appease the masses.
There is an error in the article although the author is only partially
to blame. (We are just being gentle here, that spaced out sod could of
course have done a search on the Internet first.) On page 29 David
Gilmour is cited:”To say that we are thrilled at the thought of being
the first rock band to be played in space is something of an
This refers to the Soyuz
TM-7 rocket launch from the 26th of November 1988 five days after
Pink Floyd had released their Delicate
Sound Of Thunder (live) album. The French president François
Mitterrand attended the launch because of cosmonaut Jean-Loup
Chrétien, who was the first western European man in space (this
was his second flight, by the way, his first was in 1982). David Gilmour
and Nick Mason attended because a cassette of their latest album was
sent to the MIR
space station, apparently on demand by one of the cosmonauts. We'll
never know if this is true or just a staged lie but surely there was a
mighty PR machine behind the band who made it clear to the world that
this was the first rock music recording played in outer space.
Which was not true. Simple as that.
In 2003, while researching for an Orb
biography that would never see the light of day, the Reverend stumbled
upon the electronic band spAce
who had a million-selling disco hit in 1977 with Magic
Fly. The band split in the early eighties but electronic composer Didier
Marouani had a particular successful solo career in Russia (and the
East-European communist countries), often using the spAce name and logo,
depending on the lawsuit of the month that ex-members were bringing on
Marouani's solo work is slightly reminiscent of Jean-Michel Jarre, Mike
Oldfield or Tangerine Dream and was (still is) inspired by Russian and
American space programs and sci-fi themes. In 1987 he released a CD
called Space Opera (got the slight promotional nudge towards his
old band?) and that CD was taken by cosmonauts Alexander
Viktorenko, Syrian Muhammed
Faris and Aleksandr
Aleksandrov to the MIR orbital station in July 1987, more than a
year before Pink Floyd made all that brouhaha.
In 2003, long before the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit was
founded, the Reverend interviewed Didier Marouani who had the following
I was composing my album Space Opera and I had the idea to bring
Americans and Russians together on my album which at that time was very
difficult (especially from the USSR). After negotiating with the Soviet
ministry of Culture for 6 months I got the authorization to have the Red
Army Choir together with the Harvard University Glee Club choir, who
were recorded separately.
Following my concept I thought it would be very nice to have this first
Space Opera shipped to MIR and then launched into outer space. They
asked me to wait while they would study my request and in the meantime I
wrote a letter to Mr. Mikhail
Gorbachev who answered very positive.
Two months later the Ministry of Space confirmed an appointment. On
July, the 2nd, 1987 I was received by the Russian cosmonauts and I gave
them a CD, together with a CD-player and 2 small speakers. This was
extensively reported in the Russian press.
The cosmonauts left Baikonur
on the 22nd of July 1987 and in October 1987 the CD, the player and the
2 speakers were launched into outer space. So my music really floats
into space which is for me a very big and happy achievement.
So for sure Pink Floyd did not have the first music in space. During a
concert tour in the USSR, I met cosmonaut Aleksandr Pavlovich
Aleksandrov, twice Hero of the Soviet Union, again who told me that he
worked in space for 7 months, listening to my music. [Note:
actually Aleksandrov stayed 160 days in Space in 1987.]
Lie for a Lie
But of course Mr. Gilmour may not entirely have been lying when he said
Pink Floyd was the first rock band to be played in space. Didier
Marouani's oeuvre is more electronic, new age (and recently: dance)
oriented and the Floyd, as we all know, have never flirted with these
musical styles before. (Yes, this is called irony.)
The last laugh may be for Didier
Marouani though. In 2011 he released an album called From Earth
to Mars and it was officially appointed by Roskosmos
as the album that will go with the first manned Russian flight to that
planet. But we earnestly doubt that listening to it for 6 months in a
row will have a positive effect on its crew.
It was probably Monday the 28th of March 1994 when the Reverend came
home from work and had a burning hot CD in his pocket. On the train from
work to Atagong mansion he had already opened the booklet, had
thoroughly scrutinised the artwork by Storm
Thorgerson, trying to read the music in the intriguing images. Cerro
Tololo, the boxing gloves,
the paper heads
(and headlines)... The Reverend's heart literally skipped a beat when he
found out that Rick
Wright had been given a song
he could call his own. Rick's first Pink Floyd song for nearly two
decades (and literally the centrepiece of the album).
Probably the Atagong family had supper first, then LA-girl sat in the
couch, and after the Reverend had put the CD in the player he sat next
to her. It must have been a rather chilly day because there was some
wood burning in the stove and Mimi, the fat and pregnant cat, was
enjoying the heat in her basket.
The earth noises came in... and a new legend was born...
All this came back to the Reverend when, on the 19th of May 2014 a new
Pink Floyd website appeared, called Division
There was a countdown clock and a new - Storm Thorgerson inspired - video
for the excellent Marooned
instrumental, that grew out of a jam at the Astoria
recording studio between David
Gilmour & Rick Wright. There were immediately some rumours in Pink
Floyd internet land, some clearly more inspired than others, but the
general consensus was that the album would be re-released in an
anniversary or even an Immersion edition.
The obvious nod towards Thorgerson and Wright made the fans hope for the
release of The Big Spliff, a Division Bell satellite album whose
demos had been lying in the vaults since 1994. Nick
Mason in Inside Out:
After two weeks we had taped an extraordinary collection of riffs,
patterns and musical doodles, some rather similar, some nearly
identifiable as old songs of ours, some clearly subliminal reinventions
of well known songs. (…) But even having discarded these, forty ideas
were available. (…) We eventually ended up with enough left-over
material that we considered releasing it as a second album, including a
set we dubbed ‘The Big Spliff’, the kind of ambient mood music that we
were bemused to find being adopted by bands like the Orb, although –
unlike Gong’s Steve Hillage – we never received any invitations to join
this next generation on stage.
It needs to be said that the Reverend's expectations were running in
overdrive as well, he was hoping for a new Publius
Enigma clue (or perhaps a modest explanation of the riddle - stroke
- hoax), hidden in the artwork somewhere, and of course the anticipation
of some unreleased tracks, as on the other Immersion and Discovery sets
(see also: Fuck
all that, Pink Floyd Ltd).
Four Star Daydream
When the clock reached zero the website indeed revealed a pricey
Division Bell box-set (actually it crashed at first, as it was hit by
thousands of fans at the same time). Limited at 500 copies worldwide it
contained an exclusive Limited Edition Division Bell 20th Anniversary
T-shirt, a remastered double vinyl in gatefold sleeve, a Division Bell
CD and a Bluray with 3 alternative mixes and the new Marooned music
video. Some 7 and 12 inch coloured vinyl singles were thrown in as well,
together with a 24 Page 12" (30 cm) booklet, 4 art prints and... some
So basically Pink Floyd decided to ride the gravy train (again) by
repackaging the same product five times in the same box and throwing it
at the fans for the giveaway price of £157.50 (about 263 $ or 193 Euro,
the unlimited box [without t-shirt and coasters] comes somewhat cheaper
and is still available).
Each man has his price, Fred
The fact that it is Gilmour now who spits the fans in the face even made
it into the papers
and generally there is much disdain from the fanbase. What seemed to be
the hype of the year was nothing but a cheap stunt to sell some recycled
material at exorbitant prices. That the memory of Rick Wright and the
legacy of Storm Thorgerson were thrown in to make a cynical million
bucks more makes this release even more nauseating. Polly
Samson once wrote: “David Gilmour should be cloned so that every
crowded house might have one”, but at this rate she can keep him inside,
lock the door and throw away the key.
Did you understand the music, Dave, or was it all in vain?
And when you feel you're near the end And what once burned so bright
is growing dim? And when you see what's been achieved Is there a
feeling that you've been deceived? Near The End - David Gilmour, 1984.
Upgrade 2014: a month after the publication of this article it
was found out that a brand new 'recycled' Pink Floyd album was in the
make, loosely based upon the Big Spliff sessions. However, this resulted
in an unprecedented attack of the Floyd management towards its fans.
loathful Mr. Loasby and other stories...
(The above article is entirely based upon facts, some situations may
have been enlarged for satirical purposes.)
Sources (other than the above internet links): Mason, Nick: Inside
Out: A personal history of Pink Floyd, Orion Books, London, 2011
reissue, p. 315-316. Samson, Polly: Perfect Lives, Virago
Press, London, 2010, p. 225.
The Anchor is the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit's satirical
division, intended for people with a good heart, but a rather bad
character. More info: The
Anchor. Read our legal stuff: Legal
Last weekend, we, The
Anchor, the satirical
division of the Holy
Church of Iggy the Inuit, felt the peculiar need for an apology. It
is a feeling we seldom have, being a general pain in the arse and having
carefully cultivated the pompous pernickety air our spiritual job has
brought upon us. You may remember that we were not entirely favourable
of the anniversary release of the Division Bell album. In the article Grab
that cash we described it, and we quote:
What seemed to be the hype of the year was nothing but a cheap stunt to
sell some recycled material at exorbitant prices. That the memory of
Rick Wright and the legacy of Storm Thorgerson were thrown in to make a
cynical million bucks more makes this release even more nauseating.
We duly admit this was not nice at all and due to the recent
developments in the Pink
Floyd camp, more about that to follow later, we profoundly
apologise. This doesn't mean that we are suddenly of the opinion that
Edition is worth the bulldog's bollocks, even if it may contain a
Enigma hint. It still is utterly overpriced and utterly redundant,
but of course what the honourable reader does with his money is his own
business and not ours.
On Saturday, the 5th of July 2014 at 3:13 PM (UTC), a mysterious tweet
was send into the multiverse by Polly
Samson, a tweet that created a heavy storm in the mostly silent
waters of modern Floydiana:
The world first took its time to digests its scrambled eggs, bacon,
sausages, tomatoes, toast, coffee and marmalade (at least in the proper
time-zone) but about 45 minutes later the news had been retweeted a few
thousand times and had been copied on Facebook walls, forums and blogs
all over the planet.
McBroom, confirmed the news less than an hour later and added that a
recent picture of her with David
Gilmour hadn't been taken during a solo album session, as she had
stated before, but that she had been asked to do vocals on a new Pink
Remember this photo? It wasn't what you THOUGHT it was.
A third confirmation came from Pink Floyd engineer Andrew
Jackson, so the rumour that Polly Samson's Twitter account had been
hacked and that this was nothing but a hoax was becoming less and less
believable. There was going to be a new Pink Floyd album, after twenty
years of silence.
This was not going to be just another Pink Floyd album. The starting
point were the Division Bell ambient demos that had been nick-named The
Big Spliff in the good old Floydian tradition to give recording sessions
silly names. Work on the mixes started over a year ago and probably,
although this is nothing but an assumption, it was foreseen as a short
and sweet bonus disk for a Division Bell Immersion set. While working on
the music however, David Gilmour and Nick Mason must have felt something
of the excitement from two decades before, they must have felt the muse,
the inspiration and the spirit of their friend and colleague (and in the
case of bass player ad interim Guy
Pratt, father in law) Rick Wright and decided to enhance the jams
into a proper record, asking Phil
Manzanera and Martin
‘Youth’ Glover to sit behind the mixing console.
Called The Endless River, after a line from the Division Bell’s
magnum opus High Hopes (in itself cryptically referring to See
Emily Play), the album will be mainly ambient and instrumental,
although at least one track will be sung by David Gilmour with lyrics by
Reactions from that strange horde, also known as the Pink Floyd fandom,
ranged from scepticism to enthusiasm. Some critics found it strange that
Pink Floyd would be recycling old material, perhaps unaware of the fact
that this is something the band has been doing for ages. The whale song
section from Echoes
was borrowed from their concert staple Embryo,
and Them was originally called The Violent Sequence and a Zabriskie
Point soundtrack leftover, and the magnificent Comfortably
Numb was something David Gilmour had been messing with for his
eponymous solo album.
Half of the Animals
(1977) album consists of songs the Floyd played live in 1974 but none of
those fitted the Wish
You Were Here (1975) concept. Animals was and still is a landmark
album, something that can’t be said of The
Final Cut (1983), practically a Roger Waters solo album, featuring
Wall (1979) rejects (and unfortunately it shows).
Let’s not be cynical for once and forget that a separate release of The
Endless River will shelve a few million copies more than a Division Bell
bonus disc. Even if the record will mostly have ambient atmospheric
pieces and may fail the default description of a typical Pink Floyd
album we will consider it as Richard Wright’s musical testament and an
honest tribute from the rest of the band.
Now, and here is a confession this old bartender has to make, when we
read Polly Samson's tweet, we were literally shaking all over our body
as excited as a puppy who has just been thrown a bone. We started
browsing the well-known Floydian fan-sites for more and the first
website who added the news to its page was Col
Segmental Pig File
Col Turner is not your average Pink Floyd fan-site webmaster, he has
dedicated his life to the Floyd and if you ask us, we think he is pretty
daft for doing so. Nevertheless, we appreciate his masochist streak and
if we want to know the latest news of the Dark Side universe Fleeting
Glimpse (and Brain
Damage) are the first ones we open.
When we say that Colin Turner is not an average fan, we mean he is not
an average fan. Turner eats, feels, dreams and breaths Pink Floyd
(frankly we are a bit curious what he does in the bedroom) and as such
he already knew for a while that a new album was in the make. However,
instead of putting that news on his wall, like we would have done in a
nanosecond, he promised the Pink Floyd management to shut his mouth and
wait until an official announcement of the band was made.
Now, we ask you, dear reader, can you get any closer to an official band
announcement than the wife of the band leader, who happens to be the
main lyricist as well, tweeting the news into the world?
Well, opinions seems to differ apparently.
The Bleeding Hearts and the Artists
An artist is, by definition, a creative person, a sensitive person,
someone with a frail mind. He writes these songs that appeal to people
all over the world, people who recognise themselves in these songs, who
recognise the feelings, the emotions, the love, the sadness, the anger,
We, the fans, may think these songs have been written for us and
sometimes we are so touched by the beauty and sincerity of it all that
we will ask the artist to play the latest album in our backyard, for a
beer and a whopper on the grill. That is why an agent, or some
management, comes in... While the artist may not have the guts to
disappoint the fan, his agent's preferable syllables are invariably
'no', 'fuck off' and, if this is your lucky day, 'how much'.
There has always been a huge gap between Pink Floyd, the band, and Pink
Floyd, the company, and it is pretty impossible to determine how the one
has influenced the other. Although some of its members openly preached a
socialist philosophy their business manners have always been exactly the
opposite, at least after the Peter
Jenner days. Steve
O'Rourke was not only a quasi-mythical agent who uplifted the band
from the gutter towards the moon, but he was a bully as well, bombastic
in his manners, a Floydian pit-bull and above all... über-greedy.
Rumour goes O'Rourke started his career as a dog food sales rep, so
determined to succeed that he ate the stuff in front of his prospects to
prove it was quality meat.
Giving none away
The band who criticised capitalism on Money,
Torry£30 for her input on The
Great Gig In The Sky, less than a third of what a Dark
Side of the Moon Immersion set costs. In a nineties interview for
the Dutch Penthouse
a bitter Alan
Parsons recalled how the four gentlemen in the band never told him
that he had the right to earn some ‘points’ on his engineering /
producing work for Dark Side of the Moon. That situation was settled
later when Parsons was asked to remaster the album for an anniversary
release. Clare Torry had to seriously threaten with legal action before
the band agreed to share a small slice of the pie.
Harper sung the lyrics on Have
A Cigar, another one of these sarcastic songs describing the shady
corners of music business. It was made clear to him that he wouldn't
receive any copyright so Roy asked for some football tickets instead.
Although the band were multi-millionaires by now a season's ticket was
too much to ask and he never received it. The kids, singing ‘we don’t
get no education’, were only given a copy of The Wall album after a
newspaper turned it into a scandal.
Turn, Turn, Turn
Colin Turner published the news about the new Pink Floyd album on A
Fleeting Glimpse, after it had been tweeted by Polly Samson. Then
he messaged the Pink Floyd management that the floodgates had been
opened. While hundreds of others were already retweeting and commenting
on social media a Pink Floyd goblin found it necessary to threaten Colin
with legal action and made him remove the post.
This made Colin so bitter that he deleted the entire news page, and at a
certain point he was so disillusioned he wanted to close down AFG
I was (...) asked to remove the story as it had not been cleared by
official channels. This I did and I am now awaiting approval to publish
full details about the album, despite it now being widely spread across
the Internet. I intend to honour the commitment I made and the site will
remain down until such a time as I receive official approval to publish.
Louis Matos (and with him many other AFG readers) reacted in shock:
That high service to the fans and to the Pink Floyd brand (...) was
respected by Steve (O'Rourke), is respected by Mark (Fenwick) and should
be respected by whomever now attends to David's business. I find it
insulting - as a professional of the music business - that a loyal
dedicated fan had to be "disciplined" for reproducing a Tweet by Polly
by anyone other than Polly or David (and they could have done it, mind
you). Even - and especially - anyone on the business side of it.
Remember "Welcome to the Machine"? Well, it was about that kind of
abuse. (Taken from: The
To add insult to injury, at the moment when one of Pink Floyd's little
hitlers found it necessary to threaten to close down A Fleeting Glimpse,
the official Warner Music Why
Pink Floyd website had already inserted the announcement on its news
stream. Double standards, anyone?
Now here is where this article is going to get nasty, so if you are
easily offended, please go and visit the Boohbah
David Gilmour's (and also Syd Barrett's) management happens to be in the
hands of One
Fifteen who have the following Hunter
S. Thompson quote on their site:
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic
hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs.
There's also a negative side.
If our information is correct Paul Loasby probably was the toerag
(note) who intimidated the Fleeting Glimpse
webmaster. According to a Cambridge mafia insider, who we will not name,
Paul Loasby is the opposite of a villain and an amicable man:
I have met him and spoken to him many times. He seems very pleasant and
was always totally respectful of Syd... and others...
But apparently that is only when he doesn't see a pot of gold at the end
of the rainbow, which he will receive anyway, regardless of him throwing
a tantrum about a leaked tweet or not.
What had to be, for the fans, one of the most joyous days in Pink Floyd
history, a new album, a much awaited tribute to Richard Wright, an
indirect nod to Syd Barrett (mind you, not that we think One Fifteen
knows anything about Syd Barrett), the Pink Floyd agent managed to turn
it into something of a misplaced nightmare.
Mister Loasby, you are a party pooper and you should be ashamed
Game of Thrones
But in a way: hats off to Paul Loasby. In four minutes he managed to
kick Steve O'Rourke from his throne as the eternal Pink Floyd baddy,
simply by putting the knife in the back of someone who does a lot of
Pink Floyd promotion, for free. If you are somewhat familiar with the
Floydian canon – this is something dogs do for a living. Welcome to the
We want to end this article with a friendly suggestion for Col Turner,
who was at the centre of this crisette.
There is a Dutch saying,
dating from the Middle Ages: "Tis quaet met heeren criecken eten'."
"It's difficult to eat cherries with noblemen", meaning that if you want
to schmooze with the higher crowd you will be treated as their servant
whether you like it or not.
Better be independent, better be vigilant, better be critical than to
bark only when the puppet master allows it, this is The Anchor's motto
and it will always be. While A Fleeting Glimpse may generally be the
first and the best in giving Pink Floyd news, it slightly troubles us
that they have completely forgotten to mention the Last
Minute Put Together Boogie Band release, with Syd Barrett's last
Sitting to close to the throne, too busy eating cherries over a lavish
Division Bell box set, no doubt.
Epilogue / Update
On the quadrophonicquad
forum Pink Floyd engineer Andy Jackson wrote on the 14th of July (2014):
No, still can't talk about Endless River, the 'leak' was damage
limitation as a UK newspaper had got hold of the story.
So if we read this well, a newspaper - rumoured to be The Sun - heard
about the new Pink Floyd album on the fifth of July and was going to
publish the news, perhaps even in next day's Sunday paper. Polly Samson
was then asked to tweet the news to the world before the newspaper would
publish it. It all makes perfect sense.
But what we still don't understand is why Paul Loasby had to threaten A
Fleeting Glimpse then. Why Pink Floyd? Why?
Can't you see It all makes perfect sense Expressed in dollars and
cents, Pounds, shillings and pence Can't you see It all makes
perfect sense (Roger Waters, Perfect Sense, Amused to Death, 1992)
The Floydian empire strikes back (Update: 2014 09 14.)
For the past few months early Pink Floyd songs have been disappearing
from YouTube: Scream Thy Last Scream, Vegetable Man, Astronomy Domine,
Lucy Leave, King Bee. Even the Men
On The Border live cover of Scream
Thy Last Scream has been silenced and has now got the text:
This video previously contained a copyrighted audio track. Due to a
claim by a copyright holder, the audio track has been muted.
Obviously this is a blatant lie and could be considered illegal, as the
copyright holder of the audio track is Men On The Border itself and not
Pink Floyd, nor EMI, Warner Music Group or one of its little helpers.
a volunteer-driven organisation that archived, restored and weeded (for
free) Pink Floyd live audio and video recordings
has been taken down after a friendly reminder from Mr. Loasby. All its
torrents have been deleted from Yeeshkul
who suddenly went chicken shit and have forbidden the further use of the
'Harvested' word to all its members. Also the Pink Floyd Multicam
website has been closed down.
The argument (from Pink Floyd) that ruthless entrepreneurs take the
freely distributed material from Harvested (like The
Man and The Journey), press it on a CD or DVD and sell it to the
public doesn't make sense. Warner should go after the companies who sell
these bootlegs and not after the people who give it away for free and
thus spoil the 'market' for the bootleggers (although we do understand
this is something of an illegal situation). By closing down Harvested
(and in a near future, perhaps Yeeshkul?) fans will again be obliged to
buy these recordings from shady companies if they want them, instead of
downloading them for free.
As usual the big three fansites (A
Fleeting Glimpse, Brain
haven't mentioned this news at all, afraid to no longer receive the
crumbles falling off the Pink Floyd table and to be left in the cold
when 'The Endless River' will come out. Col Turner, who went apeshit
over Paul Loasby threatening him (read the article above) has removed
all trace of the incident and, as such, it never happened. (It is still
in the forum,
but you have to dig deep to find it.)
Sounds, who will press the vinyl version of 'The Endless River'
(they also did the recent 'Division Bell' release), received the
lacquers cut straight from Doug Sax and crew at The Mastering Lab (Los
Angeles) and posted some pictures on their Facebook page this week.
Guess what, these (innocent) pictures have now been deleted and we can
only guess who is behind that.
Who would have thought that ultimately Pink Floyd would turn into the
neo-fascist impersonation of their Wall album?
(The above article is entirely based upon facts, some situations may
have been enlarged for satirical purposes.)
So here it is. The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit's The
Endless River review of what undoubtedly is the most anticipated
record of the year.
The album has four, mostly instrumental, suites, that Pink
Floyd prefers to call sides. Each suite has several tracks, but
these are best listened to in one piece as they form one ensemble. The
'luxe' edition has a 39 minutes extra DVD or Blu-ray with 6 videos of
1993 studio rehearsals and 3 audio tracks. The Blu-ray version is the
most complete (and expensive) as it also has a stereo PCM, a 5.1 DTS and
a 5.1 PCM version of the album, whatever these acronyms mean.
The front cover concept was designed by Ahmed
Emad Eldin, in what could be called ersatzHipgnosis
style, probably chosen because it evokes the boatman who was present in The
Division Bell artwork (and, in lesser extent, on A
Momentary Lapse Of Reason). The other artwork is credited to the
usual gang of graphic designers: Aubrey
and, weirdly, Hipgnosis, although that company stopped in 1983. The
24-pages booklet has a maritime feel: compasses, maps, logbooks... The
lettering misses a piece in most letters, to accentuate the missing
keyboard player, who has been credited on 11 of the 18 tracks. Storm
Thorgerson is remembered as well in the credits.
The album was created out of rejected 1993 jams and demos, with Richard
Wright, Nick Mason and David Gilmour, that were probably revisited to be
added to a Division Bell anniversary
set of one kind or another. Rejected is too strong a word because
way back, twenty years ago, it had been the idea to turn the The
Division Bell into a double CD-set, what was abandoned for lack of time.
That second album turned into the apocryphal The Big Spliff that
still sits in Gilmour's studio in an unfinished form and that was
assembled by Andy
Manzanera was asked, in 2012, to work on it, but refused.
I don't wanna hear. I wanna hear every single piece or scrap that was
recorded, everything. Outtakes from Division Bell. Everything.
