It’s more than safe to say that Pink Floyd is one of the biggest and most successful bands that has ever existed, to date. Formed in London in 1965, they achieved worldwide admiration and success with their progressive and psychedelic music combined with philosophical lyrics. The original Pink Floyd lineup consisted of: Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Richard Wright. David Gilmour however, joined the band two years later in 1967. Only couple months after Gilmour joined, Syd left the band due to deteriorated mental health. Since 1996, Pink Floyd are part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Enough with the trivia, now lets hear some interesting Pink Floyd facts.
15 Interesting Pink Floyd Facts
15. Pink Floyd wasn’t always Pink Floyd
Before becoming what they are known as today, Pink Floyd had many different names until 1965. At first they were know as Sigma 6. Which was a sextet composed of Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Richard Wright and three other people who later left the band. However, that was just one of the many names the band had before becoming Pink Floyd. Such are: the Meggadeaths, the Abdabs and the Screaming Abdabs, Leonard’s Lodgers, the Spectrum Five and the Tea Set.
Tea Set was supposed to be the final name, but they had to change it again because there was another band with the same name playing on their gig. Apparently, Barrett came out with Pink Floyd shortly after he found out about the name of the other band.
14. The origin of the name Pink Floyd
Influenced by two American blues musicians Pink Anderson and Floyd Council, Syd Barrett named the band in their honor. The name of the band is a combination of their first-names. Luckily he chose their first names instead of their last names. Imagine a band called Anderson Council, that wouldn’t have been even nearly as cool as Pink Floyd.
13. The Dark Side of the Moon is the fourth best-selling album of all time
Not only its the band’s best selling album, The Dark Side of the Moon is the fourth best selling album of all time. As of November, 2018, The Dark Side of the Moon has sold 45 million copies worldwide. However, these are claimed sales. According to some sources the certified number is lower.
12. Bob Klose – Pink Floyd’s forgotten lead guitarist
Bob Klose was part of the very first original line-up of Sigma 6 in 1963. He stayed the lead guitarist of the band until the birth of Pink Floyd. Apparently he wanted to focus more on his studies and quite frankly didn’t like the new type of music Pink Floyd were making under Syd Barrett. Since he was more interested in Jazz and Blues.
Despite his early musical career, Bob went on to become a successful photographer and print-maker.
11. David Gilmour’s houseboat
In 1986, David bought a houseboat called Astoria that was built a century ago. He turned the houseboat into a recording studio. In fact, Pink Floyd’s post-Waters era albums were recorded there. Such as; The Division Bell, A Momentary Lapse of Reason, The Endless River.
10. The first rock band to use live surround sound
Yes, you heard that right. Pink Floyd were the first ones to use live surround sound. They used the Azimuth co-coordinator quadraphonic sound system. Probably one of the main reasons for their uniqueness.
9. Their first single ‘Arnold Layne’ is based on a real person
The odd fellow who steals women’s clothing is actually a real person. Here’s what Roger Waters has to say of this fella
“Both my mother and Syd’s mother had students as lodgers because there was a girls’ college up the road so there were constantly great lines of bras and knickers on our washing lines and ‘Arnold’ or whoever he was, had bits off our washing lines.”
By the way, this single landed them a deal with EMI records.
8. Besides their overwhelming success they kinda “sucked” at singles
Maybe one of the most interesting Pink Floyd facts is the fact that they topped the Hot 100 Singles Billboard Chart only once. And of course their only single to top the charts was ‘Another Brick in the Wall (part 2)’.
7. The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wizard of Oz
When the two are played simultaneously, they are perfectly matched. However, the band has denied any kind of intentional synchronization in the past. Nevertheless, there are still some fans out there who think that it was in fact intentional.
Personally this is one of my favorite Pink Floyd facts.
6. Wish You Were Here album cover is actually real
This the part where Pink Floyd facts get pretty wild.
The album’s cover image which portrays two businessmen shaking hands while one of them is on fire, is real. Ronnie Rondell (the man on fire) wore a fire-retardant suit and actually got lit on fire. Those aren’t some cheap photoshop effects!
5. Roger Waters fired Richard Wright
During the making of ‘The Wall’, Wright had some personal issues and distanced himself from his band-mates. They couldn’t even reach him. Which caused problems and frustration in the band. So, Roger eventually made a move and fired Richard. However, Richard did make a comeback later for the album.
Also, this was the last album made by the same 11 year long spanning line up of Pink Floyd.
4. Syd Barret’s real name
Not many people know that Syd’s real name is Roger Keith Barrett. He was nicknamed “Syd” by his friends after a local drummer named Sid Barrett.
3. As of 2013, Pink Floyd has sold over 250 million records worldwide
One of the most astonishing Pink Floyd facts is that they have sold over 250 million records worldwide. Only Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and The Beatles are ahead of them. What an achievement!
2. “Kids” sued Pink Floyd
Do you remember the kids who sang the chorus in ‘Another Brick in the Wall (part 2)’? Of course you do.
Well, while filming the music video someone ‘forgot’ to pay them. So, 25 years after the song was released the “kids” (now adults), decided to sue Pink Floyd. However, Pink Floyd won the lawsuit and the kids did not receive a dime, once again!
1. Pink Floyd rejected Stanley Kubrick
In 1970, Stanley Kubrick approached Pink Floyd and asked them for permission to use part of Atom Heart Mother album’s title track for his famous film A Clockwork Orange. However, the band denied him permission. The reason? Stanley was going to cut parts of the track while Pink Floyd wanted everything to be included. Otherwise the song would “lose its artistic integrity”. Another reason was the fact that Kubrick didn’t know exactly what pieces of music he wanted to use or what to do with them.
If you know more interesting Pink Floyd facts and want to share them leave a comment down below!