A Great Day for Fighting
Hey, Hey, Rise Up!
Good news and bad news in Pink Floyd land.
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 of A Great Day for Freedom and that is where a second war comes in. For years Jon Carin was an amiable double spy, playing on records and live shows of Pink Floyd, David Gilmour and Roger Waters without any problems.
But when the box-set The Later Years, with a re-recorded and remixed A Momentary Lapse Of Reason, came out, something changed. Suddenly Jon Carin claimed – quite aggressively – that most keyboard parts on The Division Bell and The Endless River, credited to Rick Wright, were his work. This made him persona non grata in the Gilmour camp. (For more info, see: Not Now Jon)
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.
And 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 keyboards.
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 355.)
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.
Link for recalcitrant browsers: https://youtu.be/H__12YV8miY
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 reverb.
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 version.
The four re-recorded lines for this song can be found on the
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 follows:
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 the video 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 all?
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 ridiculous.
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 arrangement.
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 talks).
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, obviously.
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 himself.”
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, shall we?
Link for recalcitrant browsers: https://youtu.be/iHEDduKMGqA
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 ♥
Blake, Mark: Pigs Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2013, p. 355.
Pink Floyd new song - “Hey Hey Rise Up” at Steve Hoffman's Music Forum.
Pink Floyd's A Great Day For Freedom 2022 - video at Brain Damage
Pink Floyd's A Great Day For Freedom 2022 at Brain Damage