By 1965, finger-picking Piedmont blues man Pink Anderson and Floyd Council were an anachronism. Obscure, irrelevant and out of time. And yet, while Anderson and Council had long since been dispatched to the realm of musical obscurity, a young art house musician from Cambridge named Syd Barrett was juxtaposing their first names to form rock music royalty, the likes rarely matched and never bettered.
Having taken up residency at London’s UFO Club, their initial line up, Roger Waters (bass and vocals), Syd Barrett (guitar and lead vocals), Nick Mason (drums), and Richard Wright (keyboards), cemented their reputation as London’s leaders of the burgeoning progressive and psychedelic scene.
By the late 1960s, Barrett’s decline into drugs and mental illness acted as a tragic watershed for the band. From the discomfiture of Barrett’s decline, old
The subsequent disengagement between overwhelming creative force Roger Waters and the remaining members of the band following 1979’s The Wall and 1983’s The Final Cut led to a Gilmour/Mason Pink Floyd. The 1987 reinvention would conquer the world once again, while Waters explored his increasingly acerbic but brilliant expose on the world’s political and social failings.
Though the individual members remained largely anonymous on stage, it was their sense of creative imagery, mustered up by the likes of surrealist Storm Thorgerson, satirical illustrator Gerald Scarfe, and psychedelic-lighting pioneer, Peter Wynne-Wilson that added such rock iconography to
At one point during Their Mortal Remains, we see Johnny Rotten famously claiming he “hated Pink Floyd.” but while this progressive, exploratory submergence might only serve to demonstrate how they were, at turns, both creative and preposterous, even Rotten finally admitted that he loved them.
The casual observer may not be as engrossed in this story as they were with the more diverse, chameleon-like Bowie, but Their Mortal Remains is an absolute must for fans of this quintessentially British of bands.
Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains runs until Sunday, 1 October.
Read Colin’s review of Roger Water’s: The Wall here.