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Home arrow Articles arrow Miscellaneous Articles arrow Tracking down the sounds of David Gilmour
Tracking down the sounds of David Gilmour Print E-mail
Written by David Gaylor   
Wednesday, 30 June 2021

David Gilmour - Love On The Air single coverThe following contribution is from David Gaylor, a long-time friend of Brain Damage, who has often helped out with various things. He takes a look at filling in those empty spaces in his collection, and also poses some questions to the BD readership who might be able to help him in his quest. We are always delighted to get contributions, so if you want to write an article or review, feel free to send it our way!

Now, over to David and his search for all things related to David Gilmour over the years...

So, in light of the Covid pandemic restrictions, what does an obsessive vinyl collector do to fill his spare time? This collector decided to explore the back catalogue and discography of David Gilmour.

The starting point was the very helpful list put together by Chris Job originally published many years ago in the long defunct printed Brain Damage magazine. Also available were more updated lists on the internet which indicated that David had performed across many formats over the years for a number of artists. His involvement ranged from producer to guest artist. The journey begins in the very late sixties and is still ongoing in 2021.

With the internet, there is now easy access to retailers across the world, and plenty of information sources (some more reliable than others), making the task a little easier than the one Chris Job faced originally - and the list of items has grown steadily since then too!

Many fans would know some of the more common guest appearances David has done over the years, but there are also plenty which have "flown under the radar" and few people are aware of.

I decided it would be a challenge to find them and add to my collection all those tracks on which David Gilmour himself performs...

The formats ranged from vinyl, cassette, CD, DVD, box sets, downloads and the occasional unauthorised recording. The acquisition involved tracing items across sixteen countries including the USA, Japan, Australia and many European countries from Denmark to Spain. The performances included appearances on releases by new bands, those for charity and other good causes and covered a fifty year period.

Armed with my comprehensive ever changing list my journey began and over many months I was able to track down most of the appropriate recordings. The preference was for vinyl but on some occasions this format was unavailable. Interestingly, David Gilmour has been credited on discographies playing on album tracks that it became evident he was not responsible for. There also appeared to be confusion with his American namesake, musician and guitarist David Gilmore. Amongst the gems that I acquired were recordings with legends like BB King and Paul McCartney but also assisting new bands and some of his friends including Unicorn, John Martyn and Bryan Ferry.

My vinyl journey is now almost complete with just a couple of outstanding pieces of music that have proved elusive. I will track them down one day and that is part of the thrill of the chase!

So what are for me the standout finds? I would point out that many of them are well documented and hardly unknown by followers of the music of David Gilmour and Pink Floyd. However, particular favourites of mine have been David's appearance in 1999 at the Cavern Club with Paul McCartney; playing that well loved Beatles track, "Across the Universe" at Cowdray Park in 1994 at a fundraising event; and great guitar when playing Broken Dream on the Rod Stewart sessions in 1992 but released later. He also illustrated his versatility as a guitarist playing Jerusalem at the Royal Albert Hall with fellow guitarist Jeff Beck in 2009. More obscure appearances include playing on Growing Up in Public by Jimmy Nail and on a little known 7 inch single 'Christmas on 45' by Holly and the Ivys from 1981.

The questions for me that remain unanswered despite my research is whether David Gilmour actually played guitar on the Elton John Deep Cuts box set released in 2020; did he ever perform as a primary artist in 1995 with a band called A 3000 on their recording Magnetic Gliding; and finally did he ever play guitar on a recording with Donovan?

Also he has been documented as playing guitar on the 2015 Mistress America original soundtrack as well as the 2001 The Triumph of Love soundtrack. Neither releases have him credited although it is reported that he played guitar on both pieces.

I would be interested to hear from anyone who knows of any obscure appearances over the years that may not be generally well known. [Write in to the normal Brain Damage address and we'll pass on your email!]

So this article explains what I have done to fill in some of my time over the last year as a vinyl collector and I am already moving on to other projects (potentially obscure appearances on things by Roger Waters, Richard Wright or Nick Mason - once you start digging, there are plenty of things for these three musicians too!). You may ask what my long suffering wife of many years has done during the same time. I am pleased to say that apart from scowling at my purchases and the regular visits from our post lady, she has filled her time with redesigning the garden. She is happy however to listen to the music!

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 01 September 2021 )
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