Documentary tracing the journey of the massive-selling rock band Pink Floyd using extended archive, some rarely or never seen, alongside original interviews with the four members.
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'This programme contains some strong language.'
The Pink FLoyd - you're going to hear them in a minute.
# Get away... #
In 2005, four distinguished rock musicians
performed together for the first time in 25 years at Live 8.
For a precious 20 minutes, they were all once again the legendary Pink Floyd,
a band that has spanned 40 years, pioneering everything
from underground rock to the stadium extravaganza.
A band that has survived tragedy, shunned celebrity
and wrestled publicly with both its success and its audience.
There have been five men in Pink Floyd and three of them have led the band in different decades.
That's why the question still remains - which one's Pink?
British pop music rules the world.
Clubs are throbbing with electric guitars, pounding drums and would-be rock'n'roll stars.
Three middle-class students, Rick Wright, Roger Waters and Nick Mason,
were studying architecture at the Regent Street Polytechnic.
They formed a band and dreamed of escaping the profession they seemed destined to inhabit.
The group went through several permutations and names, including The Tea Set and Sigma 6,
performing standard cover versions of American and British rhythm and blues.
They were going nowhere.
A childhood friend of Roger Waters since their schooldays together in Cambridge
drifted down to London to study painting.
His name was Syd Barrett.
He joined Sigma 6, renamed the band The Pink Floyd Sound, and promptly became its front man.
Syd sort of lived like he walked. He walked with a bounce.
He came up on his toes so every step he took was like a pop.
He had a lot of sort of Tigger in him.
He was, as everyone says, bubbly, very attractive,
everyone wanted to be his friend.
Barrett was a highly original writer and musician.
His songs had a quirky, British, pastoral edge
and his guitar playing led the band into extended sonic explorations.
He would do things on the guitar that no-one would ever dream of doing.
which influenced me and made me do things on the keyboards I wouldn't... people hadn't done before.
Technically, no, not so brilliant, but, for me, the technique is not important.
It's the originality, and he was one of the originals.
It is a curious thing that people can go into the music business
with little technical ability,
but absolute determination to show off at all costs.
If you can actually play, it's very hard not to copy other things that you hear...
..but we couldn't copy anything because we couldn't, you know.
Rick was the only one who went to music school.
Rick was the one who would always help out in arrangements.
He was the one who used to tune Roger's bass.
MUSIC: "Interstellar Overdrive" by Pink Floyd
Now simply called Pink Floyd, the band found itself at the epicentre of London's underground explosion,
playing a unique mix of original, melodic pop and freak-out music at clubs such as UFO and Middle Earth.
Overnight, they became the house band of the underground movement, taking their audiences on a trip.
One of the things that sets them apart is,
so many other bands are based around blues.
They had this avant-garde approach to...
the long instrumental passages,
but they always started from a brilliant pop song by Syd.
Tinkling and bashing and scraping and making the instruments make whatever noises they would.
After we'd be doing that for, like, ten minutes, we'd play the riff twice more and that was the end.
You still had a tune, a song, and then you'd have an improvised bit, then you'd have a tune and a song.
It was radical. It was very radical.
MUSIC: "Arnold Layne" by Pink Floyd
# Arnold Layne had a strange hobby
# Collecting clothes
# Moonshine, washing line
# They suit him fine... #
Arnold Layne, an everyday tale of a man stealing women's underwear from washing lines,
was the first of Barrett's original songs to be recorded as a demo.
Produced by Joe Boyd, it was touted around several companies
before The Beatles' label, EMI, signed the band in February 1967.
From the start, the Floyd were determined to do things their way.
As college boys, they were already wary of the pop business and its old-school managers.
We were always very distrustful of that whole scene.
It was very kind of East End, camel-hair coats, you know.
"Stick with me, son, you'll be all right,"
and we were very wary of all that.
I think what was so different then to now is they'd sign almost anything with long hair.
If it turned out to be a golden retriever, so what?
"We've signed you as a pop band. Now make albums. Lots of three-minute singles,"
and we said, "No way!"
We're talking about a world where Sergeant Pepper hadn't been released.
Almost overnight, it switched from being hit singles to being albums.
