Interview taken from Q #48 September 90, with David Gilmour (sometime between the Knebwort
Interview taken from Q #48 September 90, with David Gilmour
(sometime between the Knebworth show and The Wall in Berlin).
Typed in by Tor Hulbakviken (firstname.lastname@example.org), 28 June 92
Typos are mostly mine.
Interviewer Mat Snow, in CAPITAL letters.
The rest is Gilmour, except for the introduction.
THE RIGHTFUL HEIR?
Twenty-five years ago he was just the hired hand. Then he became Syd
Barrett's full-time replacement. By 1985, following group leader
Roger Waters' traumatic exit, David Gilmour had emerged as their
unofficial supremo. But the fight for the Pink Floyd legacy still
rages. "We were still in business and no-one was going to stop us,"
he reminds Mat Snow.
Within the portals of David Gilmour's town residence, the bustle and
hum of London in high summer seems miles away. All is cool repose in
his sitting room, which offers aspects over the glinting canal of
Little Venice at the front and a large but secluded Victorian garden
at the rear. Below stairs, the ill-stocked pantry and fridge tender
evidence of a bachelor life, a wide variety of breakfast cereals
nourishing the start of the day, a selection of gourmet nibbles
providing sustenance for its end. At 44 one must, of course, have
due regard for one's health, and perhaps a handful of his impressive
armoury of vitamin pills are washed down of an evening with a glass
from that bottle of Montrachet '79 that sits temptingly open next to
the washing-up liquid.
Upstairs again, much of the Zen-like calm of David Gilmour's living
room may be accounted for by the fact that it is so uncluttered.
This is because he has barely started to unpack all the personal
artefacts that one inevitably acquires over the years. For the sad
fact is that the Pink Floyd guitarist - indeed, the leader of the
third and most spectacular incarnation of Britain's time-hallowed
trip-merchants - has recently separated from his wife, Ginger, who
lives in the semi-rural home counties with their four children.
He has, however, adorned his spacious singles pad with a few
especially prized trophies as well as the grand piano, guitars and
state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment that are the tools of his
trade. The dulcimer and sitar sit forlornly unplayed, however, broken
by the little Gilmours ("the bastards!"), and nearby a bas-relief of
Beethoven glowers reprovingly upon this modern music maker, faced on
the other side of the room by the more comely features of Candy
Dulfer, who looks out from her album sleeve. It's the only record
visible in the house.
Roving over the bookshelf, modish New York authors Jay McInerney and
Tom Wolfe gleam in pristine hardcover compared to the well-thumbed
paperback volumes of Hemingway and Paul Bowles, Ouspensky and
Castaneda. On the mantelpiece sits a photo of the small aeroplane he
owns and a print of the famed 1963 Ferrari GTO, a million-pound-plus
car owned by his Pink Floyd partner, drummer Nick Mason, whose
passion for wings and wheels exceeds even his own.
Most interestingly, perhaps, are the two photographs of himself, one
taken in his hippy heyday of fine cheekbones, full lips and luxuriant
hair, the other snapped a few years earlier, in 1965. Here he is aged
19 in jeans, checked shirt and a Beatles haircut, hoisting a guitar
for his first band, Jokers Wild. It was taken at a party in his home
town of Cambridge, David recalls, and playing that same evening was
another local outfit called The Pink Floyd Sound, and a young
American singer who was, at the time, touring the UK's folk circuit.
His name was Paul Simon.
Yes, it has been the proverbial long, strange trip for David Gilmour,
particularly the most recent chapter in his professional career. For
when bassist and principal songsmith Roger Waters acrimoniously quit
Pink Floyd in 1985, to many observers it looked all over for the
band. Instead, David Gilmour chose to grasp the driving wheel and get
the show back on the road. Despite the spoiling tactics of his
erstwhile partner, not only did the new Pink Floyd make a best-selling
album, A Momentary Lapse Of Reason, but they played to over four
million people in a two-leg tour which took nearly two years to
complete. After topping the Billboard list of highest-grossing acts,
the band released a successful double live album, Delicate Sound Of
Thunder, and video to match. Their renaissance culminated in a live
satellite broadcast to millions of a never-before-attempted mega-show
in Venice and, despite the driving rain, a triumphant return after
15 years to Knebworth in July (se Q 47). It was the 200th - and last
- show of what Gilmour persist in calling "this project".
