My Moon-Landing Jam Session - article by David Gilmour

General discussion about Pink Floyd.
User avatar
snifferdog
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 12096
Joined: Fri Jun 16, 2006 7:17 pm
Gender: Female
Location: Green Hill Zone

My Moon-Landing Jam Session - article by David Gilmour

Post by snifferdog »

An article by some bloke called David Gilmour in the Guardian last week =>Linky Dink

We [Pink Floyd] were in a BBC TV studio jamming to the landing. It was a live broadcast, and there was a panel of scientists on one side of the studio, with us on the other. I was 23.

The programming was a little looser in those days, and if a producer of a late-night programme felt like it, they would do something a bit off the wall. Funnily enough I've never really heard it since, but it is on YouTube. They were broadcasting the moon landing and they thought that to provide a bit of a break they would show us jamming. It was only about five minutes long. The song was called Moonhead - it's a nice, atmospheric, spacey, 12-bar blues.

I also remember at the time being in my flat in London, gazing up at the moon, and thinking, "There are actually people standing up there right now." It brought it home to me powerfully, that you could be looking up at the moon and there would be people standing on it.

At the time, Pink Floyd had been doing rather well. For a while, the band had been somewhat erratic and its reputation was sinking. I joined in 1968, 18 months before the moon landing. By then we were beginning to climb back up again.

It was fantastic to be thinking that we were in there making up a piece of music, while the astronauts were standing on the moon. It doesn't seem conceivable that that would happen on the BBC nowadays.

It didn't have a significant impact on our later work. I think at the time Roger [Waters], our lyricist, was looking more into going inwards, going into the inner space of the human mind and condition. And I think that was sort of the end of our exploration into outer space.

We didn't make any songs out of the jam session. We did, on occasions, do music live that would be a jam session of some sort; that would have some structure which we would organise ourselves. And I've heard documentaries where I recognise my music. It's very odd to be watching a documentary and to hear something that you know is yourself, but you have no recognition of when you did it or how. I've never forgotten Moonhead, though.

After all, it's not hard to remember exactly where I was.

• Moonhead was broadcast at 10pm on 20 July 1969.
User avatar
crowman
Blade
Blade
Posts: 123
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:40 am
Gender: Male
Location: Australia

Re: My Moon-Landing Jam Session

Post by crowman »

Interesting he refers to it as "Moonhead". I always thought that name was a bootlegger's invention.
User avatar
danielcaux
Supreme Judge!
Supreme Judge!
Posts: 2546
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 1:25 am
Location: Abya Yala

Re: My Moon-Landing Jam Session

Post by danielcaux »

Maybe he's just bootlegging the bootleggers' name.
User avatar
crowman
Blade
Blade
Posts: 123
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:40 am
Gender: Male
Location: Australia

Re: My Moon-Landing Jam Session

Post by crowman »

Could well be. Oh well, it's an official name now.
User avatar
davidjay
Hammer
Hammer
Posts: 1480
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2003 4:29 am
Gender: Male
Location: spiraling down to the hole in the ground where i hide

Re: My Moon-Landing Jam Session

Post by davidjay »

snifferdog wrote:And I've heard documentaries where I recognise my music. It's very odd to be watching a documentary and to hear something that you know is yourself, but you have no recognition of when you did it or how.
i've had a similar thing happen a couple of times. from time to time someone will use a radio commercial that i've done as the audio for a tv spot without my knowledge. then suddenly my girlfriend will turn to me while we're watching tv and ask, "is that you?" that's happened a couple of times. a few weeks ago i saw a spot for the memorial weekend opening of a seasonal water park here in southern california. they used audio that i recorded several years ago and pitched it way down so i sounded more like a "monster truck madness" guy. (it's a voice i can do on my own without a digital shift. what they did to my voice was awful.) even though it sounded like a completely different person, i totally recognized it as my spot. it was kind of creepy. (plus, i wanted to get paid, so i was a bit miffed!)
User avatar
Keith Jordan
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 16810
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2002 6:54 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Cheshire, England

Re: My Moon-Landing Jam Session

Post by Keith Jordan »

Pink Floyd's very own David Gilmour wrote an article for the Guardian Newspaper on 2nd July 2009 as part of the papers 40th Anniversary celebrations regarding putting a man on the moon. It was regarding Pink Floyd's atmospheric tune "Moonhead", performed live on July 20th 1969 in a BBC TV studio. You can read said article below.

http://www.neptunepinkfloyd.co.uk/index ... nhead-song

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/ ... yd-session





Image



We [Pink Floyd] were in a BBC TV studio jamming to the landing. It was a live broadcast, and there was a panel of scientists on one side of the studio, with us on the other. I was 23.

The programming was a little looser in those days, and if a producer of a late-night programme felt like it, they would do something a bit off the wall. Funnily enough I've never really heard it since, but it is on YouTube. They were broadcasting the moon landing and they thought that to provide a bit of a break they would show us jamming. It was only about five minutes long. The song was called Moonhead - it's a nice, atmospheric, spacey, 12-bar blues.

I also remember at the time being in my flat in London, gazing up at the moon, and thinking, "There are actually people standing up there right now." It brought it home to me powerfully, that you could be looking up at the moon and there would be people standing on it.

At the time, Pink Floyd had been doing rather well. For a while, the band had been somewhat erratic and its reputation was sinking. I joined in 1968, 18 months before the moon landing. By then we were beginning to climb back up again.

It was fantastic to be thinking that we were in there making up a piece of music, while the astronauts were standing on the moon. It doesn't seem conceivable that that would happen on the BBC nowadays.

It didn't have a significant impact on our later work. I think at the time Roger [Waters], our lyricist, was looking more into going inwards, going into the inner space of the human mind and condition. And I think that was sort of the end of our exploration into outer space.

We didn't make any songs out of the jam session. We did, on occasions, do music live that would be a jam session of some sort; that would have some structure which we would organise ourselves. And I've heard documentaries where I recognise my music. It's very odd to be watching a documentary and to hear something that you know is yourself, but you have no recognition of when you did it or how. I've never forgotten Moonhead, though.

After all, it's not hard to remember exactly where I was.

• Moonhead was broadcast at 10pm on 20 July 1969.
User avatar
crowman
Blade
Blade
Posts: 123
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:40 am
Gender: Male
Location: Australia

Re: My Moon-Landing Jam Session - article by David Gilmour

Post by crowman »

I know the BBC in their wisdom no longer has the Moonhead footage, do any photos from the session survive?
User avatar
vahurka
Embryo
Embryo
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2005 8:12 am
Location: Hungary

Re: My Moon-Landing Jam Session - article by David Gilmour

Post by vahurka »

crowman wrote:I know the BBC in their wisdom no longer has the Moonhead footage, do any photos from the session survive?
So the Moonhead is not available as a soundboard recording at the BBC?
User avatar
crowman
Blade
Blade
Posts: 123
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:40 am
Gender: Male
Location: Australia

Re: My Moon-Landing Jam Session - article by David Gilmour

Post by crowman »

They performed in the BBC TV studios, so most likely the only recording done was that of the videotaping (assuming it was videotaped at all, given that it was a live broadcast). As with so many BBC productions of the time, the master tape would have been erased for reuse, so the only version that still exists was taped off the TV by a home viewer on original transmission, possibly with a microphone held up to the TV speaker.