Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd
The Laughing Madcaps Facebook Group

Monday, June 29, 2009

Pink Floyd - Lucifer Sam: Video, Guitar, Bass

Lucifer Sam - Lyrics
(Barrett) 3:07

Lucifer Sam, Siam cat.
Always sitting by your side
Always by your side.
That cat's something I can't explain.

Ginger, ginger you're a witch.
You're the left side
He's the right side.
Oh, no!
That cat's something I can't explain.

Lucifer go to sea.
Be a hip cat
Be a ship's cat.
Somewhere, anywhere.
That cat's something I can't explain.

At night prowling sifting sand.
Hiding around on the ground.
He'll be found when you're around.
That cat's something I can't explain.

Lucifer Sam - Guitar

------------------------------------ x4

-------2-2-----1-----0-0------------- x2

------------------------------------- x2

F#m G
Lucifer Sam, siam cat.
Always sitting by your side
Always by your side.
That cat's something I can't explain.

------------------------------------- x4

-------2-2-----1-----0-0------------- x2



F#m G
Jennifer Gentle you're a witch.
You're the left side

He's the right side.
Oh, no!
That cat's something I can't explain.

F#m B G D B F#m (listen to the song for the chord changes)

F#m G
Lucifer go to sea.
Be a hip cat, be a ship's cat.
Somewhere, anywhere.
That cat's something I can't explain.

------------------------------------- x4

-------2-2-----1-----0-0------------- x2

------------------------------------- x2

F#m G
Night prowling sifting sand.
Padding around on the ground.
He'll be found when you're around.
That cat's something I can't explain.

Lucifer Sam - Bass




Pre chorus:





Then play main,pre chorus and chorus again then during solo:



Sunday, June 28, 2009

Today's Gig

On June 28 1967, The Pink Floyd played in the Dance Hall at the Eel Pie Island Hotel, Twickenham, Middlesex.

"Built in 1830, the Eel Pie Island Hotel had always been known for its musical attractions. Charles Dickens made mention of the hotel in Nicholas Nickleby as a place where one could 'dance to the music of a locomotive band'. With the advent of the hotel’s famous sprung dance floor in 1898, balls and tea dances became regular events."

This is a recent article called Eel Pie Island Records with some interesting memories of the Eel Pie music scene:

"Trying to talk to him was like trying to talk to a brick wall because his face was so expressionless. His lyrics were simple and child-like and he was like a child in many ways - up one minute and down the next. I often wondered what the hell he was doing in the music business." Norman Smith, producer

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Today's Gig

On Tuesday, June 27 1967, The Pink Floyd were in EMI Studio 3 (Abbey Road) with producer Norman Smith and engineers Peter Bown and Jeff Jarrett, recording overdubs for 3 tracks to be included on their debut album (The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn): Interstellar Overdrive, Flaming and Lucifer Sam.

"I've said this before, and I don't know how many people know this...that 'Interstellar Overdrive' as far as I can recall was recorded twice, on top of each other...the whole lot again, just played on top." Peter Jenner
(quoted in 'Random Precision: Recording the Music of Syd Barrett 1965-1974' by David Parker)

Pink Floyd See Emily Play Variations

Check out the variations on the Pink Floyd See Emily Play release. We have UK, American, Brazilian, German, Swiss, Mexican, New Zealand, Australian, and more! Then there are promos, factory sample, DJ, versions along with the regular.


Pink Floyd - See Emily Play Acetate

see emily play

The rarest version of Pink Floyd's second single. Check out this See Emily Play acetate. This piece o' wax surfaced in Amsterdam. Supposedly, the source's sister used to go out with Nick Mason.

The Emidisc-label on the A-side has been hand written, containing (from top to bottom):
45 RP

See Emily Play Lyrics:

Emily tries but misunderstands, ah ooh
She often inclined to borrow somebody's dreams till tomorrow

There is no other day
Let's try it another way
You'll lose your mind and play
Free games for may
See Emily play

Soon after dark Emily cries, ah ooh
Gazing through trees in sorrow hardly a sound till tomorrow

There is no other day
Let's try it another way
You'll lose your mind and play
Free games for may
See Emily play

Put on a gown that touches the ground, ah ooh
Float on a river forever and ever, Emily, Emily, Emily...

There is no other day
Let's try it another way
You'll lose your mind and play
Free games for May
See Emily play


Friday, June 26, 2009

Kiloh Smith - Rare Psychedelic Rock Poster Art Tour

Check out this slideshow of psychedelic rock poster art! This is from the collection of Kiloh Smith. There’s lots of Texas Psych and 13th Floor Elevators art. See the Pink Floyd poster art and Syd Barrett stuff too. It’s a LOT of stuff with LOTS of close-up shots!


Today's Gig

On June 26 1967, The Pink Floyd performed at Warwick University in Coventry, Warwickshire.

"The strongest image I have of Syd is of him sitting in his flat with a guitar and his book of songs, which he represented by paintings with different coloured circles. You'd go round to Syd's and you'd see him write a song. It just poured out. The acid brought out his latent madness. I'm sure it was his latent madness which gave him his creativity. The acid brought out the creativity, but more importantly, it brought out the madness. The creativity was there - dope was enough to get it going. He wrote all his songs, including the ones on his solo LPs, in a eighteen month period." (Peter Jenner)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Today's Gig

On June 25 1967, The Pink Floyd played two gigs, the early one in the main dance hall, and a late one in the Drokiweeny Beach Room, both at Mister Smiths in Manchester.

Support: The Motifs.

Also on this date in 1968: Pink Floyd recorded a Top Gear Session at BBC Studio One, 201 Piccadilly, London. This was first broadcast August 11 1968. The songs were: Julia Dream, Murderistic Women (Careful With That Axe, Eugene), Let There Be More Light, Massed Gadgets Of Hercules (Saucerful Of Secrets)

"I like songs that are simple." Syd Barrett

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Today's Gig

On June 24 1967, The Pink Floyd performed at Cesars Club in Bedford, Bedfordshire.

"I always write with guitar. I've got this big room and I just go in and do the work." Syd Barrett

Pink Floyd Animals: A Retrospective - Neville Harson

Pink Floyd Animals
Pink Floyd Animals


Arguably the last album made by Pink Floyd as a functioning quartet, Animals was released in early 1977, right around the time punk was exploding in England. While not necessarily crafted as a response to punk, the album can be seen as an attempt to keep up with the more aggressive times. It is perhaps The Floyds’ most vitriolic work. One could even see these songs as “protest songs,” though far removed from any folk tradition, and more in line with the style of the rock epics of the 1970’s.

The cover of the album sports the first appearance of the now-iconic flying pig over Battersea Station. The photo, though it seems like a model, is actually a composite shot using one photo of the pig, and another photo of the power plant. There’s a series of bleak, black & white photos on the inside of the original LP credited to different photographers including Peter Christopherson, later of experimental bands Throbbing Gristle and Coil. The lyrics on the inner sleeve, though written by Roger Waters, were printed by the hand of drummer Nick Mason.

Two of the songs on Animals, “Dogs” and “Sheep” had their origins as “You’ve Gotta Be Crazy” and “Raving and Drooling” a few years earlier, and were played regularly during live shows in 1974 and 1975. These early versions were originally intended for the album that became “Wish You Were Here” but finally wound up on Animals, with different arrangements and some lyrical revisions.

Although it has no real narrative thread, Animals is generally considered to be a “concept album”. There are three major songs: “Dogs”, “Pigs” and “Sheep;” each song portraying a segment of humanity in an unflattering light. “Dogs,” concerns itself with the egocentric world of business. “Pigs” seems to be about politicians and rulers. And “Sheep,” is about the religiously inclined masses. These three songs are framed by “Pigs on the Wing”, a short acoustic ballad in two parts that suggests some comfort in human relationships.