WERE YOU ELECTED LEADER OF THE RE-FORMED FLOYD?
I was never 'elected'. I was the one who said, Let's get on and do it
again. In Easter '86 I started trying to consolidate the writing I
had done into some sort of shape and get an idea of whether I could
make an album. We wanted to do the whole thing. We didn't want to go
out with the just the old stuff for nostalgia. Myself and Nick
(Mason) had to put the money in to found it all. I had enough and
Nick had to put his Ferrari GTO down. Obviously we could have
borrowed money, but then we would have had to share the profits, and
we were very confident that we would do OK.
We spent from September '86 till Christmas putting the album into
some sort of rough shape, and then in early '87 started to record it
properly in a small studio with machines. Then we moved to Los
Angeles and did a lot of the live stuff there with drummers and so on
- musicians in Los Angeles are very good and reliable; they turn up
and know exactly what you want and work quickly. We finished the
album in June, and in the last week of July came music rehearsals in
Toronto, Then in the second week in August, all the equipment and
ideas came together in a giant hangar and we tried to make it into a
show that worked, in only three weeks.
Rick (Wright) had left, or been shoved out by Roger in '79, so the
project started without him being involved. Sometime during the
process Rick expressed an interest in being part of it, and we thought
it would be a great idea. There were one or two legal reasons which
made it a little trickier if he joined, and to be honest Nick and I
didn't particularly want to get in extra partners - we had put up the
money and taken all the big risks, and so wanted the take the largest
cut. And it would make the decision-making process harder. There were
a multitude of reasons, some solid and legal, others to do with
selfishness, why we didn't put him on a fully one-third basis.
DID YOU MAKE A MOMENTARY LAPSE OF REASON WITH THE TASTES OF THE
ESTABLISHED PINK FLOYD FAN IN MIND?
I just started out to make a record that I thought I would like -
that's all I ever done with Pink Floyd. Inevitably, one is going to
subconsciously lean towards what is acceptable to the Pink Floyd fan.
We got an advance from the record company only when we deliver, so
there is absolutely no pressure from them as to how we make our
records. We've always made a very healthy profit for them, so we've
never given them that option. The people who do have that problem
with their record companies are the people that have not made a
profit on their last couple of records.
BEFORE THE FLOYD COMEBACK TOUR STARTED, HOW CONFIDENT WERE YOU THAT
IT WOULD SUCCEED?
The tour had to be planed and tickets put on sale a long way in
advance. We were in the studio in Los Angles still a long way from
completing the record, maybe in May '87, when we wanted to start
getting the tour going, and had the first dates fixed. Then Roger
sent letters out to every single promoter in North America saying
that he would sue them, seal their bank accounts and all that sort
That was another good thing about recording in Los Angeles -
lawyers can't ring you up in the middle of your working day. Los
Angeles is starts eight hours after what we do, and as we didn't
start in the studio until noon, that would mean British lawyers would
have to stay in their office until eight or nine at night if they
wanted to talk with us about anything. If you're there at the end of
the telephone, they ring you up with every little detail. It's never
that urgent. Better to have one one-hour phone call once a week,
instead of every half an hour and us losing our train of thought.
So it was all very tense and difficult, but promoters tend to be
very 'street' people and don't take kindly to being threatened.
Michael Cole, the guy promoting the Rolling Stones' tour, said he was
willing to go ahead and put the tickets on sale, six months before we
was due to go out. A problem that some of these promoters expressed
to us, and we know it's been expressed to other people, is that they
would actually be happier if didn't put out a new record. If the
public didn't have a new record that could supposedly disappoint them,
then they knew they could sell out. But we wanted to move forward.
