Roy Harper - Have A Cigar

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Roy Harper - Have A Cigar

Post by space triangle »

Speaking about a session musicians 'all of the time' I'm just curius to know what's your take on the Roy Harper's Have A Cigar vocal? Do you like or not Roy's performance of that song? Would you rather Roger or David sing HAC on Wish You Were Here album? Would some other session singer maybe have done a better job than Roy Harper?
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Re: Roy Harper - Have A Cigar

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Did Roy Harper ever performed Have A Cigar live on stage with Pink Floyd?
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Re: Roy Harper - Have A Cigar

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I agree with Gilmour: "I think of it as the perfect version."

And yes he did: Roy sang it with them at Knebworth in 1975, where someone misplaced the outfit he was planning to wear, causing him to trash his trailer - directly inspiring the scene in "One of My Turns".

Roger had started to feel that he should sing his songs himself, but brilliantly used Dave's voice as a separate character ("Dogs", "Mother, "Comfortably Numb", "Not Now John", etc). How much of this thinking really went into Wish You Were Here, I don't know because they've never discussed it. It could very well be "Shine On" (Roger as a friend singing to Syd), "Welcome to the Machine" (Dave as ambition/adulthood/capitalism personified singing to Syd), "Have a Cigar" (Roy as the record company man singing to Syd), and so on - it's open to interpretation. But Roy's delivery is perfect, and very fitting as a friend and label-mate that influenced and was influenced by Pink Floyd. I certainly wouldn't call him a session musician anymore than I would call Gilmour a session musician for any of his many appearances on Harper's records from 1975 to 1990; I also don't know that Roy has ever appeared on anyone else's records, except possibly David Gilmour and About Face, both of which he contributed lyrics (though the ones for About Face weren't used, but he did make guest appearances on the tour).

There's a big difference between hiring a "session musician" to play something that you wrote but can't proficiently play (as is the case with...every classical composer) or can't be bothered to work on ("One of My Turns"), and collaborating with a like-minded artist. Sometimes they need something else, like the saxophone - which Rick Wright originally played in the band, but hadn't touched in about 8 years at that point - and it becomes a long-term collaboration, like Dick Parry (who Gilmour has had to lure out of retirement several times - sometimes unsuccessfully - rather than finding any other competent sax player). There's a difference between that, and playing bass professionally for twenty years but hiring several anonymous people to do it instead.
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Re: Roy Harper - Have A Cigar

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Re: Roy Harper - Have A Cigar

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Here's an interesting track from The Unknown Soldier, which overlapped with The Wall sessions, and features Gilmour on guitar, who co-wrote half the album. Also, it was co-produced by Peter Jenner, who managed the band during the Syd era (and can be heard in the intro to "Astronomy Domine"), and co-produced The Madcap Laughs.

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Re: Roy Harper - Have A Cigar

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This one has Gilmour on guitar and John Paul Jones on bass (and overlapped with the Wish You Were Here sessions):

Last edited by ZiggyZipgun on Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Roy Harper - Have A Cigar

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Re: Roy Harper - Have A Cigar

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Long story short, I actually wish Pink Floyd had collaborated with Roy more, especially in terms of lyrics in Roger's absence...but it certainly makes sense that they didn't go that route, since Roy also tends to get fairly specific with his political themes, which was one of David's issues with Roger.

But even now, I wish Dave and Roy would do something together - maybe with Ron Geesin, too! I plan to be pretty weird in my mid-70s...why shouldn't they!?
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Re: Roy Harper - Have A Cigar

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Re: Roy Harper - Have A Cigar

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ZiggyZipgun wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:44 pm Here's an interesting track from The Unknown Soldier, which overlapped with The Wall sessions, and features Gilmour on guitar, who co-wrote half the album. Also, it was co-produced by Peter Jenner, who managed the band during the Syd era (and can be heard in the intro to "Astronomy Domine"), and co-produced The Madcap Laughs.
I'm not very familiar with Roy Harper, and hadn't heard this album. It certainly sounds very Floydian at first, but his voice was not what I expected to hear. I must check out the whole album.

EDIT: I was talking of 'True Story'.
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Re: Roy Harper - Have A Cigar

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Annoying Twit wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:32 pmI must check out the whole album.
Check out Stormcock - that's my favorite. A full album with notable session guitarist Jimmy Page on acoustic.

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Re: Roy Harper - Have A Cigar

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Another good one:

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Re: Roy Harper - Have A Cigar

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Led Zeppelin did a tribute song to Roy Harper on the 'Led Zeppelin III' album. 8)

Hats off To (Roy) Harper

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Re: Roy Harper - Have A Cigar

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space triangle wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:16 pmLed Zeppelin did a tribute song to Roy Harper on the 'Led Zeppelin III' album.
And it's pretty terrible. Roy hadn't put out anything particularly good at that point, but he did have a reputation for being stubborn and playing music that people didn't like.
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Re: Roy Harper - Have A Cigar

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Here's Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush weirdly covering a Roy Harper song.