Pink Floyd's  drummer Nick Mason spoke to an invited crowd at Capitol Records' recording studios in Hollywood, after selections from the upcoming Pink Floyd reissues were played over an impressive sound system.
EMI is going whole hog with the the Pink Floyd catalog beginning Sept. 26, with the re-release of the band's 14 studio albums and a six-disc "Dark Side Of The Moon" box set . CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs and expanded editions are part of the reissue program that will include, on Nov. 7, a five-disc "Wish You Were Here" set.
A few of Mason's observations:
On Pink Floyd's enduring appeal.
"Romanticism and abstraction. People can use their imagination when they listen."
Getting along with Roger Waters and David Gilmour.
"We found a good way to work together. James Guthrie, our engineer since '79, was the focal point and everything went through him. We're quite good at working out what we want to argue about. We isolate the areas we want to work out and whittle it down to three or four songs to argue about. It's a civilized process."
Meeting the Beatles.
"They were in Studio two and we were in studio one recording 'Piper's. Met them while they were recording 'Lovely Rita' and sat at he back of the studio and wondered how do they do it? How do they sound so good?"
The discovery of a recording of "Wish You Were Here" with jazz violinist, Stephane Grappelli.
"One of the triumphs of this enterprise (was finding) tapes I thought had been recorded over. It's a tribute to Abbey Road (studios) how good the quality is. This was from one of those Abbey Road moments when (jazz violinist) Stephane Grappelli was working with (classical violinist) Yehudi Menuhin. Yehudi was to nervous to improvise but it was Stephane's bread and butter."
Highs and low of Roger Waters' early songwriting.
" 'Set Controls for the Heart of the Sun' (from 1968's 'Saucerful of Secrets') is one of my favorites. That's the real blossoming of Roger Waters' songwriting. 'Doctor, Doctor' ('Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk') is one of his less great works. His lyrics are extraordinarily grown up."
On the loss of founder Syd Barrett.
"We found a half-dozen demos from 1965, early '66 and it's amazing to think we survived without him. We changed enormously after Syd left. He was very involved in the (expansive) film score (style songs). There is a that spirit from Syd that still wanders through all our work."
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