Animals marks the ascension of Roger Waters as lead Floyd kingpin. In addition to having written all the songs, he takes over more of the lead vocal duties on this album, singing “Pigs on the Wing”, “Pigs”, “Sheep”, and the tail end of “Dogs”. His yelping vocal style seems to be better suited to the acerbic material than Gilmour’s more dreamy voice. Similarly, Waters’ less melodic, more rhythmically-driven songwriting (2-3 note melodies in “Pigs” and “Sheep”) contrasts with Gilmour’s more melodic, and melodically complex (in comparison) “Dogs”. Parts of “Dogs” retain that “good old Pink Floyd” sound, but generally, there are few traces of that more laid-back Floyd amidst the venom. It should be noted that keyboardist Rick Wright and drummer Nick Mason receive no songwriting credits on this album.

Musically, the album is less synthesizer-driven than it’s predecessor, Wish You Were Here. Whether that is due to Richard Wright not contributing much to the album, or Waters not letting him contribute remains open to debate. There are still occasional synths throughout the album, but they are balanced (if not dominated) by acoustic and electric guitars, and at least one heroic guitar solo by David Gilmour. Also contributing to the sonic stew are the ubiquitous Floydian atmospheres and sound effects.

The album begins (and ends) with “Pigs on the Wing.” On the original 8-track tape release these two parts were connected with a guitar solo by sometime Floyd sideman Snowy White. Not so, here, on the vinyl or CD. The song consists of a simple G-C-F strumming pattern on an acoustic guitar (a chord sequence which would later be recycled for “Mother”), with Roger presumably singing about how good it is to care for someone and be cared for in return. It is tempting to think of “pigs on the wing” as a metaphor for bombs dropped from planes, especially given Waters’ obsession with World War II, but I could be reading into things too deeply.

“Dogs” is a long (17+ minutes) sectional piece that takes up the remainder of Side 1. The lyrics were written by Waters and seem to be about the (ahem) dog-eat-dog world of business and commerce. The music was mostly written by Gilmour. The piece begins with upbeat acoustic guitar strumming and somewhat eerie keyboards before the vocals start. Bass guitar and drums join in starting with the second verse. After a couple of verses, Gilmour plays a fitting guitar solo that sounds more aggressive than his usual style. During the solo there is a maniacal scream/laugh, presumably by Waters, that appears in some form on almost every Pink Floyd album from Ummagumma to The Wall.

The band then slows down for a B section with a slow guitar line that is somewhere between mournful and victorious. There are at least three guitars in this section, the lead and harmony guitars mixed in the front, and a more distant guitar in the back. Guitars are all over this album, actually; most likely a result of Pink Floyd spending time in their own Britannia Row studio rather than spending money for studio time. The slow tempo continues, getting quieter, and featuring acoustic guitar and barking dogs. This is not the first time the Floyd had used dog sounds (“Mademoiselle Knobs”) and it wouldn’t be the last (“The Dogs of War”).

A slow C section follows, and the lyrics seem to suggest that there will come a day when all the businessmen who have acted unethically shall eventually lose control and have to pay for making a career of fucking people over (the dogs are actually overthrown and killed by the sheep at the end of side 2, but I‘m getting ahead of the record). The “bad blood slows and turns to stone,” Gilmour sings, concluding with “So have a good drown, as you go down all alone/Dragged down by the stone”, and here the word “stone” echoes repeatedly and transforms itself from a word into a sound that is something between a bark and a howl.

This initiates a slow, and icy cold synth section featuring Wright, as well as the sounds of someone whistling for their dog, and the continued sounds of dogs barking through a vocoder (an electronic gadget that enables any sound or word spoken or sung to be transformed into the chords one is playing on an electronic keyboard).

Then it’s back to the A section, this time with Waters on lead vocals, continuing the paranoid theme. While the lyrics are fairly grim, Waters implies that it is actually quite tragic that people live in fear of each other, and without any trust. Another Gilmour solo (his solos are all fairly concise on this album) leads to the slow mournful/victorious guitar section again, and then into a coda. Each of the eleven lines of the coda begins with “Who was…”, reminiscent of Allen Ginsburg’s “Howl” as well as the Floyd’s own “Eclipse.”

If you have the vinyl, you can take a welcome break as you turn the record over. If not…
A pig grunting sound (through echo) introduces “Pigs.” Wright plays a Bach-like figure on the organ, and Waters plays a short bass solo before the other instruments enter. The plodding beat seems to be more straightforward version of the previous album’s “Have a Cigar” (with added cowbell) and even the lyrics borrow a similar melody. Waters occasionally sings through some kind of filter that gives his voice even more of a sneering quality. “Pigs” is subtitled “Three Different Ones,” and each of the three verses is essentially a prolonged insult directed at each of three different political figures. The first verse is rumored to be about then Prime Minster James Callaghan; the second about Margaret Thatcher, and the third about Mary Whitehouse (who is the only politician mentioned by name).

There is an interlude with a lot of pig noises, which turns into a guitar solo featuring a “talk box” effect”—similar to the vocoder, this is a microphone connected to a guitar, so a guitarist can shape the notes by moving one’s mouth into different positions. Here, Gilmour appropriately opts for squealing and grunting pig-like notes. The intro section is repeated before the third verse. One line in this verse was apparently so vicious they deleted it and replaced it with heavy breathing. After this last verse, Gilmour jumps in with a rather intense guitar solo to ride out the song. I love the way he keeps shredding the first note for a few measures before moving on to the rest of the solo. As “Pigs” fades, we end up in a meadow, with sheep bleating in the distance, which segues naturally into…

“Sheep.” Representing the proletariat, specifically those who are easily swayed, even more specifically those who are easily swayed by religion(s). Wright starts this song with a jazzy Fender Rhodes solo. Enter Waters with ominous bassline-through-echo borrowed from “One of These Days.” The drums, when they enter, are put through a reverse gate effect, creating a kind of “whooshing“ sound. Most interestingly, effect-wise, is how the end of each vocal line morphs into some kind of synthesized sound. I’ve never heard this effect used on any other record before or since (wait, maybe on an Alan Parsons record…?) Waters sings this one too, with a basic three-note melody on the verses.

As in “Pigs” there’s an interlude in “Sheep” as well. This break features Waters’ “Careful With That Axe” bass playing (that octave pattern). Gilmour’s repeated “stone…stone…” from “Dogs” is also brought back for a moment. A slower instrumental section features Wright’s ascending synth notes and then Gilmour’s funky guitar playing. Then it returns to the slower, creepier section, with tritone chords in abundance (this was the musical interval that was known as “the devil in music” and was avoided by the church). It seems appropriate, then, that the Floyd include a butchered version of Psalm 23 (the one that starts with “The Lord is my shepherd”). It starts out fairly normal, with talk of “pastures green” and “silent waters,” but then the words deviate a bit (“With bright knives, He releaseth my soul…He converteth me to lamb cutlets…”) which would be pretty hysterical if it wasn’t so damn creepy. You can hear a trace of the original “priest’s” intonation, but mostly what you hear is the vocoder effected vocals.

The main part of the song returns with the line “Bleating and babbling we fell on his neck with a scream”—cue Waters again on the maniacal scream/laugh for the second time on one album. The sheep have overcome the dogs, and the dogs are now dead. A victorious-sounding Gilmour guitar riff rides the song out, along with Water’s octave bass. This is, for me, one of the album’s finest moments. The sheep bleat peacefully in the meadow and we’re back to where we started, with “Pigs on the Wing, Part Two,” closing the album on a brief, but hopeful note.

