Just over five years ago, Mark Blake's excellent book Pigs Might Fly: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd (known as Comfortably Numb in the US) was published. Drawing on his own interviews with all of the band members, plus almost a
hundred new interviews with the group's friends, road crew, producers,
designers, former housemates and university colleagues, the book is from
our perspective, a superb, incredibly detailed, and essential look at
the band's history. Our review of the original edition here.
Yesterday - March 8th, 2013 - a new, fully updated edition of the book was published by Aurum. We've carefully gone through the new edition, comparing it with the original. As you'll see below, with an additional chapter detailing their most
recent activities, additional interview material, and various amendments
throughout the book, the new edition should prove an indispensable
addition to your bookshelves.
Read on to find out how the new edition differs, how to order your copy, and how to be in with a chance of winning one of FIVE copies of the book, too!
The majority of the book sees few changes - the odd, minor correction, the slight editing of things like the passage describing when the Cambridge contingent moved down to London (more for flow than anything else), slight clarification of points that have been considered since the original editions were published, or indeed sadly acknowledging the deaths of various people in recent years.
Elsewhere, you get some additional recollections, such as David Gilmour recalling the BBC moon landing show, which included the Floyd performing Moonhead whilst a panel of scientists shared the studio with them, which must have felt rather strange to the band - young men at the time, performing a jam on a show with deep scientific significance, with experts in their field looking on. Since the original edition, too, mystery girl Iggy "The Eskimo", cover co-star of The Madcap Laughs, has appeared back in public, and her thoughts on Syd Barrett are included.
Later, additional thoughts from Gilmour gives more balance to the Final Cut and About Face segment of the story. There's also an amount of revision and expansion over the situation when early Momentary Lapse demos were presented, again giving a more rounded view to things.
The biggest addition, of course, is the new twelfth chapter. The original left off at the 2007 Barbican concert celebrating the life of Syd Barrett, a show that was to be Richard Wright's penultimate live performance. His final live performance, of course, was the jam as part of Gilmour's Remember That Night DVD launch at the Odeon, on London's Leicester Square, in September the same year. Blake's story picks up four years later with Gilmour and Nick Mason guesting at Waters' O2 Wall concert, noting the obvious absence of their Floyd bandmate Wright.
His sad passing, and his final years, are covered and discussed with the aid of the likes of Mason and Gilmour's comments, and Waters' official statement about Richard's passing. This expands into a consideration of the possibilities (or not) of bands such as Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin doing reunions of various sizes. As we know, the Live 8 appearance did not pave the way for further future collaborations, and the story develops with an explanation over how the modern day Wall concerts came about, and how the tour grew and took in some interesting venues and, in turn, its fair share of controversy.
The trials and tribulations of EMI are detailed, from the January 2010 court case brought by Pink Floyd to stop the record company from selling individual tracks for download (taking them out of the context of their host albums), to the eventual sell-off of the various parts of EMI which has caused a (hopefully temporary) halt to the Immersion releases. The Why Pink Floyd? campaign itself is discussed, as is Mason's contribution to the 2012 London Olympics, a fascinating look behind the scenes of Gilmour's guest slot at the O2, and a hint at the future for Waters and Gilmour on the solo front.
If you've yet to buy Mark Blake's book about Pink Floyd, there's never been a better time. With its rounded, pretty impartial view of things, and the level of detail provided by the key protagonists themselves directly to the author in various interviews he's done with them over the years, either for magazines, or specifically for this book, it really does seem to be an essential read for all Floyd fans. With the additional chapter, matters have been brought pretty much right up to date, giving a fascinating look at the story of Pink Floyd - as it currently stands...
To secure your copy of this essential book, you can order now through these direct links:
Amazon UK, Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon France, Amazon Germany, Amazon Espana and Amazon Italy.
We have no less than five copies of this new edition of Blake's book to give away in our latest competition. To be in with a chance of winning a copy,
take a look at the new cover of the book, which shows the iconic inflatable pig between some very recognisable chimneys. You need to tell us the exact date that a young relative of the original Algie flew again at London's Battersea Power Station.
Send this date via email, along with your name, address, and contact phone number, to
by 11:59pm GMT on March 20th. Just one entry per household, please, and good luck!
UPDATE - winners: The draw has now been made of the lucky winners of this book, who all knew that the pig flew again on September 26th, 2011. A copy will be in the mail soon to the following people:
- Jack Alexander, Guildford, UK
- Giannis Kantzios, Ioannina, Greece
- Mike Greene, British Forces overseas
- Michael Pittman, Wyoming, USA
- Satya Iyer, Mumbai, India
Congratulations to the above, and better luck next time to the many who weren't so fortunate.