“Have you altered your tone controls, Dave?”
“Have you altered your volume controls?”
“I don’t think so. Why, what’s different?”
“It didn’t sound as toppy.”
“Well, it must have been as toppy…”
Welcome to another day in the studio with Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters and David Gilmour. This tremendous piece of film, originally available as an extra on the Live At Pompeii (Director’s Cut) DVD, was recorded during the making of The Dark Side Of The Moon and confirms just about everything you ever thought about Pink Floyd.
Waters comes across as a man who has an opinion about everything, and is happy to express it as forthrightly as possible. As an unseen member of the band says as they sit in the Abbey Road canteen, “We all know you’re God Almighty, Roger.”
Undeterred, Waters defends their previous release Obscured By Clouds from manager Steve O’Rourke’s suggestion that its vocals have too much sibilance, claiming that – record collectors take note – there was a problem with the first batch of albums, but that the second run was fine: “And if you can still hear it, you’ve got an extremely overactive imagination!”
For his own part, Gilmour seems entirely used to defending himself against Waters, as he softly admits, “We have some pretty good arguments from time to time, yes,” while trying to keep a straight face.
And with his Derek Smalls-anticipating handlebar moustache, Nick Mason is indeed the lukewarm water between Waters’ fire and Gilmour’s ice: “We share the same sense of humour, to some extent. We lust after money, to some extent…” (He later has to point out this second statement was meant as a joke: “Four less money-minded people would be hard to find,” he claims.)
But it’s Mason who foresees the band’s ultimate fate: “The thing breaks down when one person… feels he could do something better by himself.”
However, it’s not only gold as a close-up of the band’s interpersonal relationships – there’s also some musical surprises as well. We see Gilmour trying to nail a fuzzy guitar part on Brain Damage that subsequently doesn’t get used. There’s also a clip of Gilmour playing through what sounds like the band’s VCS3 synthesiser, with Waters manipulating the controls.
The last word goes to Gilmour, a man who looks content to noodle on his guitar all day. When the studio talkback says they’re hearing some feedback, Gilmour mysteriously adopts a cockney accent and says, “Don’t worry abaht that. Christ, where would rock n' roll be without feedback?"
Watch the footage below.