Comfortably Numb: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd
In July 2005 in Hyde Park, before a global audience of millions, Pink Floyd performed together on stage for the first time in twenty-four years. As even Bob Geldof acknowledged, it was a far bigger story than Live 8 itself. From the moment the metronomic pulse of a hearbeat thudded out to begin 'Speak to Me' to the soaring guitar solo that climaxed 'Comfortably Numb', these four self-effacing men in their late fifties stole the show. Almost a year later, the death of their troubled and reclusive founder-member Syd Barrett made headline news worldwide. Both events signaled a kind of closure to the remarkable tale of one of the world's biggest bands. Now, in the first full-length history of the group for more than fifteen years, Mark Blake tells the story of how a group of middleclass Englishmen conquered the world. Drawing on his own interviews with all of the band members, plus interviews with the group's friends, road crew, producers, former housemates and university colleagues--some of whom have never spoken before--as well as musical contemporaries including Pete Townshend and Alice Cooper, Comfortably Numb follows Pink Floyd all the way from the early psychedelic nights at UFO in the mid-sixties to the stadium-rock and concept-album zenith of the seventies, and finally the acrimonious schism that sundered the band in the 80s and 90s. Along the way there are fascinating new revelations about Syd Barrett's chaotic menage at the time of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, the band's painstaking recording sessions at Abbey Road, and the fractious negotiations to bring about their fragile, tantalizing reunion in Hyde Park.