Nick Mason interviewed on BBC1 Northern Ireland TV
Written by Matt   
Thursday, 04 November 2004

Prior to his appearance at the Elmwood Hall as part of the Belfast Festival, Pink Floyd's Nick Mason was interviewed on BBC1 Northern Ireland during their First Stop programme, on November 1st.

The interview, conducted by Ralph McLean (who later was to interview him during the Festival talk), was held in a small, upstairs bar at the famous Morrison's in the heart of Belfast. Broadcast live, the show is a regular update of all that's happening in the world of the arts, and during the Festival, goes out three times a week.

With Nick in town, presenter Ralph McLean, a self-confessed massive Floyd fan, wasn't going to let the opportunity pass to have a quick chat and let the Irish public know about the release of Nick's book about the band.

McLean: "Looking back on the band, why choose now to write this biography? Why is the time right for writing about Pink Floyd?"

Mason: "Well, I didn't of course write it NOW, I actually started it ten years ago, and its taken me some time to finish it off. It seemed like a good time really, because, I think there were two major elements.

"One rather sad [element was] our manager who died rather suddenly last year, and I realised that all those memories had gone. There was a real danger of everyone else popping off, and no-one remembering anything at all! I mean, it's bad enough finding anyone who remembers anything anyway!

"And also I thought there was, in a way, a rather nice finish to the story - the fact that I've re-met Roger and we re-made an old friendship."

McLean: "There's a nice rounded sense to the book - it's a very honest book as well. But looking back on those early days, the 1966/67 period with Syd Barrett, how do you look back on that now, when you see the old clips, your see your young self - how does it feel?"

Mason: "Mildly embarrassing - there's something about flared trousers and kaftans that's a little alarming, but generally with great affection. We had a great time." Astronomy Domine from Look Of The Week appears on VT. McLean: "I suppose that period is always going to be held up as a magical period for Pink Floyd, it was the earliest success - it laid the ground for future success..."

Mason: "Yes it did; people talk a lot about the late sixties now, and it was very much the period of Sgt Pepper's, so it was quite a glamorous time." McLean: "Marvellous footage of the guys - fine clothes, too, Nick, I have to say - nice Regency dandy look!" Nick laughs at this.

"Let's talk a little about the reaction of the other members of the band. Obviously you got them all involved. Was their reaction to the book positive?"

Mason: "Erm... not entirely! But it wasn't so alarming that we've all fallen out or they've instructed any lawyers!" McLean: "So nobody said 'hang on, it didn't happen like that Nick, I was there as well - it happened like THIS.'" [SOYCD from PULSE on VT]

Mason: "Oh, they all said that. But they accepted that this was my version of events. They are just wrong, in their eyes!"

McLean: "Good - that's the right attitude! We're looking at some fantastic footage of more recent Pink Floyd, and its just such an epic, epic sort of event. Any chance of the band coming back together, Nick, can you reveal any possibility of reunions, in any form?"

Mason: "Well, we've got no plans at the moment. In fact, we're finishing off a DVD of the last shows we did, but I think until David wants to work again, we won't work, but if he does, we will."

And with that oft-repeated line the interview ends, with Nick signing a copy of his book as a giveaway for the programme.

Nick then relaxed with a beer and a natter with Brain Damage, whilst preparing himself for the main event of the evening - the Belfast Festival talk, which was around 30 minutes away... Our thanks to Ralph McLean for inviting us to the show, and to Nick for sparing us some time for a quick chat.