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Originally compiled by David Schuetz
adopted by Matt Denault
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section 7 (of 10) : The Dave Gilmour Era

  1. : A Momentary Lapse Of Reason
  2. : La Carrera Panamericana
  3. : The Division Bell
  4. : Who or What is Publius
  5. : P.U.L.S.E

01 : A Momentary Lapse Of Reason

A Momentary Lapse Of Reason
 Who is having the pilot to tower conversation ?

That's Nick Mason, who recently received a pilot's license. I believe that David Gilmour is his co-pilot. The conversation is an actual conversation between Nick and the tower, during one of his first solo flights.

02 : La Carrera Panamericana

La Carrera Panamericana
One of Nick Mason's favorite pastimes is auto racing. He (with Lindsay Valentine) and David Gilmour (with and Steve O'Rourke ,their manager) participated in a road race in Mexico called "La Carrera Panamericana" in October 1991.

The race is run over the Pan American highway (LCP in Spanish, hence the title), and is a revival of the same races that were run from 1950 - 1954.

They later released a TV-movie of the car race, directed by Gilmour, with a little "new" Pink Floyd music for backing (including "One Slip").

Nick Mason had participated in 1990 (driving a 1954 Lancia Aurela B20). In 1991 both Nick and Dave drove replica Proteus 1952 C-typeJaguars. [thanks to the PF Encyclopedia]

 "What was the new music in La Carrera Panamericana?"

The video release contains the following songs:

The new songs are all instrumentals and hidden under the race/motor car noises, and are not much more than background music to the movie. The general reaction to this movie, which was first aired on the BBC before the video release, can be summed up with the word "underwhelmed."

 "Didn't they get in a crash and nearly kill themselves?"

During the race, there was an accident. The movie didn't provide in-depth coverage of the accident, just about the same coverage as other crashes received. Here is a transcription of the voice-over regarding Dave & Steve's crash (courtesy of Martin Pitwood):

Steve O'Rourke actually broke both his legs in this crash, which happened 12 miles away from the Mexican city of San Luis Potpoli.

03 : The Division Bell

The Division Bell  Richard Wright

As stated before, Richard Wright was essentially fired from Pink Floyd just before the Wall tours. He did not appear on TFC. He did, however, appear as a "session" musician on AMLoR, (although how much he really played is open for debate see the section on "rick on LOR"), and also participated in the DSoT tour. With _The Division Bell_ he's finally back in the band:

 Polly Samson

Polly Samson is a journalist (for Sunday Times), writer and as of 29jul1994 the wife of David Gilmour, she co-wrote the lyrics for a number of tracks on The Division Bell.

In the spring of 1999, she released a book of short stories called "Lying In Bed."

 What is a Division Bell?

[From a post by Chris Solnordal:]

The use of this for the title was suggested by Douglas Adams (author of the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" radio show, book series, TV show, and computer game, among other things), which is why he is listed in the album's credits. Adams made the suggestion in exchange for Gilmour donating a certain sum of money (5,000) to a charity of Adams' choosing, the Environmental Investigation Agency. Adams has also said that Gilmour asked him to fool around with the lyrics a bit, but that none of his suggestions were actually used on the album.

Douglas Adams appeared at the October 28th Earl's Court show, playing acoustic guitar on "Brain Damage" and "Eclipse." This was Gilmour's birthday present to Adams (Adams' 42nd birthday was in March, 1994).

 Keep Talking - Stephen Hawking

[Thanks to David R. Rorabaugh and Microsoft's Encarta]:

It is this disease, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, which forces him to use a speech synthesizer to talk, which is what you hear on "Keep Talking." The phrases he speaks are sampled from a British Telecommunications commercial that Gilmour heard after the song was otherwise completed. Gilmour liked it so much--he said it almost brought him to tears--that he asked BT if he could sample it.

NOTE: The complete text of the advertisement is in the TDB lyric file at http://www.gawth.com/~rjones

 Page Numbers

The page numbers in the TDB booklet are in different languages

It has also been suggested that the circles on page 2 are a binary representation of the number 2.


The spine of the TDB CD has the words *pink floyd* (lower case) listed in braille. (At least on the EMI release).

 Differences in Artwork

The UK(EMI) and US releases of TDB differ in minor details.
[Most information from the Pink Floyd Encyclopedia]

U.K. Edition Artwork U.S. Edition Artwork
Front cover has darker sky and four lights between the mouths Lighter sky, church between mouths
Back cover has one wave between the mouths Multiple waves between the mouths
The Cluster One pages show four observatory buildings Three buildings are shown
The words on pages 2-3 are red The words are in white
Page 8 is darker than U.S. edition Lighter than U.K. edition
Take It Back page has balloons next to the tree There are no balloons near the tree
Take It Back lyrics are white against brown background Lyrics are black lettering on a white background
CBTL photo is close-up and taken near ground level Photo taken further back and a bit elevated

The cassette release had different art, featuring a photograph of the heads taken at dusk, near dark, with floodlights on them. Additional variations of the art appear in the Division Bell tour book, sheet music books, and other sources.

