{{TICKETS ON SALE NOW}} PIGS “INSIDE & OUT” – Vancouver Island Show Dates – October 2016

{{TICKETS ON SALE NOW}} PIGS “INSIDE & OUT” – Vancouver Island Show Dates – October 2016

Just letting you all know about a few special shows we have coming up in October on Vancouver Island.
We will be bringing our critically acclaimed show to select venues this fall. We have a new show INSIDE & OUT to share with you.  It is packed full of all the classic Floyd favourites – from A Saucerful Of Secrets to The Division Bell– and for the first time ever, we will be performing a number of Floydian solo songs from The Pros And Cons Of Hitchhiking to Rattle That Lock.
Who knows? Perhaps one of these solo songs may include a hidden gem from one of our favourite keyboardist’s solo albums as well.  One way to find out….
Here’s a list of our October dates, which are coming up fast:
Oct. 15- The Port Theatre, Nanaimo
Oct. 28- Charlie White Theatre, Sidney
Oct. 29- Sid Williams Theatre, Courtenay
More information and direct links to get tickets here: http://www.canadapinkfloyd.com
Hope to see you there,


{{SOLD OUT – Thanks for Coming Out!}} PIGS – Pink Floyd Tribute Shows Across BC this Summer 2016

{{SOLD OUT – Thanks for Coming Out!}} PIGS – Pink Floyd Tribute Shows Across BC this Summer 2016


Very excited to announce that PIGS will be touring British Columbia this summer. We will be playing 9 dates, bringing Canada’s Most Authentic Pink Floyd tribute show across BC in July and August.

PIGS are bringing an epic and rare treat for Pink Floyd fans – the band will be covering 47 years worth of Pink Floyd’s legendary repertoire from 1967 to 2014, ranging from the band’s earliest release to their final album; from the psychedelic misadventures of Arnold Layne to the final float down The Endless River.

In addition to classics from legendary albums such as Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, and The Wall, the band have many surprises in store, including material that has rarely, if ever, been performed live by the real Pink Floyd.

Richard Wright 1996 interview

Richard Wright 1996 interview

Greetings Floydians.

Here’s a fascinating interview with Richard Wright from 1996 for a Brazilian program called Gente de Expressão.  There’s not a whole lot of video interviews specifically centered on Rick kicking around (as the Abbey Road interviews in Live At Pompeii demonstrate, he was the most likely to shy away from them), but at the time he had a solo album to promote called Broken China (incredible album BTW if you can track a copy down.)  Most of this interview, however, is focused on Pink Floyd.

Who Played What? Episode 2: Bass guitar

Who Played What? Episode 2: Bass guitar

In this article, I’m going to do my best to tackle a long-standing issue of who did what in the Floyd–who played bass?  This has long been a point of debate within the fan community: although Roger Waters was officially the bassist of Pink Floyd, it’s now known that a fairly significant portion of the bass work was actually done by guitarist David Gilmour.  How much of it was David is frequently debated, especially due to a claim in the 1980s that suggested he played more bass than Roger.  I’m going to solve the mystery the best I can shortly, but first, a short word about the two bassists of Pink Floyd…

Roger Waters, whether fairly or not, is often cited for his limited musicianship.  His role as the bass player of Pink Floyd came about in the early versions of the band (Screaming Abdabs, The Tea Set, Sigma 6, etc.), where he was originally a guitarist.  An acoustic guitarist by nature, he ended up on bass when fellow student Clive Metcalf left a vacancy in the fledgling R&B group.  Roger apparently saw this as a demotion of sorts, claiming that he’s at least glad he didn’t end up on drums.  In the Syd era, Roger was more or less still learning how to play his instrument; he could never tune it by ear, and before he aquired a strobotuner in the 1970s, he would entrust Rick Wright to tune his bass for him (by sticking the headstock over the keyboards).  Roger’s bass style is fairly basic, but often full of “Roger-isms” as I call them, including playing octaves (Careful With The Axe Eugene, Goodbye Cruel World), and little melodic phrases thrown in for good measure.  He almost always played with a pick on his Pink Floyd output (giving a very distinctive attack), although he’s since been playing fingerstyle about 30% of the time.