In December 2012 Manzanera puzzled dozens of unfinished pieces into a
skeleton, divided into four 12 minute suites, out of 20 hours of
material. According to Manzanera, Pink Floyd thanked him and immediately
put the work in a box where they forgot it. Martin
'Youth' Glover however says that he was invited in June 2013 and
that David Gilmour had already worked on the two different versions of
Within about 40 seconds, it sounded like Floyd. It was absolutely
magical. (…) Listening to unreleased Pink Floyd recordings with David,
the hair was going up on the back of my arms.
Youth then created a third version and in November 2013 a meeting was
held between the two remaining Pink Floyd members and the three
producers: Andy Jackson, Phil Manzanera and Youth. Gilmour and Mason
picked the best ideas from each version and started working on something
that could have been an atrocious Frankenmix but that turned out
quite coherent in the end.
Side One: ambient spaces
"Things Left Unsaid...", Gilmour, Wright "It's What We Do",
Gilmour, Wright "Ebb and Flow", Gilmour, Wright
Things Left Unsaid (4:27): a very ambient, Cluster
One atmospheric, introduction, with some voice samples of the Floyd
members. Tradition wants that it only starts morphing into something of
a melody after the two minutes mark. It gradually slides into It's
What We Do (6:17) that thrives on a Shine
On You Crazy Diamond moog synth and traces of Marooned
later on. This is a typical Floydian spacey slow blues, ideal for those
fans who want to chill out with a big spliff. It's lazy and slow and
probably a bit boring for some, a typical trademark of the Floyd sound,
and just because it is so intriguingly and deliberately slow, the first
thrill of the album. It continues into Ebb and Flow (1:55),
mainly an epilogue to the previous track.
Actually the first suite is pretty daring to start with in the hectic
days we are living in today, this is so contradictory with contemporary
music it nearly feels alienated. It's the kind of suite that will be
used in nuru massage parlours around the world.
Sum (4:48), there's that Cluster One intro again with ambient
effects switching towards an Astronomy
Domine space trip. Then it nods to an early seventies style Floydian
Of These Days, although bigger and louder, including that good old
Skins (2:37) further elaborates on the A
Saucerful Of Secrets tribal rhythms and this is the first time in
years we hear grand vizier Nick Mason take the lead on a track, finally!
We could never think we would be so happy with a fucking drum solo.
Gilmour makes his guitar scream à la Barrett in Interstellar
Overdrive in something that can be described as a beat bolero. The
track ends with some minor guitar effects, just for the sake of the
effect and glides over to Unsung (1:07), an intermezzo that is a
bridge to the ending of this suite, the magical Anisina (3:17).
Those who think this is Wright in a jazz lounge must be contradicted.
This is 100% Gilmour and it brings shivers down the spine, even if this
a known track that has been bootlegged before as a Division Bell outtake.
The second suite is the experimental one, although the experiment is
limited not to scare the casual listener away. We've heard people say
that this Pink Floyd record is more of the same. And it's true. But who
complains when The Rolling Stones or U2 bring out their umpteenth album
sounding exactly like the previous one?
Side Three: all that jazz
"The Lost Art of Conversation", Wright "On Noodle Street",
Gilmour, Wright "Night Light", Gilmour, Wright "Allons-Y
(1)", Gilmour "Autumn '68", Wright "Allons-Y (2)",
Gilmour "Talkin' Hawkin'", Gilmour, Wright
The lost art of conversation (1:43) is an introductory piano
piece by Wright, obviously with some guitar effects from Gilmour. It
segues into On Noodle Street (1:42), that is, as the title gives
away, nothing but a light jazzy noodling, featuring Guy
Pratt, Wright's son-in-law. It is easy listening for Floydheads,
just like the next track Night Light (1:42). The first three
tracks are merely the introduction for the highlight of this side, and
perhaps the album.
Allons-Y (1) (1:57), is a two-piecer and a Run
Like Hell copycat, only much better (actually, we find Run Like Hell
one of the worst tracks by the Floyd). It is irresistible and the moment
we really started tapping our feet. The mid-piece of Allons-Y is Autumn
'68 (1:35), the much discussed archival bit taken from a Wright
improvisation from the Royal Albert Hall in 1968, reminding us vaguely
of a movement of Mike
Bells, only this dates from about five years before. Allons-Y (2)
(1:32) is a reprise of the first part to close the circle.
Talkin Hawkin' (3:29) starts rather like one of those slow
evolving (and a bit tedious) pieces from On
An Island, but is – yet again – irresistible in its meandering
movements. Nobody is so immaculate in creating these lazy and slightly
boring moods than Pink Floyd. With its Stephen
Hawking samples this track is the obvious link to The Division Bell,
but the track itself is the counterpart of Keep
The third suite is the most light-hearted one, perhaps the most
commercial and catchy, and it surely is saved by, here we go, Allons-Y.
Side Four: turn off the lights
"Calling", Gilmour, Moore "Eyes to Pearls", Gilmour "Surfacing",
Gilmour "Louder than Words", Gilmour, Samson
Moore, who made the Broken
China album with Richard Wright is responsible for Calling
(3:38) and it certainly has the mood of that pretty depressed, and
unfortunately underestimated, album. The atmosphere is somewhat
reminiscent of David
it is an ambient and dark and haunting piece. It is a nice thing from
Gilmour to have added this obvious nod to Rick's solo album and one of
the more interesting pieces of the album.
Eyes To Pearls (1:51) breathes the air of Angelo
Peaks and has hidden hints of Money
and One Of These Days, but one can find traces of earlier work in about
all tracks on this album. Didn't Nick Mason quip once he was in the
recycling business? Surfacing (2:46) acts as the intro to the
final song, it seems a lesser track at first, but it has a weeping
guitar that hit us right in the heart / stomach / balls. Actually most
of the numbers may not be seen as individual pieces but as movements of
each suite and as such they perfectly serve their roles.
Louder Than Words (6:37) was gravely discussed when it came out,
it has been called Floyd by numbers and Polly
Samson's lyrics are of syrupy soap series quality but in this
context and as the coda of the album it just works great. Just listen to
that piano intro by Wright, the last we'll probably hear, that
irresistible refrain, the perfect ending solo, also the last we'll
probably hear... This is Gilmour at his best and for once he doesn't
stretches it too long, what was his problem on the previous Diet Floyd
records where he had the habit of putting six minute guitar solos in
three minute songs. Gilmour's playing on this album is to the point and
you never get the feeling he is showing off like on, for instance, On An
Island, although it is clear he bought a new set of pedals.
This is a great album, a classic in the making, although perhaps only
for the die-hard fans, and is far much better than we had ever hoped for.
(A third article, with a more critical approach to the album can be
found at: Chin
More reviews at A
Fleeting Glimpse and Brain
Damage. Illustrations (except the Rick Wright picture) taken from
The Endless River and The Division Bell.. ♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥
Sources (other than the above internet links): Bonner, Michael: Coming
back to life, Uncut, November 2014, p. 35 – 41.
The new Diet Pink
Floyd album The Endless River is conquering the world,
perhaps to the absence of any real competition. We don't think Susan
Boyle's cover version of Wish
You Were Here will pose a real threat, does it? In Holland the
album, currently at number one, sells five
times as much as the number two.
The Endless River is a slow evolving, ambient piece of work with obvious
nods to the Floyd's glorious past... one hears traces of A Saucerful Of
Secrets (Syncopated Pandemonium), Astronomy Domine, Careful With That
Axe Eugene, Cluster One, Interstellar Overdrive, Keep Talking, Marooned,
Money, One Of These Days (I'm Going To Cut You Into Little Pieces), Run
Like Hell, Shine On You Crazy Diamond and probably half a dozen more
we've already forgotten.
The familiarity of it all has created raving enthusiasm for some and
'mainly yesterday's reheated lunch' for others and this also seems to be
the opinion of the press. Mark Blake (in Mojo)
politely describes the album as 'big on atmosphere, light on songs',
Mikael Wood (in the Los
Angeles Times) states that Pink Floyd drifts towards nothingness
with aimless and excruciatingly dull fragments.
While the 1987 A Momentary Lapse Of Reason album was a David
Gilmour solo effort, recorded with 18 session musicians and with the
Pink Floyd name on the cover to sell a few million copies more, The
Endless River originally grew out of jams between Gilmour, Mason &
Actually these were rejected jams, not good enough to include on The
Division Bell, but over the years they seem to have ripened like
good old wine. Well that's the PR story but in reality Andy Jackson,
Phil Manzanera and Martin 'Youth' Glover had to copy bits and pieces
from twenty hours of tape and toy around with every single good sounding
second in Pro
Tools to obtain something relatively close to Floydian eargasm. Phil
Manzanera in Uncut:
I would take a guitar solo from another track, change the key of it,
stick it on an outtake from another track. 'Oh that bit there, it
reminds me of Live At Pompeii, but let's put a beat underneath it.' So
then I take a bit of Nick warming up in the studio at Olympia, say, take
a bit of a fill here and a bit of fill there. Join it together, make a
loop out of it.
This doesn't really sound like an organic created piece of music, does
it? The result is a genetically modified fat-free sounding record
and while this is the most ambient experiment of Pink Floyd it will
never get extreme, despite Martin Glover's presence whose only ambient
house additions seem to be the On The Run VCS3 effect that comes
whooshing in several times. Youth isn't that young and reckless any more
so don't expect anything close to the KLF's Madrugada
Eterna, Jimmy 'Space' Cauty's Mars
or the Orb's A
Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules from the Centre of the
Update April 2017: One and a half year after the record has been
released the involvement of Nick Mason can be finally discussed as well.
Pink Floyd know-all Ron Toon at Steve
Nick had nothing to do with this project except to play a few new drum
tracks basically being brought in as a session drummer. Of course he was
/ is a member of Pink Floyd but his involvement in this project was
minimal at best. The vision was David's and the other producers and Andy
[Jackson] did most of the work. Source: Pink
Floyd - The Early Years 1965-1972 Box Set.
But the music isn't the only thing that seems to be embellished. Last
week long-time Echoes
mailing list member Christopher, also known as 10past10, went on
holidays, taking with him the new Pink Floyd CD and, as reading
material, Nick Mason's Inside Out book. Then something happened
which unleashed the power of his imagination (read Christopher's
The mid-book picture of The Endless River shows the Astoria studio with
Rick Wright, David Gilmour and Nick Mason jamming in 1993, taken by Jill
Furmanovsky. This picture has been stitched out of several shots,
the borders don't match (deliberately) and Nick Mason (or at least his
arms) can be seen twice.
But Christopher was in for another surprise when he looked at the fourth
picture gallery in Nick Mason's Inside Out soft-cover (or on page 313 if
you have the coffee-table edition). It shows another picture of the same
session, with Rick Wright, David Gilmour and Bob Ezrin.
Now look at the man in the middle, the one who doesn't like to be called
If you look closely at every piece of David's clothing, his hair, the
way he is holding his guitar, the chords, the lot. It all matches
exactly ... too much not be a match.
Not only does The Endless River centrefold superimposes Nick Mason
twice, but they have glued in David Gilmour from another shot (and
removed Bob Ezrin).
And still, that is not all.
closely to Gilmour's face in the 1993 picture (left) and to his
face on the 2014 release (right). Christopher explains:
The difference is in the original shot. David has a double chin. In
The Endless River shot it has been dealt with.
There will be no fat on The Endless River, not on the music and
certainly not on Air-Brush Dave.
(The above article is entirely based upon facts, some situations may
have been enlarged for satirical purposes.)
Many thanks to Christopher (10past10), Ron Toon. Pictures courtesy of
Jill Furmanovsky. ♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥
Sources (other than the above internet links): 10past10
(Christopher), Alcog Dave no more, mail, 2014 11 14. Bonner,
Michael: Coming back to life, Uncut, November 2014, p. 39. Echoes
mailing list: to join just click on the appropriate link on their sexy echoes
subscription and format information webpage.
The Anchor is the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit's satirical
division, intended for people with a good heart, but a rather bad
character. More info: The
Anchor. Read our legal stuff: Legal
Christopher's original posting to Echoes: (Back to article)
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2014 18:00:32 +1000 From: 10past10 Subject:
Alcog Dave no more ... To: email@example.com
Hi Ho All,
I do believe there is photographic trickery afoot!
Exhibit A: The centrefold picture in The Endless River depicting
Richard, David and Nick in the studio.
Exhibit B: Inside Out; the fourth lot of pics in the paperback or p313
in hardback (1st ed), depicting Richard, David and Bob Ezrin.
Obviously it is a different pic of Richard and Bob/Nick. But I reckon
the picture of David is the same one; except for one difference.
So, I reckon, to get the wider shot for the TER CD centrefold (I don't
know how it may or may not appear in the other versions as I haven't
seen them yet), they have made a composite photo using the shot of David
rom the one Nick originally published and shots of Richard and Nick from
one or two different pictures.
If you look closely at every piece of David's clothing, his hair, the
way he is holding his guitar, the chords, the lot. It all matches
exactly ... too much not be a match.
Does this matter? Of course not. Why not do that to get what you need.
Obviously Nick himself is double exposed when you look at his arms.
Is it worth pointing out? Yes (but just because you can, not because it
will change the world). Why? Because of the one difference.
The difference is in the original shot David has a double chin. In The
Endless River shot it has been dealt with.
Some time ago I was castigated for calling David, Fat Dave. So I changed
that to Alcog Dave. He is that no more. In my more whimsical moods I
shall hence forth refer to him as "Air-Brush Dave".
"Bored socialist millionaires making solo records."
This header from a review of the About
Face album duly infuriated me, about three decades ago. In this
review the critic satirised the fact that David
Gilmour had asked colleague Pete
Townshend, from an equally legendary band, to help him out on a
couple of tracks.
In retrospect the About Face album tried a bit too hard to launch
Gilmour on a successful solo career, it was a bit too AOR,
to be good. The general audience wasn't interested in Pink
Floyd members going solo anyway and - in Belgium - Gilmour only
played a small university hall in Brussels, that was only partially
filled, if my memory is correct. Not that I was there, I didn’t go as
well, but that was thanks to my legendary social anxiety disorder.
Things are different now, the music industry may be complaining music
isn’t selling, but at least there is an appetite for the musicians
formerly known as Pink Floyd.
The buzz has been going on for quite a while now and you might except
that a new David Gilmour album is something like the second coming of
Christ. I’m a bit sceptic when things are getting overhyped, since Star
Trek V was promoted with the slogan ‘why are they putting seatbelts
in theatres this summer’? As the movie-goers found out, it was to
prevent them from leaving after fifteen minutes.
Although the preliminary signs weren't all too positive, who composes a
(rather mediocre) song around an annoying French railway jingle anyway
and links it to a text from John
Milton?, I tried to remain neutral when the CD appeared in the
5 AM starts a bit like the absolutely beautiful Let’s
Get Metaphysical (About Face) and makes me think remotely of At
The End Of The Day from Mason + Fenn's Profiles
album. It’s a nice introduction, but just when it could go somewhere it
simply fades out, what happens with several tracks on this album
unfortunately. It’s a nice, somewhat colourless intro, but that is
default Pink Floyd territory, so to speak.
Rattle That Lock sits in your brain like a cockroach and jumps up
when you least expect it. It’s Gilmour’s most catchy number in years,
sounding a bit like one of these irresistible Chris
Rea tunes: I
can hear your heart beat / Rattle that lock. The problem is, who has
heard of Chris Rea for the last 3 decades? The song has a standard
eighties feel with irritant percussion, irritant singing and irritant
lyrics and is a serious contestant to replace The
Dogs Of War as Gilmour’s worst song ever. On top of that the track
uses a sample from the Momentary
Lapse Of Reason days (Learning
To Fly) and that is how it sounds actually, fucking dated. While
David Gilmour gladly acknowledges that About Face suffers from the
eighties (over-)production, he does it all over again on this track.
Actually I am glad I don’t live in France so I don’t have to hear the SNCF
jingle on a daily basis and be reminded every time of this turd.
Faces of Stone. For a moment I feared Gilmour was going klezmer
but this is a little waltz that regularly puts you on the wrong foot.
Perhaps the best track on the album, although not among Gilmour’s bests,
if you know what I mean. It says something of the quality of the other
tracks, I fear. I guess I’m just happy there is a cool solo at the end.
Gilmour’s eulogy to Rick
WrightA Boat Lies Waiting starts with a long and slow intro
that could have been on The
Endless River. Although there is the tendency from fans to find it a
fitting remembrance it is a bit monotonous, despite some nice singing
and Nash. The song ends rather abrupt as if these old tossers were
suddenly out of breath, but others think that it is a symbolical way to
visualise how Rick was taken out of this world. Beautiful, but not
really earth-shattering and the fact that it is about Wright probably
makes me judge it milder than the others.
I don’t honestly know what to think of Dancing In Front Of Me,
I would like to like it, but then there is that feeling that it could’ve
been much better and that it is just a filler. Gilmour obviously is a
happy man and happy men, so goes the first rule of rock'n'roll, don’t
make great records. What if The
Wall had tracks like ‘My father and me went fishing’, ‘My mother was
always positive towards me’ and ‘Pink has a successful garden shop in
Cambridge’? Nobody would’ve bought it.
In Any Tongue first has some whistling for god’s sake, but then
it takes off like all the others in that lazy tone that specifies this
record. For a moment the refrain brings a solace, a glimpse of Floydian
grandeur, but – fearing I’m getting repetitive – the song never seems to
blossom, except perhaps for that ending 'Comfortably
Numb'-ish solo. With some help from Roger
Waters and Rick Wright this could’ve been an epic track. Wait a
minute. Did I just ask for Roger Waters? Something must be really wrong
with this record.
Beauty starts like it could’ve been a part of the last Floyd and
perhaps it was. Still sounds like a bit of filler, with a slight touch
of These Days. Too many bread and not enough cheese on this album
The Girl In The Yellow Dress or Gilmour and Samson go jazz.
Unfortunately it is the kind of jazz you hear as a soundtrack on French
romantic movies. This would be a cute track on a Jools
Holland album and actually that guy manipulates the piano here, as
Wyatt and Bob
(Rado) Klose. But as it is definitely something else it kind of
stands out against the rest. Different, not better.
Today starts like a church hymn, never a good sign, but then a
funky guitar takes over with a Fame
signature, unfortunately one of the David
Bowie tracks I loathe the most. Today is a mixed bag, has some awful
singing, and seems to be getting nowhere, like most of the disco dance
floor fillers. Chris Rea once sang 'I'm in a European disco', but this
is no Saturday
Night Fever, I'm afraid.
And then… there is a relieved sigh that this record is
finally over. The last instrumental will be used by radio makers all
over the world to end their show with and thank the audience for their
kind attention. If it had a sax solo it could also have been used to
musically accompany an episode of Red
Shoe Diaries, but just like that soft erotic drama series it never
really gets off the ground.
No sex please, we're British
As a matter of fact that is not such a bad comparison. David Gilmour has
given us a soft-core record, that will obviously be loved by millions,
but personally I was expecting something more 'in the flesh'. Of course
this isn't a bad record, David Gilmour is smart enough not to make 'bad'
records, but it is just so... dull, flat, uninspired. Like that American
cheese with no holes, no smell and also no taste.
As a final note I would like to add that the album comes in a regular
and a deluxe version. At almost the triple in price you get an
incredible amount of, what the Dutch describe so beautiful as, 'prullaria'
(kitsch, rubbish). One of those is a piece of plastic that is called a
plectrum, although 'plectrum-ish' would be far more closer to the
truth. It could be a plectrum for an ukulele, but apparently that is an
instrument you can't use a plectrum on, so tells me a musician who is
the master of all things strings. Whatever. (At the Holy Church Tumblr
page there is a gallery with the contents of the deluxe box: Unpacking
Rattle That Lock #1 and Unpacking
Rattle That Lock #2.)
The deluxe edition also contains a Blu-ray (or DVD) with a few
meticulous surround mixes, a couple of barn jams between Gilmour and
Wright and some horrifically bad remixes of Rattle That Lock. The barn
jams used to be online but they have already been deleted by the Pink
This is a fucking disappointing record and one that certainly won't help
me through my midlife crisis. On the other hand, Jason
Lytle has just announced a new Grandaddy
album. So there is still a reason to keep on going on with this
miserable life. But first, I think I'm going to have a listen to About
Face, compared to Rattle That Lock, it is a masterpiece.
Yesterday I had the privilege of watching David
Gilmour perform at the historical marketplace of the small city of Tienen.
I'm very glad my LA-girl pushed me to get tickets as I was so
disappointed in his solo album I didn't even wanted to go. You can read
my review of the Rattle
That Lock (RTL) album at: Attack
The concert started with three RTL-tunes and although they certainly
have more balls in a live rendition, it didn't really help me to get in
the mood. Actually I found the ambient-soundscape before the concert way
better. Rattle That Lock had lost the annoying sample it was
build around but that still doesn't make it a good song. What Do You
Want From Me gave the concert a necessary kick-start, but as it was
followed by The Blue the flow sank down like a soufflé that has
just been taken out of the oven. So far the concert had just been hot
There was a second highlight with The Great Gig In The Sky with
excellent vocal work by the backing singers, two ladies and a man. David
Gilmour used the opportunity to say that the song had been written by
Rick Wright, forgetting the little fact this the concert was actually
taking place on Rick's birthday, but perhaps he had a valid reason as he
also had his wedding anniversary to remember the next day.
Understandably Great Gig was followed by A Boat Lies Waiting,
Gilmour's musical eulogy to his old friend, but although I appreciate
his honest effort to commemorate his friend it still is pretty average.
The set kept yoyoing between classics and RTL. Wish You Were Here,
followed by Money, then In Any Tongue, the only song on
his latest album that shows a momentarily glimpse of Floydian grandeur. High
Hopes finished the first set.
As far as I was concerned, I couldn't call this a good concert by now.
The general flow of the music was spoiled by the lesser RTL tracks,
dragging the Floydian classics down. I gave it a 65% rating and was
getting a bit depressed.
But I also remembered my previous David Gilmour concert, in Amsterdam,
in 2006, where the public politely applauded after the obligatory bunch
An Island, but not with much gusto. The second set, however was an eargastic
spectacle with Echoes. Of course, in those days, Rick was still moving
the Moog, getting a standing ovation from the crowd.
The second set could only be better, I braindamaged myself.
Luckily, it was.
Astronomy Domine hit my body like a cocaine snort. Fuck, fuck and
triple fuck. This was an entry with a big E. Shine On You Crazy
Diamond. Fat Old Sun. Then a drop down with Dancing Right
In Front Of Me, one of the unnecessary fillers on RTL. But the
upward momentum couldn't be stopped. Coming Back To Life was a
treat and On An Island couldn't spoil the good mood I was in
(that album is quite an intimate and exquisite jewel compared to Rattle,
if you ask me).
The Girl In The Yellow Dress is just a San Tropez throw-it-away
kind of song, so I just put my attention on things I could pick in my
It was finally time to work towards an apotheosis. First with the
obnoxious floor-filling disco of Today, that I loathed on the
record, but that seemed more or less to do its work here. If you have to
pick one memorable tune from A
Momentary Lapse Of Reason, it is without a doubt Sorrow.
Feeling the bass tones tremble in your stomach is a goosebumps
experience. Run Like Hell is one of the worst Pink
Floyd tracks if you ask me, but as a concert highlight it is.. well,
a highlight. This was not a Pink Floyd tribute band, this was the real
deal, helped by Mr. Brickman's
fabulous light and laser show and an ear-splitting volume that you
normally only have at Iron Maiden shows.
The second set also had its deal of yoyoing, but the last quarter made
my rating rise to 80%
The encores started with some ticking clocks, enough for the public to
go berserk. A drizzle had started at exactly the moment when Gilmour
sang 'outside the rain, fell dark and slow', but now it was pouring. (A
proof that this man has some connections at Valhalla.)
Lucky for me because so nobody could see the tears running from my face. Time
was given the full treatment with Breathe (Reprise) and
that seeded without a break into the song everyone was waiting for: Comfortably
What can one say about Comfy? Let's say nothing about it as mortal
beings have not the words for it. Tongue-tied and twisted this
earth-bound misfit rated the encores at a whopping 110%.
Oops, you did it again, Gilmour. See you again in a decade.
First set: 5am, Rattle That Lock, Faces Of Stone, What Do You
Want From Me, The Blue, The Great Gig In The Sky, A Boat Lies Waiting,
Wish You Were Here, Money, In Any Tongue, High Hopes.
Second set: Astronomy Domine, Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Fat Old
Sun, Dancing Right In Front Of Me, Coming Back To Life, On An Island,
The Girl In The Yellow Dress, Today, Sorrow, Run Like Hell.
