Pink Floyd is a legendary rock band that has revolutionized the music industry with their innovative and progressive sound. The band’s music, which spanned genres such as psychedelic, progressive, and art rock, was marked by experimental sounds, conceptual albums, and elaborate live shows. However, the band also had its share of conflicts, tensions, and legal battles, which eventually led to its dissolution in 1995. What happened to the members of Pink Floyd after they parted ways? How did they pursue their own careers in music and beyond?
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Roger Waters: The Conceptual Leader
Roger Waters was the primary songwriter and conceptual leader of Pink Floyd, especially in the band’s most acclaimed albums such as The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, and The Wall. He was also the most outspoken and controversial member of the band, often clashing with his bandmates over creative and financial issues. After leaving Pink Floyd in 1985, Waters embarked on a solo career that continued to explore political and social themes in his music. He released four studio albums: The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking (1984), Radio K.A.O.S. (1987), Amused to Death (1992), and Is This the Life We Really Want? (2017). He also staged several live performances of his Pink Floyd works, such as The Wall Live in Berlin (1990), In the Flesh (1999-2002), The Dark Side of the Moon Live (2006-2008), and The Wall Live (2010-2013). In 2005, he reunited with his former bandmates for a one-off performance at the Live 8 concert in London. He has also been involved in various humanitarian and activist causes, such as supporting Palestinian rights, opposing war and nuclear weapons, and promoting environmental awareness.
David Gilmour: The Voice and Guitar of Pink Floyd
David Gilmour was the lead vocalist and guitarist of Pink Floyd, as well as a co-writer and co-producer of many of the band’s songs. He joined the band in 1968 as a replacement for Syd Barrett, the original founder and leader of Pink Floyd who left due to mental health problems. Gilmour’s distinctive guitar style and voice became integral to the band’s sound and identity. After Waters’ departure, Gilmour assumed leadership of Pink Floyd and released two more albums with the remaining members: A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987) and The Division Bell (1994). He also led the band’s final live tour in 1994. In 2014, he released The Endless River, a mostly instrumental album based on unreleased material from The Division Bell sessions. It was dedicated to Richard Wright, who died in 2008. Gilmour also had a successful solo career, releasing four studio albums: David Gilmour (1978), About Face (1984), On an Island (2006), and Rattle That Lock (2015). He also collaborated with various artists such as Paul McCartney, Kate Bush, Bryan Ferry, Pete Townshend, and The Orb. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest guitarists of all time.
Nick Mason: The Constant Drummer
Nick Mason was the drummer and percussionist of Pink Floyd, as well as a co-producer and occasional songwriter. He was the only member who remained in the band throughout its entire history, from 1965 to 1995. He was also the least involved in the internal conflicts that plagued the band, maintaining good relations with all his bandmates. After Pink Floyd’s breakup, Mason continued to play drums for various projects and artists, such as Robert Wyatt, Michael Mantler, Rick Fenn, and The Orb. He also pursued his passion for motor racing, competing in several events and collecting vintage cars. He wrote two books about his experiences: Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd (2004) and Passion for Speed: Twenty-Four Classic Cars that Shaped a Century of Motor Sport (2010). He also participated in the Live 8 reunion with Waters, Gilmour, and Wright in 2005. In 2018, he formed Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets, a band that performs early Pink Floyd songs from the Syd Barrett era.
Richard Wright: The Unsung Hero
Richard Wright was the keyboardist and vocalist of Pink Floyd, as well as a co-writer of many of the band’s songs. He was a founding member of the band in 1965, along with Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, and Nick Mason. He contributed significantly to the band’s musical style and atmosphere, creating lush soundscapes and harmonies with his keyboards and vocals. He was also the main composer of some of the band’s most beloved songs, such as “The Great Gig in the Sky”, “Us and Them”, and “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”. However, he was often overshadowed by Waters and Gilmour, who dominated the creative direction of the band. He was also the first member to be fired from the band by Waters in 1979, during the recording of The Wall. He rejoined the band as a session musician for the subsequent tour and album, The Final Cut (1983). He then became a full member again after Waters’ departure in 1985, and participated in the making of A Momentary Lapse of Reason, The Division Bell, and The Endless River. He also released two solo albums: Wet Dream (1978) and Broken China (1996). He died of cancer in 2008, at the age of 65.