David Gilmour’s very natural and fluid talent for the electric guitar has been known to carry over to the bass, and speaking purely technically, David is the stronger bassist between him and Roger.  David once claimed that most (i.e. over 50%) of the bass on the Pink Floyd albums is in fact himself and not Roger, and that Roger won a number of bass playing polls because of David’s playing.  While David indeed played a significant amount of four-string, including some very notable basslines (One Of These Days, Pigs and Hey You), I personally think the idea that he played more of the bass than Roger is exaggerated.  After all, the bass was Roger’s job.  David usually ended up on bass because he wrote the part in question (Pigs), because Roger was doing a guitar part instead (Sheep), or because the song called for a fretless bass (Hey You), which was a problem instrument for Roger.  It was usually, however, more likely the case that at any given time, David might have had the facilities to get the job done quicker and more reliably in the time alloted.  David’s playing is usually a bit more subtle, although he has a way of emulating Roger’s style (i.e. Sheep again, which Roger wrote the bassline to, and originally planned to play himself.)

Here is a list of who played what bass parts on each album (I can’t vouch for 100% correctness on this; this list is a mix of I know for fact and what I’m just pretty sure of.  Wikipedia has been a weird mix of being really helpful and not helpful at all.)

Piper at the Gates of Dawn

Roger played all the bass parts on this album.  Syd never covered for Roger on bass like David did.

A Saucerful Of Secrets

Roger likely was still playing all the bass parts on this album.


Presumably still all Roger


Live: All Roger

Studio: The Narrow Way 1-3 is the only composition on the studio album with any bass guitar.  As per the criteria of everybody’s compostion, Gilmour played all the instruments on this song, and therefore bass.

Atom Heart Mother

-Atom Heart Mother: Roger
-If: Presumably David, since Roger plays acoustic.  This song was only played once live (on John Peel’s show), and with Roger on acoustic and David on lead, Rick Wright played both Hammond organ and bass guitar.  This is the only time Rick ever played bass.
-Summer ’68: Roger
-Fat Old Sun: David (fretless bass)
-Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast: Roger (parts of it could be David)


-One Of These Days: two basses, being played by David and Roger, on either side of the stereo channel.  David’s comes in first in one channel (with fresh strings) and Roger comes in second on the other channel (with dead bass strings, which a roadie failed to replace).  The tremoloed bass in the middle section is David.
-A Pillow Of Winds: must be David (fretless)
-Fearless: Roger
-San Tropez: Roger
-Seamus: David (pretty sure)
-Echoes: Roger (Wikipedia claims there’s a fretless part by David.  I don’t think this is true.)

Obscured By Clouds

Pretty sure it’s mostly Roger since this album was written and recorded very rapidly, but I think Childhood’s End has two basses; David playing the main bassline, and Roger playing the muted bass part (similar to the ticking sound you hear on Time.)  Wot’s…Uh The Deal may also be a Gilmour bassline.

Dark Side of the Moon

Roger played all his own bass parts on Dark Side

Wish You Were Here

-Shine On You Crazy Diamond 1-5: Roger
-Welcome to the Machine: No bass guitar, but Roger provided the VSC3 bass drone
-Have A Cigar: Roger
-Wish You Were Here: convinced that it’s David (Roger’s bass playing on the live ’77 version sounds completely different.)
-Shine On You Crazy Diamond 6-9: the beginning of part six starts with two basses.  David comes in first, and Roger does the phased bass part.  The rest of the bass is all Roger.


-Pigs on the Wing 1: no bass
-Dogs: Roger
-Pigs (Three Different Ones): David (wrote the bass part)
-Sheep: David (Roger knew the part full well, but had a rhythm guitar part he wanted to do, so David picked up the bass)
-Pigs on the Wing 2: no bass

Animals Live 1977

Before the Animals tour, Roger always played all of the bass guitar in Pink Floyd concerts (save for the one performance of If that I mentioned earlier, where Rick played bass).  But with the addition of second guitarist Snowy White in the touring band for the Animals tour, Roger was presented with an opporitunity to play some rhythm guitar himself on a more regular basis, and leave his bass duties into White’s trustworthy hands.  The tour consisted of Animals in its entirety for the first set (albeit out of the original order) and Wish You Were Here in its entirety for set two (in order this time,) with Money and/or Us and Them as encores.  Most songs still had Roger on bass; the following songs didn’t:

-Sheep: Snowy on bass (Roger played a strat)
-Pigs on the Wing pt. 1: no bass (Roger played acoustic)
-Pigs on the Wing pt. 2: it’s speculated that David played bass, since Roger’s on acoustic and Snowy’s playing lead.  But I’ve never seen photographic proof.  If someone out there can solidly either confirm or debunk this theory, I’ll be much obliged.
-Pigs (Three Different Ones): Snowy on bass (Roger played a strat)
-Welcome to the Machine: Snowy on bass (Roger on acoustic)

The Wall

Thank you Vernon Fitch and Richard Mahon for the following information from their awesome book Comfortably Numb-A History of The Wall.

-In the Flesh?: Roger
-The Thin Ice: Roger
-Another Brick in the Wall 1: Roger
-The Happiest Days of our Lives: Roger
-Another Brick in the Wall 2: Roger
-Mother: David
-Goodbye Blue Sky: David
-Empty Spaces: Roger
-Young Lust: David
-One Of My Turns: Roger
-Don’t Leave Me Now: David
-Another Brick in the Wall 3: Roger
-Goodbye Cruel World: Roger
-Hey You: David (fretless; perhaps the most famous Pink Floyd bass part that’s actually Gilmour)
-Is There Anybody Out There?: Roger
-Nobody Home: David
-Vera: David
-Bring the Boys Back Home: no bass
-Comfortably Numb: both David and Roger recorded bass parts apparently.  I think it’s David for most of the song, then during the outro solo the bass sounds distinctly like Roger.
-The Show Must Go On: David (the only song on The Wall to not feature Roger at all)
-In the Flesh: Roger
-Run Like Hell: David
-Waiting For The Worms: David
-Stop: no bass
-The Trial: David
-Outside the Wall: no bass

The Wall Live 1980-81

For the Wall shows, the nature of Roger’s role as a theatrical frontman was to the extent where a significant portion of the show required him to be relieved of his bass guitar duties, usually so he could just sing with a wireless mic in hand. Ultimately, a second instrumentalist was designated to double each member of Pink Floyd, both for musical and theatrical reasons, so the show could begin with these four musicians wearing masks of their respective Pink Floyd member, fooling the audience into thinking they were viewing Pink Floyd, before pulling back the curtain to reveal the real band.  These musicians would be known as the surrogate band (or the shadow band), and on bass representing Roger Waters was Andy Bown.  A multi-instrumentalist whose regular gig was as keyboardist in Status Quo, Andy would play bass on every song that had bass, either by doubling Roger’s bass, or in most cases, by playing instead of Roger.

These are the songs where Roger DID play bass:

-The Thin Ice
-Another Brick in the Wall pt. 1
-The Happiest Days of our Lives
-Another Brick in the Wall pt. 2
-Goodbye Blue Sky
-Young Lust
-Don’t Leave Me Now (may have picked up his bass halfway through, according to Phil Taylor’s guitar switching notes)
-The Last Few Bricks
-In the Flesh
-Run Like Hell

Roger typically just sang on all other songs.  He played acoustic guitar on Mother and clarinet on Outside the Wall.  He also played the flaming gong at the US shows on Waiting For the Worms (the band got rid of the gong by the time they got to London.)

The Final Cut

Since David’s role in Pink Floyd had been severely marginalized by this point, and Roger was effectively calling all the shots musically, it’s assumed that David had nothing to do with any of the bass playing on TFC.

A Momentary Lapse of Reason

If the album credits are to be believed, Tony Levin played all the bass on this album, as well as the Chapman Stick on One Slip.  Some sources suggest that David played some bass, but don’t suggest where.  I think the bass on AMLOR sounds King Crimsony enough that it’s probably all Tony.

The Division Bell

Guy Pratt is known to have played most of the bass on this album.  David played bass on High Hopes, and possibly a couple of others but I’m not sure.  There’s photos of early sessions showing Bob Ezrin on bass, but he’s not credited as a bassist, so he might have just played for some of the early jams when Guy wasn’t there.

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.