Nine years ago the Reverend made the remark that any new Pink Floyd
release will create some 'controversy between the fans, the (ex-)band
members and/or record company' (Fasten
Almost a decade later, with the release of Pink Floyd The Early Years
1965-1972, nothing has changed. Actually it only got worse.
Pink Floyd have always been a pretty hypocritical band when it comes to
making money. There is nothing bad about trying to make a good living,
obviously, but when you start selling inferior material for overabundant
prices it's like spitting the fans in their face. Not that anyone of
them would do that.
Of course nobody is obliged to buy The Early Years box (approx. 500 Euro
and limited to 28000 copies) but I duly admit: I am an absolute sucker
for anything with the Floyd name on it. And perhaps it's a nice pick-up
line: “Wanna see my Early Years box?”
The Early Years is a somewhat directionless, but nevertheless
interesting, 28 CD, DVD and Blu-ray box containing demos, live tapes
(some of bootleg quality), unreleased tracks, rarities, vinyl singles,
movies and a 2016 remix of Obscured By Clouds. Someone must have said at
a direction committee: 'you know what, we haven't got enough material on
our Obfusc/Ation disk, let's throw in an Obscured By Clouds-remix'.
Not that you hear me complain, Obscured By Clouds is in my personal top
three, before Dark Side Of The Moon and The Wall, but it does feel a bit
For this box, Pink Floyd didn't make the silly mistake of adding
marbles, scarves or toasters, like in the Immersion sets. There are
plenty of mini-posters, postcards, ticket replicas and other printed
items though, for those who like that. (Personally, I tend to ignore
that rubble.) An image of some of those, thanks to RobNl, can be found
Another shot can be found at the Church's Tumblr: (Un)Packing
The Early Years #12.
The box has a simplistic, black and white theme, but is... too big. The
outside box is about 41 x 22 x 31 cm, but the actual set tucked inside
only takes 19 x 20 x 14.5 cm. It doesn't take an Einstein to calculate
that 80% of the box is made of... empty spaces. (Sorry, I really
couldn't resist that pun.) I have put the outside box on top of a
wardrobe, where it will probably stay for the rest of my miserable life.
The Early Years #6.
The 'inner box' contains 7 book-boxes, with ridiculously bombastic
cut/up names. 6 of those will be sold separately over the next few
months, the seventh is a bonus set, exclusive to this release alone.
That's why I was waving so enthusiastically with my wallet. Picture: (Un)Packing
The Early Years #14.
The one gadget everyone I have spoken to really wants, me included, is
the Pink Floyd 'matchbox' miniature van. Alas, these have been made for
promotional use only and will probably fetch high prices on eBay.
Update November 2016: meanwhile a Pink Floyd miniature van has
been sold on eBay for the whopping price of 310£ (385$, 364 €), Tumblr
The quality of the book-boxes is not optimal. On the web are already
circulating pictures of pages that are falling out of the sets.
Apparently they have been glued rather flimsily to the spine. Taking out
a disk is always a matter of trial and error, and the first CD I picked
broke one of the plastic 'teeth' holding it.
The inside pages contain pictures of the band, unfortunately the
printing is rather average, although the 'later' sets in my box seem to
be slightly better. Each set also contains a booklet with 'copyrights',
thank you notes, a brief introduction by Mark Blake and seven times the
same text by film archivist Lana Topham, for whatever reason, although I
suppose sloppiness from the editor. These texts are printed in grey on
brownish paper, making it nearly impossible to read them anyway.
If it breathes something, it breathes cheap instead of zen.
When the box was announced, a couple of months ago, in the same
amateurish way The
Endless River was made public, the track-listing had some important
differences, as it listed 5.1 mixes for Meddle and Obscured By
Clouds. These can't be found on the released set (well, kind of) for
reasons that seem to be taken out of a Neighbours
It all starts with the fact that Pink Floyd has had several re-mixing
specialists over the years, notably James
Guthrie and Andy
Jackson, who, in true soap-series tradition, hate each-other's guts
as they belong to rivalling factions.
Andy Jackson, from the David Gilmour camp, was asked to create
the 5.1 mixes for Meddle and Obscured By Clouds and handed these over to Mark
Fenwick, who is Roger Waters' manager. Mark was a good dog
and passed these to Roger, for approval.
Roger Waters remembered that these remixes had originally been promised
to his protégé James Guthrie and when he found out that the 'other side'
had done these, without consulting him, he threw a tantrum like a kicked
So this is, in a nutshell, why the genius of Pink Floyd vetoed against
the inclusion of the Andy Jackson 5.1 mixes, although liner notes and
promotion material had already been printed. All that had to be redone
and the 5.1 disks that had already been pressed were for the dustbin.
Before somebody could say 'several species of small furry animals' the
rift between the David Gilmour and Roger Waters camp was back in place
and it seems that it won't be solved in the near future.
So the Obscured By Clouds and Meddle 5.1 mixes are not in the box,
right? Wrong. Well, partially wrong.
It was found out that the 1971 Blu-ray contains a hidden segment with
the complete Meddle 5.1 mix. However, you can't play it on a regular
Blu-ray player as one needs to extract the files to a computer first (or
burn them on another Blu-ray with the hidden files set to visible).
Apparently this is not an Easter egg but a simple mistake. Or an act of
Insubordin/Ation. Take your pick. Instead of deleting the Meddle 5.1 mix
from the disk the Floyd's technical leprechaun only deleted the shortcut
from the menu.
Keep on smiling, people.
The week before the box got released there was an impromptu announcement
of the record company.
Pink Floyd fans ordering 'The Early Years 1965-1972’ will get an extra
piece of the band’s history.
The box-set will now also include a supplementary disc featuring the
band’s seminal Live At Pompeii concert as a 2016 audio mix.
The 6 tracks totalling over 67 minutes include live versions of 'Careful
With That Axe, Eugene', 'Set the Controls For The Heart Of The Sun',
'One of These Days', 'A Saucerful Of Secrets', ‘Echoes' and an
alternative take of 'Careful With That Axe, Eugene’.
The truth is slightly different. When the sets were already made and put
in the boxes for shipping a bright brain decided it was about time to
check if the disks really contained what was printed on the booklets.
Only then it was found out that the Obfusc/Ation set did not have
Obscured By Clouds, but the Pompeii soundtrack. By then it was too late
to open 28000 shrink wrapped boxes and replace the disks, so the
Obscured remix was put in a carton sleeve and thrown on top of The Early
Years box set, before closing the brown shipping parcel. Picture: (Un)Packing
The Early Years #2.
At least the carton sleeve has the guts to say the truth:
REPLACEMENT CD DISC FOR OBFUSC/ATION PFREY6 – CD (STEREO
2016 MIX OF PINK FLOYD 'LIVE AT POMPEII' CD SUPPLIED IN ERROR)
Some quality control, huh? By the way, the 5.1 Obscured By Clouds mix is
not in the box, but you probably already figured that out.
Update: some boxes seem to come without the Obscured replacement
disk, as was expected...
(For those interested, the Pompeii CD contains an extra take of Careful
With That Axe, Eugene, but no Mademoiselle Nobs. The box also has the
Pompeii movie, without the interviews, without the singing dog, but in
the director's cut version, so I have read. Another Indic/Ation that the
Floyd team doesn't seem to know what lives in the fan community as that
version of the movie is mostly regarded as inferior to the original.)
Update: the new 'mix' of Obscured By Clouds is (to quote
Cenobyte) 'too top endy'. The mix generally repairs the muddiness of the
original mix and brings everything out in a brilliant way, but adds this
layer on top and that kind of ruins it. Some posters even think that
something went wrong during the mastering process. (The same applies to
the new Pompeii mix as well.)
Several Floydian movies can be found in the box, but some come without
English subtitles. This may not be a very big problem for More
but La Vallée is basically spoken in Frenglish. And of
course these boxes are shipped all over the world, to places were people
are not familiar with the English language and could use subtitles.
It only feeds the rumour that the Floyd randomly added things onto the
disks, just to fill them up, regardless of quality.
(Note: in my box, The Committee, that is on another Blu-ray than More
and La Vallée, does have subtitles, even in Dutch.)
The Committee's soundtrack does not contain music from Pink Floyd alone.
One, pretty famous scene has underground colleague Arthur
Brown singing Nightmare,
but his name is not mentioned at all in the booklet. It is weird that a
band that scrutinises YouTube looking for copyright infringements
neglects Mr. Brown's rights.
As a matter of fact Pink Floyd even censored Nightmare from Arthur
Brown's personal YouTube place, a few months ago, because they claimed his
song hurt their copyrights. Unfortunately Arthur Brown doesn't
have a legion of lawyers to fight this.
Don't ask a slice of my pie, how utterly convenient.
Some of the tracks on this Compil/Ation are from inferior or bootleg
quality. We know that and can live with that.
But what if we say that the Pink Floyd mastering team deliberately
ignored some good takes and put inferior ones in the box?
Seems unthinkable for a band that used to flirt with high-end
The 1967 BBC radio sessions, for instance, are in a bad quality,
examples are 'Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun', 'Reaction in
G' and 'Pow R Toc H' that is even incomplete.
It needs to be said that Pink Floyd consulted the official BBC archives
but these are in a bad state. The BBC had a habit of erasing their own
masters and only has copies of the Pink Floyd 1967 gig 'taken' from the
Top collectors, those that have the 'holy grails', informed the Floyd
that (a copy of?) the masters of the 1967 recording are in a private
collection but the Floyd didn't find it necessary to check this out.
Andy Jackson received high quality stereo copies of the BBC recordings
from at least two sources but the powers that be decided to use the
inferior mono tapes instead.
Isn't is ironic that the 'bootleg' community has better versions of
these Pink Floyd live tapes and early acetates than the band itself and
that they are giving them away for free? The Floyd has thanked them by
shutting down Harvested and threatening to shutdown Yeeshkul in the
past. (More of these vicious rumours at: The
loathful Mr. Loasby and other stories... )
Just as with the Immersion sets some Blu-rays come with errors, in this
case (as far as we know): the 1972 'Obfusc/ation' Blu-ray and bonus
package 'Continu/ation' Blu-ray 1. According to several testimonies the
menu screen loads, but halts there. You better check out your version
before it is too late.
Fans were happy to find out that Seabirds was finally going to
find a place on this collection. Seabirds
is a song written by Roger Waters for the More movie, where it can be
heard during a party scene, but it does not appear on the soundtrack
The song in the box though with the same title is not the one fans were
looking for but an alternate take of the instrumental Quicksilver.
God knows why this was erroneously labelled, but once again it seems
that the Floyd historians didn't do their homework right and just threw
songs on a CD without checking them out first.
Pink Floyd itself issued a statement, trying not to make it sound as an
apology. It appears that the master tape of the 'real' Seabirds was
given to the movie producers who used it for their final cut and who
destroyed the only copy afterwards.
While Pink Floyd is not to blame for that mishap we can at least say
they have been badly communicating to their fans about this track, but
Communic/Ation has never been the Floyd's strongest point.
(Another possible mistake can be found on the Stockholm disk where the
first instrumental number is titled Reaction In G while most
scholars think it is another 'untitled' instrumental, loosely based upon Take
Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk. This was already published by the
Church in 2011 so the Floyd had plenty of time to correct this. See
blackmails Pink Floyd fans!)
At 500 Euro a box this is a pretty hefty Christmas present, especially
when you realise that at least 85% of the box has been circulating
before, on bootlegs. Of course it is true that some visual material has
been beautifully restored and some audio tracks sound crispier than
ever. Other tracks have just been added for the sake of adding them, so
it seems. Anything in the bin we can still use?
There are still plenty of tracks not in the box that the fans were
hoping for. It has already been confirmed that one of these will be
issued as a Vinyl Record Store Day exclusive.
Somehow I have the feeling that during the Cre/Ation of this set, that
took twenty years, the energy went lost, or the interest. Perhaps there
was a lack of time when the deadline came closer. Perhaps a greedy
manager decided that they had already spend too much money on it.
Perhaps Waters and Gilmour, and their servants Guthrie and Jackson, have
been busy rolling over the floor fighting, rather than working together,
in a cooperative way.
This could have been such an exquisite rarities box, an example for
other bands to follow, if only the Floyd had put some extra effort in
it, if only the Floyd had consulted their fanbase that gathers at
specialised music forums.
Nick Mason, the gentleman drummer, probably takes better care of his
cars than he takes care of his musical legacy.
"Those ungrateful fans, it took us 20 years to make this box and Felix
Atagong, the Reverend of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, just needed
20 minutes to trash it."
Update: this post was only published for about an hour when a new
'error' was published on one of the forums.
Belgian TV footage (1968): while the image transfer is great,
Pink Floyd made a stupid mistake by overdubbing the video with the
regular stereo versions instead of the original 'mono' sound. This leads
to the following errors: 1. The stereo Paintbox is about 15 seconds
shorter than the mono version, the last seconds of the clip are almost
silent while there was still music during the original TV broadcast. 2.
An unique early version of Corporal Clegg with an alternate ending has
been replaced with the common stereo version. 3. Set The Controls For
The Heart Of The Sun has lost the early mono mix that was used instead
of the album version.
Video transfers. Frame rates differ between 'vintage' movies and
digital technologies like DVD and Blu-ray. When old movies are
transferred to digital they have to be 'stretched' which is a pretty
straightforward process. However, one may not stretch the soundtrack the
same way because it will result in a sound distortion. Guess what, at
least one movie in the box runs with half a tone difference than
So here is another case where bootlegs have it right and the official
version has it wrong. Bunch of amateurs!
There are really too many people to thank for this article, but much
kudos go to Ron Toon and the dozens of others who gave valuable
information on the Steve
Hoffman Music Forum (304 pages!), another thread on the Steve
Hoffman Forum (72 pages!), Yeeshkul
(161 pages!) and A
Fleeting Glimpse (106 pages!). Sleeve illustrations by a forum
member whose post I can't find back any more, anyway thanks!
20 pictures of the (un)packing of the box can be found at the Church's
We wish you a very happy 2017, sistren and brethren of the
Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit. Last year was a pretty active one, on the
Iggy, Syd and Pink Floyd front, although that didn't always show on the
site you are currently reading.
Luckily there is a Tumblr
micro-blog that we daily update, with coloured photographs!, a Facebook
timeline and a Twitter
A short and sweet 2016 Tumblr overview
The Church wishes to thank: Mick Brown, Mary Cosco, Rich Hall, Lisa
Newman, Göran Nyström, Anthony Stern, Perse pigs, County cunts and
Cambridge spies. ♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥
At the 'Mortal
Remains' Pink Floyd exhibition that is currently running in
London a Polaroid can be found showing Syd Barrett at the Abbey
Road studio in July 1975. This is not the picture that was
magically found back when Nick Mason needed to promote his
biography in 2004 and that dates from June 1975.
Here is what Nick writes about that:
It was during these sessions at Abbey Road, on 5th June, that we had one
totally unexpected visitor. I strolled into the control room from the
studio, and noticed a large fat bloke with a shaven head, wearing a
decrepit old tan mac. He was carrying a plastic shopping bag and had a
fairly benign, but vacant, expression on his face. His appearance would
not have generally gained him admittance beyond studio reception, so I
assumed that he must have been a friend of one of the engineers.
Eventually David asked me if I knew who he was. Even then I couldn’t
place him, and had to be told. It was Syd. More than twenty years later
I can still remember that rush of confusion.
Remember a Day
Confused is what Mason is indeed, as he doesn't mention Syd's second
visit to the studio, a month later, accidentally - or not? - on David
Gilmour's wedding day. In a Mojo interview from 2006 David Gilmour
denied that Syd was at his wedding, although he seems to recall that
Barrett visited the band more than once.
From a 1982 Musician Magazine interview:
He showed up at the studio. He was very fat and he had a shaved head and
shaved eyebrows and no one recognized him at all first off. There was
just this strange person walking around the studio, sitting in the
control room with us for hours. If anyone else told me this story, I'd
find it hard to believe, that you could sit there with someone in a
small room for hours, with a close friend of yours for years and years,
and not recognize him. And I guarantee, no one in the band recognized
him. Eventually, I had guessed it. And even knowing, you couldn't
recognize him. He came two or three days and then he didn't come
anymore. (Taken from: December
1982 - Musician Magazine at Brain Damage)
So, Gilmour does seem to acknowledge that Syd Barrett visited the studio
more than once, only not on his wedding day.
Mark Blake in Pigs Might Fly:
On 7 July, during a break in the Wish You Were Here sessions, Gilmour
married girlfriend Ginger at Epping Forest Register Office, and the Syd
tale takes on another curious twist. In conversation with Mojo magazine
in 2006, Gilmour disputed any stories that Syd had attended his wedding.
Yet at least three of the guests claim they saw Syd at a post-wedding
meal at Abbey Road. Ex-manager Andrew King recalled Barrett looking
‘like the type of bloke who serves you in a hamburger bar in Kansas
City’. Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley referred to him as ‘an
overweight Hare Krishna-type chap’.
One who does remember - obviously, as it was her wedding day - is Ginger
Gilmour in her autobiography Bright
Side Of The Moon:
While clearing his throat, the registrar leaned over towards David and
said, "Excuse me, Sir, the ring?" We both looked at each other with a
look of...OH NO. I had waited all my life for this moment and we had
forgotten to get a ring! Linnie came up to us from behind and offered
for us to use a ring she had gotten from a box of Crackerjacks. An
American sweet popcorn, which always had a surprise gift inside and she
had just happened to eat on the way. God was on our side, even if we
didn't realize it. David eventually had a ring designed in white gold
with two interlocking hearts by a friend who was a designer of jewelry. The
registrar did turn a few shades of red at the thought but proceeded.
When the words, "You may put the ring on her finger" was said, neither
of us knew which finger or which hand David should put it on. Once my
embarrassment settled, I remembered that it was the fourth finger but
not which hand. Boy, were we well rehearsed. I had both fourth fingers
up. We both teetered between them as we tried to get it right and hold
our pride intack. Linnie said in a low whisper trying to say it just low
enough for us to hear, "The right one, the right one." David looked
relieved and chose the right. Phew, at last we heard the words, "You may
kiss the bride." We all went on to celebrate at our local pub with a
giggle and good cheer. What a tale, it has made a sweet story ever since
and brought smiles to my kids' faces many years later. David had to
go to Abbey Road to continue recording Wish You Were Here. I went with
him so that we could share the day together. The band had no idea until
we walked in. There always seem to be stories within stories in our
life. You will see why as you read further. Just to add to the day's
event, when we arrived, Roger walked up to David pulling him aside and
whispered to him, "Look who is sitting on the sofa." They both went
slowly over to the place Roger was referring, Nick and Rick following
discreetly. There is a huge sofa in front of the mixing desk in that
EMI recording room. I don't think any of them were completely certain
who was sitting there until David confirmed it. David looked and his
face clouded over with the reality of what he saw. Under his breath, he
said, "It's Sid." The atmosphere in the room went silent as they
digested the moment. Roger, especially, who is quoted to have had many
mixed emotions for the past came flooding back. There was Sid pear
shape, hairless and overweight. They stood silently in disbelief. Old
memories rushed into their hearts. What happened? His timing was
uncanny! Their lost love and the tragedy of Sid inspired the creation of
"Shine On". And there they were in the middle of recording it when Sid
appeared weather worn and without hair. They stumbled to have a
conversation, inviting him to listen to a track. Sid just sat there
lost, on the sofa, wondering why? What a day to ponder. What a day to
Remember. (Taken from: Memoirs of the Bright Side of the Moon, p.
For one reason or another, Pink Floyd members (and other witnesses)
amalgamated the different Barrett appearances into one, quasi mythical,
event. Venetta Fields hinted already in March 2004 that there were
pictures of the event:
I think there were photos taken at that time... I remember telling
someone that was showing me a photo. I can’t remember who? I may even
have a picture. We took a lot of pictures that day. They had been at the
studio for hours before we got there. I think that while we were there,
Syd came into the studio. Everything stopped. We were all shocked to see
him and the way he looked. (Taken from: An
Interview With Venetta Fields at A Fleeting Glimpse.)
The Gold It's in the...
Another mystery is why Nick Mason, who has meticulously classified the
Pink Floyd archive, only came up with this second picture now – almost
by chance - when he needed to promote yet another Pink Floyd pension
Previously we have written some bits and pieces about the Wish You Were
Here Syd Barrett appearances. Rather than let you search for these we'll
just copy and paste them here:
Wish You Were... but where exactly?
One of the greatest legends about Syd Barrett is how he showed up at the Wish
You Were Here recording settings on the fifth of June 1975. A Very
Irregular Head merely repeats the story as it has been told in other
biographies, articles and documentaries, including Rick Wright's
testimony that Barrett kept brushing his teeth with a brush that was
hidden in a plastic bag. Roger Waters however claims that Barrett only
took sweets out of the bag. As usual different witnesses tell different
The toothbrush myth is one Chapman doesn't know how to demystify but
Blake may have found a plausible explanation.
The 'toothbrush' and 'bag of candies' may have come out of the story I
heard from somebody else [Nick Sedgwick, see underneath] that was at
Abbey Road that day. They claimed Syd Barrett had a bag filled with
packets of Amplex. For those that don't know or remember, Amplex was a
breath-freshener sweet that was popular in the 70s. This eyewitness
claims that Syd Barrett was nervously stuffing Amplex sweets into his
mouth... another story to add to the pile... but you can see how the
story of 'breath-freshener sweets' could turn into a 'toothbrush' and/or
'a bag of candies'. (Taken from May
5, 2010 Roger Waters TV interview at Late
A typical Floydian example of false memory syndrome is the visit of Syd
Barrett in the Abbey
Road studios on the 5th of June 1975. It is a mystery to us why EMI
didn't ask for entrance money that day as a complete soccer team,
including the four Pink Floyd members David
Mason, Roger Waters and Rick
Wright, claim they have seen, met and spoken to Syd Barrett.
Roadie (and guitar technician) Phil Taylor remembers he had a
drink in the mess with Syd and David. Storm Thorgerson has had
his say about it as well. Other 'reliable' witnesses that day include
(alphabetically sorted): Venetta
Fields, backing singer and member of The
Leckie, EMI engineer and producer (but not on Wish
You Were Here) Nick
Sedgwick, friend of Roger Waters and 'official' biographer of Pink
Shirley, Humble Pie drummer and friend of David Gilmour Carlena
Williams, backing singer and member of The Blackberries
Some say that Barrett visited the studio for two or three days in a row
and three people, including his former managers Peter
Jenner and Andrew
King, claim they spoke to Syd Barrett about a month later on David
Gilmour's wedding while the bridegroom himself claims that Syd Barrett
never showed up. To quote Pink Floyd biographer Mark
Blake: “...not two people in Pink Floyd's world have matching
stories...”, and neither do two biographies...
Nick Sedgwick agrees he never felt comfortable in the presence of Syd,
who was popular, eagerly sought after and always welcome. Syd Barrett
may have been cooler than cool, but at what price? The shock for the
band came years later when they recorded Wish You Were Here. Nick
Sedgwick was around as well:
When I joined the band for lunch one day (there) was a bald fat person
dressed in loose and lace-less hushpuppies, and a pair of outsize
trousers held up by a length of string. (…) I sat for twenty
minutes or so, eating lunch, exchanging random news, acutely aware of
the alarming presence at the head of the table that somehow seemed to
dominate the proceedings. Despite the large number of people – the
Floyd, engineers, EMI employees, personal assistants – these were
noticeably stilted. I avoided eye contact, examined food and ashtrays
during lulls in conversation. Next to me, Roger, no doubt wondering how
long it would take me 'to get it', seemed increasingly amused by my
discomposure. A few more minutes of strained joviality passed, then
Roger nudged me gently. “Have you copped Syd yet?” he said. My head
snapped up, and I swivelled open-mouthed in Syd's direction, instantly
processing the message in a visceral shock of recognition. (…) The
hair was gone – from his head, from his arms, and even from his eyebrows
– and, if he stood erect he would not have been able to view his feet
without tilting his head forward over his belly. Only his eyes were
familiar. (…) Syd drank orange juice almost by the bucket,
chewed Amplex tablets, and observed the action. I asked him what he
thought of the music. There was a prolonged pause, then he answered.
“It's all… all a bit Mary Poppins.” P24-26.
