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Home arrow Older News Archive arrow Rare 1968 Pink Floyd footage - the director talks
Rare 1968 Pink Floyd footage - the director talks Print E-mail
Written by Matt   
Monday, 26 September 2005

Tony Palmer, the director of some rare, 1968 footage of Pink Floyd performing three takes of Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, has been in contact with us, wishing to pass his comments and clarification on concerning the film, which has recently been offered for sale.

Some of the footage, which was shot for the BBC, was used in the 1968 documentary All My Loving, which was recently repeated as part of BBC4 TV's look at the sixties.

Over to Tony...

"It has been brought to my attention that there are two offers on eBay for some 1968 footage of Pink Floyd, wrongly described as 'The Tabernacle, Notting Hill Gate' footage.

"The facts are as follows: the so-called 'redwash' sequence of 'Set The Controls' was shot by me in a studio at the BBC, I think in Lime Grove, now a housing estate. It was taped as if 'live' on video, with a few small cuts made later. It was recorded with the red wash (i.e. it was not 'put on' later) in attempt to recreate the light-show effect that the Pink Floyd achieved on stage at that time. When they saw the film, the group all approved, particularly that at the climax of the sequence, the Floyd's music cuts directly into Bartok.

"The so-called 'redwash' sequence was used by me as part of a documentary about the social and political context of rock music in 1968 called 'All My Loving', although in fact it was originally shot for a programme called 'Twice A Fortnight', starring Terry Jones & Michael Palin, which was the very first try out of what became their films for 'Monty Python'.

"I used the sequence again in 'All You Need Is Love' in 1975. I also filmed a sequence in a deserted power station in the East End (you see one shot at the beginning of the 'All My Loving' sequence), in March 1968, but decided not to use it.

"Until now, I had no idea what had happened to the offcuts. My guess was that the BBC had junked them. I am delighted they have been 'found', less pleased that have/had been stolen. Whatever else, this sequence was definitely not in The Tabernacle in Notting Hill, although I have frequently seen it described as such.

"So, whoever is attempting to sell them on eBay be warned: they do not belong to you, and should be regarded by anyone buying them as stolen goods. If anything, they belong to the group, with the copyright in the filming belonging to me.

"I would hope that whoever has 'found' this reel of film, however, now makes it available to everyone by issuing a DVD of same through the group's office or with the group's permission.

"I was, incidentally, at school with Roger, and was the first critic (in my capacity as Music Critic for the 'Observer') to write about them approvingly, and especially about the track 'Set The Controls' about which I wrote: "this track alone marks out the Floyd as musically an impressive, original and significant group of some importance". My opinion of them has not changed from that day until now."

Our thanks to Tony for getting in contact, and for giving us some clarification over the locations and origins of the footage.

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