MUSIC: "Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite" by The Beatles
In early '67, The Beatles were recording Sergeant Pepper at London's Abbey Road Studios.
In February, the Floyd arrived at the same studios
to record their equally momentous first album, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn.
# Alone in the clouds all blue... #
This was the Summer of Love. Everything was possible.
EMI appointed The Beatles' engineer, Norman Smith, as the Floyd's producer.
I know he had a struggle with Syd
because Syd would come in with his extraordinary songs and Norman would say, "That's great,
"but we've got to put some form to it. We've got to get it into time." Syd would say, "Yes, OK,"
and then go out and play it a different way.
The Floyd were determined to exploit everything Smith and Abbey Road could offer,
experimenting with new sounds and recording techniques.
We had a tape running around microphone stands
all the way around the control room,
so we could get a very slow delay. It ran through three tape recorders.
One of the advantages of Abbey Road was that there was a lot of old sort of stuff lying around.
They probably had a spinet or a clavichord or things like that.
While the Floyd tinkered away recording Syd's fairy-tale songs
and the studio version of the sonic improvisations they were playing in the underground clubs,
producer Norman Smith struggled to get another single out of Barrett.
The band eventually decamped here, Sound Techniques in west London
where Joe Boyd had produced Arnold Layne, to record what would become their first big hit.
MUSIC: "See Emily Play" by Pink Floyd
# Emily tries but misunderstands
# She's often inclined to borrow somebody's dreams till tomorrow
# Till tomorrow, till tomorrow... #
Barrett invited an old friend and musician from Cambridge to come to the recording sessions.
Guitarist and singer David Gilmour was shocked by what he found.
In the flesh, he was a little bit strange, glazed eyes.
For me, having not seen him for a while, it was quite alarming to see him like that.
I didn't know how alarming, or how alarmed I should be,
or how permanent that sort of thing was or whether that was just a moment.
You don't really think about it.
Barrett was becoming increasingly erratic.
He was taking too many drugs and didn't like the limelight.
When his song See Emily Play climbed into the Top Ten, the cracks began to appear.
I think we did a lot more pop shows and ballrooms,
and I think that was probably a bit more difficult for them. That was probably difficult for Syd.
Syd didn't want to play.
I was particularly feeling quite the same. I didn't want to really play it.
I don't think any of the band wanted to play it. So it pissed the audiences off a lot.
We had a few beer bottles and stuff thrown at us.
These shows were a million miles away from Pink Floyd's underground home base
where the band, like its audience, was lost in the light show.
They were deliberately devoid of personality.
They didn't talk much.
You know, the fact they were covered with these lights all the time.
They'd all study their instruments. Nobody looked out.
"Are you having a good time? Yeah! Clap your hands!" All that stuff. We'd never done that.
In fact, we did like to hide behind the lights.
And it became a kind of, "Who are these people?"
My memory of seeing them is walking round the stage trying to work out where the noise came from.
What Rick and Syd played were very well blended together.
When Barrett emerged from the shadows and into the studio lights of Top Of The Pops,
he went into meltdown.
The second week that we went in, Syd was very disgruntled and he started saying,
"Why should I have to do this? John Lennon doesn't have to do this."
I was looking at him, going, "What the fuck are you talking about?
"This is it! This is what we've worked all these years to achieve.
"This is the sort of pinnacle of success. And you don't want to do it? You're mad!"
Of course, he WAS mad, but that wasn't the point.
It was a really clear indication... I was really shocked.
Syd was suddenly starting to get recognised,
and he would be a scrumptious pop idol.
Maybe he thought, "Do I really want this life? Is this what I want?"
Maybe that's what was coming out unconsciously then in all the wacky behaviour.
Was all the wacky behaviour a rejection of becoming a pop star?
One day we were going off to do a gig and we went to pick him up
and he jumped into the car and he was wearing a frock, you know.
I said, "What are you doing, Syd?" He said, "I'm a homosexual,"
and he went through this whole thing where he pretended to be gay for days on end.
The Floyd was losing not only its leader,
but also the writer responsible for much of its original material and hit singles.
So we took a very positive view and we all went, "Agh!
"Don't show me!"
You know, it was denial at the ultimate level, really.