The first tickets on sale were for the CN Stadium in Toronto, and
that sold out, about 150,000 seats in a matter of hours, so we knew
we could sell tickets. That gave us a big boost in confidence. The
first leg of the tour we were pretty out of pocket at the start
because we'd spent a lot of money putting it together and making the
record. When the record was delivered, we got an advance, but that
only paid for the record. So there was the daily risk on tour that
would prevent us from doing anymore dates - though we couldn't see
how they could do that - or there was a very real possibility that
some sort of injunction would be put on us that would seal the bank
accounts and stop us using any of the money. Never mind what it cost
us putting the tour on, the running expenses added up to around
$100,000 a day, so the first few weeks of the tour were very nervy,
because if the bank accounts had seized up, then raising money would
have been extremely difficult.. But there came a time when we had
raised enough money and got it cleared into other bank accounts which
couldn't be touched, and the expenses for the rest of the tour were
covered. At that point there were nothing more Roger could do to
prevent us, and we celebrated.
We'd spent a lot of money fighting him. We had to have a team of
lawyers in every city ready and briefed in case it was suddenly in
front of a judge and we had to get someone there in 20 minutes. It
never happened, but we had to be prepared for it. We didn't think we
had an actual case, but you can't tell with the American legal system
- there was the possibility you could find a judge somewhere who
would take a few thousand dollars backhander. Not that I would want
to cast aspersion on the honesty of judges in America, or England -
or anywhere else, for that matter. But it certainly has happened
WAS PART OF THE MOTIVATION TO COME BACK BIGGER AND BETTER TO LAY
ANY DOUBT TO REST THAT THE NEW, ROGER-LESS FLOYD WAS BUT A SHADOW
OF THE PAST?
Precisely. That's why we set about a good album, a spectacular show
and a tour that would go on for over a year. We wanted to leave no
one in doubt that we were still in business and 'meant' business
and no one was going to stop us.
Our tour, I believe quite firmly, showed a way forward for many
other people. Our attitude towards getting it right with the best PA,
best lighting system, has rubbed off on many other people - The Who,
Rolling Stones. There is certainly a trend at the moment for people
not to go out in the haphazard way they used to. They plan it like a
military campaign and think big; if you spend a lot of money, you'll
make a lot of money - and enjoy yourself a lot more.
HAD YOU KEPT ABREAST OF THE TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS IN ROCK SHOWS?
Not consciously, but you go and see shows and make mental notes. I
had several mental notes, and so had our lighting man and others
involved. We had ideas meetings where people would throw seemingly
ridiculous ideas into the pot and we would try and work out which ones
were feasible, which ones would look good, which ones were good value
for the money, so to speak, and gradually whittle it all down into
something that makes sense artistically and financially. That is to
say, there are many very expensive effects whose value doesn't last
very long, just a matter of seconds. So it's a matter of achieving a
balance with things that are reasonably cheap and cheerful but keep
coming at you all the time.
DID YOU SEE ANYBODY ELSE'S SHOW THAT IMPRESSED YOU?
I can't say there were shows that impressed me very much, but there
were shows were there was one thing, that might have been there by
pure chance. I saw a Paul Young show where he was using a laser wave
that went across the audience vertically in a curve, but was too
expensive for him to carry on using and it probably caused too many
difficulties with the local there people to use something that
actually touched people in the audience. I wanted to use that sort of
effect but, having pinched the idea, I had to find a way of doing it
so it didn't touch the audience physically - sort of laying it
sideways above their heads. Then one's got to think of other things to
do with the lasers - having them for just one effect in just one song
is not enough to make the vast expenditure of having them on the road
viable. We looked at all the lighting systems, the vari-lights and
things like that, and wounded up combining them with French telescans,
lasers, colour-rays that look like laser but aren't. They were inside
robots that rose up out of the stage and directed beams of different
coloured lights; those used carefully in conjunction with lasers could
lead people to believe quite easily that lasers were actually going
into the audience and make it all a bit more exciting - but we could
obviously demonstrate to the there people that they were nowhere near.
