Welcome especially to Floydians!
from around the world Ladies and Gentlemen MSN is proud to welcome online one of the world's greatest rock guitarists alongside of Clapton and Hendrix, he is one the UK's most influential musicians, and a composer of genuine genius, he recently played a blistering Rock'n'Roll set live on the eve of the 21st Century from the Cavern Club with Paul McCartney to what the world's media hailed as the biggest ever webcast in history with just under 1 million people logging on from all over the world and 3 million visitors for the Archive.
David Gilmour joins us online to celebrate the release of the legendary live version of Pink Floyd's The Wall.
The creativity, energy and furious authority that Gilmour brought to the fragile story of a wounded child building a Wall against the world gave the album an extraordinary power aimed against war, racism and cruelty of all forms...many of the emails recieved spoke of the defining moment of The Wall Live when he stood on top of the Wall itself and let rip one of the world's most memorable guitar solos for Comfortably Numb...
Thank you. Good evening.
Q: Forgive the gushy intro David :o) You are very welcome online. Do you use the Internet much?
DG: I'm not brilliant at it but I'm using it more and more. I havent yet to try other uses for it. I haven't chatted online before.
Q: Is there going to be a video/dvd of "is there anybody out there?" to correspond witht the album?
DG: It's a complicated situation. The shows were recorded on video tape which Roger has in his possession. At some point I expect they will be mixed with computer technology enhanced and hopefully one day that will see the light.
Q: What was it like playing Rock and Roll and working with Paul McCartney? Are there any plans to do more work with him?
DG: I've completed all the stuff that Paul has so far asked me to do with him. I don't know if he's doing anymore but it was really good fun to get back to that kind of music for a change. Getting to be a Beatle for that night at the Cavern was unforgettable.
Q: What stands out in your memory the most about the Wall tour musically?
DG: It's very hard to pick out individual moments from a whole that was so complete and so brilliant. Obviously, that was one of my favourite moments as you might expect performing at the Top of the Wall.
Q: "Piper at the Gates of Dawn" was recorded at Abbey Road Studio's the same time The Beatles were recording Sergeant Pepper, What influence (good or bad) did producer, Norman Smith and the Beatles have on your creativity in the studio?
DG: I wasn't with the band at the time but Norman Smith was our producer for the first few moments after I joined Pink Floyd and taught us a lot about the use of a studio and record production. But evenutally we outgrew him.
Q: I would ask him if there is an album planned to follow Division Bell and a tour to follow Pulse
DG: We have no plans at the moment to make a Pink Floyd record or to do a Pink Floyd tour. But I think I'll be back in the studio before long but whether it's the Pink Floyd project or a solo project I dont know yet.
Q: Hello David, I am a big fan of Pink Floyd's work. I would like to ask you a question about your guitar sytle and sound, both of which are very distinctive. What were your influences in developing your style?
DG: The guitar players that influenced me are too numerous to mention but there was a point when I started liking my own playing and my style I suppose developed out of that like...and when I abandoned the compulsion to copy other people so much.
Q: What inspired your "Comfortably Numb" Killer solo? Is it your favorite Solo?
DG: I don't know if it's my favourite solo, there are many solos that I love for different reasons. The solo was just inspired by the music.
Q: Firstly, what made you choose Bob Geldof to play Pink in the film of "The Wall"?
DG: I didn't. Alan Parker did. It was a good choice. We saw his screen test in which he did a courtroom speech from Midnight Express and it was brilliant.
Q: Will you be working with Sam Brown again in live shows.
DG: I have no idea, I don't know what our next live show will be. I couldn't give you an answer on that, but I spoke to her a couple of weeks ago.
Q: Why don't you release a collection of studio outtakes and demos etc. like The Beatles 'Anthology' series.? Because there are certain tracks from the Syd-era like 'Vegetable Man' and 'Scream Thy Last Scream' that most Floyd fans own, will there ever be an official release for these gems ?
DG: There are just one or two tracks like the one you mentioned earlier before my time, but the later Pink Floyd I wouldn't be opposed to having them out in better form than they are now ie Bootleg
Q: What are your fondest memories of working/recording/touring with the Floyd and your old friend Roger?