 Poles Apart

According to Polly Sampson, who co-wrote the lyrics, the first verse is about Syd Barrett, the second verse is about Roger Waters.

04 : Who or What is Publius

"Who or what is Publius?"
If one topic managed to cause an even bigger rift between Pink Floyd fans than the endless which-one-is-Pink debate, it was the discussion on whether or not the Publius Enigma was a band sanctioned puzzle, just someone (or a group of someones) pulling our collective legs, or maybe simply Nick Mason having found a way to relieve the tediousness and boredom of touring.

Whichever is the case, if there was a solution to the enigma, it has never been found (although many people have claimed to have found a solution).

You are strongly discouraged to discuss the enigma, and anything related to it on Echoes. The Pink Floyd newsgroup (alt.music.pink-floyd) is the appropriate place for this kind of discussions.

 "The Enigma"

[this section is written by Mark Brown, who also wrote the Publius section in the Pink Floyd Encyclopedia.]

In June 1994, someone using the common Latin first name Publius began posting to Usenet's alt.music.pink-floyd, using the title ">>>>>>>>>> T H E M E S S A G E <<<<<<<<<<" and variations of it. He posted irregularly throughout the tour and a few times afterward, offering mysterious clues. He invited us to look at TDB with open minds, discuss it in the newsgroup, and solve an enigma in the album. He promised a unique, tangible prize to the group or the individual who solved it. He/she/they said the identity of the messenger isn't important, and that the solution is some other thing.

Publius was answered with skepticism and flames, but on July 16 he predicted a signal to establish his credibility. He told us to watch for flashing white lights, East Rutherford, New Jersey, July 18, at about 10:30 p.m. At the Pink Floyd show in N.J. that night, the last night of the U.S. tour, "ENIGMA PUBLIUS" was spelled out by lights at the base of the stage for over a minute during "Keep Talking". The signal in the lights was displayed only at that one show. Then some people accepted Publius's word, and began investigating. Many ideas were discussed, but no definite solution (or even a definite question) has yet been found.

Near the end of the European tour Publius predicted another signal, and at the 7th of 14 London shows at Earls Court, "ENIGMA" was front- projected in large letters onto the stage during the intro to ABITW-2. Just like occasional personal messages which were displayed the same way on other nights, it was scribbled out after a few moments as if it was a schoolboy's doodling. The show was televised live October 20 in Europe and replayed on Pay-Per-View in the U.S. on November 1. After editing (there were 20 camera angles available) it became the p.u.l.s.e home video. The ENIGMA signal remains, and it was enhanced as if to demonstrate that it was an important part of the concert: it was not simply ignored by the editors.

In late 1994, the album "A Momentary Lapse of Reason" was released on minidisc, with new photos taken from the "Learning To Fly" video. In a corner of one page is plain white text: "ENIGMA", and again in another photo is plain white text: "PUBLIUS". This differentiates the Publius enigma from the flaky "Paul is dead" clues that Beatles fans once claimed to see in the "Abbey Road" LP art. The AMLoR art signal was strong evidence that Publius wasn't just a roadie pulling a prank. It wasn't just Marc Brickman either: he was no longer working for Pink Floyd after the tour, when the home video was being edited.

Neil Strauss wrote in 1995 in his New York Times column "The Pop Life" that when he interviewed the band and manager early in the tour, they had a mysterious demeanor and said "there's all sorts of other things" in TDB, and that clues would be forthcoming. When asked about oddities in the album, Gilmour said, "I like puzzling people." Asked if some songs are veiled references to Roger Waters, he smiled and said, "Are they? You'll just have to work it out for yourself."

Whether or not it's part of the enigma, the "Take It Back" video has partially-hidden images, and director Marc Brickman said some were Gilmour's ideas. A computer animated explosion sequence shows bombers flying in formation (as in The Wall film), a pyramid from the back of a dollar bill (for the song "Money" and pyramids art from DSotM), hospital beds (from AMLoR art) and so on. In fades between scenes there are glimpses of an aerial view of the concert stage in Miami and a blurry image of ancient ruins that may refer to the "Pompeii" film (the wavering image is "watery", perhaps a reference to "Echoes"). The "Shine On" and "High Hopes" concert videos also make many references to band history.

In 1995 interviews by guitar magazines, David Gilmour denied it all, saying he knew nothing about the enigma until people began asking him. In a WWW interview in 1996, Rick Wright also denied knowing about it. Mason hasn't commented.

