Pink Floyd celebrate 50 years
Written by Matt   
Sunday, 22 February 2015
Pink Floyd in 1965 - 50th anniversary

As the Official Pink Floyd Facebook page noted yesterday, this month marks the 50th anniversary of the proper beginning of The Pink Floyd, with the band using that name for the first time in 1965. Of course, they weren't quite settled on it at the time, and at various points during the year they reverted to The Tea Set, before finally deciding on the name the world came to know the band under.

Unusually for a band that has been around for such a long time, the line-up barely changed over the years. This picture shows the band in 1965, around the time Syd conjured up the name, and shows Rado "Bob" Klose, guitarist, who left them before they signed to EMI and turned professional.

We'd be interested to hear what you think on the band's golden anniversary. What have been your Pink Floyd highlights - either the moments in their career you consider most significant, or the moments you remember best on a personal level? Did you see them live? Any special memories of that, or of hearing any of the albums for the first time? Any amusing stories? And, have you ever met any of the band? If so, please share the experience for those who haven't!

We'd love for you to share your thoughts on the above, as part of our commemoration of the band this year. We'll collate a number of the responses and add them to this story - so, time for you to get thinking and commenting! You can either email us at the normal address ( This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ), or join the conversation over at the Brain Damage Facebook page or our Twitter page. We're looking forward to seeing your responses!

UPDATE: Thanks to all of you who have already shared your thoughts, memories and pictures with us. What follows below are a selection of the responses; more will follow soon!

Thoughts from BD contributor, Roger Little:
In 1967 I worked in a photographic store in New Bond Street, London and rented projectors to Peter Wynne Willson (not that I knew that at the time) which would come back covered in oils & ink. It now turns out (after some correspondence between us) that he was using them for Pink Floyd - at Middle Earth I guess.

Of course I bought PATGOD as soon as it came out!
Saw the premier of "The Amazing Pudding" at Bath Festival in 1970.
Met my wife on 17th March 1973 same day DSOTM was released.
Married on 6th September 1975 - Roger Waters birthday.
Saw David & Richard, et al, at The Royal Albert Hall for "On an Island"
Mine was the first question read out by Stuart Maconie at the premier of "Remember that Night"
My daughter married on 28th July - Richard Wright's birthday.
Her husband's father was at school with David Gilmour and in two Cambridge bands with both Syd & Rado Klose.
The Animals pig was re-flown over Battersea power station on my son's birthday 26th September.
And they say coincidence is just coincidence, eh?

Thoughts from BD contributor, Malcolm Walker:
Here is my small contribution to the fifty years of Floyd celebration - I grew up in a small midlands town where there was no live music and one record shop, which sold albums, singles, probably tapes, and hi-fi, up to 1980/81 when due to recession it closed. My first direct exposure to Floyd was buying 'A Nice Pair' in a local second hand shop - I liked grubby places to rummage where I might be surprised by finding good things cheaply.

In my local college of further education there was a fanzine to do with music. My first ever published piece of writing was in 1979, it was a review of 'Piper at the gates of Dawn' and The Doors first album, most of what I wrote on The Doors album was cribbed from a 1978 review of the album by Julie Burchill, I said Piper was light, mysterious and airy and I quoted a few of Syd's lyrics in the review. Some time after that I bought second hand copies of Meddle and DSOTM both of which I played a lot. When I first got a walkman I taped it and listened to DSOTM on one side and 'Tubular Bells' on the other. It was my fave tape for fifteen years! I never 'got' The Wall, not even now - though I see it as good theatre - best seen live. In a world/area where all music was recorded and avant-garde music rarely broke through (not much Van der Graaf/Peter Hammill for instance) Floyd and Bowie albums were a mix of the progressive and popular, and made a lot of sense in a world where little social progress ever happened.

Thoughts from BD contributor, Kenny:
Pink Floyd for me is a blessing. The very first time I heard them was like wow who is this!!!!! I love this, and I have to buy this like right now..... They are what is right in the music world. They have done it the right way too.