I loved Animals when it came out, but I was in 6th grade, and my musical tastes may not have been what they are now. Listening to it after thirty years, I’m surprised that the album is less aggressive than I remember it (though still pretty mean-sounding for Pink Floyd). After digging deeper into the music, I’m also surprised to see how the Floyd used some of the same sonic ingredients (certain sound effects, chords and even melodies) across multiple albums. The good thing about this is that it gives their work a unity and continuity over time; the downside is that it seems that for being one of the most imaginative bands in rock history, they really didn’t seem have too many ideas. Still, how they put those ideas to use over twelve or so years was simply incredible.

Pink Floyd
· David Gilmour – guitars, bass guitar, vocals, talk box, synthesizer, lead vocals on "Dogs"
· Nick Mason – drums, percussion, sleeve graphics
· Roger Waters – lead vocals, bass guitar, acoustic and rhythm guitar, sleeve design
· Richard Wright – Hammond organ, Wurlitzer electric piano, Fender Rhodes piano, Yamaha piano, ARP synthesizer, backing vocals

Additional Personnel:
James Guthrie – remastering producer
Doug Sax – remastering
Brian Humphries – engineering
Storm Thorgerson – sleeve design
Aubrey Powell – sleeve design, photography
Peter Christopherson – photography
Howard Bartrop - photography
Nic Tucker - photography
Bob Ellis - photography
Bob Brimson - photography
Colin Jones - photography
Snowy White – lead guitar on "Pigs on the Wing" (8-track cartridge version only)

By Neville Harson


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pink Floyd Matilda Mother Acetate

Matilda Mother

Pink Floyd: EMI 10" Acetate - Matilda Mother 3:04. This is a Vinyl Fascists' wet dream come true. An actual aceeeeeeetate!
A song from Pink Floyd's first album, this was written by founding member Syd Barrett. Many of Barrett's songs were inspired by children's stories, and this was based on a book called Cautionary Tales for Children by Edward Gorey and Hilaire Belloc. The book contains some warped fairy tales where all manner of horrible things happen to the poor, but naughty, kids. One of these children was named Matilda. Pink Floyd keyboard player Rick Wright sang most of this song with Barrett singing the last verse.

The unreleased song known as Sunshine is really the last section of Matilda Mother. Matilda Mother had been rerecorded on 7 June 1967. However, Norman Smith decided that the instrumental section in the middle was too long. During an editing session on 29 June, he literally cut the tape into three pieces. The first part was called "Matilda Mother", the second part (the part being deleted) was called "Wondering and Dreaming", and the third part was called "Sunshine" (based on a convenient lyrical reference at that point). Parts one and three were then spliced together to create the official version. On the stereo release, the "Sunshine" lyric in the left channel gets overpowered by the "For all the time spent in that room" lyric that predominates the right channel. To better hear and appreciate "Sunshine", I've made a mono version of just the left channel starting at the splice point.

Pink Floyd - Matilda Mother Lyrics

There was a king who ruled the land
His majesty was in command
With silver eyes the scarlet eagle
Showers silver on the people
Oh Mother, tell me more

Why'd'ya have to leave me there
Hanging in my infant air
You only have to read the lines
They're scribbly black and everything shines

Across the stream with wooden shoes
With bells to tell the king the news
A thousand misty riders climb up
Higher once upon a time

Wandering and dreaming
The words have different meaning
Yes they did

For all the time spent in that room
The doll's house, darkness, old perfume
And fairy stories held me high on
Clouds of sunlight floating by
Oh Mother, tell me more
Tell me more


Today's Gig

On June 23 1967, The Pink Floyd played the Rolls Royce Ball at the Locarno Ballroom in Derby.

Support: Paperback Edition and Thorndyke Mordikai's Imagination.

"Whether it was for the dancing, beauty contests, or music gigs, the Locarno Ballroom, on Derby's Babington Lane, was one of the places to spend your night out in the Sixties. From the Saturday morning disco to gigs featuring top bands of the day like the Dave Clark Five, Freddie and the Dreamers, Herman's Hermits and the Honeycombs, the Locarno had plenty to offer a variety of people. It had a revolving silver globe, which hung from the centre of the ceiling, and even a revolving stage which would turn round to reveal bands and orchestras. The venue provided live broadcasts for Ray Moore's Saturday Night Live programme and played host to a variety of events including many beauty contests. Older readers will remember the Locarno in its former life as the Grand Theatre, which opened in 1886. The theatre closed down in 1950 due to competition from the increasingly popular cinemas. It re-opened as the Locarno in 1959 after a re-fit and, more recently, has become McClusky's."

Have a look at the stage:\

"I don't think I'm easy to talk about. I've got a very irregular head. And I'm not anything that you think I am anyway." Syd Barrett

Monday, June 22, 2009

Syd Barrett with Pink Floyd Interstellar Overdrive - Video

Syd Barrett with Pink Floyd Interstellar Overdrive pts. 1 & 2. Interstellar Overdrive is a prime example of Pink Floyd's early Syd Barrett-driven days, when they created mostly Psychedelic Rock. It features Long, discordant chords on Barrett's guitar, constantly changing tempos, shifting rhythms, and few, or in this case, no lyrics at all. The main riff throughout the tune was adapted from the guitar riff from Love's remake of "My Little Red Book."


Today's Gig

On June 22 1967, The Pink Floyd played at Bradford University in Bradford, Yorkshire (billed as The 8 Hour Psycho-Chromatic Fantasy)

"Getting used to the studio and everything was fun, we freaked about a lot. I was working very hard then." Syd Barrett

In 1968, Pink Floyd played Houtrusthallen in The Hague, Netherlands (The 1st Holiness Kitch Garden for the Liberation of Love & Peace in Colours Festival) and also the University of East Anglia in Norwich, Norfolk.

In 1969, Pink Floyd performed at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester, Lancashire
Set List: Daybreak (Grantchester Meadows), Work (Biding My Time), Afternoon, Doing It (Grand Vizier's Garden Party: Entertainment), Sleep (Quicksilver), Nightmare (Cymbaline), Daybreak (Pt. 2), The Beginning (Green is the Colour), Beset By The Creatures Of The Deep (Careful with that Axe Eugene), Narrow Way (Pt. 3), Labyrinths Of Auximenes, Behold The Temple Of Light, End Of The Beginning (Saucerful of Secrets: Celestial Voices), Set the Controls
(Audience ROIOs of this performance have been released)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Today's Gig

On June 21 1967, The Pink Floyd played for the Bolton College of Art Midsummer Ball in the Rivington Barn near Chorley and Horwich in Lancashire.

Support: The Chasers, The Northside Six

Have a look at the venue, it's still there:

"Fairy-tales are nice." Syd Barrett

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Today's Gig

On June 20 1967, The Pink Floyd performed at the Commemoration Ball in the Main Marquee at Magdalen College, Oxford.

(This was a formal ball traditionally held by one of the colleges of the University of Oxford in the 9th week of Trinity Term, the week after the end of the last Full Term of the academic year.)

Support: John Bassett, Georgie Fame, Herbie Goins and Frankie Howerd (comedian)

"If I'd stayed at college I would have become a teacher." Syd Barrett

(photo: Roger Keith Barrett, 1959 school picture)

Pink Floyd Album Covers - Hipgnosis

pink floyd album covers
pink floyd album covers

pink floyd album covers

pink floyd album covers

pink floyd album covers

Storm Thorgerson creates the kind of surreal images you feel as much as you see, images which reveal themselves over time and can be simultaneously understood and misunderstood, crystal clear yet somehow utterly confusing. He is best known for his Pink Floyd album covers. There appears to be an eternal sense of mystery to his work, which - aside from its sheer aesthetic beauty - is what makes Thorgerson’s art so ineffably memorable and hypnotic.

