50 Years Of Pink Floyd: The Experimental Years, 1968-70
One of my turns
Music made with the sounds of frying bacon and dripping taps, gigs with their roadies dressed as gorillas… But without Floyd’s lunatic phase there’d have been no Dark Side Of The Moon.
When Pink Floyd played at London’s Royal College Of Art in December 1967, Syd Barrett’s childhood friend David Gilmour was in the audience. By the following March when Floyd played Covent Garden’s Middle Earth club it would be Barrett in the audience, ejected from the band and watching Gilmour on stage in his place.
By this point the band’s patience for their frontman’s erratic behaviour had worn thin, and Gilmour was brought in to shore up Barrett’s increasingly distracted performances. By early ’68, Barrett was gone for good. But without their principal songwriter, Pink Floyd would have to reinvent themselves. This period of adjustment led directly to 1969’s Ummagumma and 1970’s Atom Heart Mother, two of their most avant-garde albums, as well as to some of the most outrageous live performances of their career.