Merry Christmas

Greetings Floydians

Hope you all have a great Christmas this year. Here’s a little “cheery Christmas greeting” for you all courtesy of the one and only drummer/non-singer/non-songwriter of Pink Floyd, Nick Mason.

I should point out that barring “The Grand Vizer’s Garden Party” and “Speak to Me”, this weird little recording counts as the only song that Nick ever wrote (certainly the only time he wrote lyrics), and a rare glimpse of what his singing sounds like (“Scream Thy Last Scream” and “Corporal Clegg” being his two other attempts at singing.)

See you in the new year!!!!

Who Played What? Episode 1- “Keyboards on The Wall”

Today, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of Pink Floyd’s The Wall, one of the most successful albums ever released, the biggest selling double album of all time, and probably the most thouroughly analyzed of any of Pink Floyd’s releases. In honour of the 30th anniversary of The Wall, I will examine a rather contentious source of mystery surrounding the album; who played what keyboard parts on The Wall?


The making of The Wall was known for being a particularly shitty time for founding keyboardist Richard Wright. He was never particularly keen on the album’s theme or live concept, he was going through a divorce from his wife Juliette, and was allegedly suffering a cocaine addiction at the time (something Rick always denied.) After fighting and failing to earn a co-producer’s credit on the album, Rick began to severely clash with Roger Waters. The tension would eventually reach the point where Roger finally had enough with his bandmate of 15 years, and dismissed him from Pink Floyd. Rick left the band during this period, but stayed on to finish the album and perform in the live shows (as a hired hand rather than as a full band member.) For the album, this period of inconsistency and unreliability meant that many keyboard parts were played by people other than Rick.

The Wall was not the first time that people other than Rick played keyboards. Some past examples:

-On the Ummagumma studio album, everybody recorded all their own instruments for their own solo compositions. The multitude of keyboard instruments on The Narrow Way are all played by David.
-David claims to have played some extra keyboards on Have A Cigar. It’s not clear which keyboard he’s playing though.
-In live versions of Echoes, Roger would add some extra keyboards in a couple of sections. During the Leslie piano intro, Roger would play some Farfisa organ (you can see this in Pompeii, before he gets up and grabs his bass), and Roger would do the piano pings during Rick’s Farfisa break.
-David played Hammond organ in live versions of Great Gig in the Sky, allowing Rick to concentrate on piano.
-The various EMS VCS3 synths were never exclusive to Rick. In the studio, they would be used by all four members of the group barring Nick Mason (Roger was probably the most prominent with the VCS3.) Mind you, the VCS3 synth is a modular synth that required an external (and frequently unused) keyboard controller, so the VCS3 doesn’t really count as a keyboard. Even the Synthi AKS (the one used for On The Run), with its built-in membrane keyboard sequencer, is a stretch in my opinion.
-Touring saxophonist Dick Parry added lots of extra keyboards during the Animals tour in 1977 (specifically the ARP Solina and some occasional Minimoog), set up in a rig behind Rick’s which was very difficult for the audience to see.

With all this being said, Rick remained the prominent keyboard figure in the band up to and including Animals (the live examples are simply a case of Rick needing an extra pair of hands.) With The Wall, the role of the keyboards changed; they were more orchestrated, and specific things were often required out of them. Rick’s relative lack of virtuosity made this a problem, especially in the piano department. His deteriorating relationship with Roger, coupled with his personal issues at the time, didn’t exactly make his playing more productive either.

While Rick did play significantly less keyboards than he played on any other Floyd album in the past, probably too much is said about his lack of keyboard playing on the album. I hear a lot of people talking about how Rick played almost nothing on the album (“Hey You and that’s it” I’ve heard one guy on a forum claim.) His playing is, in fact, present on most songs, and some things like Hey You, Young Lust and Don’t Leave Me Now are all Rick. Even on songs like Nobody Home, where the prominent piano part is played by Bob Ezrin, Rick’s in there playing a part on the Prophet synth.

The use of session keyboardists on the album in lieu of Rick’s unreliability is also something that’s been overstated. Peter Wood and Fred Mandel are often cited as the people who played a large portion of the keyboards on the album. Wood, actually, didn’t play on the album at all, and was only brought on board to accompany Rick for the tour, and Mandel only played the organ on the two In the Fleshes (which from what I can tell is the exact same part on both songs, so technically he only did one part.) Producer Bob Ezrin, a skilled keyboardist in his own right, was actually responsible for most of the keyboard parts that Rick didn’t play, and David Gilmour and engineer James Guthrie played some parts here and there. But aside from Mandel’s one organ part, nobody actually needed to be hired for the album to specifically cover Rick.

The following is a list of who played what keyboard parts on the album and the subsequent tour. This information is provided by the book Comfortably Numb: A History of The Wall 1978-81 by Vernon Fitch and Richard Mahon (fantastic read, by the way). While I can’t vouch for it to be absolutely 100% correct (I’ll interject comments where I feel necessary), most of this information is actually provided by David Gilmour himself, and this is about as accurate of a listing as I think we will ever get of who played what on The Wall.

In the Flesh?
Rick: Prophet 5
Roger: VCS3
Fred Mandel: organ

The Thin Ice
Rick: piano and organ
David: Prophet 5

Another Brick in the Wall pt. 1
Rick: Prophet 5, Minimoog and Rhodes

I’ve never actually heard the Rhodes in this song, but according to a recording session document there is indeed a Rhodes on the song, so I’m not completely out to lunch.

The Happiest Days of Our Lives
Rick: clavinet and organ

Another Brick in the Wall pt. 2
Rick: organ and Prophet

Bob Ezrin: Prophet, organ and piano

Goodbye Blue Sky
Rick and David: Prophet
Roger: VCS3

Not really sure why it took both Rick and David to accomplish the relatively simple synth part on this song, but I won’t argue.

Empty Spaces
Rick: piano
David: ARP Solina, Prophet, Clavinet
James Guthrie: ARP Solina
Roger: VCS3

Again, not sure why it took two people to play the ARP Solina (actually, I think there might be an error in the book; it could actually be the ARP Quadra, for the sequencer that creates the song’s rhythm.)

Young Lust
Rick: organ and Wurlitzer electric piano (with Wah-Wah)

Rick actually recorded two organ parts: one through the Leslie, and one through a Big Muff. The Leslie actually had a neat trick attatched to it: weights were added to the rotating horn so that when Rick switched speeds, it would take just a little bit longer to slow down or speed up.

One Of My Turns
Rick: piano
Bob Ezrin: Prophet and organ

Somehow, I wonder if this might actually be the other way around (Rick played the other parts in the live show.)

Don’t Leave Me Now
Rick: organ, organ pedals, piano, Prophet
Roger: VCS3

Another Brick in the Wall pt. 3
Rick: Prophet
David: Prophet (low part)

Goodbye Cruel World
Rick: Prophet

Hey You
Rick: Rhodes electric piano, organ and Prophet

Is There Anybody Out There?
Rick: Prophet
Bob Ezrin: synth and string synth*

*I know this is vague, but this is what the book says.

Nobody Home
Rick: Prophet
Bob Ezrin: piano
Roger: VCS3

Rick: Prophet

Comfortably Numb
Rick: organ
David: Prophet (low notes on outro solo)

The Show Must Go On
Rick: Prophet
Bob Ezrin: Prophet and piano

In the Flesh
Fred Mandel: organ
David and James Guthrie: ARP Quadra (sequencer)
Bob Ezrin: Prophet
Roger: VCS3

Run Like Hell
Rick: Prophet

Rick’s only solo on The Wall

Waiting For the Worms
Rick: organ
Bob Ezrin: piano
David: Prophet
Roger: VCS3

Bob Ezrin: piano

The Trial
Bob Ezrin: piano

Live performances:

For the live performances of The Wall, every member of Pink Floyd was doubled on their instrument by a session player, forming the Surrogate Band, or the Shadow Band. Rick was paired up with Peter Wood, a prolific session player who co-wrote the Al Stewart hit “Year of the Cat” and would subsequently join Roger as the main keyboardist at the Wall concert in Berlin 1990 (I’ve not been able to find much other information on Peter Wood, except the fact that he’s very sadly no longer with us.) For the large part, with a few exceptions, they were divided in the manner of Rick playing organ and Prophet synth, and Peter playing piano. Peter played all of the acoustic piano parts during The Wall shows (except the beginning of The Thin Ice.)

Again, this information comes from Comfortably Numb by Fitch and Mahon, as well as my own observations from watching live footage. One interesting feature of the book is that it shows a detailed photo of Rick’s notes that he pasted to his Prophet 5, showing which preset settings to use on the Prophet for each song, and otherwise which instruments he had to play on each song. However, this doesn’t tell us anything about what Peter was doing, and the book is mostly less than informative about what he does during the show. Based on that, Peter’s instruments might be a little sketchy (although in many places it’s simply process of elimination.)

In the Flesh?
Rick: ARP Quadra (sequencer) and Prophet 5 (on main stage, unseen to audience)
Peter Wood: Hammond C3 (on front stage, wearing life mask of Rick)

The Thin Ice
Rick: piano on first verse, Hammond organ second verse onwards
Peter: piano from second verse onward

This is the only song in the live show in which Rick played acoustic piano. As soon as the second verse kicks in, Peter sits down at the piano and Rick very quickly gets up and moves to the Hammond organ.

Another Brick in the Wall pt. 1
Rick: Prophet 5
Peter: ARP Quadra and outro piano

The Happiest Days of our Lives
Rick: Prophet 5
Peter: piano

Another Brick in the Wall pt. 2
Rick: organ and Prophet
Peter: Wurlitzer electric piano

Rick: Prophet and organ
Peter: Prophet and piano

Goodbye Blue Sky
Rick: Prophet and organ solo
Peter: Prophet

What Shall We Do Now?
Rick: ARP Quadra (sequencer)
Peter: Prophet and organ

Young Lust
Rick: organ
Peter: Wurlitzer

One of My Turns
Rick: Prophet and organ
Peter: piano

Don’t Leave Me Now
Rick: Prophet and organ
Peter: piano

Another Brick in the Wall pt. 3
Rick: Prophet
Peter: not sure

The Last Few Bricks
Rick: Prophet
Peter: ARP Solina

Rick wrote in his notes for the medley about a “bees” preset for the Prophet. LOL.

Goodbye Cruel World
Rick: Prophet

Hey You
Rick: Rhodes, Prophet, Wurlitzer?
Peter: organ?

This song is the one I’m the most sketchy about. Rick’s notes suggest he didn’t play the organ (i.e. Peter) but he did play the Prophet. Since the Prophet was on top of the organ, that doesn’t sound very practical at all. Also, Rick mentions the Wurlitzer, but all the electric piano sounds like Rhodes to me. (The “bees” effect is mentioned in the notes again. I don’t know why, but I find that very funny.)

Is There Anybody Out There?
Peter: Prophet, maybe ARP Solina

Rick apparently got a break for a few songs until Comfortably Numb.

Nobody Home
Peter: piano

Vera/Bring the Boys Back Home
No live keyboards

Comfortably Numb
Rick: Prophet, organ
Peter: piano

The Show Must Go On
Rick: Rhodes intro, Prophet
Peter: piano, Prophet?

In the Flesh
Rick: organ, Prophet
Peter: CP80 piano

From this song through Stop, everyone was performing with reduced rigs in front of the wall. Like his fellow Surrogate bandmates, Peter wore a “death mask” of Rick, and played piano in a static, zombie-like manner.

Run Like Hell
Rick: organ, Prophet
Peter: CP80

Waiting For the Worms
Rick: organ
Peter: CP80

Peter: CP80

(Fitch/Mahon attribute the piano to both Peter and Rick, which I don’t think is true. Actually, the piano may not even be live, since everyone except Roger is leaving the stage at this point to cue up The Trial.)

The Trial
I highly doubt there are any live keyboards on this song

Outside the Wall
Rick: accordion
Peter: acoustic guitar

By the way, I am well aware that most of my big articles have been centered around Rick Wright. Hell, the blog’s called “Always Wright.” I do this for a couple of reasons:

-I feel that Rick has always been under-represented as a figure of Pink Floyd, when there is so much interesting things to be said about what he brought to the band. As a gear nerd, I appreciate the multitude of information about David Gilmour’s guitars and equipment (there is a whole site dedicated to chronicling Gilmour’s gear down to the last patch cable.) I would like to think that there’s a similar interest in Rick’s keyboards and his playing.
-The main reason is that I’m biased. I am, after all, the “Rick Wright” of Pigs. So as a representative in that department, my choice of subject matter in rather weighted in one direction.