Nick Sedgwick does not agree with the blind adoration some fans have for
Syd Barrett and calls it absurd and morbid. Syd disappeared too soon and
his work, even the one with Pink Floyd, is too fragmented to speak about
an oeuvre. The legend of Syd is not about him being a genius, the legend
is about Barrett disappearing from the spotlights before he could become
a genius. It's the James Dean syndrome and the fact that Syd Barrett
didn't die but just went crazy only adds up to the legend. You can't
deny Sedgwick feels somebody should have tried helping Syd (and all
those others) before it was too late.
In a 2015 interview - for Floydian
Slip - Aubrey Powell tells the story how Syd Barrett entered the
Hipgnosis studio, asking what the others were up to. Po answered that
the band were at Abbey Road, recording a new album. And that is how Syd
knew where to go to to pay them a visit.
Update June 2022: This anecdote is also told in Aubrey Powell's
autobiographical Hipgnosis book Through The Prism.
One day, it must have been the 5th of June 1975, an almost
unrecognisable Syd Barrett enters the office, asking where the band is.
Richard Evans, of the Hipgnosis crew, replies that they are probably at
Abbey Road. Po accompanies Syd to the street where he walks to Soho, ‘a
confused and forlorn figure’.
Check extra big pictures and other assorted trivia at our 'IggyInuit'
Tumblr page: 1975.
Many thanks to: Marc-Olivier Becks, Johan Frankelius, Antonio Jesús,
Göran Nystrom. ♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥
Sources (other than the above mentioned links): Blake, Mark: Pigs
Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2013, p. 231-232. Gilmour,
Ginger: Memoirs of the Bright Side of the Moon, Angelscript
International, 2015, p. 103-104. Mason, Nick: Inside Out: A
personal history of Pink Floyd, Orion Books, London, 2011 reissue,
If the rumours arriving at Atagong Mansion are true - and why shouldn't
they? - the relationship between Mr. Gilmour and Mr. Waters is again at
a very low level, so low that they can't be bothered visiting the Their
Mortal Remains exhibition together, or just making a mutual
statement about it.
The Early Years
The last time they really had to cooperate, or that their lawyers and
agents had to work together, was with the making of The Early Years
box-set (and its satellite releases). For the average fan this seems a
nice compilation, with many previously unreleased gems, although the
average fan will not be immediately tempted, just try to listen to John
Latham (parts 1 to 9) in its entirety or get through ten (10!)
different versions of Atom
Heart Mother. Unfortunately the editors lost interest in the project
and the closer you get to the final tome, the less rare material there
is to find. In the end they had to throw in a few movies that every
collector already has and yet another remaster of Obscured
By Clouds to get something, uh..., mildly significant.
The Early Years compilation is meant for those über-fans, those
completists, who eat, breathe and defecate Pink Floyd on a daily basis.
And these hard-to-please crusty old dinosaurs were hugely disappointed
with the amateurish treatment. An unique mono soundtrack – never
(officially) released - was replaced with the common stereo one, by a
project manager who was on the job for two decades but who didn't give a
fuck to glue the right sound to the right video. Things went wrong with
the analogue to digital conversion and video soundtracks play at the
wrong speed. The 'exclusive' (remixed and remastered) BBC live
recordings are in a worse condition than the free footwear you can find
on Yeeshkul... Basically, for Floydian super-geeks, it is a mess. (Read
our review at: Supererog/Ation:
skimming The Early Years).
Their Mortal Remains
About the same can be said about the London-based Their Mortal Remains
exhibition. Now this is clearly a mass-event made to please the big
public. Visiting a rock-band exhibition is a bit like fucking for peace,
it's pleasant, no doubt about that, but in the end: what's the point,
other than saying: 'look at all these guitars'.
Critical fans describe the exhibition as 'lots of show, with little
substance' with posters and video clips and accessories that everyone
has seen before. One room has been created especially for Sennheiser
so they can promote their 379£ - 500$ - 425€ Pink Floyd headset. The
main goal of the exhibition is to get as many people as possible into
the shop that sells a lot of expensive goodies. Let's go to (a
At The Gates Of Dawn (A Fleeting Glimpse forum) for a precise
It gets worse and worse. What's wrong with the old gits? This V&A thing
has been appallingly organised with dodgy overpriced die cast vans you
can't buy, plush pigs with 'Pink Floyd Animals' printed on their arse in
case you're not a Floyd fan and thought it might be just a plush pig and
the Atom Heart Mother fridge magnet with Atom Heart Mother written on it
so the current 'management' knows where it belongs and don't
accidentally includes it as a Kate Bush item. (…) Now a book
die hards have been waiting 40+ years for, released in a manner which
can only be an insult to its author. Definitely an insult to the fans
but hopefully to Dave Gilmour too. Sneaked out exclusively so none of us
can read it.
In The Pink
That last paragraph is about a curiosity that suddenly showed up in the
V&A shop: Nick Sedgwick's long-promised 'In The Pink
(Not A Hunting Memoir)'. It was already rumoured in April 2016 that the
exhibition would eventually sell copies of that book, but it only showed
up there (and at the webshop) on the 20th of July 2017, some say in a
very limited quantity of 20 copies.
The story of that book is a pretty odd one, not an exception if you
realise we are currently roaming in Floyd-land.
Nick Sedgwick was a close friend of Roger Waters in their Cambridge days
and as such it was no surprise that he became part of the Cambridge
mafia, circling in and around the band. In 1974 Waters ask his golf
buddy to follow the band on tour and write a journal about it. That
diary turned into a personal testimony of life on the road and its
intrinsic problems. It (apparently) shows Roger Waters playing the alpha
male of the band, bossing the others around and trying to cope with a
When the book was finished none of the other members were keen on it and
it was shelved. Nick Sedgwick died in 2011 and Waters promised to
finally release it, but for the next 6 years nothing happened with the
manuscript (see: Immersion).
It was believed that David Gilmour was behind the boycott because Nick
Mason, after all these decades, couldn't be bothered any more.
Eventually Roger Waters promised in 2016 and once again this year that
the project was still on, but we all know how long it can take before he
fulfils his promises.
But this week it was confirmed by fans that they had purchased the book
at Their Mortal Remains. What is weird is that the book doesn't have an ISBN
number, which is needed to sell it on webshops like Amazon and in
regular bookshops. It does have the following mention though:
Design and layout copyright (c) Roger Waters Music Overseas Ltd 2017 Published
by Roger Waters Music Overseas Ltd 2017
Meanwhile it seems that the book can also be bought at Roger Waters'
concerts in the USA and V&A has allegedly received a new batch as well.
Many things can still be said about this important work, that was once
described by Pink Floyd biographer Mark
Blake as 'dynamite', but as long as the Church doesn't have a copy
we'll leave it like that. The problem is that it appears to be pretty
limited and that the only place to get it is at a Waters gig or at the
London exhibition (hint!).
Give us a sign if you have one too many! (another hint!)
Update: a copy of this book landed on our desk in 2018, our
review can be found here: Roger
is always right.)
Many thanks to: An@log, Azerty, Chris from Paris, Mob, Peter at the
Gates of Dawn, Pink Floyd 1977, TW113079. Pictures: Peter at the Gates
of Dawn. ♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥
Never has a Kurt Vonnegut quote been more appropriate than here, we
think. Iggy Rose is no longer on this world, but the third rock didn't
stop turning around the sun. There were no lunar eclipses, although
people from the Hastings and Rother community have been calling the
police out of fear of an alien
invasion. If there was some magical interference, it may have been
that a soft blanket of snow had fallen the night before Iggy's funeral.
So it goes.
Happy New Year, sistren and brethren of the Holy Church of
Iggy the Inuit, followers of Saint Syd and Laldawngliani, gift of
the gods. In 2018 we will continue to be the thorn in the side of all
that is Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett related, because although they have
made some of the best rock music of the latter half of the twentieth
century, their business counterparts are worse than crooked second hand
car dealers when it comes to selling their 'product' and screwing the
customer. (The latest Floydian fuck-all-that consists of Dark Side Of
The Moon Immersion set Blu-rays, suffering from bit rot, and suddenly
refusing to play, about five years after their release.)
Next to the excellent blog you are currently reading we also have a Tumblr
micro-blog that we daily update, with coloured photographs!, a Facebook
timeline and a Twitter
account. Here is what made our Sydiot heart tremble past year, seen
through the pink glasses of the Holy Igquisition.
The Church wishes to thank: An@log, Azerty, Gretta Barclay, Marc-Olivier
Becks, Roddy Bogawa, Carmen Castro, Chris from Paris, Frank Cookson,
Petra Eder, Vanessa Flores, Johan Frankelius, 'Gabi', Libby Gausden,
Stanislav Grigorev, Rich Hall, Paula Hilton, Peter Alexander Hoffman,
The Iggy Bank, Peter Jenner, JenS, Antonio Jesús, Men On The Border,
Mob, Iain Owen Moore, Anna Musial, Lisa Newman, Göran Nyström,
OldPangYau, Peter at the Gates of Dawn, Pink Floyd 1977, Dylan Roberts,
Jenny Spires, TW113079, Venomous Centipede... and all the others... ♥
Libby ♥ Iggy ♥ Paula ♥
I'm a bit late with my review of Ginger Gilmour's Memoirs
of the Bright Side of the Moon (2015), but I do have my reasons, or
– at least - so I think. The big Pink Floyd websites ignored the book as
they are only allowed to bark when Paul
Loasby, who is David
Gilmour's leprechaun, allows them to and on top of that The Holy
Church does need to maintain its contrarious reputation.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the
Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit and do not necessarily reflect the policy
of Pink Floyd, nor its members, nor any of their (ex-)wives.
The luxurious hardcover book is thick and heavy, printed on glossy
paper, with over a hundred pictures and taking it with me on my daily
commute would only gradually destroy it as it would mingle with my
Nutella sandwiches and my weird obsession for Belgian pickles.
So I placed it in my special books section at home and promptly forgot
about it for a couple of years. I am more or less a dozen of Pink Floyd
related books behind and that list only gets bigger and bigger. One of
the oldest books I have never read is Barry
Miles' Pink Floyd: The Early Years (2006 already!) and I am
still collecting courage to dig into the 2017 deluxe version of his In
The Sixties autobiography that I received last year. I never made it
past 1970 in Glenn
Povey's Echoes (2007), that I mainly use as a reference work
(and I never bought its 2015 enhanced and updated successor The
Complete Pink Floyd: The Ultimate Reference). I have purchased Charles
Beterams' Pink Floyd in Nederland (2017), but I hardly opened
its predecessor Pink Floyd in de Polder (2007). Same thing for
the Their Mortal Remains (2017) catalogue, although from the few
pages I did read it appears to be a semi-pretentious bag of dubious
quality and quite error prone. Nick Sedgwick's In The Pink
(2017), scrupulously sought for but never consulted, and don’t get me
started on my Hipgnosis
Thorgerson coffee table books collection, but these all seem to
But back to Ginger Gilmour's memoirs. Besides the fact that it is thick
and heavy, its cover is in bright pink and I didn’t want people to think
I was reading a Barbie Dream Castle novel on the train. A pink
cover and a pretty positive title, surely this must be a book with a
First of all, these are Ginger's memoirs and although there is a lot of
David Gilmour inside, especially around the tumultuous The
Wall / A
Momentary Lapse Of Reason years, Pink Floyd isn't its primordial
subject, certainly not in the later chapters when – SPOILER ALERT –
their marriage has failed. Over the years Ginger has grown spiritually
and artistically and this book minutiously reveals the path she walked /
crawled / stumbled to get over there.
The main trouble is, for grumpy diabetics in a mid-life crisis such as
me, that sucrose is dripping from nearly every page and that Ginger uses
the word Beauty (with capital B) in about every other paragraph. Angels
magically appear in Space Invaders droves. There is a lot of talk about
Inspiration. And Meditation. Wonder. Goodness. Hope. Peace. LOVE. It's
almost cuteness overload.
Ginger has found inner peace by soaking in a bath of alternative,
new-age, eastern-style religious and philosophical mindsets and isn't
afraid of saying so. It's just not my cup of tea and it must have been
hard on the frail internal Floydian communication lines as well, as has
been hinted by Mark
Blake. When Animals
appeared there wasn't only a cold war between the Pink Floyd members
going on, but also between their wives...
Ginger also found herself clashing with Waters’ new girlfriend, Carolyne
Christie. Both came from wildly different backgrounds and, as one
associate from the time recalls, ‘they did not see eye to eye'.
Ginger would throw a tantrum, rightly so if you ask me, over promoters
who found it funny to add pigpens – with real pigs - at Pink Floyd
backstage parties. She wouldn't rest until the animals had been set
free. In one hilarious case the freed pig destroyed a hotel room by
shitting all over the place.
I can imagine the sneers from vitriolic Roger Waters towards
David Gilmour, on tour and in the studio, about 'hippie chick' Ginger.
The fact that David used to sneak out of the studio for steak sandwiches
and hamburgers, something his vegan wife didn't really appreciate, must
have made Gilmour an easy target for Roger Waters.
The book has 90 chapters, counts over 630 pages and Floydian content can
be found in about the first two thirds. These titbits relish a Floydian
anorak as they give an inside look on life on the road and in the
studio. Like silly crew contests, for instance:
Chris Adamson won because he ate the most amount of raw potatoes and
Little Mick won for eating the most amount of fried eggs. P43
Most of the time Ginger recounts about her own life, with its big and
little adventures and anecdotes, like getting married without the rest
of the band knowing it and meeting a memory from the past in the studio
later that day (something David Gilmour always denied it happened). But
that story of what happened on the 7th of July 1975 has already been
told here before: Shady
Sound of Silence
David Gilmour never was an extrovert person and if there were problems
in the band, he tried to hide those for his wife.
I was not always aware of the tensions growing in the band. Moreover,
just how much of that tension subtly influenced our relationship. David
held most of these matters to himself. P99
But of course not everything could be kept a secret. Ginger did see the
signs that something was wrong when Roger Waters isolated himself from
the rest of the band during the shoddy Animals tour, where at one point
Rick Wright flew back home because he couldn't stand the bass player any
This could have been the end of Pink Floyd but unfortunately the Norton
Warburg financial debacle meant that they had to produce a smash album
to recoup their financial losses. Despite the animosity in the band the
three others agreed to give Waters free reign. On holiday in Lindos,
Gilmour listened for days to The Wall tapes. His reaction was not
I don't think I can really work with this. I have no idea how this could
become something people would enjoy listening to. It is just Angst! P200
One of my Turns
As we all know The Wall did turn into a massive success, but creating it
was a burden for all those involved. Roger turned into something of a
dictator and started to harass the others. Ginger Gilmour witnessed a
few of these exchanges.
What also made it difficult was the fact that he [Rick Wright, FA] was
often the punching bag. The camaraderie of the band's relationship was
always boy tease boy, but for me this was getting to be too cruel. Rick
buckled. It was heartbreaking to watch. P217
Ginger stays vague about David Gilmour's apparent compliance with Roger
Waters. The guitarist might even have suggested to Roger to throw Nick
Mason out of the band and to continue as a duo. This was told by Roger
Waters in one of his angry post-Pink-Floyd interviews and denied by
Anyway, creating The Wall was a continuous fight between the two main
protagonists, with Mason diplomatically acting as the 'ship's cook':
I see various commanders come and go, and, when things get really bad, I
just go back down to the galley.
Ginger Gilmour describes the atmosphere during the sessions as follows:
I watched David's quiet and sometimes not so quit influences bringing
music to us that spoke of hope, outside the lyrics. I saw his struggle.
He tried so hard. I watched Rick's withdrawal give a podium for a victim
within the subconscious aspects of the story. I watched Nick's struggle
between friendship and finding his voice. P222
It can't be denied though that Nick and David pretty much agreed with
Roger, until Waters sneered once too much...
David was in a mood when I arrived [at a Japanese restaurant, FA]. I
will never forget the look of shock on everyone's face especially
Roger's, with everyone's tensions riding high. Roger wanted to remove
'Comfortably Numb' from the album. It was one of the only songs, which
David had a major credit for and he exploded. I think if he had known
karate the table would have split in two! I will never forget the look
of shock on everyone's face, especially Roger's. P232
The Wall, with Comfortably Numb included, was successful, but the
problems were far from over. In 1981 a barn filled with Floyd fireworks
went up in a fire, killing the farmer and several firemen in the
explosion. Pink Floyd's army of lawyers reacted that it wasn't their
problem and the band was later acquitted from all (financial)
The Thin Ice
The tension in the band had its negative influence on Gilmour's marriage
as well . The first cracks in the 'thin ice' started to show. David
confided to Emo that he feared that the Sant
Mat movement had too much influence on his wife, what Emo – himself
Singh follower - duly contradicted.
A great deal of the book is about the many fantastic people Ginger has
met over the years, ranging from the cook at a Greek restaurant to the
great spiritual leaders of this world (all the people she mentions must
run in the hundreds). David always liked to have his old Cambridge
friends around, Emo and Pip and the people he played with in his
pre-Floyd bands. When he hears the terrible news about Ponji he is
genuinely shocked and saddened. (Read about Pip and Ponji here: We
are all made of stars.)
Gilmour's behaviour changed radically when he became the new great
leader of Pink Floyd, some of his old friends (and family members)
Samson may have had a certain influence in this as well. Nowadays
David hardly has contact with the old mob and it is believed the
Roger-David feud is again as big as it was three decades ago. However,
the Pink Floyd wars are now fought in private, between lawyers and
managers, and only surface when new product sees the light of day. (See
skimming The Early Years.)
Run Like Hell
Final Cut there was the battle for the band, a conflict that was
more of importance for David than saving his own marriage.
I remember the moment David further closed his heart, and rage took its
To finance the new project Nick Mason mortgaged his 1962 GTO Ferrari.
David Gilmour put his houses at stake, without consulting his wife first.
We, our family security, were on the tightrope as well. (…) No wonder
David grew more withdrawn from me. Our eyes stopped meeting. I kept
looking. He was holding more than tension. He was holding a secret. P382
In order to make the new Floyd viable the family had to go on tax exile
again. David didn't have the guts to tell his wife, so he ordered Steve
O'Rourke to pass the message during an informal dinner. It made
Ginger wonder if her husband would also instruct his manager to tell her
if he wanted a divorce.
Visions of an Empty Bed
David Gilmour, who was already afraid that new age and eastern
philosophies had too much influence on his wife, unwillingly pushed her
further away as she sought guidance in the mental colour therapy of The
Maitreya School of Healing and in the teachings of the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiya
order. Ginger Gilmour (in Mark Blake's biography):
I was getting more alternative - starting to meditate - and he was doing
more cocaine and hanging out with all kinds of people.
Diet Floyd minus Waters was on a two years world tour, but dieting is
not what happened backstage. Every night an alcohol and dope infested
inferno was launched with emperor David Gilmour approvingly joining in
the caligulesque festivities. On the few free days he was back in
Britain, he didn't bother to show up at home, not even to greet the
Ginger Gilmour is very discrete about David's party life, but she
doesn't withhold the one conversation she overheard backstage at a
“Wow, I wouldn't mind getting into Gilmour's pants!” The
other woman, whose voice I recognised, said, “No problem. I will
introduce you. Get it on!” P503
This was the story of The Wall all over again, now with David 'Fred'
Gilmour and Ginger as the couple in trouble.
We, David and I, were living in separate houses, separate lives joined
only by our children and a piece of paper affirming, “until death do us
House of Broken Dreams
In summer 1998 they went to Hawaii for a last time together, trying to
act like a family but sleeping in different beds. A bitter Gilmour had
the habit of answering the phone with the sentence 'House Of Broken
Dreams'. This line was picked up by Graham
Nash who wrote a song about Ginger and David's family situation.
House Of Broken Dreams would appear on the Crosby,
Stills & Nash album Live
It Up (1990):
Separate houses separate hearts It's hard to face the feelings
tearing us apart And in this house of broken dreams love lies (Listen
to it on YouTube: House
Of Broken Dreams.)
By then Ginger Gilmour sought and found her own way of survival by
painting and sculpting. In December 1989 she co-organised a charity
Christmas Carol Fantasy. She notes, in her typical spiritual mood that
seeps through the text and that gets more frequent near the end:
I felt I was being guided by something greater than me, the Divine power
of our Creator and his team of Angels. Miracles happened each day.
I'm not sure if angels were involved or not, but David Gilmour, who was
by then living on his own on Malda Avenue, agreed to help her out for
the rock'n roll section of the show. He assembled the Christmas Carol
Fantasy Band that comprised of Paul Young, Vicki Brown, Jon Lord,
Mick Ralphs, Rick Wills, Nick Laird-Clowes, performing Imagine and Happy
Christmas (War Is Over).
Outside the Wall
The divorce did not embitter Ginger and she writes with much love about
David Gilmour and Pink Floyd. She seems to be such a nice lady and her
book is so filled with uplifting optimism that it almost is a sin to
criticise her, but it is not without flaws.
Ginger Gilmour sees divine intervention about everywhere so that I can
only deduct that over the years she created her own personal cuckoo
land. This is mostly harmless, but after a time it gets slightly
irritating. An example. Ginger invites Buddhist Lama Kalu
Rinpoche to one of The Wall shows in Los Angeles. When he leaves the
concert, just before the final, something apparently magical happens
when he walks through the crowd.
I will never forget the expressions that lit up their faces in contrast
to what they were witnessing. It was as though they saw Christ. Their
hearts opened with the thought that he had graced them by being there.
Not only did the concertgoers have the show of their life, they were
also blessed by the apparition of a godlike creature, according to
Ginger. Harmless as this may be, it may not always be the case.
Suggesting that mental colour therapy could help with diseases such as
AIDS sounds pretty much like potentially dangerous quackery to me.
But for the look behind the curtains of this band, during one of its
darkest seasons, this bleeding anorak is thankful.
All pictures previously published by Iain 'Emo' Moore (and grabbed from
his Facebook timeline). Fred was David Gilmour's nickname in Cambridge. ♥
Libby ♥ Iggy ♥
Sources (other than the above mentioned links): Blake, Mark: Pigs
Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2013, p. 252, 268, 336.
Musicians, rockers, pop artists,... - name them like you want – live in
a bi-focused, nearly schizophrenic world and need to cultivate
dissociative identities if they want to survive and stay successful.
Just like there are two distinct forms of copyright there are two quasi
contradictory sides representing the same artist. Alfa and omega, yin
and yang, art and product, band and brand.
Let's get to the point because the above intro sounds like one of those
oriental religions that were so popular in the psychedelic sixties.
What I am writing about is the difference between rock music as 'art'
and rock music as 'product'. While an artist regards his latest release
as 'art', his or her record company invariably defines it as 'product'.
For record company executives it makes no difference if they are selling
The Dark Side Of The Moon or a singing trout, as long as it keeps on
paying for their daily dose of chemical stimulants.
Pink Floyd is so big nowadays, despite being mainly in the recycling
business since the end of the last century, that it has evolved from a
band into a brand. They are now their own record label, reducing the
EMI's and CBS's of this world to mere distributors of their product.
When David Gilmour was asked by MTV (in 1987) why the Roger Waters album
and tour (Radio KAOS) was not as successful as the Pink Floyd one (A
Momentary Lapse of Reason) he came up with the following business-mogul
The reason is that we’ve all spent... well he [Nick Mason] spent over 20
years. I spent nearly 20 years working on, building up, the Pink Floyd
name. I mean, if you liken it to basic crass of advertising… You know if
someone left Coca Cola and started up his own soft-drink company with
the same recipe it wouldn’t sell as many. It’s very simple.
Unfortunately, protecting the brand can have a few disadvantages.
Sometimes these are unintentionally funny, like that one time the Pink
Floyd company deleted a video from the official David Gilmour website
for 'copyright' infringements. There is a less savoury side as well. To
fully monetise on the release of 'The Early Years' box the Pink Floyd
copyright police deleted dozens of YouTube movies, including 'Nightmare'
of psychedelic curiosity Arthur
Brown – on his own YouTube channel
– just because they legally could. Can Mr. Gilmour and his leprechaun Paul
Loasby please explain us how this marginally known performer was a
financial threat to the multi-million dollar machine that is Pink Floyd?
For the last couple of decades Pink Floyd has been recycling old stuff,
sometimes adding unreleased material to the default product. Just a
quick list of compilations and live albums since the late eighties:
Delicate Sound of Thunder (1988), Shine On (1992), Pulse (1995), The
First Three Singles (1997), Is There Anybody Out There (2000), Echoes
(2001), Oh, By The Way (2007), Discovery (2011), Dark Side Of The Moon
Immersion & Experience (2011), Wish You Were Here Immersion & Experience
(2011), A Foot in the Door (2011), The Wall Immersion & Experience
(2012), Their First Recordings (2015),…
There were also 30 and 40 years anniversary editions of The Piper At The
Gates Of Dawn and The Early Years box-set with its 33 discs, although I
have never counted them.