DOESN'T SUCH AN ORGANIZED, CLOCKWORK-LIKE SHOW REMOVE ALL MUSICAL
No, because you can have a whole lighting cue organized inside a
computer and you have a guy just tap a button at the appropriate
moment and then the whole series of cues will just go off. They are
flexible, they aren't synchronized up from the beginning of a song to
the end, nor are they exactly the same for every song every night.
The guy running the lights is able to be artistic if he wants to, or
at least different every night, which means we are free to extend or
shorten most of the songs. Some of them we couldn't because of the
technology we'd use in the studio, like sequencers, which meant we
had to use sequencers on stage for four or five songs, so they were
more rigid than I would have liked. But that's really a symptom of
getting into some new technologies in the studio without realising
that they could be a limitation to you live.
EVERY TIME YOU PERFORM A WATERS SONG, YOU PAY HIM A ROYALTY - THUS
FINANCING HIS LAWSUITS AGAINST YOU. DID YOU CONSIDER THE IRONY OF
That's the way it goes. Every time we'd go into a town there'd be a
Pink Floyd Day, tons of records would be played, the Performing
Rights Society or the BMI in America would pick up some royalties
which would be distributed to the people who wrote those songs -
perfectly right. And when Roger plays The Wall in Berlin, money for
some of those songs will be paid to me. I do think it's slightly
funny at times, but it's not a subject one would want to dwell on
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT SINGING LIVE SONGS ASSOCIATED WITH HIS VOICE?
We do only one, Shine On You Crazy Diamond, though there's part of
Comfortably Numb which Roger sang, which I got Rick and Guy (Pratt)
and Jon (Carin) to sing. I sang Money on the record. Live we pick
songs we liked and did tend to move towards songs that I had sung or
had a greater involvement in. A lot of people think that Shine On
sounds very similar the way I sing it, but it's not really conscious,
though I've always been good at imitations.
WERE YOU WORRIED AT FIRST THAT FANS MIGHT RESPOND BADLY TO THE
I knew we would get some fans who would not approve. We didn't get
too many. There would be people in the audience who would make their
feelings heard about Roger not being there, just by shouting very
loudly during moments when the rest of the audience was being
respectfully quiet. They are perfectly entitled to; I just can't
understand why the fuck they bothered to pay for the tickets. If they
don't like us, go see Roger instead. It died away but there was one
or two funny incidents. There was once a whole row of about eight
guys whit "Fuck Roger" T-shirts on. There was another guy wearing one
of Roger's tour T-shirts, which had the name Roger Waters in green
fluorescent lettering across the top, so I only had to glance into
the audience and his name would be beaming at me. This guy was
starting off by shouting at us, but by the end of the second half he
took the T-shirt off, tore it up into little bits, put it on the
floor and stamped on it!
These people don't understand what happened. They seam to think
that there was something that 'we' did. But we didn't throw Roger
out, we didn't do 'anything' to Roger. He 'left' Pink Floyd. He sent
a letter to CBS in America and EMI here saying he'd left Pink Floyd
- it was quite clear and unequivocal. He didn't tell us - we only found
out when we got a copy of the letter from the record company. He
left, and we wanted to carry on with our careers. It's as simple as
that. We had a fight, which was just about our freedom.
HAD YOU NEVER DISCUSSED IN THE '70s WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF A MEMBER OF
THE BAND WANTED TO LEAVE?
No. When Syd (Barrett) left (in 1968) he was the kingpin of the band
before I joined, and the rest didn't say, Oh, we'll pack it in now
that Syd's gone. And when Rick left in '79, we didn't say, Let's not
do it any more. So when Roger left in '85, why should I not continue
what I'd been doing for the last 17 years? I certainly saw no reason
why I shouldn't continue my chosen career.