DG: There are too numerous to mention. We had many years which I enjoyed thoroughly. Doing the concerts I always enjoyed them. I know Roger had more difficulty than the rest of us. It's well documented with the huge shows who were only there for the beers so to speak.
Q: Do you still keep in touch with Syd? How is he ?
DG: I don't keep in touch on a regular basis. I have spoken with him a couple times, but I don't really know at the moment. I hope he's happy.
Q: Roger described your recordings for the BBC as awful. Have you heard the recordings, and what is you opinion? Would you be opposed to releasing them as a cd?
DG: I haven't heard them in so long. My memories of them were the same of Roger's that they were not great. I don't remember our performances being particularly good and the technology as used by the BBC at that time was already antiquated.
Q: Have Pink Floyd considered the production of a new concept using multimedia?
DG: So far I find it hard to get used to the scale of a tiny computer screen I confess that my preference is for a real live show.
Q: What's your opinion to "Absolutely Ambient" Pink Floyd Remix CD? Do you like unofficial Floyd remixes? What's your opinion to "Absolutely Ambient" Pink Floyd Remix CD? Do you like unofficial Floyd remixes?
DG: I haven't heard any (chuckles).
Q: People have compared Pink Floyd to Radiohead and Bush and Manson and others - are there any bands that you think carry on your tradition?
DG: I think some of those bands are creating their own tradition. I think Radiohead are great but I don't think they need us for their own paths.
Q: Is it true that before joining the Floyd you contributed to the soundtrack of the '60s sci-fi movie Barbarella?
DG: No, it's not true.
Q: What do you think of all of the Pink Floyd cover bands? Have you heard any?
DG: I've heard one of them. I went to see one for fun and then I had them playing like the Bootleg Beatles at my 50th birthday party. It's not quite the same.
Q: Do you see many parallels between Pink Floyd and the Beatles? Like the song writing partnership with Lennon and McCartney ?
DG: You make that comparison with a number of different bands, I'm a huge fan of the Beatles, but I don't know what parallels are between us except we were both pretty good at what we did.
Q: Many who asked that question really asking about you maybe reforming
DG: I think I can safely say there is no desire by me or Roger to do that kind of performing.
Q: What ever happened to the inflatable pig?
DG: There are several inflatable pigs that are sitting gently rotting in various warehouses. I wish I could say there was just one but there were many.
Q: What was the earliest music you can recollect as having an effect on you,and would you still listen to it now?
DG: An awful lot of music had an effect on me from a very young age but I can remember 1956 when I was 10 years old things like Rock around the Clock and Jailhouse Rock which knocked me sideways, made be think about picking up and playing the guitar.
Q: What was your favourite single of the 90s?
DG: Closing Time by Leonard Cohen. I spent a lot of time trying to analyse those lyrics.
Q: Can you explain some of the writing process you go through when writing a conceptual album?
DG: I don't know if I'm qualified to answer a question like that, better ask Roger, it's too late if you already interviewed him Monday. I'm really more of a musician type musician rather than a conceptual writer.
Q: Please tell how you managed to persuade Stephen Hawking to feature on "Keep Talking" on the Division Bell album. Are you both members of the same secret Hermetic society?
DG: We first had to contact the ad agency, they had used his voice computer on an ad. It's really not his voice because he no longer has one. But I think he was thrilled to be asked and he did come to our show in 1994.
Q: What was he like?
DG: He was very nice. It's slow chatting to him, he came backstage afterwards and told us how much he enjoyed himself.
Q: Is there anybody you'd like to produce?
DG: No. It's a thankless task.
Q: Why did you stop performing with the "improvisation material" like "Saucerful of Secrets" and "Careful With That Axe, Eugene"? or have you?
DG: I think the realities of the sort of touring that we started doing in the 70s precluded much of that sort of thing. Anyway I think our tastes have changed as time went on.
Q: What exactly happened to Nick's book "Pink Floyd: The Official History" ? Why wasn't it released? Will it ever see the light of day?
