Personalities | Pink Floyd | The Waters-Led Era (1984) | Key Events
Gilmour’s About Face
When Dave Gilmour began recording his second solo album in France 1983 with Jeff Porcaro (drums), Pino Palladino (bass), Ian Kewley (keyboards) and a host of contributors he appeared to be laying down tracks that would lead him away from the railway station that was Pink Floyd. Musically, About Face was slight, fuzzy fun and at times almost too carefree for its own good, although in retrospect it can be seen that Gilmour was filling up his bucket with creative juices that would be vital when he took on the vacant stationmaster’s role at Pink Floyd central in 1986/87.
Gilmour’s About Face Tour
Gilmour appeared to cross the post-Floyd Rubicon when he became the first Floyd member to undertake a solo tour when he played 70 dates in the UK, Europe and America between 31 March and 16 July 1984. As well as undertaking a raft of press duties and unfurling his solo material there was also space for the Floyd anthem ‘Comfortably Numb’ in his well-received sets. A video of his third night at Hammersmith Odeon was subsequently released on video and was transferred to DVD when the earlier format became defunct.
Dee Harris had been the frontman with Birmingham-based band Fashion whose stripped-down funk cast a ‘Love Shadow’ over the lower reaches of the UK chart in 1983. He met up with Rick Wright and they got on well enough to collaborate on an album that was released under the name of Zee as Identity. Musically, any Floyd fan expecting to hear classic organ drones and melody lines was disappointed as this was, like many an Eighties album, mesmerized by the Fairlight synthesizer and drum sounds that are usually best given a last cigarette before being shot at dawn.
Waters’ The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking
One wonders how the Pink Floyd saga would have developed in a parallel universe in which Mason and Gilmour opted to work on Waters’ The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking demos rather than The Wall. Hitch Hiker became Waters’ first proper solo album, although he deployed a similar team to The Final Cut including Ray Cooper (percussion), Andy Newmark (drums), Andy Bown (keyboards) and with Michael Kamen writing arrangements for the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Heavyweight artillery was also deployed with David Sanborn playing saxophone and Eric Clapton on guitar. With subject matter revolving around dreams, sex and the mid-life crisis this was heavy and lyrically dense material.
Waters’ The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking Tour Begins
The most amazing thing about Waters’ first Hitch Hiking tour of 1984 was that Eric Clapton agreed to play as a sideman. Although the fairly rigid Hitch Hiker material and stunning stage presentation were not ideal for ‘Slowhand’s’ subtle wrist, the magic of musical chemistry was in evidence on Floyd favourites like ‘Wish You Were Here’ and...
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