Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett, Live Concerts
Pink Floyd were an English rock band who, in the late 1960s, earned recognition for their psychedelic and space rock music, and in the 1970s, as they evolved, for their progressive rock music. Pink Floyd's work is marked by philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album cover art, and elaborate live shows. One of rock music's most critically acclaimed and commercially successful acts, the group has sold over 200 million albums worldwide including 74.5 million certified units in the United States. Pink Floyd influenced contemporary artists such as Nine Inch Nails and Dream Theater.
Pink Floyd were formed in 1965, soon after Syd Barrett joined The Tea Set, a group that consisted of architecture students Nick Mason, Roger Waters, Richard Wright and Bob Klose. Klose left shortly after, but the group had moderate mainstream success and were a popular fixture on London's underground music scene. The erratic behaviour of Barrett prompted his colleagues to add guitarist and singer David Gilmour to the line-up. Following Barrett's departure, bass player and singer Roger Waters became the lyricist and dominant figure in the band, which thereafter achieved worldwide critical and commercial success with the concept albums The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, and rock opera The Wall.
Wright left the band in 1979, and Waters in 1985, but Gilmour and Mason (joined by Wright) continued recording and touring under the name Pink Floyd. Waters used legal means to try to keep them from using the name, declaring Pink Floyd a spent force, but the parties reached an out-of-court settlement allowing Gilmour, Mason and Wright to continue as Pink Floyd. The band again enjoyed worldwide success with A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987) and The Division Bell (1994), and Waters continued as a solo musician, releasing three studio albums. Although for some years relations between Waters and the remaining three members were sour, the band reformed for a one-off performance at Live 8.
Nick Mason and Roger Waters met at the Regent Street Polytechnic in London, where both were studying architecture. The pair first played together in a band formed by Keith Noble and Clive Metcalfe, along with Noble's sister Sheilagh, an occasional singer. They were joined later by fellow student Richard Wright. With the addition of Wright the band became a sextet, and took the name Sigma 6. Wright's girlfriend Juliette Gale was often a guest artist, and Waters initially played rhythm guitar before switching to bass. Early gigs were for private functions, and the band rehearsed in a tearoom in the basement of Regent Street Polytechnic. Sigma 6 played songs by The Searchers as well as material written by fellow student Ken Chapman, who became their manager and songwriter.
In September 1963 Mason and Waters moved into the lower flat of Stanhope Gardens, owned by Mike Leonard, a part-time tutor at the Regent Street Polytechnic. Leonard was a designer of light machines (perforated discs spun by electric motors to cast patterns of lights on the walls), and for a time played keyboard with the band. They used the front room of the flat for rehearsals. Mason later moved out of the flat, and accomplished guitar player Bob Klose moved in. The band's name was changed several times, from the Megadeaths, to the Architectural Abdabs, to the Tea Set. Metcalfe and Noble left the band shortly thereafter in order to form their own band.
Syd Barrett, then aged 17, arrived in London in late 1963, to study at Camberwell College of Art. Waters and Barrett were childhood friends; the bassist had often visited Barrett as he played guitar at his mother's house. Barrett joined the Tea Set in 1964 and moved into Stanhope Gardens alongside Klose and Waters.
Pink Floyd have been nominated for and won several awards, including a Grammy in 1995 for "Rock Instrumental Performance" on "Marooned"; inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (17 January 1996) and UK Music Hall of Fame (16 November 2005), and the Polar Music Prize for their contribution to contemporary music in 2008 when Waters and Mason received the prize from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. Technical awards include a "Best Engineered Non-Classical Album" Grammy in 1980 for The Wall;and a BAFTA for sound in 1982 for the film.
The group has sold over 200 million albums worldwide, including 74.5 million certified units in the United States. The Sunday Times Rich List 2009 ranks Waters at No. 657 with an estimated wealth of £85m, Gilmour at No. 742 with £78m, and Mason at No. 1077 with £50m.
A number of notable musicians and bands from diverse genres have been influenced by Pink Floyd's music. These include David Bowie, Blur, Tangerine Dream, Nine Inch Nails, Dream Theater, My Chemical Romance, The Mars Volta, Phish, Radiohead, Porcupine Tree, and The Smashing Pumpkins. Italian composer and conductor Martino Traversa listened to the group as a teenager. U2's The Edge, well known for his use of guitar effects, especially delay, bought his first delay pedal as a teenager after hearing the opening to Animals. The Pet Shop Boys paid homage to The Wall during a performance in Boston. Marillion guitarist Steve Rothery has cited Pink Floyd as "a major inspiration".