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Live8 - One year on: a look back, and forward Print E-mail

By Brain Damage contributor Andrew Jensen, webmaster of

Pink Floyd at Live 8
Pink Floyd at Live 8
July 2nd, 2005

Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour has told The Rolling Stones to quit touring and "get a life,” in an article published by World Entertainment News Network.

Gilmour, 60, insists the veteran stadium rockers aren't interested in music; they are simply obsessed with the adulation they receive from fans.

"I think it's ridiculous, actually. Mick (Jagger) and Keith (Richards) should get a life. It's like a strange, sexual compulsion. How much do they need? I think a lot of it is the applause. It's a powerful drug. 50,000 people appearing to adore you. I'm a big Stones fan but they haven't done anything that matches their earlier stuff in years,” Gilmour said.

Until Recently, David Gilmour has been relatively absent from the public music scene. Gilmour last toured with Pink Floyd in the 1994 Pulse World Tour. Since then, he has performed several small concerts in Europe over the last decade. In 2005, Gilmour received a phone call from Bob Geldof, asking him to reunite with Roger Waters, and his other Pink Floyd band mates to perform in the Live 8 charity concert. Gilmour reluctantly accepted after receiving another call from Roger.

One ancillary benefit of the Live 8 performance was that the young Gilmour’s got to see their father "up there being a rock star. They now understand that I'm not just this bum who lazes around the house, cooks them supper and takes them to school,” Gilmour said, in an interview for Newsweek.

After Live 8, Gilmour donated the profits from Pink Floyd’s albums (which increased due to the performance) to the Live 8 charity.

Pink Floyd became the highlight of the 10 country mega-concert. New interest in the band was sparked and they were offered $150 million dollars to do a world tour.

Pink Floyd promptly turned down the offer. Pink Floyd Bassist Roger Waters told Belgian Magazine Humo, “They offered us $150 Million dollars for a world tour, but I’m not in the mood.”

Since then the members of Pink Floyd have begun projects of their own. Roger has announced a World Tour that will include a complete performance of the classic Pink Floyd album, Dark Side of the Moon.

Drummer, Nick Mason is completing a new edition of his book Inside Out, which chronicles the life and times of Pink Floyd.

Keyboardist, Rick Wright is currently concentrating his efforts on new solo material which might result in a album.

In 2006 Gilmour released his new solo album (On an Island), his first in 22 years (About Face, 1984). Gilmour collaborated with his wife Polly Samson on his new album. He also completed a North American tour promoting his new solo album. Keyboardist, Rick Wright accompanied Gilmour on his tour.

Drummer, Nick Mason is also scheduled to join Roger Waters on his tour in France on July 14th, 2006 for the French Formula 1 Grand Prix. Mason enjoys racing cars in his spare time.

So, with all this touring and collaboration, one may ask why Gilmour would criticize the Rolling stones and turn down $150 million dollars to do a Pink Floyd world tour.

"Pink Floyd is a massive brand name, but I don't want to be that big a brand name. My ambitions are now deliberately smaller. I'd be lying if I said I didn't want my record and tour to sell—of course I do. But I think it's a fairly safe bet that as a part-time solo artist, I'm not likely to get up into the stratosphere that Pink Floyd inhabited,” Gilmour said.

“The Pink Floyd thing was like this huge lumbering beast. This is a much lighter load to carry.”

Another reason for Gilmour not to reunite with Pink Floyd to do a World tour is his dispute with former band mate Roger Waters. Roger left Pink Floyd in 1983, and Gilmour recorded the last two studio albums without him. Gilmour and Waters did not speak until Pink Floyd’s best of album Echoes, which required input from both them.

Roger had to ask Bob Geldof for David’s phone number, when contacting him about doing Live 8.

Gilmour recalls, "There were times when Roger was struggling to not get bossy and I was struggling to keep being bossy. I saw how arguments could have happened, but we aren't at each other's throats anymore. Getting rid of that acrimony has got to be a good thing. Who wants to have that fester in your mind the rest of your life?"

Gilmour told Newsweek, he considers himself a part-time rock star and full-time dad. He doesn’t need to be a full-time rock star at his age. “Anyway, what would the kids think?” Gilmour asked.

Let’s hope Mick Jagger and Keith Richards kids never get embarrassed about their fathers being rock stars. They would be dearly missed by their fans, as Pink Floyd is by theirs.

Pink Floyd touring in their 60s would not harm their brand name. If musicians like the Rolling stones, Eagles, Cream, Sir Elton John and Sir Paul McCartney have taught us anything, it’s that touring keeps your bands name alive and helps sell albums and merchandise. You can only help your brand name by touring, even in your later years.

If Pink Floyd toured, they would still pack arenas, just as the Rolling Stones do. Roger Waters sold out two shows at the Hollywood Bowl for next October, when he announced he would perform the entire Dark Side of the Moon album, and has added a third night there.

Your fans are not “appearing to adore you,” they actually do adore you. Despite what your family may think, your not the “bum who lazes around the house, cooks them supper and takes them to school.” You’re the guy who fetches $125 for an autograph on eBay that may or may not be authentic, despite what the seller claims.

When you’re famous it is often hard to live outside of that bubble and hear what the public is really saying. So many famous people hear only the bad press, and allow their family, friends and agents to make them feel embarrassed.

It’s probably a long-shot, but here it goes… Your not too old, you shouldn’t be embarrassed to tour in your 60s, it can only build up the Pink Floyd brand name and you shouldn’t put down fellow musicians for doing what you’re afraid to do, perform.

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