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
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
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
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?
["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...
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
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
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
[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.
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
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
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
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."
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,
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