I mean, Roger had a theory he was a schizophrenic. I don't think he was.
But I'm still convinced he took a huge overdose of acid and destroyed his brain cells.
He went to see Ronnie Lang and he said, "There's nothing we can do for him."
Physically, the brain has actually been destroyed.
So, very sad.
No amount of English reserve could mask the fact that Barrett was now an acid casualty,
virtually unable to perform.
The other band members called a crisis meeting
with managers Peter Jenner, Andrew King and Bryan Morrison.
Peter Jenner and Andrew King were convinced that without Syd, there was no Pink Floyd.
"You know, you solve this problem or you go back to being an architect.
"If you don't solve this problem, it's over!"
And terrible concern
because it was also... It was a mixture of a business panic because we needed another single -
"Syd, please, can you write another single?"
Syd didn't know what he thought. "No, Syd's got an idea." "Really? What is it?"
"Syd thinks you should hire two girl saxophone players,"
and that was it, I think.
"Oh! Well... No!"
You know. No.
Bryan Morrison, who was a barrow boy, said, "The name's Pink Floyd.
"As long as we put out the Pink Floyd, no-one's going to know the difference. Which one of you is Syd?"
It was Barratt's old Cambridge friend, David Gilmour, who was asked by the band to join Pink Floyd.
When you're all young, thrusting, ambitious people in your early 20s,
you have a brutality about the things you do
you know, your ambition is driving you forward without much care for other people's feelings, to be frank.
And you have plenty of time to feel guilty later.
As 1967 gave way to 1968,
Syd Barrett gave way to David Gilmour as Pink Floyd passed through a brief five-member transition.
I think it was odd for David, it was odd for Syd, and the rest of us were a bit embarrassed about it.
We nearly said something, that's how bad it was(!)
I think it was difficult for David
because when he came into the band,
I think his role was to try and play Syd's guitar parts.
# Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh,
# Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
# Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
# Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh... #
It was his band. It was him and about him.
I think I coped with it OK. There were moments of feeling lost on stage,
and not knowing what the hell was going on around me.
I did spend some of my time with my back to the audience...
sort of sliding mic-stand legs up the guitar,
making weird noises,
feeling rather embarrassed.
That's not all the time.
Quite a bit of the time it really worked and gelled
and you started thinking, "Yeah, I'm getting what we're on about here."
The band was now recording that difficult second album, A Saucerful Of Secrets.
Some of the tracks were already recorded -
I think, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, which was
Roger's first real moment of glory,
was already pretty well done.
I think there's a guitar on there that Syd did and a bit of guitar that I did.
I think that's the only moment we share on the track.
# Little by little the night turns around... #
One of the things that worked quite well was very rhythmic moments.
# Counting the leaves which tremble at dawn
# Lotuses lean on each other in yearning... #
We did break some new ground by allowing the music to drop down,
drop away and become this more... ethereal spacey music.
It was deep space that now attracted the Floyd's attention,
as it did countless millions of other hopefuls worldwide in 1969.
'The world's TV audience, 600 million people this afternoon watched the Apollo 11 spacecraft
'launched into a perfect blue sky above Cape Kennedy in Florida.'
As the first men walked on the moon, Pink Floyd played along with the TV pictures for the BBC.
We were there in the studio playing live while people were walking on the moon.
I can't quite imagine it today,
that behind a programme they'd have a pop group making up a jam live in the studio
while that was going on.
Ha! Those were the days!
'Aircraft reports a visual with three chutes...'
When the Floyd returned to Earth,
they discovered that producing singles without Barrett was Mission Impossible.
We all tried to write singles.
Point Me At The Sky was one notable failure.
MUSIC: "Point Me At The Sky"
We couldn't do it.
Eventually we just gave up and went, "We can't do that - what can we do?"
"We'll do long things, then."
MUSIC: "Careful With That Axe, Eugene"
Careful With That Axe, Eugene announced a Floyd of extended,
rock-driven soundscapes and implied narratives. A kind of space rock made by an unidentified crew,
now journeying without a captain.
We were fantastically insular.
We didn't really want to be influenced by other people and things that were going on.
We were fiercely independent of what we were doing.
We did learn a lot about improvising and about listening to what other people were doing,
and picking up an idea and developing it.
