The History Of Pink Floyd
Three friends; George Roger Waters (guitar), Richard Wright (keyboards), & Nick Mason (drums) (all students at the Regent Street School Of Polytechnics), formed a band called Sigma 6. Unsuccessful to get famous, The band changed their name to The Tea Set's. Later in middle 1965, the band became The Abdads, with new members Clive Metcalf on bass guitar, and Keith Nobles and Juliette Gale on backup vocals. The band changed their name to both The Screaming Abdads, and The Architectural Abdabs. In 1966, Julliette Gale married Rick Wright and The Abdabs broke up. Later that year George legally changed his name to Roger. In Autumn 1966, the band became Sigma 6 again, Roger switched to bass guitar, and they recruited 2 guitar players; Bob Klose and Roger Syd Barrett.
Before long they changed their name to The Pink Floyd Sound because while going under the name The Tea Set's in 1965 they found themselves on the same bill as another band with the same name, Barrett came up with the alternative name The Pink Floyd Sound, derived from the first names of two obscure blues musicians, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council ( and from the names of his cats).
Later that year, Bob Close left the band. The band finally had a chance to record their first single, Arnold Layne, a song about a crazy transvestite who steals women's clothes. Before long, they dropped the words "The" and "Sound" in the name and made their first album, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. The studio rented out to make the album, was right down the hall from where The Beatles were recording Sgt. Peppers,at abby road studios so the band got to know The Beatles .
The band had a subsequent tour scheduled for the U.S.A., but Syd got very sick from being stoned on LSD (better know as acid). His LSD addiction helped his imagination to write songs, but around the time of A Saucerful Of Secrets, his drug habits were out of control.
By the end of 1967, Syd was becoming to spaced out for his writings. The band considered getting a replacement for Syd. They recruited David Gilmour, an old friend of Roger and Syd's. Syd got guitar lessons from David in Grammar and High School.
David was recruited to cover for Syd on stage. If Syd were to make a mistake, David would fill the gap, and fix it. That didn't work out. David would cover for Syd on stage while Syd stayed behind stage and wrote songs. That didn't work out.
The band tried as hard as they could to keep Syd in the band, but his acid addiction took control of him and he went crazy. The band finally decided to kick out Syd. So on the way to a show one night they didn't pick him up. Goodbye Syd Barret.
In 1968, the band continued on without Syd. This was a major tragedy in England, but not in America. Another major tragedy was when David Gilmour's Telecaster was stolen in Chicago. Later that year, the band played a gig in France, and one of the attendees of the show was famous French hippie movie director, Barbet Schroder. He asked Pink Floyd to do the soundtrack to his next picture, More, which would come out in 1969. The band also had an unreleased rock opera the played on-stage, called The Man and The Journey, which they took 3 songs from for the More Soundtrack; Sleep/Nightmare (which would become Cymbaline), Green Is The Colour, and Death (which both parts of the song became both Main Theme and Dramatic Sequence).
The album and movie would be a success in Europe and Britian. The band retired The Man and The Journey before being recorded, but used one song from the album called The Narrow Way. Barbet Schroder would ask the band to do another soundtrack for another movie in 1972 called La Vallee, known in America and Britian as The Valley Obscured By Clouds.
In late 1969, Pink Floyd released a Double Album called Ummagumma. The first disc consisted of live tracks from various live performances in 1969. The second disc consisted of solo studio tracks by each member of the band.
In early 1970, Pink Floyd released their newest album Atom Heart Mother, with an orchestra playing on the 23-minute-plus title track. The band toured extensively with the orchestra supporting the album.
In early 1971, Pink Floyd's executive producer Joe Boyd, made a compilation album of both released and unreleased material from Pink Floyd's past. It was called Relics. While this was going on, Pink Floyd was in the middle of making their new album Meddle with another 23-minute-plus song called Echoes.
In early 1972, Pink Floyd was asked again to do another soundtrack for a movie called La Vallee or The Valley Obscured By Clouds, hence the name Obscured By Clouds came about.
After Obscured by Clouds was finshed, Pink Floyd took a plane to Rome, where they took a bus to Pompeii, one of the 2 cities destroyed by Mount Vesuvius 2000 years ago. There they filmed a private concert, playing some of their best material. The video was called Live At Pompeii, which also included footage behind the making of the album Dark Side Of The Moon.
