David Gilmour '78.

June 1978 "Innerview" Jim Ladd interviews David Gilmour


Part 2 of 2


(transcription by the one and only Dave Ward)


[First few seconds missing. As synth solo from "Welcome to the

Machine" plays, tape cuts in with:]

Jim Ladd: --two of our Innerview with Pink Floyd.

[Snip in tape and a moment is missing. Cuts back in with "Wish You

Were Here" playing beneath:]

JL: --you were here last week, in part one. If you were, you know this

is the first time in many years that any member of Pink Floyd

has spoken to the media, and that you are now listening to the

first national radio Innerview in the history of this

many-faceted musical combination.

[Chorus of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" followed by the solo from

beginning of "Wish You Were Here" plays as voiceover contines]

JL: During part one, we covered the early years of Pink Floyd up

through and including the album Dark Side of the Moon.

Tonight, we'll begin where we left off last week and again

meet David Gilmour, lead guitar and vocalist of Pink Floyd.

David Gilmour: 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. So "Wish You

Were Here" was in fact the title of that track, describes the

absence of some of us at any given time during the making of

the record. Not the physical absence in the recording studio,

but the absence of intent and motivation in each of us when we

made that album.

["Wish You Were Here"]

DG: Every time is different, you know? Well, really, with Dark Side of

the Moon and Wish You Were Here and Animals -- I mean, (their

songs have been sparked off?) the process has already started.

Now, Dark Side of the Moon we'd already started the process of

getting lots of pieces of music together. It started pretty

early on in that process, the idea, turning it all into one

idea like that. When we rehearsed after that, we went into

some rehearsal rooms and we started doing "Shine On You

Crazy Diamond" which came out of the opening guitar phrase

which I played. I don't know where it came from, but I started

playing it, and it sort of rung in people's heads. And Roger

got something from it that made him go off and come back with

an idea for it 'cos it sort of moved him emotionally in a way.

We carried on the work through that and wrote that, "Shine On

You Crazy Diamond" as a piece.

["Shine On" edited by the taper]

["Pigs on the Wing, Part 1"]

["Pigs (3 Different Ones)" begins as voiceover continues.]

Jim Ladd: Now, when you guys came here [presumably Los Angeles], not

last time but the time before, it was when you had that huge

thing with Chief Davis who is now--

DG: Wonderful Chief Davis. He's just filed as running for governor or


JL: Yes. How much were you affected by that?

DG: We were very, very angry. I think Roger nearly refused to go on

for the second half. In fact, they didn't do it nearly as bad

the second night, 'cos we wouldn't have gone on. We said, "You

let the people on in", you know. "If you hold our show up by

two hours again tonight, we're not doing it. We won't carry


JL: The problem that Dave is referring to is an incident that

happened here in Los Angeles during a Pink Floyd tour a few

years ago in which the former police chief, Ed Davis, tried

and failed to save the world from the evils of marijuana

smoking and Pink Floyd, a combination which that cretin is, of

course, dead-set against. And what came of it all was that a

lot of music-lovers were arrested, hassled and beaten, and

Chief Ed Davis got his face all over the news.

[The first lyrics of "Pigs (3DO)" begin and plays until first

instrumental break.]

DG: The last time we were here, we played in Anaheim which is

supposedly the heaviest spot in California--

JL: Mm hmm.

DG: --for that sort of thing, but we had no trouble with them


JL: Yeah, Orange County. There's a lot of stoners there, but the power

structure is still, you know, what it is, and it was very

hard... So, did you, like, have to have a confrontation with

these people, or d'you just let your manager do it?

DG: Yes, he would do it.

JL: And do you remember what went down or what they told you?

DG: I don't actually remember specifically. I know it was an enormous

stink, and we were in fact (suing?) the police department.

JL: Did they actually search you, or try to search the band?

DG: No, no, didn't hassle us at all except trying to get in the

building. I mean, there were guys there... When I was walking

into that building, two other guys walking along fairly close

to me, a guy came up on a chopper [motorcycle], hair right

down to here, beard, I mean that guy looked straight out of

Easy Rider. He jumped off and (dashed his card?) to people. I

mean, I couldn't believe it. I've never seen anything like

that in my life, a guy looking like Dennis Hopper in Easy

Rider jumping out and searching people, and another guy coming

up to help him was the same.

["Bust stop rat bag" verse of "Pigs (3DO)" plays. Voiceover resumes at

next instrumental break.]

