vocals, keyboards, bass guitar, harmonica, record producer, songwriter
and current leader of Pink Floyd.
David Gilmour has been main vocalist, guitarist extraordinaire
and co song writer for Pink Floyd since 1969 and since the mid
80's this soft spoken, compassionate humanitarian has been the
main driving and leading force behind the band.
Born on March 6, 1946 David learned to fend for himself early
on when his parents left him and his two brothers behind in Cambridge
for work and a life in New York City. While childhood friend Syd
Barrett went away to school and became part of The Pink Floyd
in London with Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Richard Wright David
was busy in Cambridge with his own quite popular band "Jokers
Wild". While playing the ballroom, party, club circuit around
Cambridge and surrounding areas The Pink Floyd were hitting the
pop charts with songs like "Arnold Layne" and "See
Emily Play". During this time Syd Barrett's experimentation
with LSD and his underlying mental problems caused the other members
of the band to seek out a replacement. The choice was Syd Barrett's
childhood friend David Gilmour and he officially replaced Syd
Overcoming some initial obstacles when joining
the group David was the perfect choice for Syd with his good looks,
excellent guitar work and singing voice. Soon he became an important
part of what would become the Pink Floyd sound and the direction
the band would take musically. The band would move on to release
several very experimental and progressive albums in the late 60's
and early 70's including, "A Saucerful Of Secrets",
the movie soundtrack "More", "Ummagumma",
"Atom Heart Mother", "Meddle" and "Obscured
By Clouds". His attempts at lyric writing were short lived
as Roger Waters was becoming more and more the leading and driving
force behind the band. When they had gotten into the studio for
"Dark Side Of The Moon" Roger Waters clearly became
the sole lyricist for all Pink Floyd songs from that point up
to the early 80's.
In 1973 "Dark Side Of The Moon" would
become Pink Floyd's biggest selling album to date and would become
one of the biggest selling albums of all time and hailed by critics
and fans as a masterpiece and one of the greatest albums ever
made. It is also the only album to ever remain on the Billboard
top 200 albums for the past 30 years and 15 of those years continuously.
It was this album where Pink Floyd truly came into their own as
a band with their own unique sound, but also where David Gilmour's
guitar work really began to shine as well. This is evident in
songs like "Time" and "Money" which have two
standout solos by David.
After the success of "Dark Side Of The Moon"
they would release "Wish You Were Here" which is David's
personal favorite. Even though it did not match the same success
they had with Dark Side, "Wish You Were Here" was the
perfect follow up and it is just as much of a masterpiece as its
predecessor. The albums haunting guitar and beautiful melodies
along with Roger Waters brilliant lyrics on songs like "Shine
On You Crazy Diamond" and the title track make this another
one of Pink Floyd's best. At this time David would also marry
Ginger, his live in girlfriend of 5 years.
After extensive touring and a well deserved break
they would start work on their next album, "Animals".
A more cynical and dark album than their previous work, "Animals"
would be the continuation of Roger Waters distain towards the
music business and the distance he was beginning to feel towards
the fans. Although "Animals" would not be considered
one of their greatest, mainly because of its negativity, David's
guitar work, especially on "Dogs" is the main standout
on the album.
After touring for "Animals" David would
go into the studio and record his first solo album simply titled,
"David Gilmour". The album would be a moderate success
and would carry a similar sound to Pink Floyd. Most of the songs
written by David Gilmour, the album shows that David is a fine
songwriter in his own right. The album is filled with beautiful
melodies, wonderful guitar work and the pleasure of hearing David's
singing voice. The album is a must not only for David Gilmour
fans, but for anyone who just likes good music!