This was the age of experimentation
and difficult music of prepared pianos and classical pretensions,
saucepans full of secrets, all of which the Floyd embraced.
A lot of the time it would just be like plonky noises.
We'd be searching for something and it didn't work.
Ultimately, to me personally, it became rather unsatisfying.
I think it was Roger who said, "Let's make an album without using any of our instruments."
"Use household objects."
So we spent days getting a pencil and a rubber band till it sounded like a bass.
We spent weeks doing this.
Nick would find saucepans and stuff, then deaden them to make them sound like a snare drum.
I remember saying to Roger, "This is insane."
MUSIC: "Atom Heart Mother"
Atom Heart Mother was the Floyd's most ambitious experiment yet,
a rock suite incorporating a brass band and choir.
MUSIC: "Atom Heart Mother"
The musicians didn't give a shit. It was basically a brass band.
They didn't give a shit. They just wanted to have their beer and get pissed. It was very weird.
Atom Heart Mother was like a movie soundtrack.
It was meant to be the soundtrack to an epic movie that didn't exist.
It was an interesting exercise but it doesn't hold an enormous amount of Pink Floyd development.
Their fans disagreed.
The record went to number one in the album chart in October 1970.
But as the members sharpened their song-writing skills,
strengthened their musical partnership and focused their experimental ambitions,
they hit a creative peak on their next album, Meddle,
with a little help from Seamus the dog.
It took a while before any of us turned up songs we thought were good.
I suppose our confidence to move
slightly away from being quite so out there, came with time.
MUSIC: "One Of These Days"
The Floyd had fathered British prog rock and unwittingly,
its self-indulgent excesses.
But they showed exactly how it should be done with Echoes -
a 23-minute track that made up the entire second side of the Meddle album.
# Overhead the albatross
# Hangs motionless upon the air... #
The whole band worked on it together.
# ..the rolling waves In labyrinths of coral caves... #
Everyone would be throwing things in, seeing what worked
and what didn't.
# Willowing across the sands And everything... #
All encouraging each other, all getting inspired by other people's ideas.
It was a really collective piece of music.
I think we found our feet.
I think we found we can do this without Syd.
Roger would be driving it more than anyone else, in its dynamic range.
All of that work, everything we did there I look upon as serving our apprenticeship,
before we could actually say, "Right, now we're ready.
"Put on your apron, we're gonna make Dark Side Of The Moon."
We'd learned how to use our chisels. And we'll do it properly this time.
In 1973 the Floyd returned to the moon -
but this time to its dark side.
# Get away
# Get a good job with... #
Times had changed. Sixties optimism had given way to the troubled Seventies.
This was a world in eclipse, materialistic and authoritarian.
'Anything is possible' had become 'nothing is possible'.
Roger Waters' lyrics spat back at a world now peopled by us and them.
The record sold millions and gave them their first number one album in the States.
They had become conflated, in my mind
with this thing which I really thought was the death of music,
prog rock and stuff like that.
It was over-considered,
middle class, intellectual,
I didn't have it, uniquely amongst the planet, I have to say.
But it's only much later I realised the scale of their achievement.
What it is is a great record. That's what it is.
It's absolutely one of the cardinal pillars of rock'n'roll, in my view, now.
MUSIC: "Us And Them"
I certainly knew, as we were making this album, that something magical is happening.
I remember sitting at the final listening...
all of us saying, "That is good...
"That is very good."
MUSIC: "On The Run"
One of the elements that made it so successful was that the bloody record company
pulled their finger out and got on with it.
That initial surge and that number one in America was very important.
It was certainly, apart from the enormously talented drumming on it, was to do with the record company
doing their job.
This album just shot up
and was so enormous, we leapt into a different stratosphere.
Part of you wants it. You want that success.
You love it, you know.
You want people to love you or to pretend they love you.
It's a drug.
Dark Side represents not only the band's biggest commercial hit,
but also their most successful artistic collaboration.
Four men, one band - it would never be quite the same again.
-Are there some difficult moments? Yes.
-How do you get round them?
We pretend they're not there.
We certainly don't face up to them in an adult way, if that's what you mean.