These editions are all of the original or classic line-up and it may
have itched a bit at the Gilmour camp that the third and final
incarnation of the band, the one without Roger Waters, has never had a
separate compilation. Well, that is soon going to change.
Alright, alright, I hear you coming. It is not that the band was very
productive in their third incarnation. The classic line-up of Floyd made
eleven albums in fifteen years, Diet Floyd just three in 27, not
counting the two live ones. On top of that The Endless River could be
considered as just another compilation or out-takes album. Basically,
Diet Pink Floyd has been in a state of hibernation after 1995 and for
nearly two decades only recycled material from the classic heydays has
been re-released. The box-sets Oh,
By The Way (2007) and Discovery
(2011) for instance contain the same 14 albums, and only people with a
high-end stereo installation will pretend to hear the difference. How
many times can you remaster an album, anyway? It’s not bloody washing
Back to basics. It doesn’t matter if Diet Floyd existed for 8 (1995, Pulse),
19 (2006, On
An Island) or 27 years. What does matter is that David Gilmour wants
to replenish his pension fund now that he has given a small fortune away
by selling his guitars for charity.
What is more of importance, what is still lying in the vaults that
hasn’t already been (officially) leaked, one way or another.
Let’s have a small history lesson, shall we?
A New Machine
Around 1985 David Gilmour was thinking of resuscitating Pink Floyd with
Nick Mason. There are two main reasons for this, one was the public’s
disinterest in Gilmour’s solo-career, a second reason was that
contractually Pink Floyd still had to make an album with important
financial consequences if they didn’t.
As Waters refused to work any longer with the two others he was –
legally and financially – obliged to hand over the Pink Floyd brand to
the drummer and the new boy, although it took a while for this bad news
to sip in.
Previously Gilmour had been jamming with Jon
Carin for a third solo album but when the call for Floyd product
became louder, he contacted Phil
Manzanera (Roxy Music) and super-producer Bob
Ezrin. Not all collaborators brought in suitable material, Eric
Stewart (10CC) and writer and poet Roger
McGough, who had worked on the Yellow Submarine movie with The
Beatles, were invited, but their input didn’t lead to a valid concept
(although some demos do exist).
Record executives weren’t that happy either and when David Gilmour sent
four tracks over to CBS he was informed that ‘this music doesn’t sound a
fucking thing like Pink Floyd’, something that made Roger Waters
chuckle. Apparently, Gilmour’s New Coke didn’t taste at all like Waters’
Classic Coca Cola.
David Gilmour understood the message and he and his collaborators had
the difficult task to give the existent material a much needed Floydian
treatment. One possibility was to forcibly turn these tracks into a
Pope (from the somewhat underrated band Rough Trade) was flown over
from Canada and at least one song was tried out, Peace Be With You,
‘a nice, mid-tempo thing about Roger Waters’. When this experiment
failed (again) David Gilmour gave up looking for a portmanteau.
It would be a regular album without a storyline, like in the pre-Dark
Side Of The Moon days. Anthony
Moore (Slapp Happy, Henry Cow) was called in, co-writing the lyrics
on three songs. One of those, Learning
To Fly, was the much needed turning point. The sound effects,
provided by Nick Mason, the guitar, keyboards and vocals felt like a
real Pink Floyd song (although one set in the eighties and still without
A Momentary Lapse of Reason was the Diet Floyd’s showcase that they
could exist without Roger Waters, although – in retrospect – it wasn’t a
band’s album at all. Co-director Nick Mason had given the drum parts to Carmine
Appice and Jim
Keltner and the list of keyboard players shows that Rick Wright’s
name had been added for legal and public relations reasons, not for his
musical input. David Gilmour, talking about Lapse in a 1994 Mojo:
We went out last time with the intention of showing the world. ‘Look
we’re still here’, which is why we were so loud and crash-bangy. Echoes,
Crash-bangy indeed. The Lapse-album suffered from a digital eighties
production, David Gilmour admitted. Nick Mason was unhappy that he had
been made redundant by a drum computer and a couple of session players
and planned to re-record the drum parts. The same can be said about Rick
Wright’s input, who only entered the studio when the album was nearly
finished and after his wife's plea to take him back aboard. Keyboard
parts from live shows were inserted to replace the 80’s synths.
Although the above rumours started in 2011 the revised album was never
released, but this will change in November 2019 when it will be an
exclusive part of The Later Years boxset.
A Day At The Races
David Gilmour was a busy bee in the early nineties, he made four
(unreleased) soundtracks, with or without the help of Rick and Nick:
Ruby Takes A Trip (1991), The Art Of Tripping (1993), Colours of
Infinity (1995) and La Carrera Panamericana (1992). That last one
contained the first Rick Wright and Nick Mason co-compositions since
Dark Side Of The Moon / Wish You Were Here. The Colours of Infinity
soundtrack has the complete band jamming, lends several themes from Ruby
and Art of Tripping and has been partially recycled for The Endless
La Carrera Panamericana is an oddball in the Pink Floyd canon. It has
been well documented that Nick Mason and the Pink Floyd manager Steve
O’Rourke were (are) historic car racing enthusiasts, a hobby
for multimillionaires with too much time and money on their hands. In
1991 they could cajole David Gilmour into entering the 7-day Carrera
Panamericana race that ran over 2800 km in Mexico. (Rick Wright,
according to Nick, was asked as well but preferred sailing the seven
Not only did they plan to have some fun racing cars, but an inventive
Steve O’Rourke, always the hustler, managed to pre-sell the rights for a
documentary about the race, with Pink Floyd music, recouping the costs
of the expedition. (A side effect is that Gilmour, Mason and O'Rourke
look like walking billboards, pretending to be cool.)
Disaster struck on the third day when the C-type Jaguar of the Gilmour /
O’Rourke team missed a bend near the city of San Luis Potisi. Gilmour
was relatively unharmed but O’Rourke had broken his legs and their race
was over. Both were extremely lucky, the band could have literally died
that day. But, business is business and the promised movie had to be
made with two protagonists out of the race and only the least flamboyant
member left to save the furniture.
The movie is not one that will be remembered for its ingenuity, but if
you like vintage cars and flimsy interviews it might be worth checking
it out, once. The (new) music isn’t that spectacular either, but as one
of only four original products Pink Floyd produced in their later career
many fans feel this should be a required item in the box set. Yet it
will not be included, not as a DVD / Blu-ray, nor as audio.
Keleven at Yeeshkul put it this way:
Omitting La Carrera Panamericana is really disappointing because this
seemed like the absolute last opportunity ever to get that music out,
and there are some really nice tunes on it unavailable in any format
that doesn't have people talking over it from the movie. And this is a
set covering a 30-year period that had a total of four releases of new
material, yet they decided to skip one of them.
Probably Gilmour is afraid that we will all laugh with his driving
skills, nearly killing his manager in the process. A scenario even Roger
Waters didn't dare to dream of.
Video killed the radio stars
But what is in this ruddy box then? It will be mainly focused on video
material and live concerts, claiming to have six hours of unreleased
audio and seven hours of unreleased video, including the mythical Venice
1990 concert. Also included is the Knebworth Silver Clef show with guest
star Candy Dulfer. Those two shows are nice to have obviously, but they
are not particularly rare amongst collectors. I have them both in legal
and less legal releases.
It’s all a bit random actually. There will be a revised Pulse
movie, with added and re-edited content, but not the Pulse CD. For that
other live album Delicate Sound Of Thunder, both movie and audio
versions will be present, remixed and with added material. But, and I
will try not to be too overtly cynical, it will not have Welcome To The
Machine (on video) for the only reason that this would give more
copyrights to… Roger Waters. I kid you not, the Gilmour Waters feud is
still alive and kicking. Just imagine these two slightly demented rock
stars mud wrestling about a song about being nobody’s fool.
Calling it an 18-disc set is of course not wrong, but it needs to be
said that the 5 DVDs in the set duplicate the videos on the Blu-rays,
and those Blu-rays more or less duplicate the audio that are on the CDs.
Weird as well is that there is no regular Division Bell CD, but
the 2014 5.1 mix will be included on Blu-ray. The same goes for The
Endless River that has been turned into a movie experience, like The
Wall or The Final Cut video EP. I seriously wonder what will be the
added value of that.
Love In The Woods
There is also a bunch of music and ‘mister screen’ movies included, but
as far as I can remember the Pink Floyd phenomenon mainly turned around
music, not around video clips. One thing I would like to see is the Pink
Floyd documentary that was shown before the Knebworth concert,
containing the Syd Barrett and Iggy the Eskimo home movies that have
been reviewed here over a decade ago. I can only hope these will turn
up, in one form or another. (See: Love
in the Woods (Pt. 1) & Love
In The Woods (Pt. 2))
Outtakes, demos and alternative versions
Probably there was a plan to include a CD with ‘later years’ outtakes,
demos and alternative versions, but this has been reduced to 6 tracks (4
‘new’ ones and early versions of Marooned and Nervana). Several tracks
that were originally intended to be in the box have been removed at a
later stage, presumably by Mr. Gilmour himself, including the already
mentioned Peace Be With You and early versions of One Slip and Signs Of
Life. And unless something drastically changes the ambient suite The
Big Spliff will forever reside in one of the Pink Floyd dungeons.
Giving none away
That some product is missing in this box is one thing. That the initial
selling price is well over 500 dollar another. This means that each disc
in the set, not counting the doubles, costs over 40 dollar. I wouldn’t
mind paying 40 dollar for the revised Momentary Lapse Of Reason record,
but in this case you have to come up with 500 dollars for the one record
you really want and some extra discs that each contain 80% of easy
obtainable material. It is like selling yesterday’s lunch at a higher
price than the day before. Or if we may use David Gilmour's comparison:
it is like selling New Coke at double the price than the classic one.
Of course Pink Floyd may ask whatever it wants for its music. At least
they have always released product of the highest quality, right?
Recently it has been found out that Blu-rays from The Early Years suffer
from bit rot. Bubbles appear on its surface making them unplayable.
People who were trying to have them replaced, as a matter of fact this
box set only dates from 2016, have been politely advised by the record
company to go fuck themselves. I'm lost for words.
This is not the first time that Pink Floyd doesn’t deliver. Many
Immersion sets had quality problems, the Shine On box had a book that
ended its last page in mid-sentence and a few decades ago Pink Floyd
even issued 'remastered' CDs that weren't remastered at all. That was –
to use another Floydian term – a pretty fair forgery.
As a Floyd fan since the mid seventies a part of me screams, take my
money and give me the box, but – and that is a first for me - another
part is sincerely doubting if it is really worth it. Perhaps this is the
time to seriously reconsider my lifelong relationship with the Floyd.
To quote RonToon, that Jedi master of all things pink:
Gilmour is very generous when it comes to charities but there is no
charity for his fans.
Pink Floyd may be a great band, but has turned into an unreliable brand.
Some pros and cons of The Later Years:
PROS: A Momentary Lapse of Reason remix (stereo and 5.1) - Delicate
Sound of Thunder concert on audio and video, remixed and complete - A
few Division Bell demos and outtakes - Knebworth 1990, full concert, on
audio and video - Previously unreleased documentaries and other material
- Previously unreleased Venice 1989 on video - Restored Pulse on video -
Screen films, music videos. Arnold Layne, live at The Barbican on 10 May
2007, the Floyd's last performance ever (not on CD unfortunately).
CONS: The price per disc is outrageous, plus there are a lot of doubles.
Missing: Live 8, remember Live8? - The Knebworth pre-show documentary,
starring Langley Iddens and Iggy the Eskimo - A Momentary Lapse of
Reason demos (present on ‘early’ track listings, but removed afterwards)
- Alternate single and promo mixes, from A Momentary Lapse of Reason and
The Division Bell (enough to fill a CD on its own) - Echoes (and a few
other songs performed live) - La Carrera Panamericana - Peace Be With
You - Pre-show Soundscape track (issued as a 22 minutes extra track on
the Pulse audio cassette) - Professionally filmed Omni shows in Atlanta,
3-5 November 1987 (although, who needs another live performance by the
Floyd?) - The Big Spliff - The Division Bell stereo remix or remaster -
Venice 1989 on CD - Welcome To The Machine on Delicate Sound of Thunder
The Church wishes to thank: Keleven, Rocco Moliterno, RonToon, the many
collaborators on Steve Hoffman Music Forums and Yeeshkul. ♥ Libby ♥
Sources (other than the above mentioned links): Blake, Mark: Pigs
Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2013, p. 311-321. Povey,
Glenn: Echoes, the complete history of Pink Floyd, 3C Publishing, 2008,
p. 260. Steve Hoffman Forum Thread: Pink
Floyd The Later Years Box Set Yeeshkul Forum Thread: Pink
Floyd - The Later Years
The sweet smell of a great sorrow lies over the land, dear sistren
and brethren, followers of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit. But
before we shall dwell on that we want to wish you a Happy New Year. So
here it is. Happy New Year!
The Later Year$
The ending of past year saw the release of The
Later Years, a pretty expensive luxury set of the Diet Floyd.
Basically it is David Gilmour’s scientific method to find out where you
fans really stand.
The set contains about three times the same product, in different
formats, and – although its selling price has descended with about 40%
to 50% - it is still fucking expensive for what it’s really worth. If
you want you can read our article about it here: The
Later Years: Hot Air & Co.
Caught in a cauldron of hate
But that is just economics. What preoccupies us more is that in 2020 the
Waters – Gilmour feud has still not been settled. While in the past it
was Roger Waters who has been designated as the baddy, it is apparently
now David Gilmour’s turn to be the cantankerous one.
In a recent interview, Waters claims that he offered a peace plan to
Gilmour, that was promptly rejected. Polly Samson, from her side,
twittered that it was not her hubby who rejected the peace plan, but the
Two bald men fighting over a comb. A golden comb, embellished with crazy
diamonds, obviously. Decades ago Nick Mason had the following to say
about the ongoing Floyd-war: ”If our children behaved this way, we would
have been very cross.” Seems that the 'children' still haven't learned
Caring about Carin
The Later Years box-set has not only divided fans. There has also been
some grumbling from Jon
Carin, one of the Floyd’s session musicians, who co-wrote Learning
To Fly. It first started with Carin complaining on Facebook that the
Floyd didn’t wish him a happy birthday. We know the Church has been
accused before from inventing stories, but this stuff is so unbelievable
you really can’t make it up.
According to Jon Carin he played the bulk of the piano and keyboards on The
Division Bell (and quite a few on The
Endless River) and not Rick Wright as is generally believed. Why he
has waited a quarter of a century to complain about this is something of
a mystery, unless you mention that magical word that will turn the
meekest lamb into a dog of war: copyrights.
The lost art of conversation
To promote The Later Years David Gilmour has published a 4-part podcast
where he carefully reinterprets the past. Unfortunately what has been
written about Pink Floyd before - by journalists and biographers - can
still be read today, so almost nobody takes the propaganda from Gilmour
seriously, unless you weren’t born yet when he turned a solo album into
a Floyd one.
And where is Nick Mason, I hear you say? While he used to be the
thriving force behind Floydian publicity in the past he is now totally
It’s almost as if there is a saucerful of secrets. Or a true enigma,
The best of Tumblr 2019
But let’s finally start with our traditional annual overview of our
sister blog on Tumblr
that is daily updated with pictures you all have seen before. Have fun!
The Church wishes to thank: Steve Bassett (Madcapsyd), Steve Bennett,
Jumaris CS, Joanna Curwood, Maya Deren, Esfera04, Jenni Fiire,
Freqazoidiac, Rafael Gasent, Nino Gatti, Rich Hall, Harlequin, Dave
Harris, Jabanette, Dion Johnson, Keleven, Simon Matthews, Joanne Milne
(Charley), Rocco Moliterno, Peudent, Poliphemo, RonToon, TopPopper,
Waelz, Wolfpack, Franka Wright and the many collaborators on Steve
Hoffman Music Forums, Yeeshkul and Birdie Hop.
Despite our many criticisms about this box, see The
Later Years: Hot Air & Co, we have to confess it simply oozes a
scent of 'extensive luxury' and our first thought was (and still is)
that it is worth every penny we spent on it. A quick remark about the
cover and inside art that is exquisite Hipgnosian as well and not
the ersatz from The
Opening the box, like one of these medieval manuscripts, immediately
confronts you with four booklets. Three are Pink Floyd tour books,
because this is mainly a live set. The fourth contains the lyrics of
AMLOR, TDB and TER, if these abbreviations mean something to you. All
glossy and not on the grey recycled toilet paper that made the Early
Years booklets so unreadable.
When you remove the booklets, there is another thick photo book you can
kill a kitten with. Unfortunately its pages are also made of carton;
using normal paper would’ve certainly doubled its content. But perhaps
that would’ve been overkill as we have already been confronted with
about three hundred pictures of Gilmour and Co.
Don’t think you can get to the music now. Hidden under the book is an
envelope that contains tour artefacts, posters, stickers and other
memorabilia and… two one sided 45RPM singles with etched B-sides.
One contains a rehearsal tape of Lost
For Words, the other Arnold
Layne as performed by the band at the Barbican on the Syd
Barrett tribute concert in 2007, although they were not billed as
Pink Floyd if our memory is correct. (For the completists: it appears
that both singles exist in two versions, with different artwork on its
A Momentary Lapse of Reason
The surprise the ardent fan, your Reverend included, was hoping for is
the updated and remixed version of the Floyd’s comeback album A
Momentary Lapse of Reason. We have compared both versions and what
we think of it will be put hereafter in one of our fantastic Holy Church
of Iggy the Inuit reviews.
Warning: Syd Barrett content – none.
Signs Of Life
This very ambient and very dreamy piece is enhanced with an almost Keith-Emersonian
keyboard piece of Rick Wright. Magical stuff for those who believe that
Rick was the hidden musical force in the band.
Learning To Fly
For me there is almost no difference, perhaps a little guitar lick at 25
seconds that I don’t remember hearing before. The keyboards are a bit
more to the front during the middle ‘flight’ section, as well as the musique
concrète bits .
Dogs Of War
The Pink Floyd song everybody loves to hate. Basically a simple blues
stomper that has been enhanced with Floydian sound effects. Although
loathed by a majority of fans this song is much closer to the Floyd’s
default (or vintage) sound than – for instance – One Slip or Learning To
Overall I can’t hear a big difference between both versions, except that
the vocals, basses and the rolling keyboard have been given extra
emphasis. So one could say it sounds much fatter now than it did
before. A few of the saxophone’s weirder noises have been removed as
well. So is this one better? Absolutely. Even better.
The one with the Kraftwerkian intro. Classic Wright keyboards added
throughout and new drums by Nick 'here I am' Mason. As someone remarked
on a music forum, this one gives you ‘goosebumps and shivers down the
spine‘ throughout the track. The drums are much softer now and also some
guitar bits seem to have been added (or mixed from oblivion into the
I almost consider it a Floydian classic now.
On The Turning Away
This song brings back some memories for me, frightening me a bit how it
would sound now. A keyboard drone has been added in the beginning and
some scarce keyboard parts throughout the song. As some alumni have
pointed out there are new vocals that may or may not have been taken
from a live performance. At least David Gilmour doesn’t strain his voice
like on the original or at least so it seems.
Many hate this new version, calling it a Frankensteined mess, but I
simply can't. For me this has suddenly turned into a Comfortably Numb
#2, although the neutral observer will call that a very hyperbolic
Yet Another Movie / Round And Around
The song I prefer the least on Momentary Lapse. It’s a bit boring and
one dimensional, if you ask me.
The 2019 version opens with boing boings that threaten to
euthanise your loudspeakers. This version has more echo than the
original one – listen to Tony Levin’s bass for example that has got a
much deserved upgrade. I have also the impression that little pieces of
additional music have been added here and there and that the guitar is a
bit less in your face. It also seems that Nick Mason has had more than a
helping hand in this new version.
Still not the greatest Pink Floyd song, but what a remarkable
A New Machine / Terminal Frost / A New Machine 2
I’m putting this song cycle together as I have always seen this as one
Floydian suite. When it comes to review Pink Floyd I always seem to
belong to another planet than the rest of the world anyway. I like A New
Machine, evidently not as a song on its own, but as an introduction and
coda to Terminal Frost.
And I have always loved Terminal Frost as well. But this re-adapted
version seems a bit weird to me, there is something wrong with the piano
and overall it sounds a bit bland, with far inferior drums than on the
original. Suddenly this has turned into the worst song of the album for
me with a mix that was much better in its original version.
A missed chance.
If one Lapse song merits to be described as a Floydian classic it is
this one. When David Gilmour started to play Sorrow, on the 28th of July
2016 in Tienen (Belgium), his guitar grumbled so deeply it promptly
removed my kidney stones. (See: Coming
Back To Life (David Gilmour, Tienen))
The 2019 version of Sorrow tries to imitate that haunting intro, without
a doubt. But perhaps I’m still in a lousy mood from the subpar Terminal
Frost treatment because it appears to me that also this remix is muddier
than the original (and I seem to be the only person on this globe to
find that). A plus however is the addition of Rick’s keyboard,
especially at the end solo.
I deliberately played Lapse 1987 and Lapse 2019 side-to-side without
tinkering, but here is a song I feel the urge for to play with the
sliders. Perhaps it will sound better with some of the basses toned down
Second opinion (after having tinkered with my equaliser settings): it
does indeed sound better now, but I can't really vow with my hand on my
heart that this version is much better than the original.
So what is the end result? I’m not really sure. A Momentary Lapse of
Reason has never been into my favourite top 10 and this remix will
probably not change that. For the moment I do seem to prefer this
version to the original and I can only hope it will get a separate
release one day. For those that rely on streaming or download services I
think this is already the case. Those who still believe in CDs, DVDs and
Blu-Rays will have to buy the entire box, I'm afraid.
Now let’s hope Pink Floyd will finally find the time to re-record Atom
Heart Mother one day. However, this seems highly improbable.
Other reviews from what is in this box, may or may not appear in the
future. The Church wishes to thank the many collaborators on Steve
Hoffman Music Forums and Yeeshkul. ♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥
You almost need a degree in Meccano
to open the Pink
Years box. There are many goodies packed inside, although you have
to sell one of your kidneys to be able to buy one. The three post-Waters
studio albums, for example, can be found in 5.1 surround and/or high
resolution stereo mixes. That is what these double DVDs and Blu-Rays are
for. (Logically, the Momentary Lapse surround mixes have only been made
for the remixed and updated 2019 version, not the original 1987 one. You
can read our review of that album at: A
The Endless River Film
Endless River has been turned into a movie experience by long-time
Floyd collaborator Ian
Emes. Opinions differ about this one, ranging from ‘I just watched
it once out of curiosity’ till ‘The film is really nicely done. You’ll
At first the Holy Church was not that interested in this. The Reverend
orated in a previous article: “I seriously wonder what will be the added
value of that.” (See: The
Later Years: Hot Air & Co.)
Is it merely ‘just a compilation of ethereal drone footage’ filmed in
slow motion or is there more at hand? Because most reviews of The Later
Years seem to forget about this feature, with the exception of Bob
Eichler in his article: Pink
Floyd - The Later Years (1987-2019).
...imagine that Stanley Kubrick was annoyed that too many people had
figured out what 2001 was about, so he set out to make an even more
abstract sequel, inspired by Pink Floyd videos. Outer space images, CGI,
lush landscapes, complex machinery, people moving in slow motion,
interesting architecture shot from weird angles, and a cast of
characters who appear throughout the whole thing. Inspired no doubt by
the album's title, water is a major theme of the video – oceans, rivers,
streams, waterfalls, rapids, fountains, etc... My brain kept trying to
make some sense out of the random-seeming images, but it's probably
better to just let it wash over you.
This exactly describes our feelings after watching the movie, but the
Church wouldn’t be the Church without adding its own comments here and
there. While watching the movie we found – often subliminal – links to
Floydian artwork from the past decades or to other material from the Hipgnosis
Walk the Layne
But before we get to the feature film of our cinematic evening, let’s
have a look at some of the shorts that can be found on the same disc. We
are talking about the last Pink Floyd performance, not – as generally
believed – the one at Live8, but the Arnold
Layne song at the Syd Barrett Tribute Concert on the 10th of May
2007 at the Barbican. It can be found twice: once as a backstage
rehearsal and once at the concert. The rehearsal doesn’t have Rick, but
a cool as ever Nick Mason who is drumming on a chair, meaning he uses a
chair for a drum. It’s fun to watch ex-Oasis bass player Andy
Bell, who wasn't even born when Arnold Layne was a hit, learning the
tricks of the trade.
