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Pink Floyd at 50: further reader recollections and thoughts Print E-mail
Written by Matt   
Tuesday, 17 March 2015

pink_floyd_1965.pngOur pages marking the 50th anniversary of Pink Floyd and asking for your thoughts, feelings and memories have clearly been very popular. We've had a great response via email and Facebook, and wanted to include even more here for everyone to enjoy.

We asked various questions, relating to the band's golden anniversary. What have been your Pink Floyd highlights - either the moments in their career you consider most significant, or the moments you remember best on a personal level? Did you see them live? Any special memories of that, or of hearing any of the albums for the first time? Any amusing stories? And, have you ever met any of the band? If so, please share the experience for those who haven't!

Below we start with a detailed, and fascinating piece from one of our Norwegian friends, with plenty of cherished memories. We'll be adding other submissions to this page too. We look forward to hearing from you if you've yet to join in with your memories. You can either email us at the normal address ( This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ), or join the conversation over at the Brain Damage Facebook page or our Twitter page. We're looking forward to seeing your responses!

Thoughts from BD contributor, JT, Oslo, Norway:

Music in general, but Pink Floyd in particular, is an extremely important part of my life. For me the music of Floyd is something that touches me in so many levels. It goes straight to my inner soul and evokes feelings I can’t control. Putting on a record and just dive into it and just get lost in all the emotions is a wonderful, but also a bit frightening thing to experience. Even more so hearing the band, or band members, perform it live and just lose contact with the real world...

As I was born in 1967 I was a bit too young to catch the early days of the band. Although having an early interest in music I did not really get into Floyd until the late seventies. Mostly due to all the people that was my source to music at the time was listening to other artists and other types of music. However, when I got into Floyd it was finding a love for life, and after a while it sparked the collector in me as well...

When I first fell in love with the music of Floyd my hopes of ever getting to see the band live was not great. The band did not do too many gigs and they were starting to fall apart at the time. Also in the late seventies and early eighties, many artists did not come to Norway on their tours due to difficult and expensive logistics. It was not as easy, or as affordable, for people to travel far to see a band in those days as it is today. But even if it had been possible I was probably too young to travel far on my own anyway at that time...

With this in mind, I must say I am overwhelmed and extremely grateful for all the Pink Floyd related things I have had the opportunity to take part in it over the years, and I really treasure all these memories… so, in addition to enjoying this fantastic music on a regular basis, here are my most memorable Pink Floyd related moments:

➢ My first really mind blowing encounter with the music was seeing ‘Live at Pompeii’ on TV in 1978 – I was hooked! Then “going deep” into their back catalogue and totally falling in love with the music, especially Animals (still my favourite album of all times), Meddle and Atom Heart Mother.

➢ The release of ‘The Wall’ in ’79. I got it on cassette around Christmas (swopped it for the Smokie ‘Greatest Hits’ vinyl) and played it constantly on my little mono cassette player for a few months until the tape was “eaten” by the cassette player... then I got the vinyl.

➢ In 1981 I had just started working part time in a record store when ‘A Collection of Great Dance Songs’ was released. Being allowed to play it loud in the store as a sales technique was great ☺

➢ Going to the best cinema in Oslo in 1982 and see ‘The Wall’ nine times in the first fortnight after it’s release, also “stealing” a lot of advertising posters on the Oslo underground and use them more or less as complete wallpaper in my bedroom...

➢ Skipping school on March 21st 1983 to pick up ‘The Final Cut’. Was waiting in the record store that Monday morning when it arrived from EMI’s warehouse. Then it was straight home and blasting it on my stereo.

➢ The excitement and joy of getting tickets to the Oslo show in 1988 after camping out for 20hrs and then experience my first Floyd show in August that year – The feeling was so massive that my mind went blank when the first tones of ‘Shine on’ came out of the PA and I do not recall anything else then that I was floating, a rather strange but incredible feeling. I do definitely not need any drugs to be spaced out...just give me this great music...

➢ Pink Floyd live in Oslo, August 1994 – Two nights

➢ Roger Waters live in Oslo, May 2002

➢ Live 8 Hyde Park London, July 2005

➢ David Gilmour live in Paris, March 2006 – Two shows Meeting Richard Wright and David Gilmour in Paris, getting the cd booklet of ‘Atom Heart Mother’ signed by Wright and a copy of ‘On an Island’ signed by both Gilmour and Wright.

➢ David Gilmour live in Amsterdam, March 2006 – Two shows

➢ David Gilmour live in London, May 2006 – Three shows Meeting Nick Mason after the last show outside The Royal Albert Hall, getting my Japan vinyl replica cd of ‘Animals’ signed.

➢ Roger Waters live in Oslo, June 2006

➢ September 15th 2008 Getting the news from a friend that Richard Wright had passed away. It was like loosing a family member...

➢ Meeting Storm Thorgerson at his exhibition in London, July 2010. Having a fantastic but rather surreal experience being dragged into a discussion with Storm and Peter Curzon about which of the Division Bell covers that are best (stone or metal heads images). Storm told that he and David Gilmour initially disagreed and argued about this and it was Gilmour’s idea to use the stone heads. Storm wanted to use the metal heads. He claimed that Gilmour eventually admitted that Storm was right. Also being asked what I thought of one of the large “liquid Dark Side” designs that was brought direct from the printers, so I was seeing it when Storm saw it for the first time. As a huge fan of the designs from Storm Studios, both Floyd and non-Floyd related art, this was quite an experience ☺ Was probably a bit star struck so I forgot to get anything signed by the great man...