We understand each other very well, we're very tolerant of each other.
But a lot of things are unsaid as well.
We're all from the British aristocracy, with the exception of David Gilmour.
-And all our mothers are countesses in England.
-Dukes and duchesses...
I mean, obviously they're a gang of idiots but live and let live.
In America a record executive puffed on his cigar and asked the group,
"Oh, by the way, which one's Pink?"
Roger had, by this time, become the lyricist.
And it really was team work because David and me would write music,
Roger would go home and write some lyrics and come back. That was how the writing was working then.
MUSIC: "Brain Damage"
# The lunatic is on the grass... #
But this Pink Floyd seemed regretful and sometimes angry.
This wasn't pop music as we'd known it but a new and surprisingly
commercial strain of English melancholy.
If I'm at home and I go on the piano,
it's all very melancholic, what I play.
I keep saying to myself I have to get out of this,
do something more upbeat.
David's melancholic too,
in his guitar playing.
Against Roger's rather flowery and political and angry lyrics. It's quite an interesting combination.
People naturally experience unease
about all of this.
I think most human beings experience and think,
"Well, on the surface all of this seems to be working,
"but it just doesn't sit right with me."
That's why people attach to it.
They're attached to this work because there's a sense of relief, even if it's melancholic,
when you go, "Oh, my God, somebody else gets it too.
"Somebody else feels this sense of unease."
It's Roger's phrase "quiet desperation", isn't that what he says, "it's the English way"?
Something like that.
Dave is quintessentially English.
There's a reserve. And it's hard...
to break out of it. So he doesn't. He just plays it.
The daunting task of following Dark Side Of The Moon
was finally clinched back at Abbey Road Studios in 1975.
The spectre of Syd Barrett was celebrated, if not fully laid to rest, on what would become
their second most successful album, Wish You Were Here.
They paid tribute to their mercurial founder in an emotionally charged anthem
that would become an essential part of any Pink Floyd concert.
# Remember when you were young
# You shone like the sun
# Shine on you crazy diamond
# Now there's a look in your eyes
# Like black holes in the sky
# Shine on
# You crazy diamond
# You were caught in the crossfire
# Of childhood and stardom
# Blown on the steel breeze
# Come on, you target
# For faraway laughter
# Come on, you stranger
# You legend, you martyr
# And shine... #
The way in which Syd left
and their consistent determination to link themselves to Syd,
to talk about him, to sing about him, write songs about him
I think it's been good karma for them.
He's there because we all know that
the band wouldn't have existed without him kicking it off.
I think we also felt that, having dropped him out of the band,
perhaps we have a bit of guilt,
of course we should've done something better for him.
It's funny, when Syd died last year, I realised that
by and large, I'd already done all my grieving.
I'd done it 20 years before, I'd been doing it.
The Floyd had always been a multimedia band
but the innocent DIY days of the late Sixties were long gone.
The band now commanded huge stadiums
and pioneered a form of rock theatre that amazed and delighted their ever-expanding audience.
But they continued to hide behind the pyrotechnics.
We don't exist, we're just a brand. Here we are.
Don't put any lights on us, be distracted by these fucking flying pigs and aeroplanes.
Just keep away from us, you're not getting near us.
Our cosy rapport with the audience that were there,
entirely for us, and would be quiet.
In the quiet bits you could hear a pin drop.
That whole thing where we felt at one with our audience changed rather.
Rather than focusing on the individuals, what did they want to focus on? The music.
But how do you do that to punters without boring them?
Quite a lot of people were playing Frisbee at the back
and you've got to try and get them to join in.
That's the real reason for doing big things - you want everyone to enjoy the show.
It's impossible to think or imagine that in every largish town
there are 50,000 people who know and love your music.
It's just not realistic to believe that.
Dave particularly was very against doing anything. "Why can't we just stand on stage and play the songs?"
"It'll be boring."
Waters, the most organised, motivated and ambitious member of the group, pushed ahead
planning ever-higher concepts and bigger extravaganzas,
making pigs fly and Pink Floyd THE show in town.
But his increasing disgust with society and authority
now put him and the band in conflict with the very audiences that flocked
to their stadium shows, which were becoming an increasingly empty spectacle.