During the time that Floyd was making Obscured By Clouds, they had written a 45-minute opus of songs that they played live. This opus was called Eclipse. It was mainly focused on society and how it alienates, controls, and destroys daily life. The original name for the opus was supposed to be Dark Side Of The Moon, but the British Blues band Medicine Head released an album the previous year of the same name. So they let the name go, until they heard that the Medicine Head album flopped on Billboard charts, so they revamped the name Dark Side Of The Moon and also wrote an end song for the opus which was called Eclipse. They turned their opus into an album in 1973, called Dark Side Of The Moon. It is the second highest selling rock record in history, compared to Michael Jackson's Thriller.
To follow up their success to Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd made Wish You Were Here. The album was dedicated to original lyricist and guitar player Syd Barret. During late recording of the album, Syd actually showed up to congratulate them on their success with Dark Side Of The Moon, although at first they didn't recognize him because he had gained alot of weight. During that tour they wrote yet another opus, but this one was mostly instrumental. This opus turned out to be Shine On You Crazy Diamond. It was split into 2 halves because it was too long to fit on one side of the record. During this tour Pink Floyd performed Dark Side Of The Moon in it's entirety again.
After the success of Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd took off for a year and a half to make a new album. This album was based on the aristocratic and communist lifestyles in the world. Each type of person was loosely based on an animal. And this album became Animals. Dogs were the creepy rulers of industry, Pigs were the communist tyrants, Sheep were the common folk, always being brainlessly led by the Dogs and Pigs, and Pigs On The Wing was a love song that Roger wrote to his new wife, Carolyn, the niece of the Duke of York. For the tour the band recruited Dick Parry for saxophone and Snowy White on rhythm guitar. On July 6th, 1977 in Montreal, Quebec, the last show of the Animals tour, a fan was screaming relentlessy and climbing his way up towards the stage. Roger spit on him to show disgustment. After the show, Roger felt bad about this, and escaped back to his hotel room and started writing new music, about how much he and the audience have come apart.
In late 1978, Pink Floyd met together to discuss new projects, after David and Rick made solo albums. Roger presented 2 projects in demo form. The first project was rejected, that project turned out to be, Roger Waters' solo album, The Pros and Cons of Hitch-hiking. But the second project was taken, that project was The Wall. Roger had enough songs for 3 discs, but he had to get rid of a bunch of songs. November 30, 1979, The Wall is released in the UK, and the fans love it. December 5, 1979, The Wall is released in the US, and again, the fans love itt. For the tour they recruit Andy Bown on 2nd Bass Guitar, Snowy White on Rhythm Guitar in 1980, Andy Roberts on Rhythm Guitar in 1981, Peter Woods on Keyboards, Richard Wright on Keyboards, and Jon Joyce, Stan Farber, Jim Haas, & Joe Chemay on Backing Vocals.
February 26th, 1980, Pink Floyd premiers The Wall Tour in Nassau Coliseum, on Long Island New York. October 1980, Pink Floyd premiers The Wall Tour in Earl's Court in London. January 1981, Pink Floyd plays The Wall in Los Angeles. April 1981, Pink Floyd Plays The Wall Show 4 times in Westfallenhalle in Dortmund, Germany. August 1981, Pink Floyd plays The Wall at Earl's Court London again, and their tour is over by September.
In 1982, Rick Wright left the band for good. Pink Floyd recuited new Keyboard Players for a new project called, Spare Bricks, A Collection Of Unrealeased Songs intended for The Wall but were scratched. The new Keyboard Players were Michael Kamen on Piano, and Harmonium, and Andy Bown on organ, and synthesizer.
Roger had plans to tour for the new album in November 1983, but because of tensions between each member, Roger cancelled those plans, and changed the name of the album to The Final Cut, which it probably would be if David and Nick left, but they didn't.
In 1984, the band went their own seperate ways, Rick Wright made a solo project with Dave Harris called Zee-Identity, David Gilmour made a new solo album called About Face, and Roger Waters made The Pros and Cons Of Hitch-hiking. In 1986, David Gilmour talked to Nick Mason about getting the band back together. This caused a major law suit. Roger Waters, sued David and Nick for the rights to the music, and the band name itself. Roger lost the case because Pink Floyd was never anything put into writing, but Roger was given the rights to perform Pink Floyd music at his concerts and was given ownership of The Wall and The Final Cut.