Unfortunately Polly yaps a lot in the background, spoiling the fun. But
that’s how she is known in Cambridge Mafia circles anyway.
From a far better quality is the concert take, filmed by Gavin Elder and
using some shots from Simon
Wimpenny and Kees Nijpels. The Floyd plays the song as has always
been intended, without extra frills, short and sweet. Rick has the
honour to do the vocals and it does seem a bit weird that a backup
keyboard player (Jon Carin) was added, but Rick was probably already
sick by then. The interaction between these three old geezers is magical
and their smiles speak volumes.
A great document with an even greater symbolical and sentimental value.
Here I Go
So here we go for our review of the Ian Emes Endless River film, in 95
screenshots and a lot of text. Better scans can be found on our Tumblr
page, using the Ian
As we have said before, in our Endless River album review from a couple
of years ago, the album is divided in four instrumental suites, ending
with Gilmour’s and Samson’s Floydian eulogy Louder Than Words (see: While
my guitar gently weeps...).
Things Left Unsaid
Things Left Unsaid starts with a very 2001-ish
view from outer space with the sun and earth floating by. Just when you
expect Kubrick’s embryo to appear a human form zooms in. In a corner you
can spot something that could be a nod to the dark alien monolith that
plays such a big role in Kubrick’s masterpiece. Perhaps it is the black
‘Telepatic Wave Receiver and Transmitter’ that adorns The Led
album, although Storm
Thorgerson used to call that the object. (This cover can be found at
the Hipgnosis Covers website: Presence.)
Kubrick and Pink Floyd have a certain past together. Kubrick wanted
to use the Atom
Heart Mother suite for A
Clockwork Orange, but (so the story goes) a stubborn Roger Waters
refused when he discovered that Kubrick wanted to cut up the music to
fit the film scenes. This is an answer Kubrick probably didn’t expect as
the record shop scene in that movie shows the Atom Heart Mother album,
This wasn’t the end of the Kubrick – Waters saga. Legend has it that
Roger Waters wanted to sample some dialogue from 2001 on his album Amused
To Death. This time it was Kubrick’s turn to refuse, and Waters – in
his default charming way – insulted the movie maker with a cryptic
message on that same album. (The 2015 remix/remaster of Amused To Death
has the HAL 9000 message from 2001 restored and the backwards insult
It’s What We Do
With It’s What We Do we return to Earth with scenes of futuristic
skyscrapers and a menacing octahedron metal structure floating in the
air, as an alternative to the Star Trek Borg
After a succession of psychedelic liquid light style scenes, we cut to
some water splashing and yet another drone shot, flying over a cobbled
beach and the sea. A woman rises out of the water, a hint to the Wish
You Were Here diver artwork probably, and is followed by three other
persons, raising from the water like the zombies from that atrocious
We are confronted with an Escher-like
semi-transparent object spinning around in the air.
Ebb And Flow
For an unknown reason, the persons who came out of the sea, run through
some fields. Night falls and we see the starry sky and the aurora
For the bulk of the following song the same four people run around
through fields and forests. There are plenty of nature and water shots.
People are cooling down, playing and resting in the river. Much more
scenes of trees, waterfalls and clouds throughout Skins and Unsung.
Skins shows the more aggressive side of the river.
Unsung gives a more relaxing mood with the sun settling down.
The beautiful Anisina starts with boiling lava and a pair of hands
grabbing mud and kneading it into a shapeless form. Close-ups of
colourful nature scenes before the rain falls.
The Lost Art of Conversation
It is raining and The Lost Art of Conversation concentrates on dripping
leaves and a spider taking shelter in its web. We see some tiny fishes
(and a very big one as well). Could this be a nod to the Pulse
album art that shows the evolution from sea to land animals? (This cover
can be found at the Hipgnosis Covers website: Pulse.)
On Noodle Street
On Noodle Street shows us a bridge over a river that runs through a
city. We look up at skyscrapers again.
People walk in the street to their work or to a train or airport
terminal. A hint perhaps to the screen movies that accompanied the Dark
Side Of The Moon shows.
Allons-y reverts back to revolving city scenes and water spitting
fountains. The four people walk barefoot in the grass, falling down in a
field of ferns in the middle of a forest.
Autumn ‘68 has the four actors wrestling and lying on a grass field in
the mountains. The spinning multi-cornered object appears again in the
sky, confronting the people who look at it. It then disappears into
space, where it seems to be heading for a far-away nebula.
Allons-y (2) really seems like 2001 revisited with a flight through
space and a human form that appears in the vacuum. This could be
influenced by the hanging man artwork on the Pulse album. (This cover
can be found at the Hipgnosis Covers website: Pulse.)
Pink Floyd has long time been associated with space and space rock (see
our article from 2014: Still
First in Space. NOT!) and most fans are well aware of the fan-made
synchronisation between Echoes
and the 'Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite' segment from Kubrick’s 2001
movie. If you have never experienced it, and you should, here is one of
the many places were you can watch it: Jupiter
and Beyond the Infinite (Vimeo link).
After the interstellar flight the movie shows the four protagonists,
covered in multicoloured spots, dancing in the vacuum of space, while
scientific and mathematical equations appear on the screen.
On what appears to be a dashboard from an extraterrestrial space ship
some words appear in vaguely recognisable letters. It is as if multiple
letters have been stacked on top of each other. Recognisable are the
words ‘Infinite’ and ‘the dawn\mist’. That last one is a phrase from the
refrain of High Hopes:
The grass was greener The light was brighter The taste was sweeter The
nights of wonder With friends surrounded The dawn mist
glowing The water flowing The endless river
These lyrics read like a synopsis for Ian Emes’ The Endless River movie
and they can be deciphered, with some difficulties, on the alien monitor.
But the surprises aren’t over yet. At the left hand side of the screen
appear scrambled letters that form the nearly illegible words ‘Publius &
There we have it. After more than 25 years a new mention of this ongoing
For those who are too young to remember. The Publius
Enigma was an internet brain-teaser, a puzzle evolving around the
1994 Pink Floyd album The
In the morning of the 11th of June 1994, when the band was playing two
nights at the New York Yankee stadium a cryptic message was send to the
then leading Pink Floyd Usenet newsgroup. It was signed by a poster who
named himself Publius and who used an anonymous e-mail service to
deliver his message.
In this and about two dozen other posts he tried to convince the fans
that The Division Bell music, lyrics and artwork contained an enigma and
that the person who found the solution would be rewarded with a price.
Obviously a lot of fans were highly sceptical about these pretty vague
messages (especially as there were also mails from pranksters going
around). In order to prove his existence Publius promised to give a sign
during a Pink Floyd concert at the Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New
Jersey. During the song Keep
Talking (!) the light display at the front of the stage spelled out
the words ENIGMA PUBLIUS.
From then on a large group of fans tried to find a solution to the
enigma. The hints from Publius were deliberately very vague and it was
pretty unclear where to start looking for clues. Basically Publius was
asking for an answer but without giving the question first. There were
rumours of people digging holes in fields around Cambridge, because they
thought a ‘treasure chest’ might have been buried there. Others thought
that the solution might simply be a code word, an anagram buried in the
lyrics, like the word ‘enigma’ that can be found in the third strophe of Wearing
The Inside Out.
Publius kept the Enigma search alive by adding hints that only added to
the confusion. In an unpublished report from a Belgian fan, that the
Church could look into, it was proven that most messages were send in
the early hours after a show or during a day off in the Floyd’s busy
touring schedule. Publius undoubtedly was one of the (many) people
joining the Pink Floyd world tour and someone who could manipulate light
and screen settings during a show.
On 20 October 1994 Pink Floyd recorded their London Earl’s Court show
for what later would become the Pulse VHS release. During Another Brick
In The Wall the word ENIGMA was projected on the big round screen behind
the band, giving the Reverend a mild heart attack when he watched the
show a couples of week later on television.
For the VHS release though the word was obfuscated by adding extra lines
and stripes, just as it is has been scrambled now on The Endless River
movie. (On the Pulse DVD release the ENIGMA slide has been removed and
replaced by one reading E=MC2. However, traces of the original can be
found if one browses through the scene frame by frame.)
Over the years the band has reluctantly confessed that the Enigma riddle
was basically a hoax, started by the record company, although the Church
of Iggy the Inuit still suspects that Nick Mason, who has been known for
his pranks and dry wit, may have had a hand in it.
The Publius Enigma died an unsuspected death when the anonymous mail
account suddenly disappeared, making it impossible for fans to post a
solution and claim the price, if there ever was a riddle to start with
and a price to collect.
Over the years ‘new’ Publius Enigma sightings have been discovered, but
these all came from outside or unreliable sources. Until now… although
we sincerely doubt that the crazy hunt for fame and fortune will start
all over again.
But what a long strange trip it has been!
Talkin’ Hawkin’ continues with the multi-coloured dancing silhouettes,
followed by the clocks of Time.
As a matter of fact, the original 'Time' backdrop movie was made by none
other than Ian Emes (Time
Some of the people appear packed in linen, like a mummy or a ghost,
others wear their masks again. It reminds us of the Hipgnosis artwork
for the Alan Parsons Project ‘Tales of Mystery And Imagination’ and/or
‘Frances The Mute’ from Mars Volta. (These covers can be found at the
Hipgnosis Covers website: Tales
of Mystery And Imagination & Frances
The aliens arrive in the city during the night with the street lights on
and the buildings lit. They travel through a tunnel.
Calling / Eyes To Pearls
The aliens transform into liquid ghosts in a nightmarish scene. The city
is dark but has tunnels that are lit. Somehow the aliens are trying to
become human and they roam through abandoned buildings.
Those that have masks take it off. A couple of characters have
difficulties breathing. Their faces are stuck in bubbles, like a liquid
cosmonaut’s helmet, and they fight to survive. (There is a Hipgnosis
cover for the album Deliverance from the French disco band Space.
It has a woman, floating upside down in the desert, with an astronaut’s
helmet on. This cover can be found at the Hipgnosis Covers website: Deliverance,
But apparently they succeed and overcome the nightmare. They are running
through the landscape, sometimes hand in hand. One of the personae has
the multi-cornered space anomaly tattooed on her arm.
Update December 2020 / January 2021: According to Tomhinde and
Kit Rae at Yeeskul
the official Calling track on YouTube
uses a slightly different mix than the one on the album and in the Later
Years movie :
Around 0:45 there's some added sound effects and an extra synth
(.../...) and at 1:00 there's a slightly extended section.
This was confirmed by Brainysod. Apparently the Youtube
version is about 50 seconds longer than the CD / DVD / BluRay version.
The band is running to the forest were they either find some rest or are
falling down. It makes one wonder if they have succeeded transforming
into humans or if they have failed in their mission. There is ambiguity
in the scenes and they can be interpreted differently.
One of the aliens looks up at the sky, where the singularity has
appeared again. It is not sure if it is there to rescue or to abandon
Louder Than Words
The last song of the movie shows several of the previous scenes again,
but some have been turned upside down or are running backwards.
It could be that the aliens have finally accepted that earth is their
new home. A couple meets at the seaside and sees the object that
disappears again in outer space, leaving them while flashbacks from the
previous songs are repeated.
The movie ends with yet another scene from a bubbling river before
switching over to the earth seen from space again.
There is a glimpse of a black obelisk that transforms into the
multi-shaped interdimensional spaceship.
Although weird and filled with contradicting symbolism The Endless River
movie isn’t half as bad as we feared it would be. Ian Emes has turned it
into an interesting visual spectacle with many enigmatic scenes and a
pretty intriguing, but we fear, non-existing storyline. (Although the
viewer will vainly try to reconstitute a consistent story out of it.) It
could well be that we will get this DVD (or Blu-Ray) out whenever we
want to listen to The Endless River, that is slowly but surely rising in
our ranking from preferred ambient albums, whether you call it a Pink
Floyd album or not.
The Church wishes to thank the many collaborators on Steve Hoffman Music
Forums, Yeeshkul and the quite fantastic Hipgnosis Covers website. ♥
Libby ♥ Iggy ♥
Sources (other than the above mentioned links): Blake, Mark: Pigs
Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2013, p. 153. Hipgnosis
Covers at http://www.hipgnosiscovers.com/ Steve
Hoffman Forum Thread: Pink
Floyd The Later Years Box Set Powell, Aubrey: Hipgnosis, Les
Pochettes Mythiques du Célèbre Studio, Gründ, Paris, 2015
(French edition of Hipgnosis Portraits). Thorgerson, Storm & Powell,
Aubrey: For The Love Of Vinyl, Picturebox, Brooklyn, 2008. Thorgerson,
Storm & Curzon, Peter: Mind Over Matter 4, Omnibus Press,
London, 2007. Thorgerson, Storm & Curzon, Peter: Taken By Storm,
Omnibus Press, London, 2007. Thorgerson, Storm: Walk Away René,
Paper Tiger, Limpsfield, 1989. Yeeshkul Forum Thread: Pink
Floyd - The Later Years
While the Reverend of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit is more and more
becoming a recluse, living in a corner of a foreign field, it is cool to
notice that the Syd Barrett community keeps on attracting new souls.
The authoritative Birdie
Hop group, with its 7300 members (August 2020) attracts new members
every day. The only negative point is that – due to Facebook’s business
model – really interesting topics (for the extreme Sydiots amongst us)
get pushed down, making them virtually invisible after a couple of days.
New members, and who are we to blame them, will ask the same questions,
will post the same pictures and publish the same songs, due to their
enthusiasm and relative unfamiliarity with the subject.
Quite a few Syd Barrett sites and fora have disappeared over the years.
You may think whatever you want from Barrett-foghorn Kiloh Smith,
but his sydbarrettpinkfloyd blog was an almost endless source of
information, written by him and his many collaborators. The Late
Night forum from Eternal Isolation, officially called the
Late Night Syd Barrett Discussion Room, has 98000 threads but less than
a dozen regular visitors nowadays. And don't let us get us started about
the exclusive Syd Barrett Research Society that was such a
creative pool of information, once upon a time.
But here’s that old fool on the hill pondering again that the good old
days were much better, while the now and the here is in the hands of the
young. But sometimes it is good to have a few dinosaurs around.
Bob Martin is a veteran of Birdie Hop who, end of August 2020,
threw a little bomb in the community with an anecdote he got from Ginger
Gilmour, David’s ex-wife.
I just had a bit of a chat with Ginger Gilmour and she mentioned that
Syd would visit their home in Woodley and record at David's studio. The
interesting bit is it would have been 1971 or later… How cool is that?
And I would like to thank Ginger Gilmour for letting me share this
story. I was not aware that Syd and David spent time together well after
the recording of Syd's solo albums.
This is something new and exciting indeed. The obvious question some
people were and are asking was if these recordings have been saved for
eternity and are still somewhere hidden in Gilmour's archives. That
these archives have some unpublished (Pink Floyd) goodies is well known.
Gilmour used to have the Bob
Dylan Blues reel that allegedly also contains demo versions of
Wolfpack, Waving My Arms in the Air, Jigalo Aunt (sic) and an unreleased
song called Living Alone (aka I Get Stoned).
Bob Martin, however, is prudent.
No one is saying anything came of these recordings, even if they were
kept. But wouldn't that be grand if David did have some jams recorded?
The Geeky Stuff
Let’s try to put a date on these sessions, shall we? The Syd Barrett
anecdote has not been put in Ginger’s ‘Memoirs of the
Bright Side of the Moon’, but she is pretty accurate on dates and
places. (Read our review here: The
Ballad of Fred & Ginger.)
Virginia ‘Ginger’ Hasenbein met David Gilmour backstage on the 28th of
October 1971, at the Hill Auditorium (University of Michigan, USA) and
it was pretty much love at first sight. Ginger followed the band for the
rest of the tour that would go on till the 20th of November, meeting
Gilmour’s parents, who were living in the USA, on the 15th. After the
tour, she emigrated to England where she lived with David in a farm near
Roydon, Essex. Pink Floyd road manager Pete Watts and his girlfriend
Patricia ‘Puddy’ Gleeson stayed with them for some time.
David and Peter spent a lot of time in his studio, which was downstairs
next to the living room.
The two couples didn’t have much free time as the UK Tour ‘72 was
starting in January. But even with Gilmour on the road, the house was
I was alone with the BOYS - David’s friends from Cambridge. Most
evenings I got stuck doing the washing up and keeping them filled with
Tea as they smoked their spliffs and watched telly.
Those boys probably were Emo and a couple of others, but Syd was not
among them. There was also Warwick, the housekeeper, doing the odd job
and taking care of the duck Digby, the cats Gretel and Naomi and a
retired Shire horse, Vim. Emo:
Ginger moved in when she came over. I remember Ginger telling me she met
Syd when he came to the house at Woodley, Essex.
Through Emo we got some extra information from Ginger:
He came to Woodley and David helped him record some music. Syd had to
sit on a stool and David stood behind him and helped him play the
guitar… arms around him… (date forgotten).
And from Bob Martin, we know that Ginger added that Syd would stop by
the house in Woodley quite often.
So if Syd attempted some recordings it may have been in that two months
‘calmer’ period, from November 1971 to January 1972. At the end of
January, the Floyd had a British tour, followed by the Obscured By
Clouds sessions, followed by a Japanese tour, an American tour, another
American tour and a French tour. And in between, they had some recording
sessions for what would become The Dark Side Of The Moon.
It is not that weird that Barrett tried to put his career back on the
rails. His previous album, Barrett, dated from November 1970 and he
hadn’t been doing a lot since. As a matter of fact, he had been doing
February 1971 had seen his last gig, 3 songs only, for BBC radio,
probably with David Gilmour in the band. There were a couple of
interviews, with Syd invariably trying to convince the journalist that
he was still in shape and that a third album was in the works.
I’ve been writing consistently for two years now and I have lots of
undeveloped things lying around. I’m still basically like I’ve always
been, sitting around with an acoustic getting it done. I never get
worried about my writing. (1971 interview in Terrapin 17, 1975.)
I've got some songs in the studio, still. And I've got a couple of
tapes. It should be 12 singles, and jolly good singles. I think I shall
be able to produce this one myself. I think it was always easier to do
that. (Melody Maker, Mar 27 1971, Michael Watts.)
Another trigger might have been the release of the Pink Floyd
in May 1971, that contained four Barrett tracks (and 6 with him in the
band). Syd had a copy of the album and bragged about it to Mick
Rock that it had reached the top 10. Probably his management must
have thought this was the ideal moment to get the third record in the
can and surf on the Pink Floyd wave of fame.
That Syd Barrett was trying to get back in shape could be seen on the
26th and 27th of January 1972. Invited by Jenny Spires Syd went
to an Eddie
‘Guitar’ Burns gig at King’s College Cellars
(Cambridge), bringing his guitar with him. After the official gig Syd, Twink
(John Alder) and Jack
Monck (who was Jenny’s husband) had an impromptu jam.
Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band
Barrett liked the experiment and joined the Last Minute Put Together
Boogie Band the next day on three numbers. LMPTBB was a power blues
outfit built around Twink, Jack Monck and the American singer Bruce
Paine. That day they also had Fred
Frith with them, who was less enthusiast about Barrett than the
others. (Read our Fred Frith interviews at: An
innerview with Fred Frith.)
The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band gig was recorded and officially
released, after a long battle, in 2014. You can read all about it in our
LMPTBB series: LMPTBB.
When Syd Barrett showed interest to start performing again singer and
guitarist Bruce Paine was thanked for his services and a new band was
Bruce Paine continued as the Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band and
had at least one gig with Rick
Fenn, Bill Gray and someone called Gary, before joining Steamhammer.
All of a sudden, Syd Barrett had become the leader of a new band,
something he wasn’t really ready for. Stars did six gigs in Cambridge
and somehow the music press got hold of it.
When a Melody Maker journalist published a critical review of one of the
lesser shows, Syd Barrett called it quits. Apart from a jam with Jack
Bruce in the summer of 1973, he would never perform again in public.
Stars, without Syd, still played a few gigs but was disbanded soon after.
The Basement Tapes
That we have never heard of the Barrett-Gilmour home tapes before is
weird, and perhaps not. The Floyd nicely cultivated the Syd Barrett myth
over the years, keeping it mysterious. Take for instance the different
Syd Barrett visits during the Wish You Were Here sessions, with
Gilmour denying that Syd was there on his wedding day, although ten
witnesses, including his ex-wife, tell the opposite. Read all about that
at: Shady Diamond.
David Gilmour has never been the most talkative kind of guy, especially
when it comes to his relationship with Syd.
This was proven once again during the A
Theatre For Dreamers / Von Trapped Family live stream #6 (9 May
2020), that was mainly David Gilmour sharing some thoughts about Syd
Barrett. When asked who was the culprit not wanting to take Syd Barrett
on a gig in January 1968 David Gilmour stays very discreet, even when
pushed by Polly Samson.
David: “Someone...” Polly: “Who?!” David:
“...said...” Polly: “Who?!” David: “...as
we were driving around West-London picking people up about to head off
to some, like Southampton for a gig. Someone said shall we pick Syd up?
Someone else said no, let’s not bother.” (Meanwhile, Polly keeps on
yapping at her husband.) Polly: “Come on, you know who said that!” David:
“Uhm, stop fishing… I actually don’t know. I don’t know the answer to
The Syd Barrett Lyrics Book
The main bulk of the conversation was about the Syd Barrett lyrics book
that David Gilmour is proofreading, comparing the master tapes with the
lyrics that have been written down. Not an easy task so it appears as
the Barrett little black book with his poems in has disappeared.
Another contributor to the Syd Barrett lyrics book will be Rob
Chapman and he had the following to say on Twitter about it:
No doubt publishers will announce this in due course but the Syd Barrett
lyric book has been put back to next year due to the Virus. A pity
because there is going to be an exclusive in there which will make all
Syd fans gasp and spontaneously combust when they read it. (Rob Chapman
April 29, 2020.)
What makes us wonder what this exclusive might be. Perhaps the fact that
David Gilmour still has a few unpublished demos or pictures in his
If we have learned something from our decades-long Pink Floyd admiration
it is that ‘spontaneous’ scoops like this mostly have been organised by
the Floyd’s management. The first 1975 Syd Barrett picture was
coincidentally found when Nick Mason had a book to promote. Years later
a second photo was accidentally revealed on the Pink Floyd exhibition.
But for the exclusive in the Syd Barrett lyrics book, we will still have
to wait a bit.
Many thanks: Rob Chapman, Ebronte, Ginger Gilmour, Bob Martin, Iain
‘Emo’ Moore, Lisa Newman, Ken Sutera Jnr, Swanlee, Wolfpack, Syd Wonder
and the friendly people of Birdie Hop and Late Night. Some pictures and
stuff at our Tumblr: Stars. ♥
Libby ♥ Iggy ♥
Sources (other than the above mentioned links): Gilmour, Ginger: Memoirs
of the Bright Side of the Moon, Angelscript International, 2015, p.
31. Parker, David: Random Precision, Cherry Red Books, London,
2001, p. 164. Povey, Glenn: Echoes, the complete history of Pink
Floyd, 3C Publishing, 2008, p. 149.
The most recent Mojo
has, next to a John Lennon special, an eight pages article about the
ongoing feud between Roger Waters and David Gilmour. It is
titled Burning Bridges and has been written by Pink Floyd
As usual, knowing the Mojo standards, it is a highly readable and
informative article, but it’s all a bit of déjà vu,
especially for members of the Pink Floyd obsessed dinosaur pack. We have
been following that extraordinary band for about forty-five years and
actually, we didn’t need to be reminded of something that happened
thirty-five years ago.
The starting point of the article is the Roger Waters rant
of May of last year (2020) where he was visibly annoyed that the
Floyd website was actively plugging Polly
Samson’s latest novel, but refused to mention the Roger Waters Us
+ Them live release. (For our review of that album or video, please
consult: Them Secrets)
The Odd Couple
We will not get into the fruitless discussion who is right and who is
wrong. There are pros and cons to both sides. Mark Blake quotes Polly
Samson who once said that ‘Roger and David were like a bickering old
divorced couple’. The only error in that quote is the use of the past
tense, because, if the rumour mill is correct, the gap between the
‘genius’ and the ‘voice and guitar’ of Pink Floyd is still there and is
– after a period of apparent reconciliation – again very wide and very
Unfortunately, the Mojo article doesn’t mention the recent quarrels that
have had consequences for the Pink Floyd fan and collector. But don’t
worry, that’s where we – The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit: the thorn in
the flesh of all things Pink – come in.