# Big man, pig man, ha ha... #
You know, that was a lot of show, that Animals was really a big show.
I became rather disenchanted with it.
And thought that too much was lost.
What was gained from having a large congregation of people communing together
which is what a stadium at its best is,
was being lost in a watering down of the way the message got across to the audience.
I thought it was inhuman and only about money.
# Ha ha, charade you are... #
On the 1977 Animals tour, Waters himself conceded defeat by stadium,
when he spat, like an older, angrier Johnny Rotten at a member of the audience.
# You well-heeled big wheel... #
One of the very irritating things about being
post-show is, when it's been a bad one, and someone says,
"That was fucking great."
You resent them. You think, "What the fuck do you know?
"It was crap."
# We don't need no education... #
Waters' personal response to the Animals incident and the dead-end of the stadium experience
was to make physical and mental barriers,
and his sense of alienation the subject of the Floyd's next project.
He would rewrite the book of rock theatre on The Wall.
If you show yourself, it's a risk.
You take the risk of being rejected.
If you have pretensions to being an artist of any kind,
you have to take the risk of people rejecting you, thinking you're an arsehole.
"That's crap." So, you may think it is, but it's me.
# All in all, you're just a...nother brick in the wall... #
Waters approached The Wall as a one-man construction crew.
but his determined vision and combative leadership marginalised the other members.
My confidence in my own lyric writing has not always been that high.
And Roger showed a very strong desire to be the lyricist.
We all...lazily allowed that to happen.
I didn't have any material to offer and David didn't really, either.
And Roger had begun to think, "I'm the writer of this band.
"And I don't want anyone else to write. I'm going to become..."
It was the start of that whole thing.
So, I'm to blame for not having anything and he's to blame for not encouraging anything to come.
"Oh, he wouldn't let us write." What?! That's just so stupid.
I'm desperate for people to write, always,
always, always, always.
# Is there anybody out there? #
The fact is Roger arrived with The Wall more or less pre-written.
That was a hell of a different thing to Dark Side.
# Is there anybody out there? #
Now the indisputable leader of the band, Waters, frustrated by a lack of support,
sacked one of its co-founding original members,
keyboard player, Rick Wright.
Our personal relationship broke down completely by The Wall.
That's when I left.
But, the interesting thing is, when I was asked to leave, I said,
"I will but I want to finish this and I want to play live,
"play the performances." And Roger was totally happy for me to play.
I think the personality clash had a lot to do with it.
And his...his belief that he was the band...
And that the other musicians... The story goes that Nick was the next one to be thrown out by him.
We'd reached the point where Roger questioned why he was working with these other people,
who he felt were not really helping him do what he wanted to do.
In fact they were criticising him, "That's not quite right, Roger."
Regime change was in the air.
My musical taste and abilities
had just as much, if not more,
to do with it all than Roger's.
And if I allowed this dictatorship to become real and total,
then our music would suffer.
Because I didn't think, still don't,
that is really Roger's main forte.
When I was that very young guy in that band all those years ago
I would stand in the corner, smoke cigarettes endlessly and snarl.
I'm not as reactionary in the literal sense, as I was when I was as a young man.
I don't immediately feel I've got to, you know,
hurt you before you hurt me.
The band made one more record together, The Final Cut.
But in most respects it was a solo album from Waters.
Soon after, he informed their record company that he was leaving,
and declared that Pink Floyd was no more.
# Or make 'em me
# Or make 'em you
# Make 'em do what you want them to... #
This was something David Gilmour in particular refused to accept.
I think he was very surprised when David and Nick said "OK,
"you can leave the band, fine." He didn't expect them to say,
"Now we'll make a Pink Floyd album, go on tour without you."
It seemed important to me to just get on and do the best you can do.
Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd had been one Pink Floyd.
The Pink Floyd with the four of us, Roger, Rick, Nick and I, had been another one.
And this would be another version.
That, I think, shocked him a bit.
Well, not shocked him... and made him angry.
Well, we know it made him angry because he tried to stop it.
The argument was me, rather pompously, and I admit now, erroneously,
suggesting that because I wasn't in the band any more
that the brand and band name should be retired.
So, it wasn't up to me.