He was born in Potters Bar, Middlesex. He went to school at Summerhill Free School and then Brunswick Primary, Cambridge, followed by secondary education at local grammar Cambridge High School for Boys. While in Cambridge, he became friends with Syd Barrett, David Gilmour and Roger Waters. Thorgerson earned a BA Honors in English and Philosophy from Leicester University (1963 - 1966) and finally an MA in film and TV from the Royal College of Art, London (1966 - 1969).

In 1968, Thorgerson and Aubrey "Po" Powell formed Hipgnosis (pronounced like hypnosis), a graphic design studio specializing in creative photography. This creative company predominately worked within the music business designing the album covers for rock 'n' roll bands such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Genesis, Black Sabbath, 10cc, Paul McCartney, and Peter Gabriel amongst many others.

Hipgnosis primarily consisted of Storm Thorgerson, Aubrey Powell and later on, Peter Christopherson. In 1968, Thorgerson and Powell were asked to design an album cover for Pink Floyd’s second album called A Saucerful Of Secrets. They completed that project and soon commissioned additional work from EMI, which included photos and album covers for Free, Toe Fat and the Gods.

Being art and film students, the pair was able to utilize the darkroom at the Royal College of Art, but after they graduated, they had to set up their own facilities and in early 1970 they rented a space and built their famous studio.

Their unique company name came from graffiti found on the door to their apartment. They liked the word because it sounded like hypnosis and they combined two somewhat contradictory terms, “hip” for new and cool and “gnosis,” which related to ancient learning.

Hipgnosis' novel approach to album design was strongly photography-oriented, and they pioneered the use of many innovative visual and packaging techniques. In particular, Thorgerson & Powell's surreal, elaborately manipulated photos that utilized innovative darkroom tricks, multiple exposures, airbrush retouching, and mechanical cut-and-paste techniques were a film-based forerunner of what would, much later, be called photoshopping.

“We were self-taught,” writes Powell in the book, For The Love Of Vinyl. “What we did was come up with ideas based on the music. The design ideas were poorly sketched in the early days and required a lot of accompanying blag to be understood. Our usual strategy was to talk the job through with each other and then use photography as a means to express it.”

Hipgnosis breakthrough came in 1973 when they were hired to do the cover for another Pink Floyd album, Dark Side Of The Moon, which is one of the most recognized album covers in the world. After the success with the Floyd cover, they were in high demand and soon took on jobs for Led Zeppelin, Genesis, UFO, Black Sabbath, Peter Gabriel and The Alan Parsons Project, to name a few.

Peter Christopherson joined the company in 1974 as an assistant and later on he became a full partner. The firm employed many talented assistants, of particular note were freelance artists George Hardie, Colin Elgie, Richard Manning and Richard Evans.

Another interesting side note is that the company did not have a set fee for designing a particular album cover, instead they asked the musicians to “pay what they thought it was worth,” a policy that would occasionally backfire according to Thorgerson.

John Mackie's interview with album designer Storm Thorgerson, Sept. 5, 2007 at the Oh My Godard Gallery in Vancouver:

Sun: Is Storm Thorgerson an Icelandic name?

Thorgerson: No. What do you mean, is it a nickname? I'm being insulted already. No, it's Norwegian.

Sun: It's a great name, but how did you wind up in England?

Thorgerson: The family is English. My mother had daughters' names, but not a son, so she asked my father [to name him]. [The surname is] his father's name, my grandfather, who is Norwegian. I'm named after my uncle, my great uncle.

Sun: How did you get into graphic design? Were you one of those Pink Floyd Cambridge guys?

Thorgerson: Yeah, I'm one of the Cambridge guys. Pink Floyd are from Cambridge, and I knew them at school. They asked another mutual friend to do the cover of their second album. He declined.

Sun: Who was that?

Thorgerson: He was a painter called David Henderson. He declined and said he didn't want to do it. I was eavesdropping at the door, so I said 'Okay, I'll do that.'

Sun: That was Saucerful of Secrets?

Thorgerson: Yeah. 1968.

Sun: Were you in graphic school at the time, or art school?

Thorgerson: Actually I was at art school, doing film and television. I had delusions of grandeur that I would be a film-maker. And I wasn't, and I'm not. Well I am, a bit. I didn't know anything about graphic design or about photography, and learnt quickly.

Sun: What were you trying to with the Saucerful of Secrets cover, which is very much...

Thorgerson: Of the period. I think that I was trying to represent the things that interested the band, in a format that interested them. It's what is called a 'vignetted collage.' It's not a hard-edged collage, the boundary is not very clear, it's soft. The loosening of boundaries is a very common occurrence in the '60s, although you would be too young to know that. The ingesting of certain substances which of course were totally illegal and not to be talked about tend to loosen the boundaries, both metaphorically and physically. So I thought we were trying to represent that in an attractive fashion, with ingredients that reflected the band's interests.

Sun: When you say you were a friend of the band, were you a friend of Syd Barrett's ...

Thorgerson: Yep. A friend of Syd's, a friend of David [Gilmour], a friend of Roger [Waters]. Syd and I and Roger were at the local grammar school in Cambridge. But we knew each other anyway. Syd was part of our gang. Like any gang in a small town, you run around together, and he was a friend.

Sun: After you did the Pink Floyd album cover, did you become a full-time graphic designer? Is that when you formed Hipgnosis?

Thorgerson: It was, yeah. We needed some umbrella to work under, because suddenly we were going to have to do invoices and charge money. The other people wanted us to do proper business, but we had no idea how to do that. We still don't.

Sun: How much did you get paid for your first Pink Floyd cover?

Thorgerson: We got paid, yeah. I can't remember how much. Probably not a lot.

Sun: Did you wind up doing a bunch of psychedelic posters?

Thorgerson: No. We tended to do album covers. After we had done a couple, we did a couple more and the record company said do a couple more and management said do a couple more. Then we did another Pink Floyd cover, Atom Heart Mother. No, sorry, Ummagumma. And Ummagumma worked very well. Obviously if it works well you tend to keep the relationship going, because it works. This would be true of music and covers, it would be true of everything. If the relationship functions, you might as well keep it. It's a bit like a marriage. If the marriage works, in business as in the rest of life, you tend to maintain it. So in fact we've maintained it now for 40 years.

Sun: And with others as well.

Thorgerson: Yes, not only with Pink Floyd, a few others.

Sun: Let's talk about some of your big designs. Dark Side of the Moon, what inspired that design?
Thorgerson: I think their lighting show, really. Here's a new rendition of it [in the Vancouver show], this is a new example. This is for the SA CD in 2003. I made that out of stained glass. So there's like a stained glass window in a church, it's very lovely actually, very nice. The original was designed to reflect or refer to their light show that they did in concerts. And also to the keyboard player, who said he wanted something graphic. 'A cool graphic,' he said, 'not one of your pictures, Storm.' I said 'What do you mean, not one of my pictures?' I nearly cried in my cups, as it were. So we did the prism and it seemed to work, as far as we know.

Sun: When you do something like that, which is in every house...

Thorgerson: Well, not in every house, John. In quite a few, yes.

Sun: Do you get paid a flat rate, or do you get a royalty on every...

Thorgerson: You can answer that question yourself. If I had a royalty, would I be talking to you today?