One of the juicier stories is that the advertised Early Years set
(2016) was different than what finally could be found in the stores. 5.1
Mixes were promised of Meddle
By Clouds but had to be removed due to an ongoing copyrights war
between the Waters and Gilmour camp. Much of the printed material had
already been done and booklets were (allegedly) replaced at the last
minute. (To read the full story: Supererog/Ation:
skimming The Early Years.)
All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others
The 5.1 remixing war is not a thing of the past. While a 5.1 version of The
Wall is (apparently) in the pipeline, the 5.1 release of Animals
is not, although it has been finished a while ago. All it is waiting for
is Gilmour’s blessing. And that will not happen soon if our information
One reason could be that David Gilmour is still pissed about the fact
that he only received one songwriting credit for his work on Dogs,
while Roger Waters got four (not counting the copyrights for the
lyrics). Waters added Pigs On The Wing (Part 1 and 2) at the last
minute and got 1 extra credit for each part. David Gilmour didn't like,
and may still not like, that his 17 minutes song was valued less than
the 3 minutes Roger Waters throwaway.
Peace Be With You
In a 2019 interview Waters claimed that he offered a peace plan to
Gilmour, but that it was rejected. Polly Samson, from her side,
twittered that it was not her perfect lover boy who rejected the peace
plan, but the bad guy. Us and them.
As usual Nick Mason is the coolest of them all. He once said that ”if
our children behaved this way, we would have been very cross.” (Read
more about the Pink Floyd wars at: Happy
New Year 2020)
...for something completely different. Here is our yearly overview of
what we have published on our Tumblr
‘sister’ page in 2020.
The Church wishes to thank: Ulrich Angersbach, Edgar Ascencio, Azerty,
Bafupo, Charles Beterams, Birdie Hop, Mark Blake, Brainysod, British
Music Archive, Juliet Butler, CBGB, Rob Chapman, Ron de Bruijn, David De
Vries, Dr Doom, Drosophila, Ebronte, Vita Filippova, Friend of
Squirrels, Ginger Gilmour, Goldenband, Graded Grains, John Gregory,
Hadrian, Hallucalation, Gijsbert Hanekroot, Sara Harp, Hipgnosis Covers,
Alexander Peter Hoffmann, Steve Hoffman Music Forums, Elizabeth Joyce,
Jumaris, Rieks Korte, Mojo, Late Night, Bob Martin, Men On The Border,
Modbeat66, Modboy1, Iain ‘Emo’ Moore, Neptune Pink Floyd, Lisa Newman,
Jon Charles Newman, Göran Nyström, Old Man Peace, Julian Palacios, Emma
Peel Pants, David Parker, Joe Perry, Brynn Petty, Borja Narganes Priego,
Catherine Provenzano, Sophie Partridge. Punk Floyd, Antonio Jesús Reyes,
Ewgeni Reingold, Shakesomeaction, Solo En Las Nubes, Mark Sturdy, Ken
Sutera Jnr, Swanlee, Tomhinde, Wolfpack, Syd Wonder, Randall Yeager,
Somewhere in October 2019, I heard rumours about a Syd Barrett lyrics
book that was in the pipeline. In April 2020 there was – finally – some
official news about the book when Rob
Chapman tweeted about it:
...the Syd Barrett lyric book has been put back to next year due to the
Virus. A pity because there’s going to be an exclusive in there which
will make all Syd fans gasp and spontaneously combust when they read it…
Two weeks later, during one of his ‘Theatre
For Dreamers’ live streams, David
Gilmour confirmed that he was proofreading Syd’s lyrics by comparing
Chapman’s notes with the isolated voice tracks from the Syd Barrett
The complete lyrics of Syd Barrett – 52 songs written for Pink Floyd and
during his subsequent solo career – are presented together for the first
time, along with rare photos and artwork, to form this beautifully
February 2021 the book has finally arrived in the hands of the fans,
although Amazon France keeps on insisting that it doesn’t exist, yet.
Let's talk about the 'rare' photos and artwork first. To be honest,
there aren’t any. I’m browsing through the Kindle version and all
pictures, except perhaps one, are those that are daily published on a
multitude of Syd Barrett Facebook groups and Tumblrs, including my own
But obviously, this book isn’t about the pictures although these
could’ve been a bit less predictable, to say the least.
There is a foreword by Peter Jenner who compares Syd’s songs with Van
Gogh’s paintings. He’s done that before, for instance on the Birdie Hop
/ The Church interview
he did in 2014 (see: An
innerview with Peter Jenner). Syd left an everlasting impression on
the people he met and worked with, that’s for sure.
Before the lyrics section starts there is a quite brainy and erudite
introduction by Rob Chapman. Evidently, it centralises on Syd's
wordsmanship that often meanders in obscure waters. Some lyrics need a
guide book that only existed in Syd’s mind, others are just plain
gibberish and failed experiments, a bit like the early Floyd jams that
sometimes were cool and often were not. But when Syd is brilliant, well…
he’s just damn brilliant.
Chapman's essay regales its readers, read it slowly to let it sink in.
As soon as the first copies were distributed Syd fanatics had their
remarks. Fans are used to their interpretations of Syd's lyrics and some
of the Gilmour / Chapman adaptions were not that easily accepted. Here
are a few examples:
Waddle with apples to grouchy Mrs Stores vs. Waddle with apples to
crunchy Mrs Stores.
Gregory Taylor on the Birdie
Hop Facebook group about this Scream Thy Last Scream verse:
I am not sure that the word 'grouchy' was particularly in usage during
the 1960s whereas 'crunchy' was very current particularly in telly
adverts. Syd liked onomatopoeic words so that sounds more feasible to
me. He also didn’t use obvious Americanisms like ‘grouchy’.
My point was that given the potential for multiple interpretations
still, the book will inevitably have some kind of slant depending on who
WTF is "limpet green"? Limpid green refers to the icy waters mentioned
in the same verse. Limpid is a water reference. A limpet is a mollusk
(and they aren't green).
Actually, Rontoon, green limpets do exist, the internet is full of them.
However, it would be so nice if Rob Chapman could explain to the
hardcore Sydocracy why he (and Mr Gilmour) put in the 'grouchy'
and 'limpet' words instead of ‘crunchy’ and ‘limpid’.
Annotations would have been very helpful but unfortunately, Rob prefers
to kick around on Twitter,
making derogatory remarks about anyone who doesn’t agree with him.
Night, still relevant after all these years, Syd Wonder assembled
lyrics that could contain errors in Chapman's transcription. According
to Syd Wonder Rob Chapman did a particularly bad job on Double O Bo and
made mistakes in Late Night, Milky Way, Rats, Wined and Dined, If It's
In You and Vegetable Man. Read his analysis at: The
lyrics of Syd Barrett...
Official Secrets Act
Some fans regret the fact that this book was assembled in secrecy and
that Roger Waters, nor Nick Mason have been involved. Were they asked,
we will never know, but it doesn't look that way. Syd Barrett is a
division of the Gilmour-led Floyd company and shares the same management.
Chapman, who once described Pink Floyd as a firm of chartered surveyors,
finds this utterly silly as well:
I’ve got to sit on hot information for nearly a year now. I’ll probably
have to sign the Official Secrets Act. 48 hour ago I was the first
person in the world outside of ‘certain famous parties’ to read it.
Now for the songs. These are the lyrics for the Syd Barrett tracks that
have been officially released. Why do I say that? Because ‘Living
Alone’ is missing and perhaps a few others.
‘Living Alone’ is vegetating on tape E95744Z that is in David Gilmour’s
Fort Knoxian archives, along with Bob
Dylan Blues. Bob Dylan Blues has been released on a compilation
album, but Living Alone not. Is Living Alone a song with lyrics? Is it
worth releasing? Who knows? Who cares?
Another missing song is ‘Remember Me’ from the 1965 demos.
‘Lucy Leave’, ‘Double O Bo’ and ‘Butterfly’ are in the book. ‘Remember
Me’ not. This could mean it was written by someone else or perhaps it is
just one of those traditional Floydian fuck-ups. As usual, there is
silence in the Chapman / Pink Floyd camp.
A Rooftop Song In A Thunderstorm Row Missing The Point.
Then there is the case of ‘Rooftop’. The July 1974 issue of the fanzine
Terrapin has an unpublished Syd Barrett poem, copied by Bernard White
after a visit at the Hipgnosis
It has survived in two versions, both in Bernard White’s handwriting.
There is the published
version in the fanzine, where he explicitly thanks ‘Hypgnosis’ (sic)
for the poem. A second
version was sold by Bonhams in December 2010 for the crazy price of
The seller claimed that the poem was in Barrett’s handwriting. The Late
Night forum and the Church debunked this and tried to warn potential
buyers. Bonhams was warned as well but they ignored it. A decade ago I
was advised not to dig too deep into the matter, as the seller had a
high position in the Syd Barrett pecking order. Weird scenes inside the
Syd Barrett goldmine, so it seems. See: Bonhams
Sells Fake Barrett Poem.
In the uncut and unedited Darker Globe manuscript from Julian
Palacios, one can find the following.
At El Patio, they read 19th Century French symbolist poet Charles
Baudelaire’s Flowers of Evil. In Arthur Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell, the
17-year old hellion poet insisted, ‘It is necessary to be absolutely
modern’. Syd was taken with Baudelaire’s 1869 Paris Spleen, and
fragments found way into his poem ‘Rooftop in a Thunderstorm Row Missing
the Point’. Syd scribbled, ‘the prophecy, to recreate the truth / in
visions of a seasonal mood...’
Unfortunately, I can't find the Paris
Spleen fragments that inspired Barrett, but The Old Clown
poem does have a clowns and jugglers line.
It was one of those gala days that all the clowns, jugglers, animal
trainers, and ambulant hucksters count on, long in advance, to make up
for the lean seasons of the year.
In a tweet from February 2021, Rob Chapman calls Rooftop a total fake.
Yes its that totally unconvincing Thunderbird (sic) Row missing the
point forgery that Bernard White was passing around in the 80s. He casts
a long vapour trail does Mr White.
Wolfpack, over at Late
Night, has his objections about Chapman’s comment:
There were no Xerox machines just easily available in the early 1970s.
So, if White found a sheet of Barrett lyrics in some Hipgnosis archive,
he just couldn't run to some supermarket to copy the sheet.
he could do was writing down in his own handwriting, what he was reading
in front of him.
First of all, the Rooftop poem doesn't date from the eighties but was
published in Terrapin in 1974. In his foreword Bernard White thanks
‘Hypgnosis for the poem and photos’. This is repeated in the ‘credits’
section: ‘This issue all photos plus poem: Hypgnosis’. Bernard White
doesn’t seem the person to me to fabricate a false Syd Barrett poem. The
Hipgnosis archive, where he claimed to have found the poem, has been
lost. We can’t prove its authenticity. Chapman can’t prove the opposite
The 2001 Syd Barrett compilation album Wouldn’t
You Miss Me? has a partial facsimile of the Mind Shot lyrics,
better known as It Is Obvious. It is believed that it comes
straight out of Syd’s binder that contained his lyrics.
Wolfpack has asked, and rightly so, why this sheet hasn’t been included.
Most of Syd’s typewritten lyrics have been lost, so why didn’t they add
the one(s) that did survive?
On top of that, Chapman changes Syd’s line ‘Oh mumma listen dolly’ into
‘Mumble listen dolly’. Once again some explanation would have been
There are plenty of cases where different interpretations of the lyrics
are possible. But it’s nice to see that there finally is a consensus
about Opal (instead of Opel) and that both mad cats and madcaps
are hiding in Octopus / Clowns & Jugglers.
Meanwhile, it has been suggested that Gilmour and Chapman didn't listen
to isolated voice tracks for all tracks, despite all the brouhaha, only
for those they had a problem with. There is a line in Octopus that
officially goes: "The seas will reach and always seep."
That's wrong, states Chapman on Twitter, nearly a year ago, suggesting:
“The seas will wreath. We’ll always see.”
So why did it change back to the first – clearly wrong – line in the
Walk with me
Chris Flackett on Twitter:
I do have one question, respectfully asked, as it goes: I always thought
the line in Candy and a Currant Bun was 'please just fuck with
me'. Was it just a common mishearing then? Always wondered how they
slipped that past EMI.
Rob Chapman replies:
Didn't have any multi-track to prove that but I think it's both, like
madcap and madcat on Octopus.
Wrong, multi-tracks of Candy do exist and have even been (partially)
published on YouTube.
Rob Chapman plays it safe and uses the politically correct line:
"Please, just walk with me."
This is weird because in 'Irregular Head' Chapman acknowledges the
existence of the four-letter word: “He slips a cleverly disguised ‘fock’
into the chorus and makes it sound like ‘walk’.”
No Man’s Land
The promised part where fans would ‘spontaneously combust’ is the spoken
word ending of No Man's Land. It must have been a titanic work to
isolate the mumbling sentences of the crazy bard, spoken at a staggering
It’s a work of love and dedication and Sydiots all over the planet will
thank the Chapman / Gilmour team for that.
Is this the definitive statement on Syd’s lyrics as Chapman proudly
tells in an interview with the Bureau
of Lost Culture? I don’t think it is. There are still some loose
ends and as some anoraks have said, it wouldn't have hurt to add some
annotations. It’s not that Chapman / Gilmour didn’t have the time.
But it will find its way into the shrines of most Sydiots, I’ll guess.
They will discuss its contents for centuries to come.
Let’s add another Syd Barrett myth, shall we? Over at Hoffman’s
Music Corner member APH claims he had several brief Syd
I was watching my friends' group the Fire Dept at Strawberry Fair, late
eighties. There was a bald guy in a jumpsuit dancing around
enthusiastically on his own. I was told it was Syd. After that, I
recognised him around Cambridge through the years. Generally just
walking alone. Occasionally doing something like paying for his weekly
shop in pennies, and making everyone wait.
He was quite well
known locally, it wasn't considered the done thing to approach him. I
heard he would scream at people who did that. One look at him, and it
was obvious there was no reason to approach him, he wasn’t the same
The Church wishes to thank: APH, Asdf35, Eleonora Siatoni, Gregory
Taylor, Hallucalation, Julian Palacios, Matthew Cheney, Psych62, Rich
Hall, Rob Chapman, Rontoon, Stephen Coates, Swanlee, Syd Wonder,
Wolfpack, Younglight. ♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥
Sources (others than the links above): Baudelaire, Charles: Paris
Spleen 1869, New Directions Publishing, New York, 1970, p.25.
Translated from the French by Louise Varèse. Chapman, Rob: A
Very Irregular Head, Faber and Faber, London, 2010, p. 134. Palacios,
Julian: Darker Globe: Uncut and Unedited, private publication,
2021, p. 85.
On the worldwide web, there is this huge Pink Floyd community,
although we can't deny that the band's importance is dwindling from year
to year. It needs to be said that the Floyd has tried to milk the fan’s
wallets by issuing overpriced luxury box sets that invariably contain
damaged Blu-rays, DVDs or CDs that the band refuses to replace.
The most important Floydian news nowadays is about the ongoing Roger
Waters vs David
Gilmour war. A long-awaited Animals
reissue has been shelved for years because Roger Waters wanted to
include an essay from Pink Floyd biographer Mark
Blake and David Gilmour not. Waters gave in so we might still see an
Animals re-release in 2022. Hopefully.
Dunroamin, Duncarin, Dunlivin
Recently the Waters-Gilmour war has been fought out by proxy. Jon
Carin is a musician who has worked with Waters and Gilmour, but who
fell out with the latter, probably over money matters. Carin started by
Wright’s input on the three last Floyd albums, saying that he (Jon
Carin) can be heard playing while the other (Rick Wright) gets the
One example he gave is the track Marooned,
Division Bell, credited to Wright and Gilmour. According to Carin
the keyboards on that song are mainly his, and not Rick’s. David Gilmour
retaliated by putting an early Marooned jam, called Cosmic 13, on
Floyd YouTube page. It made fans wonder why this demo wasn’t
included on The
Later Years box that is getting less and less important (and value)
now that Gilmour & Co have decided to individually release most of its
This wasn’t all Jon Carin complained about. He put on his Facebook that Yet
Another Movie was greatly influenced by him and that no demo of the
song existed. Out of the blue, David Gilmour published a six minutes
early jam of the track, recorded by him and Pat
Leonard, without Jon Carin.
It is not easy to dig deeper into the Jon Carin – David Gilmour feud.
While Jon Carin’s Facebook is back – it was deleted for a while – we
haven’t got a clue if his posts about David Gilmour are still visible. A
massive Jon Carin – David Gilmour thread on the Steve Hoffman’s music
forum has been deleted without warning and some people wonder if the
Pink Floyd Gestapo had anything to do with that. Whether they like it or
not it is censorship.
Stern grew up in Cambridge, along with boyhood friends David
Gilmour and Roger Barrett. He moved to London in the
mid-sixties and worked as a photographer for the Immediate record label.
As a film-maker, he worked with Peter Whitehead on several
documentaries that captured the rebellious energy of a tumultuous
decade, such as the documentary Tonite
Let’s All Make Love in London (1967).
LSD-pioneer Stern had been a part of the Cambridge set in the
mid-sixties, with beat poets, aspiring musicians and artists meeting at
the local coffee-bar El Patio. Ant and his pal Syd had a mutual
art exhibition, in the summer of 1964, above the Lion
and Lamb pub in Milton. Just like Peter Whitehead, Storm
Thorgerson and Nigel Lesmoir-Gordon he was an aspiring
photographer and would-be movie maker. Around 1967 he and Syd discussed
co-writing and -producing a movie 'The Rose Tinted Monocle' but
the project never materialised.
Was there something in the water? (…) How come it happened that in
Cambridge, nearly everybody you met was already a sort of
proto-eccentric by the age of fourteen? If you weren’t doing some mad
beat poetry, or jazz or playing the trumpet or something by the age of
fifteen you’d better get a move on, ’cos everyone else is doing
something wacky.” (Irregular Head)
In the autumn of 1967 things weren’t going smoothly for the Floyd. One
day Anthony Stern ran into Peter Jenner in the Drum City music
shop in London. He was offered a place in the band as second guitarist
but he turned down the offer: “Oh, no, I’m a film director.”
Anthony Stern made a few Floyd-related movies. One of those, using the
Floyd's hit-single 'See
Emily Play', was the legendary 'Iggy
Eskimo Girl' (1968), a relic that has mostly been hidden for five
decades. The movie is, to quote Stern, a short little film poem about a
girl who was on the scene in London.
Iggy was my muse. I met her at a Hendrix gig at the Speakeasy. She was a
lovely inspiration and free spirit. I never knew her real name. We used
to hang out together, occasionally dropping acid, staying up all night,
going for walks at dawn in Battersea Park.
Stern took many pictures of Iggy and some were shown as ‘triptychs’ at The
Other Room, one of the exhibitions during the Cambridge City Wakes
festival in 2008.
I re-discovered these photographs in my cellar in an old suitcase. All
the optical effects were obtained in-camera. The colour images of Iggy
were taken on a houseboat at Chelsea Reach. In the background you can
see Lots Road Power Station. The distortions were achieved using a
flexible mirror material called Malinex, as well as a magnifying Fresnel
Iggy was terrific fun to be with and to photograph. I
knew her before she was introduced to Syd by Jennifer Spires, and I
remember walking through Battersea Park in the early mornings together.
Even more famous than the Iggy movie is Stern’s San
Francisco, (1968) where he ‘attempted to duplicate the Pink Floyd’s
light show’ through cinematography. The soundtrack of that short is an
early version of 'Interstellar
Overdrive', dating from the 31st of October 1966. Stern used his
camera as a ‘musical instrument’. San Francisco was seen by him as a
‘jazz music performance’ using still images as notes.
Syd Barrett used to crash in at Stern’s apartment, during and after his
Pink Floyd period, but not all was well.
You’d see his mood declining as the evening wore on. (…) Then he’d
disappear into the lavatory and come back and his mood had changed.
(Pigs Might Fly)
According to Stern it was not cocaine Syd Barrett was taking, but heroin.
Dark Side Of The Rose Monocle
Side Of The Moon' came out Stern was duly impressed, just like
millions of other fans. He proposed to make a movie based upon the 'The
Rose Tinted Monocle' script that he had worked on with Syd Barrett. He
borrowed a projector from David Gilmour and showed a rough version to
all members of the band.
They knew that Syd had been involved with the roots of the film, and on
a purely aesthetic and creative level they all gave it the thumbs up.
They all said, “Of course you can use Dark Side of the Moon for this.”
(…) Roger, despite his immense ego, was incredibly friendly, warm and
enthusiastic about the idea of me using this music in such an abstract,
non-commercial way. (Pigs Might Fly)
The band’s approval was buried by the band’s manager, Steve
O’Rourke, and the movie was never made. Pink Floyd now
belonged to the high-fidelity first-class travelling set and no longer
to the avant-garde underground.
Dancing with Glass
Making avant-garde movies doesn’t bring bread on the table. Around 1978
Anthony Stern found a new way to express his talent in glass blowing.
Film-making and glass-blowing culminated in a short movie Anthony made:
'Dancing With Glass' (2013). Direct link: Dancing
With the turn of the century there was some renewed interest in Stern’s
film making. He joined forces with Chimera
Arts, the production company from installation artist Sadia Sadia
and music producer, composer and sound designer Stephen W Tayler.
They salvaged some material from Stern’s archives. 'The
Noon Gun', shot by Stern in Afghanistan in 1971, was released by
Chimera in 2004.
Other rediscovered films had a premiere at the Cinémathèque
Française in Paris, June 2008. Amongst them: 'The
End Of The Party', from 1969 and 'Iggy Eskimo Girl', from 1968.
Stern was present and gave some valuable information that has been
hiding for years in one of the dark corners of the Internet. Direct
The City Wakes festival in Cambridge (2008) created something of a Pink
Floyd induced buzz, promoting Anthony’s pictures in The Other Room
exhibition. Anthony Stern was also the subject of a 2008 documentary,
shot by Sadia Sadia: 'Lit
Get all that, Ant?
Stern was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and started revisiting his
collection of photographs, 16mm film reels and Nagra sound tapes. A
website was created in 2014, Anthony
Stern Film Archive, that promised to release a book and a DVD
containing Stern’s work: 'Get all from that Ant?' (later re-baptised to 'Get
All That, Ant')
Although the 62 minutes documentary was shown on a Syd Barrett festival
in October 2016 it never was released to the general public. Most of the
relevant pages on the Anthony Stern Film Archive website have
disappeared as well.
A condensed, 45 minutes, version was shown at BBC4 during Keith
Richard’s Lost Weekend. 'Lost and Found: the Memory Marbles of
Anthony Stern' made it on national television on Monday 26th of
September 2016 at 01:25 in the morning. This documentary had some
previously unpublished stills and snippets of Iggy and Pink Floyd with
Chimera Copyright Issues
No Church article without some controversy, some people say.
'Memory Marbles' – the condensed version of 'Get All That, Ant?' – was
the only program from Keith Richard’s Lost Weekend that didn’t make it
on the BBC iPlayer and couldn’t be seen ‘on demand’. Copyright issues,
so it seems.
The 'Iggy Eskimo Girl' movie was never generally released and when a
‘bootleg’ version was found by none other than Iggy herself (in 2016) it
took less than 24 hours for Chimera Arts to delete it from Dailymotion.
The Eskimo Girl (full movie).)
Over the years Chimera has been as protective over Stern’s movies as
Pink Floyd over the Syd Barrett tap dancing video. They prefer to show
his work on avant-garde film festivals rather than release it to the
masses. (Anthony Stern did send an Eskimo Girl DVD to Iggy Rose though.)
As such it is quite ironical that the Anthony Stern retrospective at La
Cinémathèque Française was organised after they found one of his movies…
Sadia Sadia’s YouTube channel contained a biographical movie about ‘her
friend, the glass artist Anthony Stern’. 'Lit From Within' (2008) is a
cute documentary that has a mid-sixties cameo from none other than Libby
Gausden. A few days after Stern’s decease, the movie mysteriously
disappeared from the channel. It's probably an avant-garde way of
honouring a friend who just passed away.
Another mystery is why Ant’s two Pink Floyd related movies never made it
Early Years set. The 'Interstellar Overdrive' demo of the 1st of
October 1966, recorded at Thompson Private Recording Studios, Hemel
Hempstead can’t be found in the box, an unforgivable oversight. It was
later released on one-sided vinyl for Record Store Day.
It is rumoured that Pink Floyd used a low quality tape to press the
record. It is also believed that the original reel of the track belonged
to Anthony Stern, who used it for the San Francisco movie. Just like
with the BBC sessions the Pink Floyd archivists used low quality copies
instead of trying to obtain the originals.