DG: I remember Roger got in a complete state of fury when these guys

didn't want to let him in at the gate and stuff, and gave him

such a hard time that eventually when we did come through in

his car he went all the way around the far side, all along

that road, doing like a (she came?) in the car,

ssssssshhhhhhhh! right across the road about fifty miles an

hour in that little parking lot 'cos he was just so frustrated

and angry. He wanted those guys to pick him up and arrest him,

to blow the show out. I nearly had a fight with the guy at the

back door there, 'cos he wouldn't let me in and I was so

pent-up with the whole thing already that just 'cos a guy

wanted my identification to get in--he didn't recognize me--I

completely lost my temper and was about to beat him up. I

mean, if I'd have tried, I'd have lost 'cos he's [laughs] far

bigger than me! [both laugh] And he apologized to me and I

apologized to him later, but those sort of things do create

terrible things within you. The stuff they created in me, and

the stuff they obviously created in Roger, and then the rest

of us must have created in all of the audience, too. And that

cannot be anything but damaging... It's a terrible thing.

JL: Even more so if you're one of the people that was taken away in a

paddy wagon.

DG: Yeah. Just for having a joint.

["Hey you, Whitehouse" verse plays until next instrumental break.]

JL: Does it bother you that the audience would tend to be, a good

percentage of them, high?

["Dogs" fades in at the point where the word"stone" is echoing through

a Vocoder.]

DG: No. Doesn't bother me. I mean, it does -- You do get some sort of

high from (perception?), supposedly. Smoking dope and... What

it does, it seems to me, is it just gives you more

concentration in one area, you... One track, very much. You

can get right into it. You can get into the same thing if

you're wearing headphones (better?) than you can do it without

it, 'cos there's so much there that the whole rest of the

world is cut off from you, and even if people are shouting at

you, you don't hear it and stuff. It gets it that close to

you, you know, stoned.

[First verse of "Brain Damage" plays]

JL: Have drugs been a big influence on Pink Floyd?

DG: No.

JL: Never?

["Brain Damage" slowly fades out and the abstract soundscape from the

middle of "Echoes" fades in.]

DG: Not really, I don't think. I wouldn't say so. I wouldn't say that

they've influenced any of the particular things that one would

think they'd influence. I mean, like, making stuff like the

earlier "Saucerful of Secrets", "Set the Controls for the

Heart of the Sun"--absolutely not. Nothing, nothing around at

all really at that time. The odd joint perhaps, but...

JL: Really?

DG: Mostly alcohol.

JL: That's one thing that's always amazing about English bands,

because culturally they are much more prone to drink than they

are anything else but... the earlier albums especially it

seems like there was a lot of LSD that went around at some

time or another.

DG: No, didn't happen really. I mean, I certainly used it a few times.

Not much before then. But, I wasn't -- I'd already more or

less given it up by the time I joined this band.

JL: Did you find it a waste of time, or something that was good at

that time?

DG: No, I had a very good time with it when I was young. I had a bunch

of friends who were into it right at the very, very beginning

right when it first came out, who were into actually learning.

I mean, we looked on it more as a science, you know, than just

getting high. And we had some very good and illuminating

experiences which... I have a feeling they may have helped my

life to a certain extent. What we went through was a kind of

personal therapy sessions between two or three people, but...

I certainly don't think it had any influence on us in our

early stages. I don't think, for example, that Roger's ever

used it in his life as far as I know. Nick either. I know Rick

and I have a few times, but very, very--

JL: Lately, or--?

DG: No, I haven't used it in ten years or something, hardly, I


JL: So acid, mescaline, any of the psychedelics have not really

effected Pink Floyd?

DG: I would say their influence on Pink Floyd after Syd Barrett is

negligible. Is nonexistent. It's absolutely not necessary to

anyone. I mean, I don't think it has helped many people

achieve anything. Maybe it helped some people. And if it has

helped them, then the help it gives them should be achieved

quite--well, whenever it's achieved--could then, that effect

could last on them without them having to do the same thing

again. I certainly don't think it improves most people who

work under the influence of anything like that. Or anything

else, or any other drug you care to mention!

["Eclipse" fades in.]

DG: I think most people's performances of any sort under the influence

of most drugs is only better in their minds.

