Pink Floyd in Concert Stories - The video and picture evolution
The year by year Pink Floyd concerts
There is no better way to describe the evolution of a rock band than watching it live in concert. Pink Floyd have been masters and an inspiration to a lot of bands. They were among the first to use a light show along with the music. Things evolved from there to the point of using flying objects, fireworks, lasers, video projections, etc. I intend to take you on a picture and video tour through the years so that you can watch this evolution.
- 1965 (before any album was ever released) -
Pink FLoyd started out as Sigma 6. They became T-Set, The Meggadeaths and finally the Abdabs (aka Architectural Abdabs, or the Screaming Abdabs). Band members were Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Richard Wright as well as non future Pink Floyd members such as Clive Metcalf and Juliette Gale. The Abdabs broke up and Rick Wright married singer Juliette Gale. Mason, Wright and Waters were not done with music and Waters´friend Syd Barrett was brought in along with Bob Close. Bob Close was more into jazz and Syd Barret was more into the Stones, mysticism, sex and drugs. So Bob Close left the band. The first Pink Floyd concert (or one of the first) was in late 1965 when they played The Countdown Club, Palace Gate, London.! "We got paid 15 pounds and used the name 'Pink Floyd'".
The Pink Floyd were the loudest band anyone had ever heard before. They were also the weirdest. And they were without doubt the hippiest. Everyone underground dig them. They were the underground band.
The first film media used in a Floyd concert
Roger Waters said: "We´d already become interested in mix media, as it were, and some bright spark down there had done a film with a paraplegic in London, given this paraplegic a film camera and wheeled him round London filming his view. Now they showed it up on screen behind us as we played."
- March 27th 1966 -
Pink Floyd play Spontaneius Underground, Marquee Club, London. This was the first time the band played for a number lasting 30 minutes. Red and Blue lights illuminated the stage and movies flickered walls, the dancers began swaying associated with large amounts of acid.
- December 23 1966 -
Pink Floyd play at the UFO Club, London.
"The UFO was the market place for the underground " - said Nick Mason "The pulsating bubbles of the light show crawled over the walls, the ceiling and the floor. The reek of incense cut across acrid aroma of hash and sweat. There was a head-shop for lights, candles, bells, twinkling lights, joss sticks and dope-paraphernalia."
Roger Waters said - "To those who survived the UFO days and a terrifying number of the people are now dead, UFO will always be remembered for the steady outer-space bleep of 'Interstellar Overdrive´.
Here is Insterstellar Overdrive at the UFO Club:
First single recordings
'Arnold Layne' is recorded on February 27th 1967 and was released along with 'Candy and a Currant Bun' on March 11th 1967. "The song is about a clothes fetichist which was pretty go ahead for the time, come to think about it..." - said Roger Waters
The Piper at Gates of Dawn - Pink Floyd´s first album release
The Piper at Gates of Dawn started selling on August 5th 1967. Many of UFO Club crowd believed that the album did not represent the band.
Roger Waters said " The audiences really hated us... and they threw beer-cans and coins at us. We cleared more halls than you had hot dinners"
Syd Barrett´s departure - The Mandrax hairdressing incident
Too much acid did it for Syd... On one of the last gigs with Syd (The Mandrax hairdressing incident):
The other members of the group left the dressing room to go on stage leaving Syd to finish his hair. Seemingly hew could not get the hair right because in a last minute flash of inspiration he took a jar of Mandrax and crushe them up. He then mixed the crumbs with the contents of a jar of Brycleem hair cream and emptied the whole mess onto his head, picked up his mirror Telecastes and hit the stage. Under the heat of the stage lighting the slop on his head began to melt and dribble down his head, giving him a mask-like look to his visage. No wonder the others couldn´t concentrate.
A Saurceful of Secrets Album released
A Saurceful of Secrets Album was released on June 21st 1968. It has three tracks with Barrett and four tracks with newcomer David Gilmour. David Gilmour said - "it was the album we began buiilding from". In September 1968 they toured around in Europe leaving us this live perfomance .
Pink Floyd stuff
More Album and Ummagumma released
On July 10th 1969 - BBC uses Pink Floyd music for the NASA lunar landing programme.
July 1969 sees the release of the 3rd Pink Floyd Album - More -
Ocober 1969 sees the release of the partly live album - Ummagumma - Some people regard ' 'Ummagumma´ as the Floyd´s biggest achievement until 'The Dark SIde of the Moon'...
Careful with that Axe, Eugene Live
Pink Floyd play their second free concert at Hyde Park
On June 29th 1968 was the first free Hyde Park concert. On the same bill were Jethro Tull and Roy Harper. On July 1970 Floyd play again there for free. 20,000 gathered in the park to hear them. One of the high points occurred after one of Rick Wright´s organ solos when a child could be heard crying. The audience looked around, trying to find the infant but in fact it was a tape recording, part of the music. This slide video shows some of the bits of the concert
Atom Heart Mother album released
Atom Heart Mother album released on September 1970.
By this time all concerts were produced in full quadrophonic stereo. In England they were losing 2000 pounds every time they performed, in the States the loss could have been higher.For the first time they were not fighting to payoff debts. All money was coming from royalties and even though they were not filling their bank accounts, they could at least pay their bills for the first time!
Playing live is good for the soul
Nick Mason said - "We´ve always had this bigger concert concept in mind; there have always been big plans. But it´s only this year really that we´ve became financially stable so we can start organising things to suit us. Playing live is good for the soul". On August 1971 they give this enterview while on tour in Australia:
Meddle album released
On November 20th 1971 the Meddle album is released. David Gilmour says "We´re the laziest group ever. Other groups would be quite horrified if they saw how we really waste our recording time". 'Echoes' proved to be an ideal number to play on stage. It sounds exactly like on the album said Rick Wright.
Pnk Floyd Live at The Rainbow
The turning point for Pink Floyd
The Rainbow Theatre, London concerts on February 17,18,19 and 20 th 1972 were critically acclaimed as The turning point for Pink Floyd. Besides the old retrospective perfomances of ´Careful with that axe Eugene', 'Set the controls for the sun', 'Echoes' they premiered the new upcoming album 'The dark side of the moon'. This new piece represented a musical change and the elevation to galatic levels.
The Dark SIde of the Moon era
For many Pink Floyd fans this is the best Pink Floyd album ever recorded by the band. It is a masterpiece and is great from the beginning to the end. It is the third best selling album of all times. The best two selling albums are both made by Michael Jackson. The album was developed as part of a forthcoming tour of live performances, and was premièred several months before studio recording began. The new material was further refined during the tour and was recorded in two sessions in 1972 and 1973. It subsequently remained in the charts for 741 weeks from 1973 to 1988, longer than any other album in history. With an estimated 45 million copies sold, it is Pink Floyd's most commercially successful album
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