➢ Roger Waters live in Oslo, April/May 2011 – Two shows On the second night there was some technical problem with the “hotel room” on the wall and while waiting for the problem to be solved Roger Waters did come out in front of the wall and told some stories and did sort of a bit of stand up. They didn’t get the problem fixed so he had to go on just sitting on a stool in front of the wall instead in the hotel room.

➢ Roger Waters live in London, May 2011 - Three shows Seeing David Gilmour on top of the wall at the O2 on May 12th – FANTASTIC! Meeting Roger Waters after the show the same night and got his signature on my Japan vinyl replica cd of ‘The Wall’.

➢ David Gilmour at Douglas Adams virtual 60th party, March 2012

➢ Meeting Storm Thorgerson again at his exhibition in London, July 2012. This time I had the opportunity to buy a limited signed print of the “red flag” version of ‘The Division Bell’. I also got Storm to sign his book ‘The Raging Storm’ and the ‘Atom Heart Mother’ cover that Richard Wright signed for me in 2006. When Storm signed next to the signature of Wright he looked rather emotional – only nine months later we lost Storm too...

➢ Roger Waters live in Oslo, August 2013 – Two shows

➢ Roger Waters live in London, September 2013.

...And then - a nice surprise when we got the news of a “new” Floyd record last year and now we’re just waiting for new music and the tour from David Gilmour (I've managed to get tickets to three of the shows in RAH in September!), and maybe something new from Roger Waters as well... or at least ‘The Wall’ on dvd/blue-ray?

Whatever happens, for me everything that has happened after the release of ‘The Final Cut’ I consider a bonus, and it has been some extremely great bonuses over the years ☺

Thoughts from BD contributor, Vlado Marcinek:

I'm one of those lucky ones who touched the good music at very early age and stuck with it ever since. I was only 11 when Pink Floyd played in Earls Court during their Division Bell tour. It was broadcasted live on TV and my father recorded it on VHS tape and would watch it very often. That was, I recall, my very first touch with Pink Floyd although I didn't understand the music nor the lyrics as I didn't speak English back then.

During the following years I was exploring their back catalogue, learning English, trying to play the guitar like you-know-who and was pretty sure I wouldn't see them live ever. That was partly true.

By the way, The Division Bell was the first CD I'd ever bought. Being raised in times with no internet what a thrill it was to open the booklet and see brilliant pictures with full lyrics! (There are some differences between the original booklet from 1994 and the remastered version from 2011.)

The next one was Pulse. A box with flashing LED light still blinking in my living room. I'm still looking at it in awe. It's just amazing.

I've spent enormous time with The Wall, which would be my favourite one followed by The Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here.

As I grew older, I've managed to see Roger three times. The Dark Side tour in 2007 – absolutely brilliant and The Wall performance twice later on, which makes it the best concert experience for me ever. No words to describe how fantastic it was. Prior to the concert I managed to meet the man himself and he signed my copy of The wall CD for me. I was in heaven.

I've also had great pleasure meeting Gerald Scarfe during his exhibition in Prague and it was no surprise for me what a great gentleman, professional and kind person he is. Another day to remember.

The future as well holds some treats as I'm the lucky owner of a ticket to David's concert in Germany later this year. David is my guitar hero and the reason why I picked up the guitar when I was a teenager. You can imagine how excited I am! One more thing. I'd never quite understood why some fans could only love one particular era of the band's long history or why they would not like any particular album.

The last album The Endless River is a great example. There were various reasons which made it an easy target for haters, but I think it's a great recording by all means. Different in a good way, brave you could say, chilling. I'm sure time will tell and prove it's a fantastic work. Haters have always been here, haven't they?

All in all it's just…the greatest band there ever was!

Thoughts from BD contributor, Paul Dawson:

My first Floyd gig was their legendary Albert Hall performance at the end of the Auximines tour in 1969. I had no great expectations - I simply went along to see what they were like. I was quite keen on classical electronic music - Stockhausen etc - and I was thrilled to encounter a rock equivalent. The Azimuth Coordinator corresponded to what Stockhausen called Spatial Modulation and the flow into and out of free form music was masterly. The main concert ended with Rick on the pipe organ for Saucerful and Set The Controls was the encore. It was - and remains - the greatest rock concert I ever saw.

Last year, I was waiting at JFK baggage collection alongside Roger. I was tempted to share this opinion with him, but it occurred to me that it was tantamount to saying they'd gone downhill over the following 45 years. I'm afraid I belong to that minority which regards their pre Dark Side work as their best.

Thoughts and picture from BD contributor, Paul Giblin:

Paul Giblin - Pink Floyd at 50 submissionI was introduced to Floyd when a student supply teacher played side one of the Wish You Were Here album to my usually very unruly comprehensive school class in 1975 when I was 13. I'd never heard music like it before and was instantly hooked and did lots of surreal drawings inspired by the epic tracks. I've been a Floydhead ever since, and saw The Wall once in 1980, then four more times in 1981, then saw them on the Momentary Lapse tour.

I regret missing the Division Bell tour but made sure we had a family outing with my wife and two kids to see Roger do The Wall again - and my kids loved it!

For my fifitieth birthday a couple of years ago I recreated Echoes with Toby Marks from Banco de Gaia on live guitar, my wife on vocals and myself deejaying on five decks (three Cds, 2 vinyl) complete with Crystal Voyager and Walking With Dinosaurs projections. I have also hosted twenty hours of solid Floyd as part of my personal Floyd journey on my community radio show and have yet to finish that saga.

Thank you so much for your work at Brain Damage, and of course to the five guys whose music has given me so much pleasure for so long.

 
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