["Eclipse", edited by the taper. Tape cuts back in with beginning of

"Sheep" and:]

JL: --to our Innerview of Pink Floyd with tonight's guest, David

Gilmour. As we continue tonight's show, we're discussing the


DG: Animals again is a new phase because it's knowing. We knew we then

had got over that phase, and without wanting what we wanted

when we made Dark Side of the Moon, and with knowing what

we didn't know when we made Wish You Were Here, we then made

Animals knowing that we were in it because we liked doing it,

we had something to do and say, and we liked making this

music. So we were there, it was very, very positive. It was a

joyful album to make, Animals although [laughing] that may not

seem like it to you!

JL: [An exclamation of surprise I can't understand]?

DG: Yeah, I mean, the content of what we were putting down may not

reflect that but it was a very positive attitude amongst the

whole record when we made that record, which was absent when

we made Wish You Were Here. It would seem opposite of that by

the albums.

[Beginning of "Sheep" fades out and beginning of "Dogs" fades in.]

JL: I detect, although now you say it was joyful though, I detect some

real cynicism coming from Pink Floyd now.

DG: Yeh, there is a lot of cynicism in there about the world and what

goes on around us, absolutely. That doesn't affect the fact

that we could make that record, from where we stood, being

positive about it and enjoying the making of it.

[Vocals from "Dogs" begin. Eventally there's an edit by the taper

until the interview continues.]

JL: There's a huge attitude change from someone who would write, let's

say, "Brain Damage"--"All that you touch, all you feel" and

all of that--into, I mean, really putting someone in the dirt

because I mean the three individuals on Animals that are

looked at in society... It's not quite as loving of a way,

let's say. Maybe more realistic... What changed that?

DG: God, I don't know. I don't know what changed Roger to make him

write like that. But I don't see any great disparity there.

Seems to me Roger is probably talking about himself more, in a

general way, and the general people that he would talk about

who I would see as being in general fairly good. I mean, good

ordinary folk if you like. And on the Animals album he's

talking about more specific types of people, which aren't all

the people that there are in the world. There are those types

of people that we do meet. I think those people on the earlier

ones are directed more at people that he feels an affinity in,

and the ones on Animals are directed more towards people he

has an antipathy towards. Mind you, he is also accusing

himself of having all those qualities, and all of us of having

all those qualities. It's quite an angry record as well.

JL: Yes.

DG: People like us in the rock 'n' roll business we, in however a

minor way that we've actually done it, in our rise to fame

and fortune we've trodden on people at times. We've been

hungry to get the meat.

["Dogs" cuts back in at "Deaf, dumb and blind"]

DG: "Dogs", which was originally called "You Gotta Be Crazy", and

"Sheep", which was originally called "Raving and Drooling." So

we had these three pieces of music called "Shine On You Crazy

Diamond," "You Gotta Be Crazy" and "Raving and Drooling" which

we were, at one point, going to put together on an album. And

we had started recording, the fact that we got most of the

basic recording done of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" before

Roger got stuck into the thing of splitting it in the middle

and writing all this extra stuff and making an idea out of the

whole thing. So, in fact had those other two numbers left over

from that same period which we then used on Animals. And

Animals started with those two numbers which we wrote. Roger

had another song which had a different title but it was about

Pigs. And having written "Pigs" he then looked again at the

songs "Raving and Drooling" and "You Gotta Be Crazy" and

realised how close they were to an animals concept, and came

up with the animals concept. And then, having already recorded

most of "Dogs", or "You Gotta Be Crazy", and most of "Raving

and Drooling" and then changed the lyrics slightly here and

there and tailored it in more. We then did some extra bits and

effects and stuff to change it all into that concept, whereas

we'd already got two-thirds of the way through that album

before that concept about it came.

JL: Oh, I see.

DG: We could turn it all into that. And you realise that you wanna do

that whole concept or that whole idea for that theme into it

and you realise that stuff you've already got there is so

close to that that all you've got to do is change the odd

little word around here and there, and that's it.

[Vocal section of "Sheep" plays until the first instrumental section.]

JL: We'll be back with the conclusion--

[Edit by taper, cutting back in with "On the Run".]

JL: Do you see that on a cultural level that rock 'n' roll has changed

a lot, or not -- it's just music and it doesn't change

anything? How do you see that?

