David Gilmour is one of the most important, talented and influential guitarists in the history of rock music. Author of some of the most beautiful songs by Pink Floyd and some of the most exciting solos ever.
During his school years he met Syd Barrett. The two learn to play guitar together, although they are not initially part of the same group. It will be drummer Nick Mason who will propose to David to join Pink Floyd.
After a few hesitations, he accepts, also to help his friend Syd Barrett, struggling with psyche disorders resulting from drug abuse. His main task initially is, in fact, to fix the mistakes of the leader of Pink Floyd in live performances.
Given Syd’s progressive worsening, David slowly became the fourth member of the group for all intents and purposes.
Before knowing the success and wealth, Gilmour didn’t always do well. During the period as a street artist in France and Spain he said he was hospitalized for malnutrition.
Life is strange. Today everybody recognizes hit talent with prizes and honors. One above all? David is an honorary citizen of Pompeii. The award was given to him in 2016, when, 45 years after the famous concert, Gilmour returned to the Vesuvian city performing in the same Amphitheater.
He is essentially known as a skilled guitarist, but the stringed instrument is not the only one of his immense repertoire; he knows how to play, besides guitar, many other instruments: from drums to organ, from piano to harmonica, from banjo to saxophone.
David Gilmour was greatly influenced by Jimi Hendrix, to the point of trying to imitate him. In the album Meddle, the sixth album of the British band, released in 1971, Gilmour has resumed the style of the legendary guitarist, also because he used the same wah-wah pedal that Jimi Hendrix used, a type of pedal that alters the tone and the guitar frequencies to create a very particular sound. That seagull sound you hear in Echoes was achieved by using that pedal. Jimi Hendrix died just as they were working on this album and I think the news hit them a lot.
An heavy downpour once hit their Texas concert. A storm that forced them to perform in a tropical rain. They were playing Run Like Hell and, at the end of the song, David destroyed his guitar, exasperated. The only person who had managed to avoid getting wet in the rain was the saxophonist, because he was at the bottom of the stage and therefore managed to stay dry. When the concert ended, the musician went to put his saxophone in the case: it was at that moment that a part of the ceiling collapsed, causing a real column of water to come down. He was soaked, like in a cartoon.
Before the relationships – both work and human – between David Gilmour and Roger Waters were completely ruined, the two also managed to have fun together. This is what can be seen from one of the most interesting anecdotes in the history of music, which has the two members of Pink Floyd as protagonists. The story is set in Arizona, around the 70s. Roger Waters – laughing and joking with Gilmour – throws him a very special challenge.
“I don’t think you’re a real man”, says Roger Waters to David Gilmour in an attempt to provoke his bandmate. For his part, the Pink Floyd singer tries to defend himself, asking Waters the reason for this claim. At that point the bass player proposes the bet. Gilmour – riding his motorbike – must enter a very crowded restaurant, however, passing through the shop window. So he would prove to be a real man and the other would give him a great deal of money. How did it end? Gilmour won the bet, destroying the windows of the club with his Harley Davidson.
Who knows if he has ever been so rebel even in flights. Few people know that Gilmour is also an expert aviator: his passion for airplanes led him to found a company, Intrepid Aviation, and above all a museum of vintage planes, of which he is strongly passionate.