Beginning as early as Dark Side Roger Waters'
ever growing grip to become Pink Floyd's only creative force was
becoming more and more obvious. This was starting to take a toll
on all band members and creative disagreements between David and
Roger were becoming more frequent and more heated. By the late
70's when work had begun on "The Wall", Roger Waters
epic based on his own life experiences, working conditions had
reached an all time low. Rogers wanting complete control lead
to the letting go of one of the original band members and keyboardist,
Richard Wright. Though "The Wall" would also become
one of the biggest selling albums of all time it was obvious that
it was not a group effort in the same way "Dark Side Of The
Moon" and "Wish You Were Here" were. Although the
album holds some of Pink Floyd's most recognizable and best loved
songs, the album still mainly has a Roger Waters alone feel to
it. However it does hold two songs that have become classic standards
whose music was mainly influenced by David Gilmour, "Run
Like Hell" and "Comfortably Numb". "Comfortably
Numb" is probably Pink Floyd's most recognized and well loved
song, it also holds one of the most memorable guitar solo's in
rock and roll history and simply a flawless piece of work by David!
Following the release of "The Wall" came a lavish stage
production which played only a handful of cities worldwide and
the album eventually became a feature film. The film would not
have the same success the album had but in recent years it has
become somewhat of a cult classic.
With Richard Wright gone from the group Pink
Floyd was now a three piece and Roger Waters was ready to go into
the studio again for yet another album. The only problem was Roger
wanted to be the ONLY creative force on this project. "The
Final Cut" would become not only Pink Floyd's final album
with Roger Waters but it would also be their most disappointing.
Waters control over the entire project would reduce drummer Nick
Mason and David Gilmour to nothing more than studio musicians.
David, who had always been co-producer to most of Pink Floyd's
albums would have his name removed as producer from this one.
Even though "The Final Cut" is not a bad piece of work,
it is primarily the work of Roger Waters alone. After "The
Final Cut" Roger Waters would announce that he no longer
would be a part of Pink Floyd and assumed that was the end of
the band, but he was wrong, David Gilmour and Nick Mason had other
After "The Final Cut" David would record
a second solo album entitled "About Face". That is exactly
what this album was for David, a complete about face to anything
he had done in the past. Filled with catchy pop tunes again David
would write most of the songs and several songs were co-written
with Pete Townshend. "About Face" was and is a nice
departure for David Gilmour and his fans. As with his first solo
effort "About Face" would be a moderate success and
would be followed by a successful tour of Europe and America.
But, David Gilmour and Nick Mason were not ready to give up their
day jobs just yet as members of Pink Floyd and by the mid 1980's
they began work on a new Pink Floyd album without their main lyricist
and self appointed leader, Roger Waters. Bringing back Richard
Wright, who was fired during "The Wall" they would set
out on a Pink Floyd lead by David Gilmour. What resulted were
some nasty mud slinging wars between Waters and Gilmour and law
suits filed by Waters that lasted for years. During this time
the Gilmour lead Floyd would put out two studio albums, first
"A Momentary Lapse Of Reason" released in 1987 followed
by an extremely successful tour and in 1994 "The Division
Bell" also follow by another successful tour. "A Momentary
Lapse Of Reason" would be David's first shot at being the
main drive behind Pink Floyd and he did it well. The album does
not stand out as one of Pink Floyd's greatest or classics but
it does have its moments and most of those moments consist of
David Gilmour's brilliant and beautiful guitar work. It also stands
out as an album that shows Pink Floyd could still exist without
the destructive leadership of Roger Waters. "The Division
Bell" would fair even better with songs and sounds that are
in the same line as the classic Pink Floyd sound. The "Division
Bell" is obviously a more personal album as far as David
Gilmour is concerned, recruiting his second and current wife,
Polly Samson, to help write lyrics for the album. What is also
obvious is that Pink Floyd became a group again using input from
all band members and not just one creative force!
In 1994 David married writer Polly Samson and
for the past ten years spends his days as husband and father,
occasionally playing at benefit concerts and writing checks out
to charity! In 2002 he taped for release on DVD, "David Gilmour
in Concert" a sort of David Gilmour unplugged, and rumor
has it he is currently in the studio working on material. The
only question is will it be for a David Gilmour solo project or
will it be Pink Floyd. Either way we look forward to whatever