RIP Anthony Stern (1944 - 2022)
Stern died somewhere in the first or second week of February 2022. With
Anthony we lose another cogwheel from the Pink Floyd time machine. He
used to play with light, first as a gifted avant-garde movie maker,
later as a glass sculpturer. Let’s hope ‘Get All That, Ant’ will get a
release soon and that it will not stay in copyright hell like Storm
Thorgerson’s ‘Have You Got It Yet’.
Releasing it as Pink Floyd instead of David
Gilmour and friends will get the song free promotion and as such
every (online) newspaper has already brought it up, although not all
reviews are that positive. The (Daily) Telegraph, for instance,
describes it as an
overblown 1980s Eurovision entry.
Update 2022 04 10: 24 hours after its launch, the song hit the #1
position of iTunes downloads in 27 countries.
The song uses the vocals of Andriy
Khlyvnyuk, singing a 1914 Ukrainian patriotic song 'Oi
u Luzi Chervona Kalyna' (Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow). The
roots of the song can be found in a traditional from 1640 as explained
in the next video from Metal Pilgrim.
It is not the first time Pink Floyd has used an outsider to sing a song, Roy
Harper and Clare
Torry come to mind, but it is a very rare occasion (not counting
those two canine vocalists: Seamus
and Mademoiselle Nobs). Pink Floyd doesn't have a tradition either of
covering songs, the only examples I can think of is Green
Onions on an early TV show and the King
Bee demo. (Gilmour and Waters have recorded/streamed a few covers
Gilmour and his merry men have the habit of turning Floyd's history into
their hands and this time it is no different. The blurb says this is the
first new original music they have recorded together as a band since
Division Bell. It makes me wonder what happened with Louder
Than Words, from The
Endless River, that ended the Floyd in a Yoko Ono kind of way. Fans
are still dissing and fighting about it.
Gilmour has taken an a capella song from a Ukrainian singer-soldier and
added some typical Floydian ingredients in the mix. On the video, we can
see he uses his 1955 Fender Esquire that is prominent on the About
Face album cover, but more than probably he changed that for a
Strat, at least for the second solo.
David's guitar play is, as always, impeccable - gold dust as one
fan describes it. To my amazement, plenty of room is given to Nick
Mason in the second part of the song. He spices it with his typical Masonic
drum fills. He still is the best drummer for the band and the only
member who has been present on every album, in every incarnation. Rick's
keyboards are missed but you could do a lot worse than with Nitin
Sawhney. (Spoiler: will he be on the solo album David Gilmour is
The song is short, three minutes and a half. Luckily Gilmour didn't fall
into the trap of adding a six minutes guitar solo on a one couplet song
like he used to do in the past.
Bandsmen by Remote Control
On the Steve
Hoffman Music Forum, the song is heavily discussed and, as usual,
opinions tend to differ, with online missile shootings between the David
and Roger camps. Pigheaded people have forgotten that Roger
Waters left the band some 37 zillion years ago.
One can’t deny that Waters’ opinion about the war is somewhat
prevaricating, one fan put it like this:
Given some of Roger's asinine comments on the subject of Russia's
invasion of Ukraine, I think it's for the best that he's not involved.
I agree with some of Waters' political opinions, but the fact that he
was a welcome guest on the one-sided propaganda channel that is RT (Russia
Today) has been bothering me. Playing the Ukrainian Nazi card is a
bit stupid after you have been welcomed by a TV station that has invited
conspiracy theorists, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and Holocaust
Waters is writhing around like a snail in a saucerful of salt,
condemning the war but trying to blame NATO and the USA. I’m old and
realistic enough to understand that international politics is a dirty
business. I agree that the ‘democratic’ Western world has played a
dubious role in the Ukrainian Orange
Revolution and its aftermath. In something resembling a mediocre Ian
Fleming story, they overplayed their cards, perhaps not realising
that Vladimir Putin is an even bigger madman than Donald Trump ever was.
Just Before Dawn
Floyd anoraks will fight over everything, even the use of the font on
the cover picture for the song. It uses a letter type that is very close
to the one we know from The
Wall. It is even closer to the lettering on the anti-war single When
The Tigers Broke Free, from 1982. We leave it in the middle if this
is a deliberate stab at Roger Waters or just a clever marketing trick.
Hey, Hey, Rise Up is a very uncommon single by the Floyd, but
these are uncommon times. Once you get used to the pompous singing you
can discover its magic or as Gilmour ironically put it: the rock god
guitar player. Bloody well done.
(Link for recalcitrant browsers: Pink Floyd - Hey
Hey Rise Up (feat. Andriy Khlyvnyuk of Boombox))
Pink Floyd 2022
Many thanks to: Metal Pilgrim, Steve Hoffmann Forum and its many
visitors. ♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥
Sources (other than the above mentioned links): Petridis, Alexis: ‘This
is a crazy, unjust attack’: Pink Floyd re-form to support Ukraine,
Guardian, 7 April 2022.
We have sometimes been harsh about David
Gilmour who reconfigured the past in favour of his colleague Rick
Wright, but the friendship between Gilmour and Wright was an honest
and genuine one.
In an emotional introduction, Aubrey
Powell tells how David Gilmour was sitting at Rick’s deathbed
(2008). At a memorial party, where Roger
Waters was absent, old surviving friends from the Underground days
were present. Jon
Lord and Jeff
Beck played some songs and David and Nick, with Guy Pratt, Jon Carin
and Tim Renwick remembered Rick with Great
Gig and Wish
You Were Here.
Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell was sitting next to Storm
Thorgerson, who was in a wheelchair after a stroke, and both men
realised that they were in the autumn of their lives. Powell knew that
if he had to write some memoirs, he had to get on with it. It still took
him more than a decade but in 2022 he published Through The Prism:
Untold Rock Stories from the Hipgnosis Archive.
Through The Prism is, for once, not a coffee-table photo extravaganza,
but a 320 pages book filled with anecdotes and stories about Hipgnosis
and their many friends, who were often also their clients.
The first chapter 'Laying Ghosts to Rest' is about Cambridge and the
boy/man who started the career of Pink Floyd and indirectly Hipgnosis as
well. An autobiography is based on memories and not always on facts and
as such we forgive that Po repeats the story that Syd
Barrett was an admirer of Pink
Anderson and Floyd
Council. In a previous post on this blog, Step
It Up And Go, we have stated that there were no easily obtainable
records of these two bluesmen, certainly not in the UK. The chance that
Syd Barrett listened to one of their songs is very, very close to zero.
And, contrarious as we are, Syd didn’t contrive the term Pink Floyd
either, one of his beatnik friends did: Stephen Pyle. Syd borrowed the
line when he had to improvise a new name for his band.
Through The Prism is not a Pink Floyd biography, but a story about a man
called Po. Syd happens to be present from time to time. One day, he
takes some LSD in Storm's garden and is fascinated for hours by an
orange, a plum, and a box of matches. This event, ‘small as a molehill’,
has grown into a mountain over the years, but of course, Hipgnosis is to
blame for that. Storm turned the anecdote into a record cover (photo).
In late autumn 1969 Powell visits Syd's flat to take some publicity
shots for Madcap, the so-called yoga pictures. Aubrey writes that Storm
had taken the album cover shots a few weeks earlier. That is not wrong
if you go by Vulcan logic, but it has been established that the cover
shoot dates from April 1969. That is about 20 to 24 weeks earlier, not
'a few'. Not a word about Iggy the Eskimo, nor about the presence of
another photographer who was still their friend, but not for long: Mick
Rock (see also: Rock
The Syd chapter ends with the invention of the name Hipgnosis.
Powell testifies how they almost catch Syd red-handed, a pen in his
hand, seconds after he wrote HIP-GNOSIS on the white front door.
I always believed this was something of an urban legend, invented by
Storm and Po to give the name extra cachet, but if this testimony is
accurate it leaves no doubt that Syd was behind it.
As a young man, Aubrey Powell is more a hoodlum and a swindler than an
Jenner even has to bail him out of jail, but slowly he finds his way
as a photographer, helped by Storm. When Pink Floyd asks them for the
cover of A
Saucerful Of Secrets their career lifts off. That cover, actually a
collage of pop culture and esoteric images, is photographed in black and
white and coloured by hand afterwards (photo).
Heart Mother the Floyd want a non-psychedelic cover, so nothing like
The solution comes from conceptual artist John Blake, whose path they
will cross several times. Why not a cow? A cow it is (picture).
Equally uncharacteristic is the cover for The
Dark Side Of The Moon. Again it is Pink Floyd who want something
else, much to the annoyance of a stubborn Storm Thorgerson who tries to
push a picture of the Silver
Surfer. They find the prism concept in a popular science book and
because Storm and Po can't draw they ask George
Hardie to finish it (photo).
Dark Side is much more than a record, it is a worldwide recognisable
symbol and Powell gives some examples of how the record (and its sleeve)
have become instruments to protest against censorship and war.
Here, there and everywhere
You Were Here Hipgnosis devises some art, built around a theme of
absence and the number 4. Four like 4 members of the band, 4 elements
(earth, air, fire, water) and the 4 panels on a gatefold sleeve. Only,
the final product is packaged in a single sleeve, but one with a twist.
One day, it must have been the 5th of June 1975, an almost
unrecognisable Syd Barrett enters the office, asking where the band is.
Richard Evans, of the Hipgnosis crew, replies that they are probably at
Abbey Road. Po accompanies Syd to the street where he walks to Soho, ‘a
confused and forlorn figure’ (see also: Shady
The concept of the burning man puzzles Aubrey. How can he take a picture
of that? For Storm, the solution is simple: set him on fire. Even
better, set him on fire in America (photo).
Let’s remember folks, these are the golden days of rock. You wanna take
a pic of a pyramid. Fly to Egypt. You want to check a few lakes out. Fly
to California. All expenses paid, including the huge bill of ‘special
medicine’ to get through those lonesome nights.
Dark Side and Houses
of the Holy (Led
Zeppelin) make Hipgnosis nearly as big as the rock stars they
graphically represent (photo).
On a trip to Vegas Po stays in Frank Sinatra’s personal suite at Caesars
Palace. Escort girls and coke (not the soft-drink variety) are
included in the service, although Po claims he declines both offers.
Po loves the wide American scenery and trips to the USA are regularly
made. Hiring a plane to fly over the desert to find a great location: no
problem. Hiring a helicopter to shoot some pictures from the air: no
problem. Hiring figurants, actors, stuntmen, and props: no problem. Rock
‘n’ Roll pays well in the seventies.
Hipgnosis not only make fantastic covers, but they have some duds as
Stewart is so angry about the Time
Passages sleeve that he will never speak to Po again. Needless to
say that Hipgnosis lose a client that day (photo).
Obviously, the memoirs aren't about Pink Floyd alone. Peter
all have their entries. Po's stories about Led Zep, who have some
gangsters refurbished as bodyguards, are so unbelievable you might think
you have ended up in The Godfather. There’s some weird occult shit as
well, Jimmy Page was called the Dark Lord by the other members of the
The sleeve for Animals
is Roger Waters’ idea to begin with. Storm Thorgerson is (again) pissed
when his idea for a sleeve is downvoted and refuses to speak to Waters.
When Storm (in the book Walk Away Renée) calls the Animals sleeve a
Hipgnosis project it is up to Roger to be offended. The next Pink Floyd
albums, with Roger Waters at the helm, no longer have a Hipgnosis sleeve.
Despite the friction between Storm and Roger, Po Powell is commissioned
to supervise the shoot. He hires 8 photographers and asks Nigel Lesmoir
Gordon to coordinate some filming from a helicopter.
On the first day, Algie (the pig) refuses to soar to the skies and they
postpone the shooting for the next day. When the pig breaks free on day
two Powell suddenly realises he has forgotten to rebook the marksman to
shoot it down. It could’ve been a disaster, but luckily it isn’t.
Although unwanted, it will go down in history as the biggest rock
publicity stunt ever (photo).
The thing with Hipgnosis is that they want to realise their surreal
ideas in the real world. For a Wings Greatest
Hits album, it is Paul McCartney’s wish to have a picture of a Demétre
Chiparus statue standing in the snow on top of a mountain. Hipgnosis
flies the statue to Switzerland where it is transported by helicopter to
Glacier. The team consists of several photographers, mountain
rescuers and a pilot.
It is a great story, but frankly, the picture could have been made in
the studio with cotton balls for snow and a picture of the Matterhorn
as a backdrop (photo).
For a 10CC cover, Po wants to put a sheep on a sofa, by the sea. He
flies to Hawaii, where there is only one sheep on the entire island. He
has a sofa custom-made by a film props company (photo).
Powell shows his expense sheet for the shoot. It is £2,280 in 1980 money
or over £10,000 ($12,800/€11,800) today. The invoice to 10CC is double
No wonder Po starts behaving like the rock stars he frequents, including
a nasty habit with cocaine. Everybody who works with Storm Thorgerson
knows that he can be incredibly stubborn. With the rise of MTV, Aubrey
and Powell start a film company, but cracks are appearing in their
relationship. The amicable banter of the past is gone and Po goes his
way, becoming a successful filmmaker and creative director.
A New Machine
Years later they reconcile and when Storm realises he has not a long
time to live he suggests that Po must be the Floyd’s art director.
Powell is responsible for the successful Their
Mortal Remains exhibition and book. Internal Floyd wars make it
impossible to release a Mortal Remains compilation (not that anybody
needed an extra Pink Floyd record). We finally get the confirmation that The
Early Years box-set was going to include a miniature car but alas
the band has always been known for its greediness (my comment, not Po’s).
Through The Prism is not a detailed autobiography but a
collection of many (funny and interesting) anecdotes about Po’s
graphical output and his wacky clients. Powell stays rather vague about
his personal life and the relationship with Storm Thorgerson that was
very troubled for a couple of decades. Attentive readers though will
have the impression there is a new girlfriend or wife in every second
chapter. Rock ‘n’ Roll!
For the Pink Floyd, Led Zep, 10CC and Macca anorak there is more than
enough material to like this book, about those days when rock still was
the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
The charity single Hey,
Hey, Rise Up! has finally got a physical release and has hit first
place in the English charts, for about five minutes. If you are one of
these critics who don’t consider it a Pink Floyd song because Roger
Waters isn’t on it then I’ll politely tell you to fuck off. Roger
Waters is the man who backed up Putin days before Russia invaded
Ukraine. He’s a great artist but also an idiot. More in our review (that
paradoxically starts by saying it isn’t a Pink Floyd song) at: Hey,
Hey, Rise Up!
The B-side of the single is a partially re-recorded and remixed version
Great Day for Freedom and that is where a second war comes in. For
Carin was an amiable double spy, playing on records and live shows
of Pink Floyd, David
Gilmour and Roger Waters without any problems.
On an Italian Facebook page, Carin nicely summed up what is his problem
(taken from the Steve
Hoffman Music Forum, posted by Buran1988):
When I was asked to work on A Momentary Lapse Of Reason, you must
understand 4 things...
1) The band Pink Floyd did not exist. 2)
I wasn't working on it as a Pink Floyd record because it wasn't Pink
Floyd yet. 3) Pink Floyd wasn't there. 4) There were no songs at
all, we made them up or helped facilitate extremely rough ideas.
a few years later, it was similar, but now Rick & Nick were part of the
process, too. Rick and I were extremely close friends. At the time of
Division Bell, Rick & I were really hoping it would be a record like
Wish You Were Here. Maybe 4 extended songs. As Division Bell progressed,
the songs got shorter and poppier and Rick completely lost interest and
was quite upset at how it was turning out, and I was left to do most of
The irony that I completely agreed with Rick was
not lost on me. But with a looming deadline because of the tour that was
booked, that is how it went. It was way more complicated and nuanced
than that, but that's a general idea.
And just for the record, I
adored Rick and LOVED his playing. But sorry, that's me on much of
Division Bell. And the fact that the credits were completely wrong on
top of having slaved away on it for a year is quite insulting to me,
despite asking many times for them to be corrected over the past 30
years. And it would be very insulting to you if you were in my shoes. I
hope this helps to clarify things.
Rick Wright losing interest in The Division Bell is completely new to
me, although he complained in 2000 that there had been some issues over
copyrights and that he threatened to leave the recordings.
It came very close to a point where I wasn’t going to do the album
because I didn’t feel that what we’d agreed was fair. (Pigs Might Fly, p
While I have the greatest respect for Rick Wright as a musician, leaving
musical projects behind might have been something of a constant for him.
He did it on Zee's Identity,
and it has been rumoured - again by that same Jon Carin - that the
driving force behind the Broken
China album was Anthony
Moore. Carin also claims that Rick used sound libraries, programmed
by Jon, without mentioning it on his solo record.
A Slightly Faster Day
Let’s return to the Hey, Hey B-side: A Great Day for Freedom. Hear it
and see it first and we'll talk about it afterwards.
This new version mixes old elements from The Division Bell version with
new ones. Because Kit Rae can say it so much better than I can, I will
quote/paraphrase from him.
The tempo has been increased with about 7% (between 6,50 to 6,95%,
according to different people). The whole song is mixed and EQ'd
slightly different from the original. Overall it is a bit drier and more
upfront compared to the original mix, which has a lot more room/plate
The vocals were not completely rerecorded. Most of it is identical to
the original mix, but a few verses are not. David just mixed in some
vocals from a different take to make this mix a bit different. The whole
"ship of fools" through "paper doves in flight" verses are a different
take, and "now frontiers shift" is different, but the rest of the song
is the same take.
The guitar solo is identical to the original, just EQ'd differently. The
orchestra from the middle of the song and under the guitar solo has been
entirely removed. There are new backing vocals that start at the 3:08
mark, similar to the Meltdown
The four re-recorded lines for this song can be found on the 2nd
The ship of fools had finally run aground Promises lit up the
night Like paper doves in flight.
and during the 4th verse:
Now frontiers shift like desert sands.
Jerry Is Bored compared these with several David Gilmour sound tapes and
concludes that they have been recently recorded:
During the changed lines, an alternate take was used, but this take was
not recorded in 1994 as some have suggested. There is a marked
difference between David's voice in 1994 and his voice now. The replaced
lines in this new mix have that faint rasp in them, just like a lot of
David's other vocal recordings from recent years. If these alternate
takes had been recorded in 1994, they would sound smoother.
The official credits for the B-side (as printed on the single) are as
David Gilmour: Vocals, guitars, keyboards Nick
Mason: Drums Richard Wright: Keyboards Sam Brown, Claudia
Fontaine, Durga McBroom: Backing vocals
This was immediately ‘corrected’ by Jon Carin. He published ‘his’
version of the credits, but probably without listening to the new
version (that has no orchestration at all):
David Gilmour: guitar, bass and lead vocals Nick Mason: drums Jon
Carin: piano, Prophet V, B3 Gary Wallis: percussion & drums Ed
Shearmur: orchestration Durga, Claudia & Sam: backing vocals
As usual, this created some discussion between believers and
non-believers. The Pink Floyd fan-site Brain
Damage looked into the matter, and came up with this:
The recording, using the original drums and bass by Nick and David, has
keyboards by Rick and backing vocals by Claudia, Sam and Durga taken
from the Pulse rehearsals. New piano, Prophet 5 synthesiser and Hammond
are played by David, as on the original demo.
We've had it
confirmed by Pink Floyd management that the credits on the single are
100% correct. The piano was re-done, the main synth was from David
Gilmour's original demo, and the backing vocalists were added on to
replace the orchestra.
If one reads between the lines, this could mean that David Gilmour
replaced all of Jon Carin’s keyboard parts, just to make him shut up. In
clip, that accompanies the song, there is no trace of Jon Carin at
all. He has been wiped out with Stalinist scrutiny. (By the way, the
Rick Wright shots don’t match with the music at all).
It only adds to the mystery: is there any Rick Wright on this record at
State of Independence
The neutrality of the three big Pink Floyd fansites has been discussed
for ages, also here at the Church. We still haven’t forgotten that the Last
Minute Put Together Boogie Band release, with Syd Barrett, was never
mentioned on several of them.
Brain Damage has a history of only giving the Floyd’s official
viewpoints. Although Brain Damage writes the following: “We get no
funding, so every penny/cent helps keep the site running,” Jon Carin, in
a Facebook comment to me, insinuated something else. According to him
Matt, the webmaster of Brain Damage, is ‘an employee of the [Pink Floyd]
management, so there’s bias.”
It all depends on whether you look at Jon Carin as a session player or
as something more. Let’s go to Wikipedia
for a definition:
Session musicians, studio musicians, or backing musicians are musicians
hired to perform in recording sessions or live performances. (…) Session
musicians are usually not permanent or official members of a musical
ensemble or band. They work behind the scenes and rarely achieve
individual fame in their own right as soloists or bandleaders.
Session musicians have been omnipresent on the most prestigious records. Pet
Sounds would be nowhere without them.
A session musician can play on a track because the ‘official’ band
member can’t get it right. Just ask Nick Mason on Two
Suns In The Sunset or Charlie
Watts on You
Can't Always Get What You Want. Other studio musicians are hired for
‘doubling’, meaning they duplicate the work of a band-member note by
note, often to have a better sounding version.
This is where Jon Carin comes in. He was a hired hand, a stand-in for
Rick Wright when that last one wasn’t able to play, for whatever reason.
And if we may believe the rumours, Rick Wright found many reasons to not
appear in the studio. He did the same thing he did on The
Wall, go sailing when he was expected in the studio. The problem for Diet
Pink Floyd was that they couldn’t sack him a second time without looking
So they created this myth around Rick Wright which still is popular
today. A somewhat introverted musician who, invisible to most, shaped
the sound of Pink Floyd. For the release of the rerecorded and remixed
Momentary Lapse history was even ridiculously rewritten.
Arrangements and Copyrights
In music, so says Wikipedia, an arrangement
is a musical adaptation of an existing composition.
Pink Floyd has always looked at copyrights conservatively, meaning that
whoever comes up with a song gets the full credits.
Let’s take Money,
for example, boasted by Roger Waters as being his – and only his –
masterpiece. The two minutes and a half demo
of this song has an almost Delta
blues quality. David Gilmour played it on a radio show to
demonstrate the difference between a demo and the final product, adding
– somewhat wryly – if Roger Waters had put the guitar solo on sheet
paper before Gilmour recorded it.
The guitar and saxophone solo (by Dick
Parry) is what we call ‘arrangement’ and because Floyd uses a
conservative view on copyrights, neither Gilmour nor Parry get a slice
of the copyright pie.
Another Floydian example is Sheep,
from the album Animals.
It is credited to Roger Waters but throughout the song, there are
innovative keyboard parts from Rick Wright. For years fans have asked
why he didn’t get any credit for that. The answer is simple: it’s an
For The Division Bell, Rick Wright jammed with David Gilmour and Nick
Mason on about 65 pieces of music, cut down to 27 and later to 11. It
was at a later stage that Jon Carin was brought in to give shape to the
tracks. Carin was hired for his chameleon abilities, his mission was to
sound like Rick, who lost interest, partly due to copyright problems
(Rick Wright was never a full member of the band, despite the smooth PR
While a session musician can add an anecdote or two when he is
interviewed or writes a book (see My
Bass and Other Animals by Guy
Pratt for a perfect example) it is not done to air the dirty
laundry. Except perhaps for those biographers who thrive on that sort of
shit. And that rag called The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit,
Lennyif (at Hoffman's Music Forum) describes it well: “Carin comes off
like he is tap dancing on Wright's grave now.” Guy Pratt has remarked
the following on Rick’s birthday: “And there are those who would try and
belittle him and take his credit when he’s not here to speak for
I can understand that Jon Carin has a (financial) problem with David
Gilmour and that he wants to ventilate that to the outside world. But
instead of doing exactly that he besmirches the image of his ‘extremely
close friend’ Rick Wright.
It probably is not a coincidence that Jon Carin belongs to the Roger
Waters camp now and that he has joined Waters’ This Is Not A drill’
tour. Roger Waters, if you may remember, is the idiot who defends war
criminals and makes a million bucks out of it.
If we can say one thing, it is that Jon Carin should be more careful
chosing his friends. Let's end this article on a more positive note,
Many thanks to: Big Pasi, Buran1988, Jon Carin, Geoffers, Jerry Is
Bored, Kit Rae, Lennyif, Matt (Brain Damage), MOB, Nipote, Guy Pratt and
all the beautiful people on Steve Hoffman's Music Forum and Yeeshkul! ♥
Libby ♥ Iggy ♥