With that being said, I intend to write some more articles that focus on the other band members. My next look in the “Who Played What?” series will focus on who’s playing bass guitar on each Pink Floyd recording, another infamously contentious issue in the Floyd community.

Remembering Richard Wright: one year later

Today marks the first anniversary of a profoundly sad day in the history of Pink Floyd. Last year on this day, keyboard genius Richard Wright left this world forever after a short and unpublicized battle with cancer. Rick’s death, while very sadly serving as somewhat of a footnote in daily entertainment news of the day, was felt deeply by Pink Floyd’s vast fanbase the world over, not only because this quiet, enigmatic and highly underrated figure of rock’s greatest band was all of a sudden no longer with us, but additionally sad because Rick’s death effectively meant that Pink Floyd, as a continuing unit, was firmly over.

Rick was the second member of Pink Floyd to pass on; Syd Barrett, after spending over 30 years out of the public eye, died in 2006 at the age of 60. But while Barrett’s health was known to be declining for several years, Rick’s passing was much less expected, and came about in a period where Rick had been effectively revitalized as an active musician.

After the Live 8 reunion of 2005, Rick would subsequently contribute organ and backing vocals to David Gilmour’s 2006 solo album On An Island. Having already obtained tickets to see David Gilmour perform in Los Angeles in April that year, you can only imagine my excitement when David’s touring band was announced, and at the top of the bill: Richard Wright (keyboards/vocals.) My dad and I made a fantastic trip to Hollywood that April to see the show (I had to pull a few strings to make the trip work around a final exam), and it was nothing short of phenomenal. Being able to see Gilmour and Wright perform together on stage was something I never realistically imagined myself seeing live, but on April 20, 2006, it happened.

Rick in particular performed amazingly. Appropriately understated as usual, his Hammond organ playing (especially on Echoes) was as fluid as it had ever been. After his periodically trying years as a member of Pink Floyd who was often seen as a background figure (either by his own will or because he was pushed there,) he clearly seemed to enjoy performing live more than he ever had in his life. His interviews on the Remember That Night DVD seem to confirm this. He sang more lead vocals in more songs in the show probably than he ever sang in one Floyd show (Time, Arnold Layne, Echoes, and covering for Roger on Comfortably Numb), and this was clearly very satisfying for him considering he once said that he never really liked his own singing voice. His voice had deepened considerably over the years, but it was no less very moving whenever his voice was heard. It was no suprise to me at all that when David introduced the band, the name Richard Wright spawned rapturous applause and a standing ovation.

Two years later, after being picked up from work, I was told the devastating news. I remember for the next few days, I found it rather difficult to listen to the sound of a Hammond organ in any musical context. Sadder still was that the instrumental solo album Rick had been writing, and had at the time found a producer for, would never see the light of day.

Richard Wright was a major hero of mine, and remains so to this day. He was not exactly a virtuoso like Keith Emerson or Rick Wakeman, but he didn’t strive to be, and quite frankly I’m glad he didn’t. Rick Wright was perhaps the most tasteful rock keyboardist of all time, one whom without Pink Floyd would simply have never worked the way it did. I feel incredibly privileged to be given the duties of recreating Rick’s brilliant work as a member of Pigs. Godspeed Richard.

I asked my bandmates in Pigs to say a few words about Rick on this very sad anniversary. Here’s what they had to say about the late, great Richard Wright:

K.C. Hingley (bass/vocals)

The Floyd could hardly have sounded like the Floyd, or been relevant in the psychedelic and progressive rock movements of the ’60s and ’70s without a pioneering keyboard player. Rick was able to work with some of the best-sounding gear available at the time like the Farfisa organ etc. Unlike some other prog-rockers, he was far from being a virtuoso, but he seemed comfortable with his role as mood-setter to the David’s lead-lines and Roger’s lyrics. He was able to find the feel of the song and accentuate it: consider the range of style and tone involved in Shine on you Crazy Diamond I-V as compared to the following song on the album, Welcome to the Machine. Shine On is thick with synth-strings and organ, which makes the song seem angelic as it laments a lost comrade, where his crunchy synth in Machine creates a din of industrial factory noise, supporting the ironic lyrics about art being mechanized.