Sun: Well, I've talked to Dave Gilmour. He talks, he does interviews and he gets royalties.

Thorgerson: He gets royalties. Did he talk to you? Have you?

Sun: Oh yeah. Nice guy.

Thorgerson: Nice guy? Yeah. Great guitarist, more to the point. In fact, is he the world's best guitarist, rock and roll guitarist now, do you think?

Sun: I actually prefer Tim Renwick [another Cambridge guy who has played with Pink Floyd live].

Thorgerson: Prefer Tim? For God's sake, don't tell anybody.

Sun: I told Dave Gilmour that, actually. He laughed.

Thorgerson: I'm going to get tired, I'd better sit down.

Sun: What did you do to your leg?

Thorgerson: It was a stroke.

Sun: How long ago?

Thorgerson: Four years.

Sun: But you've more or less full recovered mentally...

Thorgerson: Mentally recovered, but not physically. I'm sure the leg and the arm will always be a bit impaired. It sucks, it's a pain in the butt. But we don't talk about it. What is there to say? It's really boring.

Sun: How old are you now, 63?

Thorgerson: Sixty-three, yeah.

Sun: Your album cover designs mix and match a lot of stuff. Houses of the Holy, what inspired that one?

Thorgerson: Well the music, it's always the music, really. Or if I know the band, it'll be my knowledge of them. Obviously if I get to work with them a few times ... David Gilmour is somebody I know. When you get to know a band...we've just been working with a great band called Biffy Clyro, they may not be out here, a Scottish band. I get to know them in the course of working [with them]. So it's always the music, but it's informed by knowledge of the band. A knowledge that includes their attitudes towards other things, not just music. That knowledge of the band, and talking to them and asking questions, often about the songs, informs the image that is derived from the music, primarily. Most of the time what I do is listen to the music again and again and again until I'm sick of it and it's deep inside me.

Sun: And that particular Led Zeppelin cover...

Thorgerson: Came partially from the music, partially from knowing Led Zeppelin. I think it came from wanting it to be something grand, something large, something slightly futuristic. Spiritual. The literal idea came actually in part from a book that I had read by Arthur C. Clarke called Childhood's End. But every artist has cultural influences, you know, including their upbringing, the media or films or books they've seen, the art they've seen, etc., etc. All these things get kind of put together against the music.

Sun: Were you doing paintings or photography in between album cover jobs, or were you just a full time album cover designer all these years?

Thorgerson: Mostly I've been full time. Luckily I got work after other work. But not always, there was a big gap in the late 80s. I tried at one point to direct documentaries, but found it not entirely to my liking, or me to it. It to me, me to it. So I returned to music. I think that's because it's what I enjoy the most. Also I'm better at it. Also, I've always been given quite a lot of license to interpret what I thought was most suitable. And that's quite good. People pay me for my dreams. So I'm lucky, aren't I, really?

Sun: Have you ever had anything rejected? Have your dreams turned into a nightmare?

Thorgerson: Oh God yes.

Sun: What was a good example?

Thorgerson: Nickelback are a good example.

Sun: You did a Nickelback cover?

Thorgerson: No we didn't, because they turned us down.

Sun: Really?

Thorgerson: I'm not very pleased about it.

Sun: They're from here, actually.

Thorgerson: I know they are. I said this on radio this morning, I'm hoping I bump into them so I can give them a piece of my mind.

Sun: Did you get paid?

Thorgerson: Yeah, we got paid for submitting a rough, as it's called. It wasn't that. It was that I felt they didn't give us enough information. Maybe they weren't interested, maybe it was the record company's idea rather than theirs. We also got turned down the year before last by the Red Hot Chili Peppers that was upsetting. It was upsetting mostly because what they do instead is often not so good. If it was good, maybe you'd bite your lip and say 'Well that's the way it goes.' But Red Hot Chili Peppers in particular did a really dull cover. Stadium Arcadium is really dull. In fact Nickelback's is pretty dull, it's a car on a road. Cars have been used quite a lot, wouldn't you say? They're like girls. What are you going to put on a cover? A girl. A car. Oh, really.

Sun: Do you feel constrained by the CD format, compared to record covers, which were much bigger?

Thorgerson: Not particularly.

Sun: No? That's surprising.

Thorgerson: Well, I design for the music, which is bigger. So I always design big anyway. I know it's going to appear as a poster or a billboard or an ad, so the CD is have to remember, a cover is like a flag. It's the front-runner, it's the advance warning. So it doesn't necessarily only appear in one place. Anyway, in the last six years I've discovered the art of making fine art prints from the original artworks. To me they work really well, and they're much bigger and much nicer. And that's what allows us to do an exhibition.

Sun: This is what you brought here?

Thorgerson: This is what I brought here. They're fine art prints made from the original artworks. You cannot get any better quality, and they're limited, there may only be a 100 or 50 or whatever it is. That's all, and after that there are no more. These are for sale, so if somebody buys one, they not only have a nice picture, and a memory of the cover, they also have an item which in effect is rare. Most of the time covers are mass produced, so the fine art prints are nice, because there's only a few of them.

Sun: Where have you been with this, all over North America, Europe?

Thorgerson: Yep. San Francisco, L.A., Chicago. Also Mexico City, Tokyo, London of course. Amsterdam, Milan.

Sun: Are you surprised, or pleased, that stuff you did 40 years ago is probably just as popular now as it was then?

Thorgerson: It's great. I don't think you can be a designer, or even a painter, without liking something about it. In my case, I certainly like doing them, and I certainly like being appreciated. I don't do them for me only, they're mostly for other people. They're for the fans. I don't meet the fans very often, but usually they're very nice to me. They're very nice to me at exhibitions, particularly. They come in and say hello and ask me to sign some of their old covers or whatever. They're always very friendly, so it's very nice. I'm hoping that mostly they like them. That's what I'm trying to do, do a picture, a design, an image, that somehow speaks about the music.

Sun: The Pink Floyd Animals [print], that seems to be a direct cover image as opposed to the Dark Side of the Moon print, which is a new version.

Thorgerson: They're different. Most of the stuff I do is like a performance of sorts. This wouldn't be true of the first Dark Side, but it is certainly true of Houses of the Holy, because these people were climbing the rocks for real. And in Animals, which is a picture of a power station with a [flying] pig, it was done for real. It's like a stunt, or a performance, a show, which is put on for the benefit of the camera, so that everybody can see it. Many of the things we do are in remote places, so you can't get an audience for that. So we take a photo of it so that you and others can see it. You still have to think of it, you still have to art direct it and produce it, but it's not quite the same as straight graphic design, which is what Dark Side was. I do all sorts of stuff. I do photographs, I do stunts with people, with objects, with props. I do events that last one second, I do statues that could last for year. I do whatever seems right for the music, really. I think of it and then wonder how I'm going to do it for real.

Sun: Did you ever do any lighting or stage design for the Floyd, or just graphic design?

Thorgerson: [Shakes his head]. And some films. Which are also in the show.

Sun: So what is the favorite one that you did? Sorry, you've probably been asked that a thousand times.

Thorgerson: The one I'm doing. We just finished working for this Scottish band Biffy Clayro, which is fine, it worked very well. We've been preparing our books, there are two new books out very shortly, and doing these exhibitions. The next design piece...I'm not sure. We've done a couple of calendars. We do books, calendars, album covers. Got to do a poster when I get back, and 22 T-shirts.

Sun: You still live in London?

Thorgerson: Yep.

Sun: Let's talk about some other album covers. You did a bunch of 10cc covers.

Thorgerson: We're going back in time, John. You're giving away your age here.