In later 1986, Dave and Nick set out to make the new album, A Momentary Lapse Of Reason. They recruited an array of Musicians for the album like King Crimson's Bass Player Tony Levin, Roxy Music's Guitar Player Phil Manzenara, Vanilla Fudge's drummer Carmine Appice, Richard Wright on Keyboards and about 20 others. They took off for the road, in later 1987 under the name Pink Floyd. They recruited Gary Wallis for Drums and Percussion, Guy Pratt on bass guitar, Jon Carin on keyboards, Tim Renwick on Guitar, and the "cre`me de la cre`me" of the show, the return of Richard Wright. The 3-Year Tour concluded in August 1990, when Pink Floyd played at The Knebworth Festival.
The Band took a 3 year Hiatus from Touring and Recording in 1990.
Pink Floyd started recording in 1993 for their new album, The Division Bell. Richard Wright was finally back fully with the band. The band toured for 6 months. The Tour Ended after a series of 12 shows at Earl's Court London, and during their tour of Europe, David Gilmour married his girlfriend Polly Samson. For this tour they did something they hadn't done in about 20 years, they played Dark Side Of The Moon in it's entirety.
Pink Floyd released a live album and video on their Division Bell tour, both featured with live Dark Side Of The Moon. The band was successful once more.
In 1996, Pink Floyd was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame by Billy Corgan on January 17,1996,at the Waldorf-Astoria in N.Y.C. Gilmour, Wright, and Mason performed Wish You Were Here with Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins.Pink Floyd has made a new live album in (2000) "Is There Anybody Out There? The Wall Live" A Pink Floyd double album from recordings of Pink Floyd performing The Wall in London's Earls Court in August 1980 and June 1981.
Roger Waters toured in 1999 and 2000, he made a new live album called In The Flesh he also put the show on DVD, In The Flesh-Live.
In Late 2001, Pink Floyd including Roger Waters with producer James Guthrie, made a new compilation album called "Echoes:The Best Of Pink Floyd" Although Floyd never did well with Compilations or greatest hits albums, this album was remastered as one continuous song and did well in the charts at #2 it spent 26 weeks on the Billboard 200 charts
On July 02, 2005, Pink Floyd reunited with Roger Waters for a one-off performance at Live 8 in London's Hyde Park, which was regarded by many as the highlight of an astonishing show.
Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett passed away on July 7th, reportedly due to complications from diabetes. Barrett formed Pink Floyd with Roger Waters, Richard Wright and Nick Mason in 1965; the band would soon be known for pushing the boundaries of rock music with early singles like "See Emily Play" and "Arnold Layne." Barrett left the band soon after their debut LP, the classic Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, which included "Astronomy Domine" and "Interstellar Overdrive." He released two solo albums in 1970, and lived in seclusion ever since. Despite the brevity of his career, he was a huge influence on a number of artists including David Bowie, R.E.M., The Flaming Lips, and his former bandmates, who dedicated the song "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" to him.
May 10, 2007
Pink Floyd performed last night (May 10) in London in honour of the late Syd Barrett.
However a full reunion of all the remaining members did not happen on the night, despite them all being in the same building.
Roger Waters and David Gilmour, who famously fell out in the 1980s, appeared separately at the tribute gig at London's Barbican Centre.
Gilmour was joined by the band's drummer Nick Mason and keyboard player Rick Wright, while Waters performed solo.
Rumours of a full reunion have been rife ever since Waters and Gilmour put their differences behind them to perform at Live8 in 2005.
However Waters did not join in the final performance of 'Bike', which featured all the evening's other performers, including Damon Albarn and Chrissie Hynde.
Gilmour, Mason and Wright performed 'Arnold Layne' while Waters played his own song, 'Flickering Flame'.
Syd Barrett died in July 2006 aged 60 from complications arising from diabetes.
Keyboardist Rick Wright died of cancer at the age of 65 in September 2008. Wright was a primary architect (along with Barrett) of the band's early experimental sound. In recent years, Wright had frequently toured and recorded with David Gilmour. On his website, Gilmour wrote, "Like Rick, I don't find it easy to express my feelings in words, but I loved him and will miss him enormously."