Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour recounts the “difficult” and “painful” beginnings of the studio sessions for the band’s 1975 album ‘Wish You Were Here’ in this video interview promoting the next phase of the WHY PINK FLOYD? campaign. Gilmour talks about the release with Paul Rappaport, who visited David’s houseboat/recording studio, Astoria, for the conversation. Gilmour even takes a moment to play a little of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond.”
Wish You Were Here ‘Immersion’ 5-disc and ‘Experience’ 2-disc editions both will include bonus material from the band’s 1974 Wembley dates, including a 20-minute tour de force live rendition of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” as well as a unique recording of “Wish You Were Here” featuring the legendary jazz violinist, Stephane Grappelli.
When asked if the band felt confident at the start of the recording sessions for ‘Wish You Were Here,’ given the incredible success of its predecessor, ‘The Dark Side of the Moon,’ Gilmour responds with a laugh, “No, very much not like that! We were clueless for a long time, faffing about blindly trying to find a way forward.”
Gilmour says that despite recording in what he termed “a sh—-y little hole,” things got better: “That started quite painfully. It was difficult and we didn’t know what we were doing. But by the time we added songs like ‘Have a Cigar,’ we were firing on all cylinders.”
He also reveals details of an argument that came up between himself and bassist Roger Waters during the creation of the album. Apparently, in addition to ‘Shine on You Crazy Diamond,’ which became the album’s centerpiece, the band had worked up early versions of ‘Dogs’ and ‘Sheep,’ which would eventually end up on their next album, 1977′s ‘Animals.’ As Gilmour remembers, “Roger wanted to drop the one that became ‘Dogs’ and the one that was called ‘Sheep.’ We had some arguing about that for a while. He was right, I was wrong, that’s not the first time that happened.”
He also explains how the famous album art for ‘Wish You Were Here’ came to be created by Storm Thorgerson. “(He) came in, as he would on every album, and would talk to us about what the album was about and what we were trying to get to. The theme of the album was absence, so you have a person swimming with an absence of water, a suit with an absence of a person.”
Great interview, with the always interesting and humble Gilmour: