David Gilmour '78.

June 1978 "Innerview" Jim Ladd interviews David Gilmour

Part 1 of 2


(transcription by the one and only Dave Ward)


Jim Ladd: "This is Innerview, an inside look at the the people whose

music has changed our lives. [snip- moment missing] --presents

Pink Floyd."

[music just before first verse of "Echoes" plays in background.]

JL: Good evening, everybody. I'm Jim Ladd. Tonight, we present part

one of a very rare and exclusive four part Innerview of one of

rock 'n' roll's most original and progressive bands. Even in

this, one of their earliest recordings done in 1967, their

unmistakable style and approach can be heard. It is merely an

echo of what we have now come to know as Pink Floyd.

["See Emily Play"]

JL: For many years now, Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, Nick Mason,

Richard Wright and Roger Waters have been creating music that

is completely unique to them and them alone, while at the same

time retaining an almost hermit-like privacy with respect to

any kind of contact with the media. But tonight, Innerview

will bring to national radio for the first time David Gilmour,

lead guitar and vocalist of Pink Floyd.

[the swelling last chord of "Speak To Me", then "Breathe" begins

beneath the interview.]

JL: It's almost a legend how you've maintained privacy in not talking

to people and... Was that a group decision?

David Gilmour: No, it's not a group decision. I mean, it's a conscious

thing that we want to maintain our privacy, and don't want to

spread our individual egos all over the place too widely. As

to talking to people, it's not a group decision. And that's

really a question of knowing who to talk to, and if there is

someone who wants to talk to you about something you might be

interested in talking about. It's more a question of not

knowing about who is worth talking to, and having met some

real Bozos around in the business over the years who we have

talked to. Kinda got to seem like it wasn't worth it. I mean,

there's certainly no need for us to do the volume of

interviews and that sort of stuff that we used to do at one

stage. We don't need it, simply.

["Free Four"; Ladd continues over it after "may find it hard to get


JL: In the beginning, Pink Floyd's albums were so progressive and so

non-commercial that their audience remained for many years a

small but highly loyal following. However, with the release of

the album Dark Side of the Moon things began to change


JL: Did you feel when Dark Side hit that all of a sudden you were

being swept now into the big machine, and all of a sudden it

was like, "Well, hey! Pink Floyd! Hey, how are you guys? You

know? Welcome to Money!"

[A single cash register from "Money" and immediately "Have A Cigar"

begins as DG answers.]

DG: We did get that at that point, yes. And it's always been there,

especially when you come to cities like this one [presumably

Los Angeles] where it's more prevalent. But we've always tried

to avoid it, we've always tried to keep out of those people...

We needed to be nice to those people when in our earlier days

much more. Now, of course, we try not to be nasty to them or

nice to them, we just try to avoid getting close to them.

["Have A Cigar" continues until outro solo begins.]

JL: Have you ever had one of those cigar-smoking executives listen to

Wish You Were Here and come up later and say, "God, I really

wish I hadn't asked that ques--"

DG: Luckily enough, we really don't get to see any of those people

anymore. And a lot of them have gone, of course. They've got a

lot of younger people here, actually *into* the music and

stuff, working at record companies these days. It's changed

quite a lot. [Ladd starts to interrupt but DG finishes] --

right off the top sometimes that you don't really care to


JL: There's been so much industry in people's lives and jobs ____ a

song that you would write.

DG: Mm hmm.

JL: It's almost gotten out of hand. Would you agree with that?

DG: Absolutely, yes.

JL: Would you prefer it not to be so big?

DG: Yes.

JL: Would you be ensconced in wherever you live now if it were not

that way though?

DG: Who knows? It's all in the laps of the gods. I really don't know.

I mean, there was a time it seems to me where one had a far

greater chance that your record would happen if it was a good

record.... Now all the chances seem to be held by various

other people throughout the industry, and it depends on

whether they like you. Not whether the people like you, but

whether the people at the record company like you. _____ the

people like you.

JL: You're talking about down to the level of, do you party well, and

if they just like--

DG: Well, if you're nice to them and--

JL: But does it have to do with the music?

DG: No, it doesn't have a lot to do with the music, but if the record

company people don't like you, sure as hell your record won't


[The end of the "Have A Cigar" solo compresses to tinny monophonic


JL: My name is Jim Ladd and we're gonna be back with David Gilmour

when our Innerview of Pink Floyd returns.

[Middle instrumental from "Welcome To The Machine" plays]

JL: We don't need to run down what Dark Side of the Moon is *still*

doing on the record charts, but the next abum, big change of

attitude it seemed to me, and the album after that even

moreso. So let's just start with -- Was it the notoriety that

turned you guys?

DG: I think that Wish You Were Here and Animals are both in the same

direction that Dark Side of the Moon was. I think there was a

specific change of direction at the time of making Dark Side

of the Moon. There is a great difference between Dark Side of

the Moon and Wish You Were Here because we were completely

different people at the two times, so it's been a radical

change in our lives between -- the time that we made Dark Side

of the Moon we were a band that hadn't made it, and we were

making a change from the music being the dominant thing in

what we did and the lyrical and idea content being

subservient. Dark Side of the Moon was the first time where we

tried to bring them up to par so that they were both integral

and a vital part of what was going on, so there's a specific

idea. And we had a big feeling going at the time of making

Dark Side of the Moon. We were trying very hard. We'd never

reached any great pinnacle of success. Our curve was slow and

secure and upward all the time and we weren't unhappy with it,

but we knew at a certain point that we were on to something

with that album. That change of the importance of the lyrical

content idea being equal with the music is something we've

carried on into Wish You Were Here. But when it came to making

Wish You Were Here we were four people who had made it in

terms of all one's normal goals in rock 'n' roll, and weren't

too sure what our motives were for being there and doing it.

It was simple before. When we made Dark Side of the Moon the

motive was simple -- we were gonna make it. Once you've made

it, what do you do then? That's a very difficult thing to

know, and to varying different degrees each one of us had a

problem with knowing within ourselves what we were in it for.

["Money" edited down to about two minutes with strange edits. "Us and

Them" begins.]

JL: When you look at a song--or honestly, when I look at a song like

"Us and Them", which I like a lot--

DG: That was an outtake from Zabriskie Point. [chuckles]

JL: Yeah? ... I always see Pink Floyd as instead of trying to bring

some kind of outside theory as a message, more of a group

consciousness saying, "Hey, look what's here. Let's, like,

learn to live in--"

DG: Holding up a mirror.

JL: 'S that basically how you see it?

DG: Yeah. I'd say so.

JL: Do you think that follows with Wish You Were Here and Animals too?

The mirror?

DG: Yeah, absolutely.

JL: Where does the image then start to go askew with the attitude of

"Us and Them", "After all we're only ordinary men" to, um,

"Pigs" for example?

DG: Well, I can't really talk to you in depth about specific

philosophies on those things because I don't write those

words, Roger writes them. But he's describing, I guess,

various different types of people that he and we meet in this

world and, uh, they could use a mirror. [chuckles]

["Us and Them" lyrics begin. Plays until Ladd comes in at the piano


JL: Since the release and overwhelming public acceptance of Dark Side

of the Moon the man who engineered the album has started a

recording career of his own and is now doing quite well. And

of course his involvement with such a monumental album as Dark

Side helped considerably. His name is Alan Parsons.

DG: He's a good engineer. He was a regular studio engineer at EMI.

Could have been anyone. And he engineered the album, but he

tends to go around intimating that he produced it, and stuff

like that. And it's not so, and we have got slightly annoyed

about that at times. But he is a nice guy basically.

JL: I think he's also been a little bit done in by all of a sudden

finding himself in the spotlight by the record companies

because in the bios they lay on pretty heavy about he was

engineering on Abbey Road which, in point of fact, he was the

guy getting the coffee loading tapes.

DG: It's a (face off?), yeah. Well, he graduated up. I mean, I can

remember when he was like a young, very young lad came into

the studio as a tea boy, ___, gradually moved up to assistant

engineering and then engineering and that was the point he was

at when we did Dark Side of the Moon. He engineered that

record with us, and meanwhile he was, he also came on the road

with us as a road engineer, the sound on our live gigs. And

then he moved on after that into production and getting into

all that side of things. He's a good, a quite talented guy.

But he was moving up that ladder when we did Dark Side of the

Moon. And I don't personally think that it made any difference

to Dark Side of the Moon. We could have done it with any other

engineer and the same thing would have come out.

["Us and Them" continues until "Any Colour" begins.]

JL: Our Innerview of Pink Floyd returns in just a moment.

["Mihalis" plays as Ladd talks.]

JL: Welcome back everybody to our Innerview of Pink Floyd. Now in this

part of the show, were gonna discuss David Gilmour's first

solo album. Would you consider this a concept album?

DG: Um, no, I wouldn't. I mean, I didn't consider it in any way a

concept album but there is a kind of train of thought running

through it.

JL: Yeah, train of thought may even be a better word for it, but, it

seems like--

DG: It's not deliberate, anyway, I think.

JL: So it just happened to be that those songs fell in that order


DG: Well, I mean, I did the songs and they were the songs that came

out of me, and -- one of them is a song that I chose from

someone else's that I really like and wanted to do for some

time, but it fitted in with my general mood at the time.

JL: "There's No Way Out of Here." Is that the song that--

DG: That's right, yeah.

JL: Great song.

["There's No Way Out of Here" plays until solo starts.]

JL: Now if you recall, in the beginning of tonight's show, I stressed

the fact that up until now neither David Gilmour nor any

member of Pink Floyd would talk to the press. In my case, it

is taken literally. Well over a year and a half of flat

refusals before we ever got this Innerview on tape, and the

reason that David Gilmour did finally agree to do this is as

obvious as his answer was honest.

JL: Now that you have a solo album out, we're sittin' here talkin'.

DG: Yes.

JL: So why is that?

DG: That's because I need it. My name is -- it's just the simple fact

that my name doesn't carry the weight that Pink Floyd's name

does. I want people to listen to what I've done, and damned if

I'm gonna sit round in a few months' time and say, "Well,

didn't make it, and I didn't go and do any publicity for it,

and no one heard it. It was still a good album but no one

heard it." You know? I'm not gonna give myself that excuse.

["There's No Way Out of Here" continues.]

JL: When an artist decides to step out and make his first solo album,

it is -- and especially in this case--a giant undertaking. It

involves putting his name on the line directly, and without

the support or umbrella of the group. Now for this reason,

it's sometimes nice to include old friends for the first

venture. And for David Gilmour that meant Rick Wills and

Willie Wilson.

DG: Rick and Willie are friends of mine who I was in a band with when

I was eighteen, nineteen, I dunno. Pretty young. And they've

been friends of mine since I was about fourteen or fifteen I

guess. They were part of the motivation, and actually got me

together into the studio to work on it.

JL: Oh yeah?

DG: And I knew that I'd be working with them...

JL: You sound like you had to be talked into this. Was this...?

DG: In theory I wanted to do it. I wanted to get down to doing it at

some point, but I put it off a few times. There were

opportunities that I could have taken to start it up in the

last two years, but this is the first time I've actually done

it. And it took a little nudging from my wife and Rick and

Willie and various other people to get me to actually go in

and start. It was quite silly on my part, really. I could have

and probably should have done it a bit earlier, but our first

day I got in there and I started to work on it with these

guys, and I realised it was silly and the whole thing

evaporated, all the nervousness and that stuff evaporated


JL: Where's the nervousness come from when you say, "I want to do--"

DG: Well, I suppose it's because one is in a protected situation in a

group. There's four of you to take the blame and credit and

you can lean on other people a little bit.

["So Far Away" until instrumental.]

JL: "So Far Away."

DG: Right.

JL: Did you write that?

DG: Yeh.

JL: I thought that was a very touching song.

DG: It's a short moment in my life that I felt pretty desperate, I

suppose, and I had doubt as to whether or not to put it on or

to use it, 'cos it felt a little too close to me and too

personal, and that's a nervy thing to do. I mean that's one of

the things I found it hard to do. But I had other--I know I've

worked with other people and they've played me their demo

songs for example and there's been one or two of these songs

that have been like that, very close, personal, and I said,

"We should do this," and they said, "No, I can't do it. We

haven't done it." And the whole album at the end just felt

like they left something out that they should have put in

there. And it's not anything for them to worry about, and no

one else is going to think the worse of you for it.

JL: I always appreciate the sort of people that can do it. I think

that John Lennon's "Bless You" is a great example.

DG: Yes, and John Lennon's a great example of someone who does do it,

and Paul McCartney's a great example of someone who doesn't.

Paul McCartney always seemed like a guy who is frightened of

exactly that, of letting anything of his true self out, which

is a shame, 'cos there probably is a true self in there


["So Far Away" continues.]