DO YOU FEEL TEMPTED TO GO TO BERLIN THIS WEEKEND TO SEE THE WALL AND
WHAT ROGER IS UP TO THESE DAYS?
Yes, I'm fairly tempted, but I'm not going to. None of us are going.
I suppose I'll watch it on telly. I'd hate to be there and be caught
in the background sneakily watching it by someone of your profession,
hahaha! I'm not interested 'enough' to go. I haven't really examined
myself deeply enough to know exactly what I feel about it. My fight
with Roger was about freedom, and if I want mine, I've got to grant
him his. So The Wall is fine by me - I'm sure he'll do well.
HAVE YOU COMMUNICATED IN THE LAST THREE YEARS OTHER THAN THROUGH
Oh yes. We've met and talked. He has now stopped coming to the
meetings we have to hold - we are still in business together and we
have to have board meetings to make various decisions, but now he
usually sends a proxy along. The last time I spoke to him was when we
signed our agreement (in 1987), which stopped all lawsuits at that
time and settled the fact that we had the name in perpetuity. He got
some rights and bits and pieces, particularly to do with The Wall.
There were one or two areas of the agreement that weren't clear and
he subsequently entered two or three lawsuits against us, which he has
IS THE LAWSUIT HIS FIRST RESORT? NO MEETING TO TRY TO REACH AN
No. I think he's got my phone number and I've got his. But I have no
interest in discussing anything with him. He's told too many lies and
too many bad things have happened. I have no interest in conversing
DO YOU FORESEE A DAY WHEN YOU WILL SHAKE HANDS AND PUT ALL THIS
I don't foresee it. I'm not very good at holding grudges for a very
long time, but he's done some terrible things. Honesty is not one of
the things that he will let get in the way of his pursuit of power.
All we did was thwart his plan to go off round the world doing a huge
grand show, calling it Roger Waters of Pink Floyd in huge letters,
and take over the name himself by us not being on the scene. I'm
100 per cent certain that's what he intended to do, and us going out
as Pink Floyd rather put the mockers on it. And his career hasn't
exactly taken off since he left.
WHAT ARE THE LIGHTS AND SOUND OF THE FLOYD SHOW LIKE FOR THE
PERFORMERS? IS THE EFFECT EQUALLY "TRIPPY" ON STAGE?
It can be, yes, but you've got to be careful with the drinks
beforehand. With the amount of technology up on stage these days,
you've got to have your wits about you. The stage is covered in
little mirrors and lights and monitors and trapdoors that open with
things coming out at you. With pitch darkness between songs you've
got to know exactly where you are. We have guide lights up the stairs
at the back for when we come up on to the stage, and I have a little
lamp with a dimmer that shines on to parts of my equipment, so if I
want to twiddle a knob, I can see where it is.
THE FLOATING STAGE YOU USED IN VENICE - HAD THAT EVER BEEN DONE
I'd seen it in a Marx Brothers movie, but I don't think it ever been
done before on that scale. We had to hunt the world for a barge big
enough - I set problems and other people are sent off to find
The Venice show was great fun, but it was very tense and
nerve-wracking. We had a specific length of show to do; the satellite
broadcasting meant we had to get it absolutely precise. We had the
list of songs, and we'd shortened them, which we'd never done before.
I had a big clock with a red digital read-out on the floor in front
of me, and had the start time of each number on a piece of paper. If
we were coming near the start time of the next number, I just had to
wrap up the one we were on. We had a really good time, but the city
authorities who had agreed to provide the services of security,
toilets, food, completely reneged on everything they were supposed to
do, and then tried to blame all the subsequent problems on us. Lots
of twaddle was written about it, even by some nice respectable
journalists from the Guardian - stuff about our music disturbing the
buildings; complete fucking absolute twaddle.
