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October 1st 1998 - David Letterman/Late Show Print E-mail

About his book "At The Limit" ("Into The Red" in the UK) - October 1st 1998

Nick Mason interview on David Letterman Late ShowDavid Letterman: Please welcome Nick Mason. Welcome to the show. Have we met before? Were you on the old show at NBC? Or is this your first time?

Nick Mason: Sadly, no. I, this is my first time.

David Letterman: Well, good to have you here. Tell, tell us about, ah, ah, Pink Floyd. Are they together, are they not together, are they touring, are they recording, are they not, are they, are they not together and recording, are they not together and touring?

Nick Mason: Which one would you like me to answer first?

David Letterman: Well, what is the current status of the group?

Nick Mason: We're still together, but we're not working very hard at the moment.

David Letterman: And, when you *do* work, what is it, it's like you go out, you do a tour, and you make a *billion* dollars?

Nick Mason: Well, we certainly hope so, yeah. It's...it's a curious existance.

David Letterman: How long, how long have, has the group been together? How long have you been the drummer? From the beginning?

Nick Mason: I've been the drummer from the beginning.

David Letterman: My God! It's amazing, considering when you guys started, that any of you are still alive, isn't it? I mean...

Nick Mason: (Laughs)

David Letterman: When you think about it, you know what I mean?

Nick Mason: Possibly, yep.

David Letterman: 'Cos you guys started when, you know, it was really something else going on besides music, you know?

Nick Mason: (Laughs) Absolutely.

David Letterman: Now, tell us about your, ah, I learned something today about you I didn't know, your father, your father was a...ah...a race driver, is that right? A club racer, kind of thing?

Nick Mason: A club racer, he made films about, still does indeed, about, er, motor sport. He used to race himself, and of course that's where I got the bug from. 'Cos I was taken to watch.

David Letterman: When you were a kid. What age were you when you went to your first race?

Nick Mason: Probably...six or seven.

David Letterman: It makes, ah, it makes quite a vivid impression, doesn't it? Your first race, that first experience.

Nick Mason: It certainly does, yeah.

David Letterman: Because it's a combination of the sound, the sight, certainly.

Nick Mason: Mmm.

David Letterman: And the smell. The smell of a race car is wonderful. Absolutely glorious.

Nick Mason: Fantastic. I mean, it's one of the things in the book that we, ah, actually talked about doing was a scratch'n'sniff...

David Letterman: Yeah.

Nick Mason: ...piece for it, but, that was, that was too difficult.

David Letterman: Yeah. They smell different than rental cars.

Nick Mason: (Laughs) Yes.

David Letterman: Don't go to Hertz expecting the same thing. That's a whole different sensation. Ah, the book is a collection of what exactly? What did, how did you have to qualify as a car to get in this book?

Nick Mason: Er, basically you had to be owned by me.

David Letterman: (Laughs)

Nick Mason: That was the criteria.

David Letterman: All thse cars are in your possession?

Nick Mason: Absolutely.

David Letterman: Oh, my goodness! Good Heavens!

Nick Mason: You could look at it as a sort of sales catalogue.

David Letterman: And when you started collecting automobiles, what was the first acquisition?

Nick Mason: Ah, I think the first car I got was a 1927 Austin 7.

David Letterman: I have no idea what that is.

Nick Mason: Okay, tiny - it's the English equivilant of a Model T Ford.

David Letterman: Mmm. And, ah, oh, and you have, you have a Model T, don't ya?

Nick Mason: I certainly do. It's probably the most dangerous car in the collection. I mean, most of these cars are, ah, racing cars.

David Letterman: Yeah.

Nick Mason: And capable of 200 plus.

David Letterman: This is pretty exciting, when I read this I couldn't believe it, but it's true. Is it absolutely true?

Nick Mason: It is true.

David Letterman: Tell the people the heritage of this car.

Nick Mason: Well, this car has a terrific history, and its previous owners were apparently Laurel and Hardy, and an English clown called Coco. And it's one of those extraordinary things where, actually everything on the car goes wrong, and is *meant* to.

David Letterman: Right.

Nick Mason: So, it's rather unusual, you take it in for a service and you complain if the doors *don't* fall off.

David Letterman: So, the doors all fall off, the radiator explodes...

Nick Mason: The radiator, yeah...

David Letterman: It drives itself...

Nick Mason: It drives itself, the back falls down, and the passenger seat goes ten foot up in the air. Which is quite alarming.

David Letterman: (Laughs)

Nick Mason: But it's unspeakably dangerous, and in fact, the guys who operate it have the most terrible wounds to show.

David Letterman: I would think so.

Nick Mason: Becuase, what happens is you fall out the back, and the car then carries on going and goes round, and if you set it up wrongly, it runs you over.

David Letterman: (Laughs) Well, that's no good. [Points to the car on the front of the book] And, ah, this is, is this the car that I saw you, I watched some video tape of you racing today, at ah, it looked like Silverstone, is this, was this the car you were in?

Nick Mason: That's right, the GTO.

David Letterman: This car is worth, I dunno, 3 to 5 million dollars, something like that?

Nick Mason: Um, yeah, we hope so, I mean, it sort of goes up and down a bit.

David Letterman: So, so what is a middle-aged guy doing in this car racing in the rain in Silverstone, in a 3 to 5 million dollar car?

Nick Mason: It's a bit of a worry, isn't it?

David Letterman: Yes, it is a little bit of a worry!

Nick Mason: Maybe all those things that went on in the sixties just kept sort of circling around in my head.

David Letterman: Yeah! "It seems like a good idea, let's try it!"

Nick Mason: (Laughs)

David Letterman: Have you ever busted up one of these things?

Nick Mason: Fortunately, no.

David Letterman: Is that right? So you must be a pretty good driver, or, at least, been fairly lucky so far.

Nick Mason: Good, lucky or slow.

David Letterman: (laughs) It's the slow guys that get run over, though, isn't it?

Nick Mason: Yes, that's right.

David Letterman: If you're out in front, nobody bothers you. Well, it's a beautiful book, and a beautiful collection, you're a lucky man to have these, ah, to call your own.

Nick Mason: Yeah.

David Letterman: Thank you very much for being here.

Nick Mason: Thank you very much.

David Letterman: Nick Mason, Ladies and Gentlemen...

 
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