Well, it's a battle about using a name. It's a name that all of us had spent our adult lives working on,
as anonymous as we all have been throughout that Pink Floyd history.
I mean, after all, who's Nick Mason?
He's the drummer with Pink Floyd.
Who's Rick? He's the keyboard player.
Who's Roger? Oh, he's the guy who was in the Pink Floyd.
That's who they are.
MUSIC: "Learning To Fly"
Spurred into action, Gilmour wrote and recorded a new Floyd album,
A Momentary Lapse Of Reason, with new collaborators.
Released in 1987, it went on to sell 9 million copies.
And encouraged Gilmour to tour the Floyd with Rick Wright and Nick Mason fully reinstated.
# Into the distance A ribbon of black
# Stretched to the point of no turning back
# A flight of fancy... #
When the band played live in Venice in July 1989,
the televised event was watched around the globe.
Pink Floyd were back, bigger than ever and with a new leader.
# Holding me fast
# How can I escape
# This irresistible grasp?
# Can't keep my eyes from the circling sky
# Tongue-tied and twisted
# Just an earthbound misfit, I...
# Ice is forming on the tips... #
Pink Floyd toured the world, as did a solo Roger Waters.
He performed his version of The Wall in Berlin in 1990.
Both played the band's most popular numbers while lawsuits and bad blood flowed between them.
I remember one night playing in Cincinnati to about 2,000 people in a 6,000-seat arena.
And they were playing to 60,000 people in a football stadium next door.
Playing all my songs!
You know, but...
Erm...it was hard to take.
The Momentary Lapse Of Reason tour restored the confidence of both Rick Wright and Nick Mason.
Under Gilmour's leadership, the band now worked together again as a team
for what would be the last original Pink Floyd album.
The Division Bell began life here in 1993
in Gilmour's floating studio, moored at Hampton Court.
We decided to start this one, we'd all go and jam, for a week or so.
Just start playing together and out of that came Division Bell.
So, it was a true Floyd writing partnership again.
Well, that sounds to me like something that needs development but it could almost be...
I have nothing to say.
It was a happier Pink Floyd that continued recording The Division Bell throughout 1993.
Happy together, but nonetheless compelled to gaze once again back into their past,
with the closing track High Hopes.
# The grass was greener
# The light was brighter
# The days were sweeter
# The nights of wonder
# With friends surrounded... #
When you think about how many different versions,
different lead songwriters they've had.
there's something that links it all.
Certainly they managed to make the changes evolutionary, gradual...
and always maintaining a certain kind of sound.
More than a decade after The Division Bell was released,
the Pink Floyd lawsuits had subsided and the band had been put on ice,
Bob Geldof wanted the four surviving members of the group to reunite
as the climax of his Live 8 event.
A task akin to making poverty history.
He opened negotiations with David Gilmour.
I really don't do the hard sell cos I don't want to do it to him.
He's desperate not to do this. I can see it, he's not gonna do it.
And I just have to say, one, no-one in Pink Floyd's world feels
that you guys ever said goodbye properly.
And that's true.
Two, it's 20 minutes.
It's 20 minutes.
"Ah, we're going on tour..." Spare me.
Don't tell me that the Pink Floyd getting back together again will not seize
the entire... That's the thing that makes this totally different.
Gilmour said no.
So, Geldof contacted Waters who called Gilmour,
who called Geldof and so on.
Eventually the four men buried the axe
and agreed to play together just one more time as Pink Floyd.
We had a meeting with Roger and he wanted to do other songs.
Basically David said, "Look, they've asked Pink Floyd to play.
"We're Pink Floyd so we're gonna do these songs, and if you'd like to play with us, that'd be great."
So he was very humble, actually.
He knew that, he realised that.
But he loved it.
# I cannot put my finger on it now
# The child is grown The dream is gone... #
To me, it was also very good to get back on to speaking terms,
after all the bickering with Roger over the years,
and us to maybe grow up a little bit...
Become adult human beings in some sort of reasonable relationship...
For that moment.
It was, er...it was terrific.
From the playing point of view, it was really easy and really nice,
and fun to play together.
For me playing with Roger...the relationship between the bass player and the drummer is special,
you just intuitively know which mistakes we're gonna make next.
