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January 7th 1977 - Capital Radio PF Story - part 4 Print E-mail

The following is one part of the legendary Capital Radio Pink Floyd Story - the history of the band, told by the band themselves in a set of interviews undertaken in 1976, and broadcast at the end of 1976/start of 1977. This transcription done by Matt Johns, Brain Damage - please seek permission from us before using elsewhere.


The programme presenter was Nicky Horne. Abbreviations used as follows:
NM: Nick Mason, RW: Roger Waters, DG: David Gilmour, RWr: Rick Wright
NH: Nicky Horne, INT1 - INT7: Interviewees 1-7


NM: The thing about DSOTM is that, I think when it was finished everyone felt it was the best thing we've done to date, and everyone was very pleased with it, but there's no way that anyone felt it was five times as good as Meddle, or eight times as good as Atom Heart Mother, or the sort of figures that it in fact sold. So, I mean, DSOTM was something of a phenomena, and was about not only being a good album - 'cos I think it was a good album - but also about being in the right place at the right time.

This is the same really as talking about the launching of the band, that it was an idea that people responded to... well, I THINK people responded to the idea, it's quite often surprising how many people don't see what it's about! But the interesting thing... the thing one would never know is whether it would've been a successful album 18 months later, or 18 months earlier.

RWr: We approached that album, I would say, in exactly the same way as any other album we've done. Except that this album was a concept album. It was about madness, it was about one's fear, it was about the business - whereas none of the other albums had been like that. They may have been musically tied together, but there hadn't been a theme like that running from... on both sides. And when I suppose you're doing that you have to approach it in a concise way; if song A is somehow gotta be connected to the song on the end of the second side 'cos it is a concept album, then you do keep referring back and forwards. In that way, it was done like that, yeah. But in terms of playing it wasn't any different I can remember.

RW: It had to be quick, 'cos we had a tour starting and I can remember - somebody else would be able to tell you what the time was much better - but I have an idea in my head that maybe it was only 6 weeks or something from starting to write the lyrics to when we had to have something to perform on stage. I'm not sure though - I may be completely wrong - it might've been 18 months, and my memory for those kinds of facts is very, very poor. I can't remember. One of them had been done before... and "Brain Damage" was a song I'd written a long time before. And some of it didn't get written until after we'd been on the road for a while... the end - all that you touch, and all that you see, all that - didn't get written until after we'd performed it several times. It seemed to NEED something at the end.

NH: You might remember in the last episode of The Pink Floyd Story an interview recorded by the Floyd themselves. It was one of a series they did during the recording of DSOTM. Roger Waters explains why it was done:

RW: I liked the device of writing out a series of questions on cards, so that it was a series but the people who were answering them didn't know what the next one was going to be, so they HAD to answer them in sequence. In that way you could make them respond to stuff. And as you say, we did about... 20 people.

NH: Here's the section of the Floyd interviews on "Us And Them". Remember the interviewees all have cards with questions printed on them. And in this section the questions were, in order:

    When did you last thump someone? Do you think you were in the right? And do you still think you were in the right?
The first replies on this tape are from the Floyd's road crew and the EMI engineer, and the last two replies are from Henry McCullough and his wife. One point to remember is that all the interviews were conducted individually, and no one interviewee knew what the other said:

 

INT1: When did I last thump someone? Erm... quite a long time ago actually, probably when I was at school but I don't think I hit them very hard. So it doesn't really matter. I was definately in the right. Why? 'Cos the person that I thumped was definately in the wrong.

INT2: Saturday in Paris was the last time I thumped somebody, when I smacked Chris Mickey straight in the breather.

INT3: I was... about 14, and it was in the changing room at school, and somebody pinched my gym shoes which I wasn't very pleased about and I gave him a punch on the nose. Hmm... I didn't get hit back incidentally. Oh, I think I was in the right - he had no reason to do that to me...

INT4: New Years Eve. Drank too much Guinness.

INT5: New Years Eve. [laughs] Yes, I did hit this guy, and I thought I was in the right 'cos I'd just been thumped, so I thumped back.

NM: Yeah - "Us And Them" which in fact was written for "Zabriskie Point" years before DSOTM and it was known as "Violent Sequence" for a long time. It was a terrific film, a lot of news stuff of cops and students fighting it out, all with no soundtrack apart from music, and just this very lyrical ballad thing, which Rick played as his solo. And "Zabriskie Point" never used it. Antonioni cut it out and consequently when DSOTM came up there was this section to be filled up and that was used as the basis for that song. Certainly it existed long before we ever talked about it.

NH: In the interviews that the Floyd recorded down at Abbey Road, the final question they asked was: what does the dark side of the moon mean to you?

INT1: This is a heavy one - sounds good but I've never been into it.

INT3: Dark side of the moon must be about the side of the moon that the sun isn't shining on, I suppose when it's in the Earth's shadow.

INT4: [laughs] This is definately a prying question, this last one! What do I think the dark side of the moon is like? [distant voice: "Is about"] I know - I can read. Hmm... I dunno actually. I think you've got me stumped to a certain degree on that. Hmm... I don't really know on that one - I'll definately have to leave that last one I think.

INT6: Ah, this is something I've wondered about... it seems to me that there's so much in it anyway it only seems to relate to what it's actually all about at the end. You've got... erm... but where the actual dark side of the moon comes into it I'm not sure about at all. I've thought about it but... not very hard really.

INT5: Well, to me dark side of the moon just taking it as it stands, just means whatever's out there in the universe. Could be anything. Exciting if anything.

INT7: Basically dark side of the moon is about making money - as to whether it's a complaint against making money, or people having too much money I don't know. Basically, just to make money.

NH: Dave Gilmour on that barrier:

DG: It does - there's not a lot you can do about it as the Pink Floyd. I mean there are things you can do about it individually, if one was to go out and do something on one's own, one can lose all that quite easily, that barrier... but I mean that barrier builds up... with success. I don't think running tiny halls is really gonna change that.

RW: DSOTM was a very important point because at that point all our ambitions were realised you see. When you're 15 and you think right I'm gonna start a group and I'm gonna this and that, the pinnacle that you can see, apart from very vague thoughts about rather smart bachelor flats, and not having to get up 'til four in the afternoon and things like that - speaking for myself anyway - I had all kinds of weird fantasies, but the pinnacle is the BIG ALBUM - going to number one. And once you've done that, a lot of your ambition has been achieved - particularly if it goes on selling like DSOTM did - it becomes one of THE albums of the last 20 years. And then you're faced with... you realise that it does feel wonderful for a month or something and then you start coping with what you knew to be true anyway, because you've been going for so many years before it actually happened. You KNOW anyway that it's not going to make any difference really to how you feel about it, and that it doesn't work - it doesn't really change you. If you're a happy person, you were before and you will be afterwards, and if you're not, you weren't, before, and you will be afterwards. And that kind of thing doesn't make a blind bit of difference to how you feel about anything. But even though you know that you still... it still takes you a long time to assimilate it really, after the real event, even though you're fairly sure that's how everything's gonna be.

- At this point a section is devoted to the mayhem backstage at a Floyd gig. Recorded at Detroit Olympia Stadium, 23rd June 1973, it records the lighting controller relaying instructions to the light crew. Despite interesting listening, it has been omitted here as it wouldn't make interesting reading...

 
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