Only an eternal (foolish) optimistic would have bet on Pink Floyd reuniting for another round. When the veteran British outfit released The Endless River last year, the band’s first record since 1994’s The Division Bell, Gilmour said it would the band’s last. Now the legendary guitarist has told Classic Rock magazine it’s definitely all over for the prog-rock titans.
“I’m done with it. I’ve had 48 years in Pink Floyd — quite a few of those years at the beginning, with Roger (Waters),” he says in the music title’s cover story. “And those years in what is now considered to be our heyday were 95 per cent musically fulfilling and joyous and full of fun and laughter. And I certainly don’t want to let the other five per cent color my view of what was a long and fantastic time together. But it has run its course, we are done – and it would be fakery to go back and do it again.”
If the sad truth is only just sinking in for some of the group’s fans, purists knew Pink Floyd was bound to hit the wall. Keyboardist Rick Wright passed away in 2008, the band’s iconic founding frontman Syd Barrett (the man Gilmour was recruited to ultimately replace) died in 2006 and the surviving members have a turbulent relationship Waters.
When Gilmour spoke with the BBC prior to the release of The Endless River, he said: “Well, Rick is gone. This is the last thing that’ll be out from us,” adding, “I’m pretty certain there will not be any follow up to this. And Polly, my wife, thought that [final song “Louder Than Words”] would be a very good lyrical idea to go out on. A way of describing the symbiosis that we have. Or had.”
He reiterated those sentiments in his latest interview. “To do it without Rick would just be wrong.” He then added: “I absolutely don’t want to go back. I don’t want to go and play stadiums… under the [Pink Floyd] banner. I’m free to do exactly what I want to do and how I want to do it. Obviously I accept there are people who want to go and see and hear this legend that was Pink Floyd, but I’m afraid that’s not my responsibility.”
Floyd, he noted, is “just a pop group. I don’t need it. I don’t need to go there. I’m not being coy or difficult — I just think that at my age I should do whatever I really want to do in life.”
And with that, the 69-year-old is doing what he wants at this stage — going solo. Gilmour’s new album Rattle That Lock will earn a worldwide release on Sept. 18, and will enjoy a push with a bunch of rare North America shows early next year.