Great to have Roger standing next to me...playing the bass.
It did bring back memories, and a little bit of emotion.
I think it's great that happened. I really think it was great.
If that's the only time we get to draw a line under it, well, so be it.
I'd like to do more of it. I thought it was really cool. It was very interesting, musically
and emotionally and philosophically.
This vast, numberless constituency gathered about because these four men said,
"Enough's enough, this single thing is important enough to put aside
"these pathetic misgivings of the past."
There was nothing more potent or symbolic on that night than
these four old geezers
laying their own ghosts to rest,
and the thing is, it worked.
There are 20 million children in school,
now - cos of what went on all during that week.
And emblematic of that week,
was this signature group
and this great moment in their lives.
The body language was funny...
Roger seemed, "Yeah, I'm back!"
Sort of very pleased. And the others were kind of...
like that a bit.
We were a family, you know, and we went through a divorce.
A marriage and we went through a divorce. And erm...
I don't know who divorced who, but anyway...
It didn't feel like a family.
There are connections I feel with my mother and my brother
that I don't feel for anybody that I was in Pink Floyd with.
It's very like a family. You get sick of each other, the way you do in families.
And you get this wonderful honesty...
you know, shouting at people, telling them how useless they are and what they've done wrong.
It's a bit like the Munsters, if you know what I mean.
Well, there it is. You can pass your verdict as well as I can.
My verdict is that it is a regression to childhood but after all, why not?
I would love to go out and play Floyd music again.
Stubborn isn't the word, talking about leading a horse to water but you can't make it drink.
Well, these horses can't even be led to the water.
I don't think it will happen but I think... Well, you can ask Dave when you speak to him.
I think it happens.
# And all that is gone
# And all that's to come
# And everything under the sun is in tune
# And the sun is eclipsed by the moon. #
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Over 40 years after Britain's foremost 'underground' band released their debut album Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Pink Floyd remain one of the biggest brand names and best-loved bands in the world.
This film features extended archive, some of it rarely or never seen before, alongside original interviews with four members of Pink Floyd - David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Nick Mason and the late Richard Wright - and traces the journey of a band that has only ever had five members, three of whom have led the band at different stages of its evolution.
Tracing the band's history from psychedelic 60s London to their reunion appearance at Live 8 in 2005, this is the story of a succession of musical and commercial peaks separated by a succession of struggles around the creative leadership of the band. Their story was given added poignancy by the 2006 death of their estranged frontman, Syd Barrett.
Pink Floyd spearheaded the concept album, never sold themselves as personalities and expanded rock way beyond its three minute pop song beginnings. Pink Floyd has made the four members very rich and has consumed their creative lives, but it hasn't always made them friends. When first meeting their American record company, one of the executives apocryphally asked, "Which one's Pink?". This film traces the reverberations of that question throughout the band's history.
First led by the innovative singer, songwriter and guitarist Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd were at the forefront of Britain's psychedelic era. After putting the band on the map with hits like Arnold Layne and See Emily Play, Barrett drifted out of the band after experimenting with LSD.
The three remaining members added Barrett's old Cambridge friend David Gilmour to the band on guitar and functioned as a communal unit while creating extended sonic explorations on albums like Atom Heart Mother and Echoes. While creating ever larger and more visually ambitious stage shows, the band personally shunned the limelight, taking the stage as four shadowy figures and never appearing on their album covers.
Gradually Roger Waters emerged as the band's key songwriter, creating those massive selling concept albums of the mid-70s, Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall, two of the biggest-selling and boldest albums of all time. But Waters's desire to control the band and the increasing passivity of the others eventually left to him leaving the band and the name after 1983's The Final Cut album.
David Gilmour eventually assumed control of the band, producing two globally-successful Pink Floyd albums, A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987) and The Division Bell (1994), with the help of Nick Mason and Rick Wright. Meanwhile, Waters conducted a less commercially-successful solo career.
As a result of Bob Geldof's pleading, David Gilmour, Rick Wright and Nick Mason reunited with Roger Waters for one time only for 2005's Live 8, playing together for the first time in approximately 25 years.
Whether Pink Floyd will ever record or perform again with or without Roger Waters remains unclear.