Pink Floyd is one of my favorite bands, and I love how they cultivated anonymity at first. As I’ve matured, I’ve found I really don’t like when people try to get attention (I’m guilty as well, for I am truly ashamed at my own desperate antics in the past), and I appreciate that Pink Floyd concentrated on their music. Most people, unless they are big fans, know little of the personal lives of the members.
That being said, I am saddened at the rift between Roger Waters and the rest of Pink Floyd. Egos are too huge. I am also frustrated that so much attention seems to be given to Syd Barrett as opposed to the other members. Yes, I think Syd was essential to the formation of the band at the beginning, but David Gilmour was an improvement in terms of stability and especially in guitar playing. People like to romanticize Syd because of his descent into madness, and he definitely did write some fantastic songs, like “Vegetable Man” and “Dark Globe,” but some glorification goes too far. I saw a music poll where Syd was voted one of the top guitar players of all time and David Gilmour was not even mentioned! Enough! That is ridiculous! David Gilmour truly is one of the best guitarists ever. Ever.
And David Gilmour is my favorite member of Pink Floyd, for, as is always my reason, he seems the most humble. Roger Waters, though I respect and admire his great songwriting talent, even genius (“Julia Dream,” “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” “The Nile Song” – and Nick Mason’s drumming is excellent on that track in particular — “Wish You Were Here,” “The Happiest Days of our Lives,” “Run Like Hell”), does not seem to be humble. (I like Roger Waters, and I can understand his frustration at the band continuing on as Pink Floyd without him, but The Division Bell, with songs like “Marooned,” “Lost for Words,” “Keep Talking,” and the wonderful “Take It Back,” definitely sounds like Pink Floyd and is one of my favorite albums, which only shows that Roger was not indispensable, eroding his claims that he was the driving force that made Pink Floyd Pink Floyd.
Also, I really like the early Pink Floyd, when all four members were contributing more equally, especially the UmmaGumma version of “Saucerful of Secrets” (awe-inspiring!) and Richard Wright wrote some very melodic songs, like the beautiful “Remember a Day” and “Summer ’68” – both of which I absolutely love. “Summer ‘68” is purely amazing. Therefore, although I appreciate Roger Waters’ vast contribution to and vision guiding Pink Floyd, I cannot say that Pink Floyd would not have been Pink Floyd without him alone, whereas I can say that The Who would not have been The Who without Pete Townsend, and I can say that the Beatles would not have been the Beatles without both John and Paul, and Led Zeppelin would not have been Led Zeppelin if even one member were missing). Early Pink Floyd needed Syd Barrett, but the definitive Pink Floyd sound needed both Roger Waters and David Gilmour.
David Gilmour is not only a genius at the guitar and extremely humble, but as an added bonus for all you ladies, he was also very good-looking as a young man. I think he was far better-looking than the supposedly sexy rock gods of that era, like Robert Plant and Mick Jagger. Far, far better-looking. (Maybe this corresponds to “Beautiful Vs. Hot”).
Even more, David Gilmour is one of the most giving people, knowing that his extreme wealth should be used to help others, and he truly does help others. He may not get all the media attention that someone like Bono does, but what he does strikes me as more genuine (I’m not trying to disparage Bono – he’s a good man, but I always prefer people who shun the spotlight).
David Gilmour literally puts his money where his mouth is, but you have to look hard to find out about it. He is not out trumpeting his good deeds. He is just doing them. I think it is easy for celebrities to preach to us and to world leaders about what we should be paying attention to, and raising money (from us) for these causes, or auctioning something of theirs or something they signed (which is the height of being conceited) to raise money, but again, we are the ones paying for it. Not them. I really only value a celebrity’s pitch for a cause if they also donate their own money to it. David Gilmour does (and Angelina Jolie is an outstanding example of this as well).
I love when celebrities recognize that their money, not just their name (for they see themselves as a brand, and of course it only helps them when they are associated with a good cause), should be used for good. Money is tangible and can provide immediate results, an immediate deficit on the part of the giver, at any rate, if not immediate benefits for the recipient. David Gilmour is a successful, talented, giving musician who helps others, and seems so down-to-earth, decent, and humble. What’s not to love?