Is Pink Floyd still popular
David Gilmour turns 75: the good soul of Pink Floyd
He toured the world with Pink Floyd, but David Gilmour never felt like a true rock star. He will be 75 years old on March 6, 2021.
A few years ago David Gilmour was on tour through Europe again, with his own songs and classics from his former band Pink Floyd. He would play in the most beautiful places on the continent, it was said in advance - in the Arena of Verona, in the Royal Albert Hall, in the old amphitheater of Pula. Only in Germany apparently could not find anything appropriate, and so in September 2015 Gilmour sat in an ugly backstage room in a multifunctional hall in Oberhausen and gave interviews about his recently released album "Rattle That Lock". "I really rarely feel like a rock star," dictated Gilmour, who had come to the interview with his wife Polly Samson, to the journalist into the recording device. "When I do concerts, it is sometimes quite a shock. Then I think to myself: Fuck, you are obviously really a rock star. I already lead a strange life."
Not much has remained of this strange life now, in times of Corona. David Gilmour will be 75 years old on March 6th, and he will celebrate at home, within his own four walls, with his family. You can already see what that might look like on YouTube. For months, Gilmour has been posting videos online showing him making music together with his daughter Romany, next to his wife, his children and his grandchildren. The rock star is very far away.
Although Gilmour never actually was, a star in the classic sense. So if you want to tell about your life, you can't cling to scandalous headlines, as you would with other musicians of this caliber. Sure, Gilmour also led a private life, had girlfriends, married, became a father. But he was no more a public artist than Pink Floyd was a public band. No fuss, no gossip. It wasn't until the mid-80s, when the band members split up and tore each other apart in seemingly endless legal battles, that the music press was no longer just writing about Pink Floyd.
David Gilmour replaced Syd Barrett
David Gilmour was born in Cambridge in 1946 and grew up near the university town. His father was a zoologist and his mother worked for the BBC. A classic middle-class household, with parents encouraging their son to make music at an early age. When Gilmour was eleven, he first met Syd Barrett and Roger Waters, who lived in the neighborhood and would later start Pink Floyd. A close friendship developed with Barrett, but not with Waters. Perhaps a portent of later conflicts?
In any case, Gilmour toured with Syd Barrett in the mid-1960s - by then he had already dropped out of a language course but, more importantly, founded a band - through Europe, with covers of Beatles songs. None of this was successful, but at least it was a start. Back in London, Barrett eventually created Pink Floyd, with Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Rick Wright. Gilmour wasn't there, instead recorded a few long forgotten songs with a band called Jokers Wild. How he finally got to Pink Floyd is a pretty ugly story.
Barrett, lead singer and head of the band, had taken too much acid and was caught in a trip he couldn't find a way out of. "We suffered from having someone like him in the band who could explode at any time," admitted drummer Mason a few years ago. "The rest of us just wanted to go ahead and play." At some point, the former head of Pink Floyd was simply no longer taken to the band's performances. David Gilmour took over his singing and guitar playing.
Gilmour and Waters - that fit and that didn't fit
The playfulness of the first record gave way to more serious songwriting, for which Roger Waters was responsible at first, but soon Gilmour too. The question of which of the two was decisive for the musical direction of the band can still lead to lively discussions among fans. When Waters goes on a solo tour today, he is often advertised as the "creative genius" of Pink Floyd, while Gilmour is advertised as the band's "voice and guitar". Like it's that easy. Probably both complemented each other perfectly - Waters, the intellectual, always a bit sullen brooder, and Gilmour, the good soul of the band, the man with the unmistakably clear voice, the precise and rousing guitar playing and the unbelievable solos.
"I would never make music that sounds the way others hope it will. When I write songs, it's an absolutely selfish process," said Gilmour in that backstage room in Oberhausen. "The only person who has to like my music is me." Roger Waters probably sees it the same way. When the old cynic Waters wrote pieces like "Have A Cigar", the bitter reckoning with the music industry, Gilmour refused to sing, so a guest musician had to be brought into the studio. It is a small miracle that this clash of oversized egos resulted in songs that are among the best in rock history.
In any case, after Gilmour's entry, Pink Floyd developed from an insider tip in the London Underground into one of the most important bands of the 20th century. Albums like "The Dark Side Of The Moon" (1973) and "Wish You Were Here" (1975) sold millions of copies, Pink Floyd filled large arenas and even larger football stadiums. That went quite well for a few years, until Waters increasingly seized the helm. "Animals" (1977), the album with the flying pig on the cover, but even more the concept monster "The Wall" (1979), bear the signature of the always very political musician Waters. Perhaps the best pieces on "The Wall", especially the epic "Comfortably Numb", were written by Gilmour.
David Gilmour has eight children
The differences within the band could not be discussed away at the beginning of the 80s. Waters wanted to break up the group, Gilmour wanted to continue with Mason and Wright. From then on you no longer saw yourself on stage or in the studio, but in court. In the end, Gilmour won, Pink Floyd lived on. From then on it was clear who was the boss - "A Momentary Lapse Of Reason" (1987), the first album of the post-Waters era, was like a solo album by Gilmour. And the huge tours that Waters had hated at one point and that inspired him to create "The Wall" became a trademark of the band again. They played in front of the Berlin Reichstag and in front of 200,000 spectators in the Venice lagoon. The music of those years, it sounds very contemporary today, for better or for worse.
After one last tour in the early 1990s to promote "The Division Bell" (1994), it fell silent about Pink Floyd - and Gilmour. The band was most recently united on stage in 2005 for "Live 8", three years later Rick Wright died. In the mid-noughties, however, Gilmour, meanwhile holder of the Order of the British Empire, seemed to rediscover the joy of making music, he toured and released two very solid solo records.
The father of eight, who married for the second time in 1994, recently recorded the song "Yes, I Have Ghosts" with daughter Romany. The video for the play, a tribute to Leonard Cohen, shows Gilmour on the beach on the Greek island of Hydra. The sun shines in his face, he looks happy.
Source: teleschau - der mediendienst GmbH
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