In late 1995 Sean Heisler, an impatient AMP-F fan, began digging for information from the band's associates. Mark Fisher and Storm Thorgerson revealed nothing, but concert director Marc Brickman did! He said he was ordered by manager Steve O'Rourke to arrange the two signals via the lighting effects. O'Rourke denied that, and said the puzzle wasn't from him or from any member of Pink Floyd. However, he encouraged the fans to keep working on it. He said his son was subscribed to AMP-F and was keeping him informed. Brickman's and O'Rourke's interviews are in Brain Damage magazine #38.

Following the 1994 tour, Publius wrote only a few more letters, one on Nick's birthday and again in August. After August 1995, he was unable to send anything to us that we could be sure came from him. The Anonymous Contact Service ran into legal problems, and to protect its users' anonymity the service was shut down. Some posts claiming to be from Publius or his successors were sent after August 1995, but they can't be relied upon. Virtually all of them have been traced back to known mischief-makers.

Whatever the Publius enigma is about, it's still in question as of this writing. Publius promised to watch AMP-F discussion and there may still be a prize to be claimed. However, AMP-F changed radically, so that any focused discussion (such as the one about the enigma) became extraordinarily difficult to carry on. Nothing much is happening there as of this writing. It's as if the whole "difficulty of communication" theme of The Division Bell was being acted out in the newsgroup. Echoes e-mail regulars are skeptical and have discouraged enigma discussion. Despite numerous obstacles, those who worked hardest on the enigma think it's worth looking at.

For further information, see the files in the echoserv publius directory (history.951018 includes all his letters to AMP-F), the Publius appendix in Vernon Fitch's Pink Floyd Encyclopedia (with selected Publius letters), and the Publius Enigma www pages at http://www.uio.no/~ericsp/floyd.html (hosted by Eric Spierings).

 "So What Is It?"

As said before, we have no evidence one way or another (or more correctly we have firm and outright denials by band- members and their management, on the other hand, there are the Lights at East-Rutherford, and the texts in the AMLoR minidiscs that aren't easily explained away.

If the enigma was a band organized attempt, they apparently lost interest in it, and have never come in the open about it.

If there was a riddle to be solved, it was such a tough one, that after 4 years, and lots and lots of combined effort from Pink Floyd fans around the world it is still unsolved (and it's still not even sure that there actually is a riddle).

Whichever is the case, before you make assumptions or jump to conclusions, check out the references given in the previous section, talk with people about it, and please, do not drag this issue back on echoes. Flame Wars have started over less.

05 : P.U.L.S.E

P.U.L.S.E  "Where do the tracks on Pulse come from?"

The video (VHS and Laser Disc) version of _Pulse_ comes exclusively from the October 20th, 1994 show at Earls Court; it is a reedited version of what was a Pay-Per-View performance. In comparison with the original PPV, the _Pulse_ video features some different camera angles and a few cuts on the guitar solos.

The audio (CD, MD, cassette, and vinyl) _Pulse_ is *not* the same as this; it features tracks taken from throughout the European segment of the _Division Bell_ tour. Here is a list of songs and their locations, thanks to Karl Dallas at the Revue on-line magazine, and with the assistance of Andy Mabbett. It was published in its original form, as part of a Revue interview with David Gilmour.

 "Difference between formats"

As said before, the Video (VHS and Laser Disc) of Pulse are from the 20oct1994 concert (with some edits).

The CD version omits One Of These Days, whereas the cassette copies of _Pulse_ include about twenty minutes of the ambient opening music/sounds that were played before the 1994 concerts started at the end of tape two.

The Vinyl version comes with 4LPs and a beautiful LP-sized book, with the same and some different pictures as the CD version. (Since I only own the LP version, I cannot make a list of differences)

The CD version comes in two flavors, the common one with the blinking red light, and a version that's jokingly referred to as the environmental friendly version, as it comes unLEDded. (Badabum, badabum!)

 "What does P.U.L.S.E stand for?"

The dots in PULSE do not mean that the word is an abbreviation. They are simply there because it looks coo. But depending on which side of the Waters-Gilmour line you sit, we suggest you pick either:

 "What's the funky light thingy on the book?"

In Storm Thorgerson's book "Mind Over Matter", Thorgerson says it is a "small flying craft." (It appears specifically to be some kind of combination of star craft and concert lighting apparatus, covered with maps of constellations.) Thorgerson says the object was actually built and photographed "before it zoomed off into the heavens."

 "What's written on the beer coaster?"

[Thanks to Karolina "Kevin" Wihed]

The reference to a "potting shed" is probably a joke aimed at Roger Waters. Roger's first wife, Jude, was a potter. His home studio, The Billiard Room, shared its space with Jude's pottery studio. In other words the potting shed = Rogers home studio

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End of echoes Digest / FAQ section 7 of 10