Sun: One of my favorite bands.

Thorgerson: Favorite band of mine, too. I'm just about to work for them again.

Sun: 10cc are getting back together?

Thorgerson: Not exactly. The bass player Graham [Gouldman] is keen to continue the band, even if the others aren't. I think he's going to re-use the name. He's just done a concert, and I think I'm going to work for him. 10cc are a nice band, I agree. Fun to work with.

Sun: Deceptive Bends is the one with the diver that must have been fun to do.

Thorgerson: Yes, that was what we call a pastiche shot. It was supposed to be a bit like an old film poster. A bit. A diver who's got deceptive bends thinks he's a hero and he's saving a lady from some horrible fate. It's like the Monster from the Black Lagoon. I used to draw these drawings of strange aquatic men in divers suits saving girls from some horrible octopus in a dark black lagoon. So it was a bit like that.

Sun: AC/DC, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.

Thorgerson: Why would you remember that?

Sun: Actually I didn't. I was kind of surprised when I was looking at your c.v. online and found it.

Thorgerson: I have done quite a lot, John. I've forgotten about them too.

Sun: How many have you done?

Thorgerson: I don't know, about a thousand.

Sun: That was quite witty, that AC/DC album cover.

Thorgerson: I'm not averse to a bit of humor, John. If we can get away with it.

Sun: What bands have you worked with lately?

Thorgerson: I've been working for Audioslave, for Muse, for a band called the Mars Volta.

Sun: And you did Mr. Love Pants for Ian Dury. That is a hilarious album cover.

Thorgerson: I think it will be one of the prints on show here. You can buy it, John.

Sun: So you and Ian Dury were friends? The late, great Ian Dury?

Thorgerson: The late, great Ian Dury. He was great fun to be with. I imagine being married to him must have been hell, but maybe not. He was always a great raconteur and story-teller, and he put up with his infirmities with great...when I saw him, he always moved uncomfortably, because he had polio and had been disabled for a long time. He was great. He did do one of the great singles of all time, of course. That alone would be credit enough. Anyway he asked me to design [an album], and it was actually called something else. I think it was called Different Strokes, which is an old English expression, different strokes for different folks. And he didn't like our designs, I don't think. He didn't say that, he said 'I've changed the title.' I thought 'Oh s---, what do you mean, you've changed the title? You can change the title now.' I didn't say that to him, I said it under my breath. And he said 'Do you like it?' I thought 'No I don't like it, I just drew 10 bloody designs to the other title. How can I like it?' But actually I smiled grimly and said 'Oh it's great.' It was a better title. And I went down the steps of his house, and [he snaps his finger] I saw [the album cover] immediately in my mind. And he loved it.

Sun: Is it a bull mastiff?

Thorgerson: It's a boxer, and so he's wearing boxer shorts. And the shorts have triangles on it, as in Bermuda, where you wear shorts on the beach. As in Bermuda shorts. And all these kinds of connections made him laugh. But it turned out to be a really difficult job to get a photograph of the dog. We had to do it seven times to get the dog to look sufficiently lascivious, which would be like Ian Dury. Sufficiently leery, is a better word. And the dog looks great. The dog has got this grin on him, you know, a bit dirty. Ian thought it was a real hoot. I hope he chuckled to his grave.

Sun: There's a Peter Gabriel album cover you did, the one that I think was just called Peter Gabriel...

Thorgerson: Yes, he was clever with his titles. The record company were furious. They kept saying 'Can you put your name on the front?' And he kept saying 'No.' He didn't even want his name on the front. Well...when Pink Floyd did Atom Heart Mother, which is a cow, there's no name on it. Nothing. The record company went berserk, absolutely berserk, with me. As if I were responsible. I mean I was in favor of it, I thought it was better not to have any name, it makes it more mysterious. And Pete Gabriel also wanted not to put any name on. So then he put the plainest name in he could, Peter Gabriel I. Peter Gabriel II. Great.

Sun: That was just a photo of him in a car...

Thorgerson: No, excuse me John. Maybe you are like the English Sun. This print which is here as well, looks great. It's not just a photo of him in a car, although he is in a car. But it's not just a photo. Well, to me it's not. Maybe to you it is. To me the car has been dotted with rain drops, and it's about the rain drops. This felt special to me. I agree, it's a simple thing. Some things are very complicated. Pink Floyd's Momentary Lapse of Reason is really complicated, 700 beds on a beach. That was a real nightmare to do.

Sun: You actually put 700 beds on a beach?

Thorgerson: Yeah. And they're Victorian, they're made of wrought iron and f-----g heavy.

Sun: Where did you get 700 Victorian beds?

Thorgerson: I don't know. I hired somebody to find them [chuckles]. So when we did Pete Gabriel, it's the other end, if you like, on the scale of complexity and difficulty. But to me it doesn't make any difference, it's still as much a design, contrived if you like, artful. Still trying to say and be something. It was trying to say something about Pete Gabriel. And I think he always liked it. He's been very friendly. Although I did three covers with him and he said that was enough. 'Nothing personal,' he said.

Sun: Is there anybody you want to do an album cover for?

Thorgerson: Oh yeah. Bob Dylan. I nearly worked with Bob Dylan recently, but it fell through. Not because of him, I think the manager was a bit conservative. We are a bit left field.

Sun: I've always wondered why Hipgnosis was spelled Hipgnosis [and is pronounced hypnosis].

Thorgerson: Now you're going to be educated. It was actually scrolled on our door by some passing narcotic person in the middle of the night. It was scratched on the door of our apartment, and it appealed to us. It's a nice word, but it was spelled on the door like that. So it was a mixture of 'hip,' which is new, and 'Gnostic,' as is old. So it was old and new, a nice mixture, whilst being hypnotic, and therefore inducing trances. It felt like a really good name. In fact, I think it was a good name. I don't use it anymore, but I'm not unhappy with it.


Friday, June 19, 2009

I Have Syd Barrett's Brain

Syd Barrett's Brain
Syd Barrett's Brain

Syd Barrett's Brain

Syd Barrett's Brain

I own Syd Barrett's brain. I keep it in a pot on my back porch. Check out the pictures above.


Wish You Were Here Pink Floyd

Wish You Were Here Pink Floyd:

Pink Floyd followed the commercial breakthrough of Dark Side of the Moon with Wish You Were Here, a loose concept album about and dedicated to their founding member Syd Barrett. Everything is about Syd, even the title of the album. Once noted as keyboardist Richard Wright’s favorite Pink Floyd album, this body of work demonstrates and highlights the band's musical skill over the often noted Roger Waters lyrical skill. Sharing musical writing duties, (the hidden strength of the group) is evident all over this album. With contributions from Waters, Gilmour, and Wright. The record unfolds gradually, as the jazzy textures of "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" reveal its melodic motif, and in its leisurely pace, the album shows itself to be a warmer record than its predecessor. Musically, it's arguably even more impressive, showcasing the group's interplay and David Gilmour's solos in particular.

Although it only contains five songs, it will take you on an amazing and haunting ride. WYWH contains more than tribute songs to former band member, Pink Floyd's founder Syd Barrett, when you stop listening to this album you are left with serenity surrounding you. You feel good. Shine on you crazy Diamond is two part "gem" of this album. The song is a true sonic adventure that always seems to put me into a complete relaxed mood. Especially haunting is "Welcome to the machine" a brilliant song that really makes Roger's feelings about Syd Barrett clear. More than anything, Wish You Were Here is a progression, a slow and labored rise from a dim electronic hum to an epic, symphonic blast of impassioned rock music. It, like most Floyd albums, is not a collection of songs but a single work, and to look at it as anything else would be to completely miss out on what Pink Floyd was trying to do in the first place. All in all, WYW is a beautiful, symphonic listening experience, on par with Dark Side of the Moon and Wall.