DG: Nah, I think it's just music. It isn't that music is good or bad

and the rest of the definitions. I think there's a lot of

terrible stuff around at the moment, myself. There are some

good things, too but... The hard, heavy rock seems to have

lost the melody that the early heavy rock had. The early rock

'n' roll definitely had some melody and stuff to it as well at

the same time. And now I think it's real powerhouse stuff that

-- I mean, I may be getting too old for it but I certainly

don't understand what it's about.

JL: How loud can you get?

DG: It's not how loud you can get, but how loud you can stay all the

time. It's just bash, bash, bash musically as well as in just

pure volume.

JL: But you don't think--see that the... Do you see that the messages,

the lyrics, the feeling, any of that has changed attitudes and


[As DG replies, "On the Run" solwly fades out and "Great Gig" fades


DG: Very hard to tell, actually. I wouldn't be terribly sure about it.

I hope so. There are some very good people around who do do

that. Their messages get across to me, whether they effect

people's lives, whether they learn all the things that they

hear, or they just say, "Yeah, that's really good; I believe

in that" and then don't act it at all.

["Great Gig" vocals play until the end of the first vocal section.]

JL: Despite the huge sales and concert success that Pink Floyd has

enjoyed with these last three albums, the primary interest of

David Gilmour lies, as it should, in the musical rather than

the statistical aspects of Pink Floyd. In my opinion, Pink

Floyd has always attracted an audience who are prone to listen

much more intently and in-depth than many other bands will

ever realize. But to David Gilmour, this was not something

that he could -- or would -- agree with.

[Last screams of "Speak to Me" play, then "Breathe" begins under


JL: There are going to be--however small a percentage you want to say

it is--a certain percentage of people who put that on one

night, put on some headphones and go, "Yeeeahhh! That happened

to me!"

DG: Yeah, absolutely they will, yeh.

JL: I think that changes your life.

DG: Yeah, maybe it changes your life. I don't know. I mean, what

changes their life? The fact that they can say, "That happened

to me" or they can say, "Someone else had that same experience

as me" or... I don't know. It may be a kind of release for

them what --

JL: Well then what are you -- If you're not trying to get some kind of

reaction out of someone?

DG: Well, I guess I am trying to get some... kind of reaction out of


JL: I guess you are!

DG: It pleases me when they do hear and understand what I'm trying to

get at in some of the things that I put down, obviously. I

don't know what sort of a lasting change that will make on

people's lives.

JL: Well, I'm not saying that they're gonna go out and, you know, join

a religious sect or something.

DG: Heaven knows that's not what I'm after!

["Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Part VI" fades in under conversation.]

JL: But is that why you're so reticent about accepting any of that

responsibility? Are you afraid that that's going to happen?

DG: No, I think that if people were affected by a lot of the stuff

that we have put out in the last few years, it couldn't do

anything but good. If they were. I don't know how much it


JL: But you seem to be so--

DG: But on the other hand, there are all sorts of other people around,

you know. If people took up what they wrote about, the world

would be a worse place. Look at the Rolling Stones. I mean,

you wouldn't want everyone to become like the personas that

Mick Jagger adopts in half of his songs, would you?

JL: Would you want someone to assume the persona of "Dogs", for


DG: Oh no. That's like I said: it's holding up a mirror, that's all.

It's a different thing. It's "beware of" rather than


JL: But rock 'n' roll, if there's a Rolling Stones writing about

"Goat's Head Soup" there's a Pink Floyd writing about

"Breathe" or there's a Beatles... You know, it's the balance


DG: Mm hmm.

JL: I think what rock 'n' roll has done on the level of information,

let's say, is to say rather than "Here is the plan", "Let's

look at all the plans. Good, bad, and different, let's just

look at 'em."

DG: Sure!

JL: Do you think that's been a good thing?

DG: I think that's a good thing in a principal way, yes. But I don't

know if someone hearing a song which takes, for example, women

as sex objects, which a lot do -- whether the people listening

to that, or the intention of the people making that is to

illuminate people. It doesn't seem to me that it is a lot

of the times. It's kind of a celebration of it. That's only

one particular example. That's one of the most obvious ones,

isn't it?

JL: Oh yeah, that is. My attitude is in having to play people's music,

and having to try to play even the music I don't like or don't

agree with, is that you put it out and someone else has to

make the decision of getting that or...

DG: Yes, absolutely, yes. I'm not saying that we shouldn't put it out.

It's a free country, one hopes. Is it?

JL: Semi. Semi-free.

["Welcome to the Machine" plays from the first vocals until tape