JL: Why is this such an important thing, not just for you, but I mean

it seems like almost every musician wants to do his definitive

solo album. Is it pure ego, or is there a structure you can't

really emote in when you're in a band?

DG: Yeah, it's ego largely. I mean, everyone in the world wants to at

some point stand up and say "this is me" and in a business, if

you like, where you're doing that, where I've been standing up

for ten years saying "this is me but it's not all me", you

know? When you actually do stand up and be that

partly and never change into that position where once in a

while you take it entirely on yourself, it's kind of hard.

JL: You've always stood up and said "this is me and--" or "this is me


DG: Yes, yes. You take the protection and you use that protection.

It's nice to have it and to have other people to lean on and

work with, and I think it's a very good thing. It works very

well for us as Pink Floyd, but it's largely ego, yeah. I had a

kind of desire to just get right in there and put the whole

thing on my shoulders alone and do it just for once 'cos I've

never done that, you know. The last ten years I've been

working within the framework of Pink Floyd. It's been great

and I haven't got anything against that and I think it is a

system that I want to continue doing and that I think

works, but every once in a while--

JL: We all need to say "hey, this is me."

DG: Yeah, you want to stand up and say... In a way you could say it's

self-indulgent or being dictatorial about the whole thing, but

I did want to make it me and all me, really.

JL: We're gonna be back with the conclusion of tonight's Innerview of

Pink Floyd in just a moment.

[The last seconds of "On the Run" plays.]

JL: The song "Time" with the bells and the clock that follows and so

forth, how did you do that? How did you physically come up

with that stuff?

DG: EMI had just done--I mean they've got a library of sound effects

which we raid regularly to get these things out, which is--we

don't care where they come from as long as they sound right.

And they had just gone to a shop which dealt with clocks and

done a sound effects tape in this shop, and we just used it.

We were thinking of what to do at the beginning of that thing

and how to take one [song] to the other, and someone there

said, "Well, we've just done this thing. We just did it two

weeks ago in a shop full of clocks. Shall we get the tape and

listen?" So we got it and listened and, yeah, it was there.

The musical intro with the rototoms, you know, drums and

things was worked out all before that.

JL: But then this piece just fell in and--

DG: Yeah.

JL: An amazing piece 'cause you guys have... you use dynamics better

than almost any group I've heard, being able to draw people

out and lull them into that real quiet place--

DG: And then hit 'em over the head.

["Time" begins. They talk over the opening instrumental section.]

DG: I've always been very surprised that other people haven't picked

up on the effectiveness of that sort of thing, how lacking in

dynamics so much that goes on is. It's not terribly clever,

it's not... I don't sit around thinking, "Gosh, aren't we

clever at doing that, being able to do that?" I surprised that

other people don't think of this. Such a simple idea, and

certainly other people that I've talked to like you have

spotted it and realized what it is, you know?

JL: It's almost using silence like another instrument, to create that

space, and I just think people don't see it, but I mean, you

have to write in quiet as you write in other things--

DG: Yes.

JL: It's just that important.

DG: Absolutely. It's making those contrasts that really gives

something colour and spice.

["Time" continues at the first verse.]

JL: When Pink Floyd sets out to do an album, is it totally a

collective decision when you get even down as

far as packaging and so forth? And covers?

DG: Usually it is a collective decision, yes. And, well, we all have

to agree on something there. Usually the guys who make covers

for us come up with ideas and we say "yea" or "nay" and we put

in opinions. Now this particular album you've got there,

Animals, is--Roger had that idea, had that specific idea and

wanted to do it. I'd say that's slightly different from the


JL: I mean it's like you're picking up an entire work. It's like

you're just--you really get a feeling for what you're going to


DG: Yes, and we do try, and the people who usually do the covers do

try to connect the whole thing together very closely. When we

got the cover for Dark Side of the Moon, when we first got the

prints up and decided, we looked at that and we thought that

was really going to put the whole thing together as a unit,

and we were really pleased with it.

["Time" continues, seguing to "Breathe" which Ladd speaks over.]

JL: I hope you've enjoyed meeting David Gilmour, and that you'll join

us next week, same time and same frequency for part two of our

exclusive four-part Innerview of Pink Floyd. I'm Jim Ladd.

["Breathe" plays out.]