There was a big row on the Venice council; some people there wanted
to get others off, and they used this issue to discredit them. We
were political pawns. Most of the residents just left town and hoped
Venice would still be there when they came back Monday, and if
anything had gone wrong, they'd blame us.
And then there where the gondoliers - they came to us and threatened
that if we didn't give them $10,000 immediately, they would fill the
entire space up in front of the stage and blow their whistles all the
way through the show. So we said, Fine - come back at the end of the
show and we'll give you the $10,000. And when they did, we said, Piss
off, you missed your chance. That's the story I was told by our
manager, Steven O'Rourke. We got away with that one, but there were
other things were we had to bribe people to make things happen, where
again they had agreed on something and then reneged, and you have to
say, take this money and do it. For example, along one of the main
waterways is an island called the Giudecca, and they've got a pontoon
bridge all the way across , which they'd agreed to open up for us
early the next morning to let us float the whole stage through, towed
by tugs. They then refused to open it , so we had to tow this vast
stage the size of a football pitch out into the open sea. Then the sea
police came up and boarded and said, You can't come this way. We said,
They won't let us through that canal where they'd agreed... So we had
to pay out.
Initially Steven was very against the idea of playing Venice,
saying it would be too difficult. Throughout the second leg of that
tour he'd come up to me and say, It's never going to happen. I said,
Steve, if Venice doesn't happen, you're fired. Or something like that.
WAS IT A BLUFF?
I don't know really. Never had to find out.
HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A JEAN MICHEL JARRE SHOW?
No. I saw a video of the thing he did in the Docklands, and it didn't
really turn me on a great deal. He does some quite pretty music, but
he doesn't have the dynamics I personally like, and I thought a lot of
the effects were Mickey Mouse, cheapo cheapo productions, but I
didn't see it live so I really don't know. Poor old Jean Michel went
in over his head on that thing; he didn't know how to deal with the
local authorities and the whole thing left a very bad taste because
people didn't get paid, this didn't happen and that didn't happen. I
know a bad taste was left in some people's mouths with us in Venice,
because things that were not our fault got blamed on us, but everyone
who was supposed to get paid did get paid - and even those who weren't
supposed to be paid got paid. It cost us a fortune!
HAVE YOU SEEN ANY OTHER ROCK SPECTACULARS OF LATE?
I saw Michael Jackson in an indoor arena in America, and it wasn't
great. When I see something like that, I think, My God, put 'me' in
charge for a week and I'll turn this into something 'good'! There's
no doubt in my mind that I could have turned something like the
Michael Jackson show from a pretty average to pretty damned good,
given a few days and bucks. There are corners that can be cut and
corners that can't - just a million little details that one could
look at. But I went to see Prince at Wembley and he was bloody good.
He definitely does things from the right attitude; I think he goes
out of his way to get the best people to do the best job, and he
thinks about every detail. He gets people around him who share his
belief that it will come right if you get it right, which is our
attitude. I think Sinead's show is great - again, by my rule book,
she's doing things right. We have sessions where people throw their
hands up in horror at the things we decide to do, but in the end if
you get your show right, then the money will take care of itself.
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO A RAVE?
A rave? What's a rave?... Ah, an acid house party! I haven't been to
a really big one, but I've been to one indoors. I can see why people
like them, but I think I'm a bit too used to comfort. Leaping around
all night long is not a thing I still want to do. I did use to go to
festivals in the '60s and sleep out on hillsides in sleepingbags; I
did that even while I was in Pink Floyd, in 1970 seeing Hendrix at
the Isle of Wight. But I'm 44 and a bit unused to that sort of thing
WHEN YOU PLAY ON, SAY, A PAUL MCCARTNEY RECORD, HOW DOES IT ACTUALLY
WORK? WHAT KIND OF FEE DOES ONE MILLIONAIRE PAY ANOTHER FOR LAYING
DOWN A GUITAR TRACK? OR IS THERE A DIFFERENT SYSTEM?
