David Gilmour Joins Pink Floyd

Thursday, February 18, 2016
David Gilmour Joins Pink Floyd

48 years ago today, David Gilmour formally became a member of Pink Floyd, which may shock many of the band's casual fans, who only know the songs that get played on the radio and therefore haven't a clue who this Syd Barrett character was.

As it happens, Gilmour actually met Barrett and Roger Waters when they were but kids: Gilmour attended the Perse School, Barrett and Waters went to the Cambridgeshire High School for Boys, but both were located on Hills Road in Cambridge. As time passed, Gilmour and Barrett both ended up at Cambridge Technical College, where the two lads often practiced guitar together, but Gilmour soon joined the band Jokers Wild, and it wasn't so terribly long afterwards that Barrett, Waters, Nick Mason, and Rick Wright formed Pink Floyd.

By 1967, Gilmour and his former Jokers Wild cohorts Rick Wills and Willie Wilson formed a new group called Bullitt, but Gilmour was still in touch with his friends in the Floyd, although he was surprised when he turned up at the recording sessions for “See Emily Play” and discovered how badly Barrett had been affected by prolonged LSD use. In December 1967, Mason asked Gilmour if he'd consider becoming the fifth member of the Floyd, with Barrett transitioning into a new capacity where he would write songs but not perform with the band. The plan turned out to be a miserable failure.

Not the Gilmour bit, mind you. That actually worked out quite well.

Barrett, however, was far too eccentric to maintain any sort of status within the band, and as Waters has famously said, “He was our friend, but most of the time we now wanted to strangle him.” As such, Barrett was given his walking papers, Gilmour was given the oppor