The Old Pink Floyd Bullshit

I stumbled across a new David Gilmour track on iTunes (a single from his new solo album, On An Island). I liked it. But, of course, it’s re-awakened some old arguments. As much as I would like to be able to listen to the song on its own merits, I got hung up on the old Pink Floyd bullshit. Mostly because of some of the customer reviews of the single.
One person said “… now it’s time to hear what the musical genius behind (Pink Floyd) is like without conforming to the skin and stigma of a band that can no longer be.”
This remark sums up what a lot of misinformed people believe; that being that David Gilmour, and not Roger Waters, was the main creative force behind Pink Floyd. These people cling to this belief like Baptists who refuse to believe that there is any recorded history before Jesus Christ. There’s no amount of evidence that can be brought to them to change their minds, and is a constant source of irritation for me.
Another said On an Island confirms David Gilmour is/was Pink Floyd. This song could have been written for Pink Floyd’s The Division Bell.
This reinforces the first statement. Frankly, by referencing The Division Bell as Pink Floyd, this comment negates itself. If you look at the realities of both A Momentary Lapse of Reason and The Division Bell, at how many songwriters and studio musicians were involved, and how little input Nick Mason and Richard Wright had on either album, I just don’t understand how anyone can say that either are Pink Floyd albums. To say that this new David Gilmour single would feel at home on The Division Bell is not a compliment.
Now, all that aside, I think I can get to the main point that I had hoped to make here. Whatever respect I may have lost for David Gilmour came about because of the charade of pretending that there was still a Pink Floyd after Roger Waters left. My objections to Pink Floyd continuing after Waters left never had anything to do with “which one is Pink?” I felt that the remaining members of Pink Floyd had every right to continue on as Pink Floyd without Roger Waters, and I bought A Momentary Lapse of Reason when it came out because I simply considered it a new phase in the band’s evolution. Pink Floyd Mark III, if you will.
What so profoundly turned me against the whole enterprise was David Gilmour’s repeated contention that Roger Waters was never the driving force behind Pink Floyd, and that it was Gilmour all along. The thing that got me was when I read the credits on A Momentary Lapse of Reason. Or The Division Bell, for that matter. Just look at how many musicians and songwriters were involved. How was this a band called Pink Floyd?
Simply put, it wasn’t. It was David Gilmour and producer Bob Ezrin, dragging behind them Nick Mason and Richard Wright (for photo ops) and a gaggle of studio musicians and songwriters, essentially telling Pink Floyd fans “never mind that man behind the curtain.”
That’s why I lost respect for David Gilmour. He put out two solo albums and called them Pink Floyd. I could have enjoyed them had they been under his name. But when taken as a whole, given the reality of who was involved in those two albums, along with Gilmour’s contention that Roger Waters’ contributions to the band had always been overstated, and those albums were ruined for me.
Some people might think that I’m talking apples and oranges here. But it all comes down to this. Don’t give me an apple and try to convince me it’s an orange.
I know, I’m getting off-track again. Believe it or not, I really enjoyed this song. I will probably buy Gilmour’s new album. I think it’s about time that he stopped the charade and simply put out his albums under his own name. Yes, we all know David Gilmour’s contributions to Pink Floyd. His voice and his guitar were both at the forefront of Pink Floyd. What was lost when Roger Waters left was not “the sound” that was Pink Floyd, but the soul of what was Pink Floyd.
Before anyone can start any childish arguments about Pink Floyd and who did what, I want to say that I do believe that Pink Floyd ended when Roger Waters left. But I would have been just as upset if Roger Waters had wrangled together a dozen studio musicians and tried to pass off a solo album as Pink Floyd. Nick Mason and Richard Wright are and were largely peripheral to Pink Floyd. Roger Waters and David Gilmour were Pink Floyd. Both of them were better together than they ever were apart.
I’ll approach this new David Gilmour solo album with the same open mind that I initially approached A Momentary Lapse of Reason. Maybe this time I can simply accept it for what it is, instead of getting into all of the smoke and mirrors. Sure, there’s obviously been a conscious effort to make this album sound like Pink Floyd. That’s fine with me. As I said, David Gilmour was an integral part of Pink Floyd, and that’s not such a surprise. But at least this time he’s not trying to pass himself off as Pink Floyd.

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