I just say to anyone that I'm working for, Send a cheque for whatever
you like to the charity of your choice, though sometimes I specify
Amnesty International or Greenpeace. It becomes something to do with
their conscience, not mine - I'm not going to check up.
DOES THIS WORK THE OTHER WAY? ON YOUR SECOND SOLO LP, ABOUT FACE,
STEVIE WINWOOD PLAYED.
I paid him good money, about $1,000 a day, and he wanted me to use
his studio and pay for the studio time. It seemed perhaps a little
high. But he doesn't owe me any favors and I didn't know him very
well. I've always loved Stevie Winwood. I used to go see The Spencer
Davis Group when I was 18 and he was about 16. He used to play a
really great guitar as well as great piano - I really wanted to hit
the little fucker he was so good!
AND GRACE JONES, ON WHOSE SLAVE TO THE RHYTHM YOU PLAYED?
I never met Grace Jones. I was approached by Trevor Horn, and went
down to their studio SARM East and set up my equipment, and Steve
Lipson and Trevor Horn was there. Trevor had a terrible food poisoning
and was throwing up every three minutes, lying on the floor trying to
produce a record and chucking up into a bin! I think mostly they
sampled anything I did into a Synclavier and tried to make some sort
of sense out of it later, because he was too ill then, poor chap.
WHAT DETERMINES WHETHER YOU WILL PLAY A SESSION?
Either because I like the artist or I think I might learn something
or they're friends of mine.
AND WHICH BRACKET DID ARCADIA FALL INTO?
I don't really know, I think I thought I might learn something - not
a lot, though. But they're nice people, Simon le Bon and, er, what's
his name... I was never a big Durannie. With people I know I just go
and do it. I don't want to consider myself as some valuable icon who
would cheapen himself by playing on some record.
WHEN YOU BROUGHT KATE BUSH TO THE ATTENTION OF EMI, YOU SOMEHOW
ACQUIRED THE IMAGE OF AN AVUNCULAR HELPING HAND TO THE NEXT
Did I? I did do a couple of things with Kate, I suppose. To a certain
extent, if you see something that you think is brilliant, and
particularly if that thing is being presented in such a way that most
people wouldn't notice if it hit them falling of the top of a truck,
then I sometimes feel a certain sense of responsibility to bring out
what I think is good and 'then' bring it to their attention, which is
what I did with Kate. Her home demos were of her sitting at an
horrible piano, recorded with an very ancient tape-recorder, and her
squeaking away. I listened to them and could hear the talent but
wouldn't have dreamt of taking them to a record company. I knew the
only real way to do it was to tart them up, if you like. We recorded
her properly, with a proper producer and the best engineer, Geoff
Emerick, arranger, and chose three or four songs out of about 50, and
made a proper record and presented it to EMI. And of course they said,
Yes, great, we'll take it.
LASTLY, THAT 200TH AND (FOR THE TIME BEING) FINAL GIG AT KNEBWORTH
- WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS WHEN IT'S POURING WITH RAIN?
The options when it starts pouring with rain are: one, walk off and
leave a wet extremely miserable audience out there. Two, cover
slightly at the back of the stage - and if you're huddled at the back,
then the whole band will huddle as well - and don't give the audience
you're best, and the audience knows you're not, so are still sitting
there wet and miserable. Three, just revel in it and show solidarity.
If you're out there at the front looking as if you are enjoying it,
the audience think better of it and the rest of the band think better
of it. So there really is no choice.
COULD YOU DO IT ALL AGAIN?
I think we will make another record, and we will tour, though perhaps
not quite as big as this one. I started this project in April '86 and
it is now July 1990 - well over four years and almost 100 per cent of
my energies dedicated to one project. Now I don't have the appetite
to go back into the studio and spend a lot of time there. It's as
simple as that. At my age I don't feel compelled to do that. There
are other things one wants to do with ones time, and music has
probably taken up an unfair amount of it. I know I will want to do it
again at some point, but not right now.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank