John Peel July 16, 1970–If

John Peel July 16, 1970–If

Hello Floydians.

Here’s a snippet from the band’s past that I’ve been seeking for a while now. This is Pink Floyd performing If for the BBC at the Paris Cinema in London on July 16, 1970, hosted by the legendary John Peel. This marks the only time If was ever performed live by Pink Floyd.

This is a particularly unusual performance because of it’s strange instrumentation. As Peel mentions at the beginning, Roger switches to acoustic guitar, while Rick takes over on bass guitar, multi-tasking the Hammond organ. Peel mentions that Rick is playing the two simultaneously, which is obviously impossible, but it sounds like the arrangement was that Rick played bass on the second verse, then might have spent the first guitar solo trying to discard it (there’s no organ or bass under the solo, but there are some loud squeals probably coming from the bass), then played organ and bass pedals for the rest of the song.

Not surprisingly, this arrangement sounds extremely cumbersome (and it shows in the recording), aside from the fact that Rick wasn’t naturally a bassist, so this may owe to the band never performing this song again. It would not re-emerge until Roger’s solo tours in the 1980s.

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