Think of the saxophone at the end of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond pt. 1." It sounds beautiful, alive, tuneful, lilting, free, a bird perched on a mile-high gust of wind. And suddenly, behind it, there is the deep, ominous, downright horrific hum that signals the beginning of "Welcome to the Machine," and suddenly, the sax sounds weak and pitiful against it, and slowly fades away into the distance, and all you're left with is that hum, and "Welcome to the Machine" begins, in all its cynical, deep seated, and world-weary glory. "Welcome to the Machine" Is a song about growing up, how the world can destroy your youthful ideals, take your big dreams and shatter them. Or, it could be interpreted as a song about former bandleader Syd Barrett's descent into madness. That's the great thing about Floyd's lyrics, deep seated double meanings, the fractured view it creates.

"Have A Cigar" is a grimly funny song about a smooth-talking record producer, with that immortal line: "And by the way, which one's Pink?" The title track is a sweet ballad of regret, a story of one man's loneliness after the loss of a dear friend. It also happens to be my favorite track on the album, so rich and textured, with a beautiful acoustic guitar and Roger Waters' best lyrics ("We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year.")

These three tracks are bookended by the album's two epics, "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" parts 1 and 2. These are, by any stretch of imagination, some of the best work that Pink Floyd has ever done. Part 1 starts of slow and tuneful, with some excellent guitar work on David Gilmour's part. Its first eight minutes are a haunting instrumental, with echoey guitars, crashing symbols, and a slow, rhythmic bass line. The after the instrumental portion, Waters begins to sing, a sad, mournful tribute to Syd Barrett (The entire concept of Wish You Were Here is that it is a tribute to Barrett). Part 2 is faster, with a more rock edge, but closely resembles its predecessor. It has a darker edge to it, but still retains a kind of beauty. Stunningly beautiful, haunting, mesmerizing. Almost achingly touching.

Track Listing:

1. Shine on You Crazy Diamond, Pts. 1-5
2. Welcome to the Machine
3. Have a Cigar
4. Wish You Were Here
5. Shine on You Crazy Diamond, Pts. 6-9

Pink Floyd:
Roger Waters
David Gilmour
Richard Wright
Nick Mason

SHINE ON YOU CRAZY DIAMOND, part one & two (part1-9)
Pink Floyd 1975

Lyrics: Waters

Music: Part 1: Wright, Waters, Gilmour (Part two:)
Part 2: Gilmour, Wright, Waters
Part 3: Waters, Gilmour, Wright
Part 4: Gilmour, Wright, Waters
Part 5: Waters, Gilmour, Wright
Part 6: Wright, Waters, Gilmour
Part 7: Waters, Gilmour, Wright
Part 8: Gilmour, Wright, Waters
Part 9: Wright

Vocals by: Waters

Pink Floyd 1975

Lyrics/Music: Waters
Vocals by: Waters, Gilmour

Pink Floyd 1975

Lyrics/Music: Waters
Vocals by: Roy Harper
Pink Floyd 1975

Lyrics: Waters
Music: Waters, Gilmour
Vocals by: Gilmour

Dick Parry: Saxophone on Shine On You Crazy Diamond
Roy Harper: vocal on Have A Cigar
Stephane Grappely: violin
Venetta Fields and Carlena Williams: backing vocals

Recorded in Abbey Road Studios, between January 6 to July 19, 1975
Produced by Pink Floyd
Engineered by Brian Humphries
Assisted by Peter James

Thanks to Bernie Caulder and Phil Taylor

Sleeve design and photography by Hipgnosis
Assisted by Peter Christopherson, Jeff Smith, Howard Bartrop and Richard Manning
Graphics by George Hardie, N.T.A.

LP: Harvest SHVL 814
Quadraphonic version: Harvest Q4 SHVL 814
Picture Disc: Harvest SHVLP 814
LP: EMI 8 29750 2
CD: EMI CDP 7 46035 2
1997 US remaster: Columbia CK68522


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Today's Gig

On June 18 1967, The Pink Floyd appeared at the Radio London Motor Racing & Pop Festival (Brands Hatch Race Track, Kent). Did they actually perform that day? According to Glenn Povey's book 'Echoes: The Complete History of Pink Floyd', the band participated in a 'pop musicians' parade', chaffeured in open top cars around the race track alongside The Moody Blues, Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick & Titch, David Garrick and Tristram, Seventh Earl of Cricklewood. The event was compered by DJs Mark Roman and Ed Stewart and featured an evening bikini fashion show, with musical performances by Chris Farlowe & the Thunderbirds, Episode Six and The Shell Shock.

"A lot of people want to make films and do photography and things, but I'm quite happy doing what I'm doing." Syd Barrett

The Lost Syd Barrett and the Pink Floyd Recordings

Syd Barrett and the Pink Floyd



* 1965 Unknown Title (?) from the 1965 demo, Nick probably still has it

* 1965 Butterfly and Double O Bo from the '65 demo - Butterfly aka Flutter By Butterfly and Double O Bo definitely exist. Mason has them from a tape source. Butterfly is said to be the first song Syd wrote. They were recorded in early/mid '65, not '66.

* 1966-03 Syd & Nick Mason Interview by German journalist perhaps after a Marquee Club gig

* 1966-10-31 I Get Stoned and whatever else from that session

* 1966-10-31 Interstellar Overdrive - pre-film version (should be big upgrade)

* 1966-12 Interstellar Overdrive - version for CBC

* 1967-01 solo demo tape Syd did for Joe Boyd - this apparently consisted of material PF didn't want. Joe has said most of it was material he heard later on Madcap.

* 1967-04-03 Arnold Layne and Candy and a Currant Bun recorded at the BBC Playhouse Theatre for broadcast as the Live Session on 'Monday Monday' a BBC Radio Light Programme. (See The Peel Sessions page 319 and Random Precision page 263).

* 1967-08-01? Reaction In G tape used for the German TV b'cast (Date is some what questionable as the entire band was on holiday during the first 2 weeks of Aug '67 save for 2 recording sessions at EMI.)

* 1967-09-04 No Title - 5' complete, pro quality version (aka 'Sunshine'), recorded at Sound Techniques. The tape box simply says “No Title”. This is a backing track to an untitled, unfinished Syd song. An interesting recording up to official release standards. Has a mellotron intro faintly reminiscent of Opel and then settles into a more R&B groove with a neat jangly guitar riff.

* 1967-09-10 Gyllene Cirkeln, Stockholm gig tape - The owner of the club (Anders Lind) is still alive, still has the tape (2 Revox reels) but has honored his agreement not to circulate it. It's time for the band to talk to him.

* 1967-09-25 BBC session in pro quality (Gnome / Scarecrow / Matilda Mother / Set The Controls / Reaction in G / Flaming).

* 1967-09-25 version of Apples & Oranges recorded at the same time as the rest of the 6 track BBC Session. Only the 6 tracks were originally broadcast on 1st October 67, but Apples & Oranges was also played when the session was repeated on 5th November (this time without Set The Controls or Reaction in G). According to Bernie Andrews (session producer) in Random Precision, p92, it was actually the single of Apples & Oranges that was played on Nov 5th, but The Peel Sessions lists it as a BBC Playhouse Theatre recording. I'm more inclined to the Random Precision account but...