Congrats/hats off to them.

Thoughts from BD contributor, 'Pink Floyd':
It was 1988 when I fell in love Pink Floyd, I was only 13 years old and their music captured the soul ... I'm now 39 and love for their music still burns ... I have all of Pink Floyd ... and every day listening to every album and every time I discover something magnificent. The music of Pink is alive and 50 years do not show them because it's young music ... Wonderful ... A journey into the soul forever.

Thoughts from BD contributor, Terrence Reardon:
For me, their highlights in their career was their first single release and the release of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, many of their groundbreaking concerts (including the Animals and The Wall Tours which there were many great shows on those tours which are on bootleg). The release of their FOUR BIG ALBUMS The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, the under-appreciated Animals and the epic The Wall (all but Animals hit #1 in the US and The Division Bell and PULSE would follow suit after Roger Waters left the band). The reunion at Live 8 which was their farewell show for a worldwide audience on TV. On a personal level, my mom introducing me to them when I was a small child which led to a lifelong love for this amazing band which is still there. The releases of A Momentary Lapse of Reason, The Division Bell and The Endless River and the anticipation of waiting for those albums. The release of Roger Waters' Amused to Death album (sadly under-promoted in the States thanks to (gasp) grunge) and David Gilmour's On an Island (which did well but crummy gangsta rap and High School Musical rubbish kept it from US Top 5).

Did you see them live? Yes I did. Foxboro Stadium, Foxboro, MA on 19 May 1994 (still best concert I've attended in my 26 plus years of rock concerts). Also FIVE Roger Waters shows (including two shows of The Wall Tour, the Fenway 2012 performance is still one of my Top 5 concerts I have ever witnessed). If David Gilmour tours and does a Boston show I'm there (he skipped Boston on his On an Island series of shows, not really a US tour when it just had 10 shows in all of US and Canada).

Any special memories of that, or of hearing any of the albums for the first time? Quite a few. My review of the Foxboro show is well documented on Brain Damage, through this link.

As far as hearing albums for the first time, The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall from early childhood and were my first two Floyd albums I heard and acquired when I got into them proper in 1984 (I did have The Final Cut until a cat relieved itself on it in 1983 but was re-acquired at Christmas 1984, musically great but lyrically somewhat dated IMHO). Wish You Were Here stands out as I first heard that album on my 9th birthday in January of 1985 when my parents bought me that album on cassette instead of A Collection of Great Dance Songs (which they could not find) and bless them as it's my FAVORITE Pink Floyd album EVER (I concur with David Gilmour and, rest his glorious soul, Rick Wright). Staying up until 1 AM on 9 September, 1987 to record and hear Pink Floyd's A Momentary Lapse of Reason in its entirety before I got the album properly on cassette a week later (by 11 years old in 1987, Pink Floyd became favorite band of all time as would acquire each album and am one of few Floyd fans not to touch what are called drugs). The Division Bell's world premiere on US radio hosted by In the Studio host Redbeard (perfect pick to host that special I may add and his interviews with the Floyd members are always great to listen to) and buying the CD and cassette a week later on 5 April, 1994 (its US release date).

Any amusing stories? Many but will go for four quick ones. One that stands out was when I went to buy the PULSE CD the day of its US release (6 June, 1995). I remember driving to local Strawberries Records store in Brockton, MA in my 1986 Plymouth Reliant (my first car, just got my drivers license two months earlier at age 19 due to my Autism) and parking in a fire zone (a trait I picked up from my brother JJ who was notorious for it) and ran in and went to look for it and I said "where the blue Hell is it" and the clerk said "you looking for the new Pink Floyd?" and I said "you damn fucking right" and there was the display and I said "HOLY SHIT". Paid for it and my dad when I got back said "I saw your car parked in fire zone" and I said "well, talk to my brother, he's notorious for it" and he said "OK, so I won't spoil your mood, I'll save the riot act for him, enjoy your CD and please don't park in fire zone again". I said "no problem". Another was on 20 May, 1996 when I left my house in Whitman, MA to do some CD shopping, it was sunny and bought a backup CD for Momentary Lapse (had the CD in the Shine On box set (reason why I got rid of my CD issue I bought in 1991) and cassette (one I had since 1987) and LP) and a tornado/downburst happened whilst I was buying the CD in Braintree at Newbury Comics. Then when I got back home, there was a downed tree where my car was normally be parked. When the Echoes compilation hit on 6 November, 2001, I had to get a CD player for my car after my car cassette player met its maker. Then a few days later I told my college friend Danielle (who I'm still friends with today) about it and her response with a laugh was "Oh God, you and your Pink Floyd" (God bless her and she knows how much I love the band). My CD/Blu-Ray issue of The Endless River came in TWO DAYS before its street date and some were shocked that I got mine two days before its street date. I could go on but these stories will do for now.

And, have you ever met any of the band? If so, please share the experience for those who haven't! One via a webchat. That was David Gilmour in January of 2002 (I was shocked that he responded to my question pertaining to an Autism charity he's supported over the years, Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy). One via phone call and that was Nick Mason on Rockline in April of 2005 (I was living in South Carolina but got a signal from a radio station in Georgia and got through and asked him about his solo debut Fictitious Sports and the Rockline people were shocked when I told them that Nick did TWO SOLO ALBUMS over the years).

Some of the worst moments? Syd Barrett's mental breakdown and eventual fall from grace. Rick Wright being ousted from the band by Roger during the mixing of The Wall. Roger suing David and Nick for carrying on without him (and Roger getting more upset when David brought Rick back in the band). The Wall in Berlin was an atrocity (no disrespect, thankfully Roger learned from this disaster and redeemed himself with the 2010-13 tour). The passings of manager Steve O'Rourke (who was the unofficial sixth member of the band and their manager from 1968 until his death in 2003 (also for David, Nick and Rick as solo acts), not many bands have the same manager for 10 years let alone 35), Syd Barrett in 2006, Rick Wright in 2008 (I was depressed for two months after that and was a year after my mom passed away and two weeks before one of my best friends from high school/college Dan died tragically in a drowning and my maternal grandmother passed 10 days after that) and Storm Thorgerson's passing was also another sad moment as well as his album covers was just as much to do with Pink Floyd as the music (though he also did sleeves for Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Al Stewart, Styx, Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden among others) and the official end of the group with The Endless River's release (David Gilmour won't tour without Rick which is a wise thing to do and The Endless River is a superb swan song).

That is all I can think of for now but this will suffice for the time being. Congrats on 50 years of music for Pink Floyd.

Thoughts from BD contributor, Caroline:
Pink Floyd has had a deep impact on me since the tender age of 8. I was surrounded by older teens since I was the youngest born. It was 1974 when I first heard the album Echoes coming from my sister's room as she was bantering with other teens and cousins of mine. I remember just standing outside the door listening, mesmerized... not even understanding English.

I got a hold of a tape and it had the song "Echoes" on it. I had just received my very own tape recorder/player for Christmas... I played that tape over and over again. Pink Floyd became part of my soul, my being, at that very moment. It was 1975 and I lived in Germany as a child. My cousins and sister went to the Pink Floyd open-air concert for the " Wish You Were Here" tour and I begged and I pleaded and they snuck me in... it was love at first sight and I was already fully in love with their sound. How privileged I am to be able to tell this tale. As I became a teen (and now living in Canada) my love for the band only grew and grew... I finally owned every single vinyl album possible. I saw Pink Floyd a couple of times in the 80's - without Roger Waters. I also saw Roger Waters play in the 1985 "Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking" tour... I had posters all over my wall of the band... I would stare at the album covers and sleeves for hours... I had my favourite - David Gilmour... wow- I was so smitten.

To this day goosebumps still emerge at the sound of the band... I could never pick a favourite album, although "Animals", "Meddle", "More" (soundtrack) and "Obscured by Clouds" are high on my list... "Cirrus Minor" is a song I want played at the gathering of my passing - I already let my kids know (lol)