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Ten Things You May Not Know About Pink Floyd
Earlier this week, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour celebrated his 67th birthday.
To mark the occasion, we gathered some interesting facts about the band, whose legacy and music have thrived for decades.
Enjoy our Ten Things You May Not Know About Pink Floyd -- and happy birthday David!
1. One of the band’s roadies was the father of a prominent Hollywood actress.
Pete Watts started off as a Pink Floyd roadie and eventually became the band’s sound engineer. His daughter, Naomi Watts, went on tour with her father and the band as child – before growing up to star in Hollywood movies such as 21 Grams and Mulholland Drive. Fun fact: It’s his laughs that can be heard on the Dark Side of the Moon tracks “Speak to Me” and “Brain Damage”. (source)
2. David Gilmour owns a very special Fender guitar.
Though it isn’t *technically* the very first model produced, Gilmour does have in his possession a Fender Stratocaster with the serial number #0001. Its unique color and look seems to indicate that it could have been a one-off, rather than the very first off the production line, but that’s still pretty special! (source)
3. Gilmour sold his house and donated all of the money to charity.
In the early 2000s, Gilmour sold his family’s home in Maida Vale (in West London) for £3.6 million. Amazingly, he reportedly donated all of the money to Earl Spencer – to Crisis, a local charity for the homeless. (source)
4. Pink Floyd helped fund Monty Python & the Holy Grail.
Due to the era in which it was produced (one that put severe tax limitations on the wealthy), the 1975 cult classic Monty Python & the Holy Grail had to be funded in part by some musicians interested in making up some of the difference. As a result, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Elton John and Chrysalis Records helped fund the film. (source)
5. You can hear a little bit of the Beatles on The Dark Side of the Moon.
Due to the music that was incidentally being piped around Abbey Road Studios during the recording of Dark Side of the Moon, an instrumental version of the Beatles’ Ticket to Ride can be heard very faintly during the outro to Eclipse. It’s hard to hear, but it’s there – according to legend. (source)
6. The Dark Side of the Moon spent fourteen years on the charts.
A testament to its durability and incredibly long-lasting success, The Dark Side of the Moon spent 741 weeks on the Billboard charts – from its release in 1973 all the way to 1988, when it finally dropped off.
7. A prominent heavy metal band used a discarded Pink Floyd album cover design.
The 1981 album from British metal band Def Leppard, High N’ Dry, featured a man diving into an empty pool. Apparently, the image was originally intended for Pink Floyd’s 1970 album Atom Heart Mother, but was rejected – leaving its designer, free to use it later – as it did for Def Leppard. (source)
8. The clocks on Time weren’t originally intended for use in a song.
The ticking clock sounds that begin Time were recorded by engineer Alan Parsons (later of his own Alan Parsons Project, of course) with the desire to use the recordings to demonstrate a new sound system. Instead, they were used as the introduction to the song – and the rest is history. (source)
9. Gilmour and Roger Waters aren’t huge fans of Ummagumma.
Despite the initially favorable reception to the sprawling 1969 double-album Ummagumma, Gilmour and Waters have gone on record to say that they think the record is a “disaster” (Waters) and “horrible” (Gilmour). (source)
10. Nick Mason is the only member of the band to appear on every album.
In addition to being the only constant member of Pink Floyd since the band’s 1965 inception, drummer Nick Mason is also the only musician to appear on each and every album – a reflection upon the band’s revolving door of musicians, hiatuses, breaks, and splits.
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