As the band’s career progressed into the Wall and Final Cut years we see Rick, for whatever reasons, being pushed to the background and finally even leaving the band for The Final Cut. Those two albums are conspicuously lacking in the ambience department, especially in The Final Cut, where even David seems like a guest performer on a Waters solo album. On TFC, Michael Kamen’s piano, though admirably played, doesn’t fill space and create feeling the way the organ and synths do on earlier albums like Wish You Were Here. I don’t mean to disparage those two albums, I like them because they find Gilmour and Rog at the peak of their abilities, but I doubt they would have arrived at that point in their careers without Rick’s work on earlier albums, helping to develop their sound. This is especially true of the early days of the band, where Rick was the only one with a working knowledge of his instrument.

Rick died far too young, though his sound will, I’m sure, live forever.

K.C. aka Rog

Josh Szczepanowski (guitar/vocals)

It seemed inevitable that Richard would be the first to go. He appeared to be a quiet spirit, withdrawn, quintessentially British – but without the bull-headed stubbornness that has kept his former band-mates going well into the 21st century.
None of us ever met Richard – and in fact, only one person I know has even seen him from afar. But the songs he helped create changed everything for two generations of music lovers, and seem destined to change it all again for a third pretty soon. It’s easy to feel like we did know him; after all, music is undoubtedly the story of the soul, and over the years he told a lot of great stories. Nothing says so much about a person as music they have created.
It is a shame that a great deal of his contribution to Pink Floyd has been undermined or forgotten, both by the other members of his band and by the record-buying public. Roger has of course dismissed Richard’s contributions for years, Nick has stayed planted firmly on the fence, and even Gilmour – who, aside from being Richard’s most steady employer, was also to all accounts his friend – has been known to belittle the work Richard did in the band.
It’s funny the way a person’s attitude can change the story so completely – for it is obvious in hind-sight that all of the Floyd’s best work, and later much of Gilmour’s, was done with Richard sitting at the keyboards. His compositional skills can’t be questioned: his work on Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here are beyond reproach. And Animals, though it seems to be all about the guitars, would have been seriously one-dimensional without Richard’s deft touch at the Hammond. If he hadn’t been so soft-spoken, perhaps he would’ve staked a stronger claim.
Now that he is gone, of course, the world is happy to embrace Richard’s work. Still, I would encourage anyone who thinks they are familiar to dig a little bit deeper. Do yourself a favour and have a listen to his delicate ballads on Obscured by Clouds, enjoy his performance of his piece Breakthrough in Gilmour’s Meltdown concert, have a listen to his classical playing on Ummagumma. Even his solo albums (the completely forgotten Wet Dream, and the overlooked Broken China) have a wistful, timid sound that is nonetheless as compelling as anything Roger or Gilmour have come up with.
Richard’s passing will never have the same effect on the public as the passing of people like John Lennon or Hendrix did, but I suspect he’d prefer it that way. He was never a towering icon of rock, but Richard Wright changed music forever, and he won’t be forgotten any time soon.

Pink Floyd with Frank Zappa 1969

Greetings Floydians.

Making up for my abscence of postings for the last while (business/writer’s block, both at the same time,) here’s a recording of something that I heard a lot about, but didn’t completely believe actually happened until I saw a picture of it (from Phil Taylor’s Black Strat book, which Josh owns.) Pink Floyd performing Interstellar Overdrive in Belgium 1969, with the legendary Frank Zappa guesting on guitar.

At the time, David Gilmour had been a member of Pink Floyd for a year, and was still trying to develop a guitar sound that was distinctly Gilmourish, and not just copying Syd’s style from before his time. With that said, in this recording, that makes helps make it very clear as to whether you’re hearing Gilmour’s playing or Zappa’s distinctly eccentric guitar work. Frank’s using David’s natural brown Fender Telecaster which he had as his spare at the time (it can be seen on the back cover of Ummagumma. It’s the only guitar on that cover that didn’t eventually get stolen.)

Part I

Part II

Part III

BTW, that photo from Phil Taylor’s book is indeed the same one used as the still in these three clips. Many, many thanks to pinkfloydrule27 for making this phenomenal recording available.