* 1967-10-20 In the Beechwoods E68419 - unreleased Pink Floyd song written by Syd Barrett. Finished backing track for unreleased Syd original. Recorded at De Lane Lea. One of Syd’s better efforts. This performance is easily up to official release standards.

* 1967-10-20 John Latham E68416 - unreleased instrumental recorded at De Lane Lea. This was an attempt at recording a soundtrack for a silent film called “Speak” by London filmmaker/artist John Latham. The 4 track reel is still at Abbey Rd.

* 1967-12-20 BBC session in pro quality (Vegetable Man, Scream Thy Last Scream, Jugband Blues, Pow R Toc H)

* 1967-12-22 Christmas On Earth gig soundboard tape. "The Floyd played around 2 - 3 o'clock Saturday morning. A painfully short set of around half an hour..."

* 1967-12-22 Christmas On Earth - "I've heard rumors of a Hendrix interview from that night. Supposedly you can hear "Interstellar Overdrive" vaguely in the background. If it exists, it's a rare tape. I've never been able to turn it up."

* 1968-? Late Night - unbooted take from Syd's first solo session. Recorded at the first '68 solo session, this was scrapped and the backing track for the Madcap version was recorded. A rough mono mix of the first, unbooted version is at Abbey Rd.

* 1968-? Swan Lee with 1968 vocals (the vocals on Opel were done in '69)

* 1968-01-18 Takes 1 & 2 of "Rhythm Tracks"; Parker says there's a remote possibility that this is a recording of the 5-man Floyd, as Syd played his last show w/the band two days later.

* 1968-01-30 Syd's attempt at the Committee soundtrack. Parker discovered the paperwork for the 1/30/68 session but the tapes aren't at Abbey Rd. What is interesting is the session was originally booked as a Pink Floyd session but the paperwork says something like "Syd Barrett took the session". 1/26 was the gig where Syd wasn't picked up so this is only a few days after that.

* 1968-02? Corporal Clegg alt mix for Belgian video (unlikely Syd is on this)

* 1971-? Love You / Interview - Mick Rock interview for Rolling Stone with Syd playing Love You on his 12 string.

* 1972-01 photo or recording w/Eddie 'Guitar' Burns?, Kings College Cellar, Cambridge

* 1972-01-27 Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band gig, Corn Exchange, Cambridge (Syd - guitar, Jack Monck - bass, Twink - drums, Fred Frith - guitar, Bruce Paine - vocals & guitar)

* 1972 multiple Nagra recordings of Stars live shows made by Victor Kraft. Presumed lost.

* 1972-02-26 cassette of Stars opening for Nektar, Cambridge Corn Exchange. Presumed lost.

* 1972-fall Steve Took session masters

* 1974-08-12 complete EMI studio session tapes

* Abbey Rd demos of Wolfpack, Waving My Arms and Living Alone

* Arnold Layne & Candy and a Currant Bun - true stereo mixes from the multitracks (these will likely be lacking vocals)

* Bike - an acetate exists that has alternate lyrics.

* Chapter 24 E63424 - alternate version - a finished unused backtrack that had all sorts of overdubs added

* Early Morning Henry – one take of this title was recorded during the Apples and Oranges. This isn't in EMI's vault, only the paperwork which says "taken on a plastic spool by Norman Smith". Just possibly Mason has a copy, although the title didn't ring a bell with him when asked.

* Games For May sound effects tapes (some were used for "The Man/The Journey")

* Intermental - 10' Jam from Beechwoods session - could be a jam on Beechwoods or something else.

* Interstellar Overdrive - unedited version of French EQ runs 10:20, a minute longer than the LP version

* It Would Be So Nice - the "Evening Standard" version (unlikely Syd is on this)

* Jugband Blues alternate takes

* Lanky (unlikely Syd is on this as it's just a recording of bongos)

* Living Alone - Gilmour has this from EMI

* Nick's Boogie - Saucerful-era version. Unlikely Syd is on this as this is supposedly judy the section of Saucerful where Mason's drums come in.

* Paintbox - There are a couple of reels of Paintbox takes including one with unused Syd guitar overdubs that were to be used backwards.

* Remember a Day - extra takes exist on a Vegetable Man reel

* Rhamadan

* Scream Thy Last Scream E65464 - unreleased Pink Floyd song written by Syd Barrett

* Set The Controls - Syd-centric remix (it appears that the bass riff is Syd's gtr with the treble turned all the way down)

* She Was A Millionaire

* Singing A Song In The Morning - Syd-centric mix

* Stars gig that Spaceward Studios / Gary Lucas has/had that the man from EMI took with him after listening to it

* The BBC Monday, Monday session

* Tomorrow's World instrumental

* Vegetable Man E68413 - unreleased Pink Floyd song written by Syd Barrett - There are a couple of reels of Veg Man takes. One reel is all Veg Man stuff and the other is Veg Man and Remember a Day takes. Crazy Diamond box compiler Phil Smee said he found 3 takes of Veg Man. The one we all know, a faster complete version, and a version with "crazy sound effects whizzing all over the place...".

* Any other bits/outtakes/alternate versions of Syd-era Floyd or solo Syd!

* Note: Random Precision pages 236-239 lists every reel # that contains 1967 Pink Floyd material that is in the vault at EMI.

* Q: is there a "Millionaire" acetate? or one of "Percy The Ratcatcher?" A demo of "Snowing" or "Flapdoodle Dealing?"


* 1966/67 - Yoko Ono recordings? "I have heard that Yoko Ono should have a complete show on film from 66/67"

* 1967 Peter Whitehead more footage from Sound Techniques and/or UFO

* 1967 UFO Film from the same Dutch guy that released the color Soft Machine youtube clip

* 1967-02 Pete Townsend recordings? "supposedly has the entire UFO gig film used for the 1967-02 Granada TV special"

* 1967-02-24 Die jungen Nachtwandler outtakes?

* 1967-03-06 The Rave - Granada TV - Arnold Layne

* 1967-04-29 Nederland 1 TV Studios, Zaandam, The Netherlands, Fan Club TV appearance, broadcast 05-05

* 1967-04-29 14 Hour Technicolor Dream footage - BBC2 or Peter Whitehead? (photo exists showing pro camera man filming the band)

* 1967-07-06, 13 & 20 - Top Of The Pops - See Emily Play - 3 appearances, none of them exist in BBC archives - BBC2

* 1967-07-09 London, Chalk Farm Roundhouse - filmed for BBC2.

* 1967-07-17 or 18 - Come Here Often - London Rediffusion (footage filmed at Tiles Club, Oxford Street 16th June 1967, it was a documentary about the DJ, unknown if any PF was shown.)

* 1967-07-19 Floral Hall, Norfolk (newspaper article claimed it was filmed for BBC, unknown what, if anything, was done with it or even if it was filmed at all)

* 1967-09-18 Belgian "TV Spectacular" (mentioned in Melody Maker, no evidence it ever happened)

* 1967-11-? Perry Como Show - Andrew King recollects that they mimed Matilda Mother

* 1967-11-06 Pat Boone In Hollywood Show, CBS - See Emily Play & Interview, broadcast 12-04

* 1967-11-08 Sam Riddle/Boss City Show in Los Angeles, broadcast 11-11

* 1967-11-25 Opera House, Blackpool - footage from Jimi's set at this gig exists, was any film shot of PF?

* 1967-11? Syd on the tour bus film shot by Hendrix

* 1967-12-22 Pete Townsend recordings? "supposedly has the 1967-12-22 Christmas On Earth show (not clear if that's audio or film)"

* 1968-01 - 5 Man Pink Floyd - silent backstage footage shot by Mason including Syd tap-dancing

* EMI contract signing was filmed in color