318 - The Magic of Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd  are one of the world’s most popular rock groups, even if they no longer play together. Indeed two of their founding members, Syd Barrett and Rick Wright, are now dead. Pink Floyd’s absence from the stage has created opportunities for cover bands like The Australian Pink Floyd Show.

Jason Sawford (Mild Australian accent)

Buonasera, thank you very much. We’re very happy to be here back in Milano and we’ve got some fantastic Pink Floyd songs for you tonight and, in the second half of the show, we’ll be featuring some special 3D effects. So the next song is an old ‘60s song, written by Syd Barrett, and it’s called Arnold Layne. So let’s rock!

“Arnold Layne had a strange hobby

Collecting clothes…”

Colin Wilson is the group’s bass guitarist. He first met “the real Pink Floyd” in 1994.

Colin Wilson (Mild Australian accent)

Colin WilsonThe connection with David Gilmour started back in ’94.  He came to see us play at a venue called Fairfield Halls in Croydon, just outside of  London. And he just came, it was actually the Division Bell tour was still on and they… I think they’d played in Paris the night before or something and had a day off and they’d come back into London and… and someone had obviously shown him a flyer or an advert or something and they… they came along and saw us and came backstage afterwards, introduced himself to us, and we sort of picked our jaws up off the floor and… and had a bit of chat with him. And so that was a great occasion on… by itself, and then it was followed up a little while later, we had a phone call from his office, asking if we were interested in playing at the Division Bell end of world tour party at Earls Court. And, of course, we said, “Yeah, we’d love to do that!” Unfortunately, that didn’t come through because there were some council… sort of legal issues  about noise because there’s… it’s a kind of a residential area around Earls Court. And they were actually really apologetic that we couldn’t actually do it, and then we thought that would be the last we heard and then, actually, we got the invite to play at David’s private 50th birthday party in March of ’96. So, you know, again, we were just staggered that they, you know, were… remembered us and wanted us to do that and we… it was a very sort of private occasion, we weren’t to tell anybody about it beforehand ‘cause they didn’t want the location of it to get out and we went along and played our… hour, I think it was,  an hour set, and fantastic ‘cause the whole audience basically were people that we recognised as being kind of heroes of ours from the music industry and we finished and David and Guy Pratt and Rick Wright and a few of the others actually got up on stage and used our gear and played sort of three or four songs. So it was great, it was a fantastic memory, obviously we never imagined it was going to happen, never expected it,  but, you know, we’ll never forget it, of course!

Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett left the group in 1968 and became a recluse. Barrett died in 2006, but one year before that Gilmour, Waters, Wright and Mason got together and played at Live 8. Rock photographer, Jill Furmanovsky, who had followed the group since the days of Dark Side of the Moon, immortalised that magic moment:

Jill Furmanovsky (Standard British accent)

Jill FurmanovskyYeah, this is the line-up for Live 8 and… yeah, this is a very emotional picture when I look at it because, you know, Rick’s not there anymore and it wasn’t that long ago, but I was  there when they were rehearsing for it and it was the first time that David and Roger had  communicated and played together since the big break-up. So, yeah, no, I mean, the music, when they went into rehearsal for Live 8, suddenly the great power of the music took over from all that animosity and just the animosity seemed to disappear, for at least that period of time. It was amazing.

Jason Sawford

Thank you, grazie. We’re going to take a short break now and, after the break, we’ll be featuring some special CD effects and, of course, some more fantastic Pink Floyd music. See you after the break. Thank you.

Colin Wilson and Jill Furmanovsky were talking to Mark Worden