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Remembering Alan Ramshaw (1947-2018) Print E-mail
Written by Ed Lopez-Reyes   
Tuesday, 25 December 2018

44023660_1112106785612191_5996888257869119488_n.jpgAlan Ramshaw, who shared an important history with Pink Floyd, passed away this year. He was born January 16th, 1947 and passed away on August 21st.

When Ramshaw was 20 he lived in Shepherds Hill, around the corner from a dwelling in Highgate where the band Pink Floyd lived during its formative stages. The band’s landlord was Mike Leonard, who also became their lighting technician. Ramshaw also spent a lot of time around the historic UFO club, where Pink Floyd played some of its earliest gigs and knew Pink Floyd band members from the Regent Street Poly (now the University of Westminster).

With all these forces converging, Ramshaw ended up working with Leonard on the band’s lights and production. The two also worked with Peter Wynne-Willson, the band’s original lighting designer.

This is a critical detail in Pink Floyd history because it’s where the band’s stage presence was truly cultivated. As the band’s Wikipedia page states: “Pink Floyd were pioneers in the live music experience, renowned for their lavish stage shows that combine intense visual experiences with music to create a show in which the performers themselves are almost secondary. Pink Floyd's combination of music and visuals set the standard for rock musicians. As well as visuals, Pink Floyd set standards in sound quality with innovative use of sound effects and panning quadrophonic speaker systems.”

While many Pink Floyd fans tend to segregate based on their favourite of three fundamental band periods (each led by a different band member as a result of line-up changes, etc.), Ramshaw was among those that remained passionate about all the band’s epochs. His social media posts were reflective of this passion.

In 2011, Ramshaw’s battle to see his town council approve a Pink Floyd-themed Christmas display at his home drew attention from the media... and Pink Floyd fans from all over the world who signed the petition to honour Alan’s effort and creativity but also his place in Pink Floyd history.

Those that knew Ramshaw remember his work at the UFO, his stories about a two-day party in the Royal Crescent with Roxy Music, a dinner with David Bowie, his support for efforts to save London’s Roundhouse from demolition, and even a story about Jimi Hendrix stealing his washing.

Friends described him as a “funny, cantankerous, Pink Floyd loving sarcastic old curmudgeon when he wanted to be.” They remember people going to him for advice on architecture and building regulation.

All those who do their bit to serve as custodians of the band’s history and those who are fans in even the simplest ways will remember Ramshaw’s contribution to rock history.

 

 
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