DG: I got rather grumpy about it because I didn't really think that what I saw of it conveyed enough of the artistic process and asked him to can it. which he did, so far.
Q: Mr. Gilmore, What do you think about .mp3 and there inpact on the recording industry and do you feel that it is a bad or good thing to see bootlegs being distributed in that manner?
DG: I have an MP3 player which I can see part of now hanging from the end of a hook. I don't understand it, I have no idea of what impact it will have on the recording industry, but time usually sorts those things out.
Q: When did you stop feeling like the 'new kid' when you joined Pink Floyd? How difficult was it to get your ideas taken on board at first?
DG: I'm still working on it. Because I'm sort of 2-3 years younger than the rest of them I never stop feeling like the new kid. But they did start taking my ideas seriously at an early stage.
Q: We got thousands of e-mails from teenage fans - why do you think The Wall and Pink Floyd albums are still so hugely popular?
DG: If you hear from any teenage fans, maybe you'd let me know. I think we always try to explore and push boundaries with the music that we made and maybe there's not enough of that nowadays and I think some of the themes that were explored will never be out of date.
Q: what is your Floyd favourite album?
DG: The last one, usually. But I don't really have a favourite.
Q: I've read that you were a model before you joined Pink Floyd. What was the strangest thing you ever had to model for?
DG: I had many jobs when the music business wasn't doing so well for me and I did do one or two photographic jobs and the money was very good, and it was only to help pay for musical equipment that I needed...and to survive that I did these things.
Q: is there anyone that you would like to perform with
DG: There are many that I dreamed of performing with but right at the moment there is no one that I particularly need to perform with.
Q: Isn't there a documentary to accompany the release of "The Wall"?
DG: There is a documentary to accompany the release of the Wall but I don't think it's quite finished yet. There are some snippets of video footage from the Wall performances.
Q: What do your children think of Pink Floyd?
DG: We don't really discuss what they think about Pink Floyd. Some of the older ones came to some of the shows on the last tour, but they were a bit too young for most of our tours. I think they're all fans, but possibly they prefer the Beatles.
Q: Will the "Live at Pompeii" movie be released on dvd?
DG: I couldn't tell you but I would not be at all surprised. I don't know I haven't discussed it with anyone.
Q: Your guitar setups for playing
live in the studio - what sort of equipment do you like
to use? Are they different? The same?
They particularly wanted to know about the effects.
DG: It's so hard to say what they are. They change all the time, usually some sort of distortion unit, echo delay unit, bit of volume. It's nice to have the best equipment but not essential.
Q: Dave, what makes you laugh?
DG: My children, constantly.
Q: Dave what is the main source of inspiration for you?
DG: Inspiration comes at you from all around, from life and love and children. It's hard to be more specific than that.
Q: In Egypt, Pink Floyd has lots of fans, would you think of performing at the Pyramids?
DG: We always wanted to play in Egypt at the Pyramids. We tried to organise it on the last tour and I hoped to play in Israel and Egypt on consecutive days...but the political situation wasn't conducive that we had to abandon.
Q: What was the athmosphere when you worked on the album "Run Devil Run"
DG: That was brilliant, we worked so fast that we never spent more than an hour and a half on a track. It was 5 very fast days of recording Abby Road. It was a treat for me not having to carry the burden of responsibility and to just plug in my guitar and play.
Q: Do your children ever shout at you to turn the music down - if so what tracks do you still like to listen to loud?
DG: I more often have to tell them to turn the music down.
Q: What are they listening to?
DG: I never know what they're listening to, that's the problem.
Q: Are their any kinds of messages behind your live set lists? like leaving songs out or including them
DG: On the last couple of tours it hadn't felt appropriate to do concerts they way we used to do them and we usually just try to play a good smattering of our new music along with a lot of the old favorites..which is mostly dictated by the ones we enjoy playing.
Q: What are your plans for the immediate future ?
DG: I don't have a plan for the moment.
Q: Thanks for joining us online David
DG: Good, I've enjoyed it.
Q: Have you seen the tribute websites?
DG: I've looked at a couple of them but not very much. I haven't spent a lot of time investigating the web as of yet.