YEAR 1970

All the pictures shown on this page are identified with the correct date when the informations are available. All the credits are given to the original owner.

Despite the corrections, if errors exist please send me a email (you will be cited as corrector).

JANUARY 1970

The consequences of the Amougies festival (November 1969) are widely reported in the French press. The festival is quickly renamed « Le festival maudit d’Amougies ».

« Salut les copains », January 1970.

January 1970, Beat Instrumental made a focus on the band and express the need of renewal (« Still Progressing But Starting At The Top Again »).

January Roger begins to work for « The Body » soundtrack in his home studio at Islington

Roger Waters by George WILKES, early 1970

Roger Waters by George WILKES, early 1970

Roger Waters by George WILKES, early 1970

From 1 to 5 January 1970: recording sessions for « Zabriskie Point » LP (See this page for more details).

3 January 1970, Record Mirror publish a review of the first Syd Barrett's LP:

« Syd Barrett has returned. Syd left the Pink Floyd over a year ago after writing the group’s only two single hits See Emily Play and Arnold Layne. Since then, nothing. But now, with a new single Octopus under his own name and a debut album due out this month, Syd Barrett is back in the record business. I met Syd in a plush off-Oxford Street office. His hair is as wild it used to be, preserving his former image intact. He talked of when he split with the Floyd. «When we parted i had written everything for the group. My leaving sort of evened things out within the group. Since then i have been doing lots of things - things interesting for me. I’ve done a lot of traipsing around. I’ve been back to Spain - Ibitza (sic). I first went there with Rick three years ago. It’s an interesting place to be. «I’ve written quite a lot, too». Syd, with the Pink Floyd, was the first to emerge from the underground scene centered around the UFO in Tottenham Court Road in 1967.  «Everything was so rosy at UFO. It was really nice to go there after slogging around the pubs and so on. Everyone had their own thing. It’s been interesting to see things turning out the way they have. «During the past six months there have been some very good things released. The best things I’ve bought are the new Taj Mahal album, Captain Beefheart, and The Band». I don’t think any of them have influenced my writing though. I’ve been another review of «The Madcap Laughs» in «The record Mirror»

«Syd Barrett has returned. Syd left the Pink Floyd over a year ago after writing the group’s only two single hits See Emily Play and Arnold Layne. Since then, nothing. But now, with a new single Octopus under his own name and a debut album due out this month, Syd Barrett is back in the record business. I met Syd in a plush off-Oxford Street office. His hair is as wild it used to be, preserving his former image intact. He talked of when he split with the Floyd. «When we parted i had written everything for the group. My leaving sort of evened things out within the group. Since then i have been doing lots of things - things interesting for me. I’ve done a lot of traipsing around. I’ve been back to Spain - Ibitza (sic). I first went there with Rick three years ago. It’s an interesting place to be. «I’ve written quite a lot, too». Syd, with the Pink Floyd, was the first to emerge from the underground scene centered around the UFO in Tottenham Court Road in 1967. «Everything was so rosy at UFO. It was really nice to go there after slogging around the pubs and so on. Everyone had their own thing. It’s been interesting to see things turning out the way they have. «During the past six months there have been some very good things released. The best things I’ve bought are the new Taj Mahal album, Captain Beefheart, and The Band». I don’t think any of them have influenced my writing though. I’ve been writing in all sorts of funny places». Syd’s new album is called «The Madcap laughs». He said: «They’re my particular idea of a record. It’s vey together. There’s a lot of speaking on it - but there’s not a very recognisable mood. It’s mainly acoustic guitar and there are no instruments at all». His future plans are quite simple. «I’m just waiting to see how the records do - what the reactions are - before i decide on anything else». And he had final word about «The Ummagumma» album by Pink Floyd: «They’re probably done very well. The singing’s very good and the drumming’s good as well »

« The return of Syd », Record Mirror, 10 January 1970.

David Gilmour reacts to the release of the album and give some contemporary details about the recording in the French press in January 

David Gilmour:

« Après avoir quitté le groupe Syd devait donc seulement enregistrer, de son côté. Son producteur, l'homme qui a fondé Harvest, Norman Smith, l'a donc fait travailler en studio avec divers musiciens, en particulier Mlke Ratledge et Robert Wyatt du Soft Machine. Mais là les mêmes problèmes se sont posés et ils ont mis un an et demi pour rassembler sept morceaux que l'on puisse mettre sur un disque ! 

Au bout de ce laps de temps, son producteur lui a dit que s'il n'avait pas enregistré de quoi faire un album complet dans les deux semaines, il ne lui renouvelait pas son contrat î ce qui voulait dire que Syd n'aurait pas retrouvé de travail avant des années. Alors Roger Waters et moi l'avons véritablement pris en main, et c'est nous qui avons produit les six autres titres du disque, et qui jouons dessus avec lui. Nous les avons enregistrés en trois jours ! Mais pour cela il a fallu vraiment que nous le fouettions!  C'est à cause de tout cela que cet album est assez imparfait : le prochain sera entièrement produit par Roger et moi. En fait seuls des gens qui connaissent Syd très bien peuvent travailler avec lui et le faire travailler ... » 

« Jusqu'où irons les Floyd ? », Best, March 1970

UK advert by Hipgnosis.

10 January 1970, NEMS announces the Royal Albert Hall’s concert for 5th February

10 January 1970, an extensive article on « More » (the movie and the soundtrack) in the Swiss' newspaper « La Feuille de Lausanne ». The release of this item is considered as an major event!

Poster for the release of the movie in Lausanne, Swiss.

12 January, Syd plays guitar on the first solo single of Kevin Ayers. This song was then called Religious Experience and eventually will be out under the title Singing a song in the Morning (without Syd's contribution). Around this time Kevin thought to form a band with Syd, but the ex-leader of Pink Floyd was too «far away».


Kevin Ayers:

« I went to see him at that flat that was on the « The Madcap Laughs » cover but he was … »

« Syd Barrett: a very irregular head », Rob Chapman

15 January, Recording Session for the «Zabriskie Point» soundtrack. The same day, Nick Mason mix some effects from the EMI's library for the future Atom Heart Mother performances.

The French friend of Roger Waters, Paul Alessandrini dedicated a long article to the band in the January issue of « Rock & Folk », entitled « Quatre garçons en avant »

17 January 1970 Lawns Centre, Cottingham, Hull, England

It was the very first performance of the Atom Heart Mother (who was untitled at this time).

18 January 1970 Fairfield Hall, Croydon, England

« There was a standing ovation, there was an encore … Make no mistake, Pink Floyd are good. More than that, they are originals, and have been so since earlier days when they practically invented psychedelia. They are individually adept as musicians and command a range of instruments. Rick Wright for instance played organ, piano, trombone and vibraphone at Sunday’s concert. Anything can be legitimately used in creating the atmosphere, recourse to heavy timpani, violent assault on cymbal, flogging a gargantuan gong and insistent thumping of fingers on microphone. Pink Floyd are obsessed with the mystery of outer space - Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun and Interstellar Overdrive are two titles - and portray it with imagination. Yet the fact remains that their concert on Sunday was marred by repetitive phrasing, by long unmelodic passages, by monotony … Perhaps with the lighting effects that they have abandoned the sterile patches would not have been so noticeable. Still it was a long concert - nearly three hours - for Messrs. Waters, Wright, Mason and Gilmore to fill. I liked particularly, the contributions of Wright, including funereal excursions of organ playing in the traumatic A Saucerful of Secrets and his unhurried, halcyon piano in Niagara Dellof, which was like a respite from a storm and which was deservedly applauded »

« Concert review », The Croydon Advertiser, 23 January 1970.


« Pink Floyd could be tomorrow's orchestra. They are one of our most experimental groups and they are the most successful. At Croydon's Fairfield Hall on Sunday they proved their music has developed grace and beauty as well as the power it always had. Bathed in pink spotlights, Floyd began with Careful with That Axe, Eugene with its long, ominous crescendo. Their crystal clear sound is cleverly controlled. They lifted the audience with near-hypnotic effects, built things up, and left everyone exasperated. They performed Embryo for the first time in public, and made more of the film theme «More» than any other band. They reverted to rock-blues with Rick Wright on trombone, for a down-to-earth jam. They played new compositions yet-to-be-titled, and an impromptu excursion through time. Pink Floyd are the first four-man orchestra. Each musician is a different section, and their individual creations blend to form one, whole experience »

« Pink Floyd leaders of the underground », Disc & Music Echo, February 1970.


« This was the first gig me and my mates had ever been to and what a choice for first timers (…) On to the evening itself - we had never expected the all-encompassing sound that would engulf us and as the gig unfolded we were continuously taken to a new high. Starting off with Astronomy Domine, a personal favourite, people around us were shaking their hair as the crescendo grew and grew. Later I discovered that they were 'freaking out' as the music took them over. As novices we felt we could not join them at this stage.

I cannot remember the exact order of the songs but I thought they started the second half with the theme from More (although tapes seem to show this was not the case) starting with the slowly growing crash of Water's gong and Mason's cymbals it grew and grew until the familiar bass line, drum beats and then Wright's organ theme played out those familiar notes. Wonderful.

Eugene was another familiar favourite with the anticipation of Water's scream almost tangible. When it did happen those shivers went right down the spine. The heads shook as Gilmour's chiming guitar came in. Biding My Time was an unfamiliar tune but it did feature Rick Wright resplendent in his broad brimmed hat. I sort of knew he played vibes but was astonished when he picked up a trombone and embellished the now familiar song. The Amazing Pudding was introduced as a new song and, regrettably, I don't recall much about it at all. It all made a lot more sense a few months later at the Hyde Park free concert, but that's another story. The concert was over but we clapped and cheered and clapped. 

The concept of an encore was all new to us but what more could we want: A Saucerful of Secrets. The slow beginning of strange weird sounds evolved into a frenzy of cymbal smashing courtesy of Waters as Mason's circular drum motif kicked in. And hey, this Gilmour chap actually laid his guitar on the floor and leaned over it to create these other-worldly sounds.

And then it was over. We were stunned and would be for some time to come. But one thing was for sure we were all huge Floyd fans and would continue to be into our adult life»

« Meddem's memories », Yeeshkul Website, 6 March 2012


It was the very first performance of the embryo.

19 January 1970 The Dome, Brighton, England

21 January 1970, one of very first hint for the future Roland Petit's ballet is evoked in the press. An meeting with Rudolf Nureyev is related …. 

« When work on the score is complete. Floyd begins a short French tour with two days in Paris on January 23, then returns to Britain for Its concert appearances »

« Pink Floyd British Concerts: writing film, music score … », 13 February 1970, Melody Maker

The programme for the Parisian’s shows

23.01.1970 Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris, France

« Et les Pink Floyd ? (…) De mémoire de machiniste, on n’avait pas vu le théâtre des Champs-Elysées comble à ce point. Petit à petit, le public s’est installé jusque sur la scène, de chaque côté. Il y en avait dans les coulisses. Et calmes, attentifs, on pourrait même dire, je crois, méditatifs. La salle avait du talent. 

Elle applaudissait où il fallait, et même son silence était musique. Parce que les Pink Floyd nous avaient ouvert un monde différent: sans light show, sans mise en scène, sans cirque, sans effet, sans agression délibérée dans les moyens d’amplification, sans agressivité inutile, avec une sorte de sérénité qui marche vers son but et qui ne s’en laisse pas distraire, avec une perpétuelle invention sonore, avec une façon tout à eux d’avoir incorporé des bruits naturels et qui deviennent musique - oiseau, mer, et ces pas qui traversent une maison, dont on sent, dont on sait que c’est une maison à la campagne, la planche que l’on scie, le mystère fascinant de certains silences habités qui nous invitent à changer le monde par la qualité de notre attention - avec une science sensible du dosage du crescendo obtenu autrement que par la trop habituelle montée du potentiomètre-volume mais nourri dans la masse sonore et qui atteint des sommets tels que littéralement on se baigne dans la musique, avec un souci naturel de la respiration, des nuances, des contrastes, des couleurs, des formes mouvantes se pénétrant et se défaisant comme des nuages (…) »

« Pink : Rose », Rock & Folk, March 1970


Cameron Watson (Band’s friend):

« The audience couldn’t believe their ears: you could hear the sound going round the room from behind. I was sitting on the stage on Dave’s side. When they began to play the first bars of the Main Theme from More, the audience became almost hysterical. Dave looked round and asked me « Hey! What’s up ? » I said: « Well, you’re like gods here, you know ! » and the concert got better and better »

« Interview w/. Cameron Watson », The Amazing Pudding.

This concert is broadcasted live on radio in the Michel Lancelot’s « Campus ». Some extracts will be rebroadcasted in the show « Radio libre aux Pink Floyd » on 1 May 1982 hosted by François Jouffa and again during the « Musicorama » hosted by the French actor Jean-Claude Brialy, on 30 April 1995.

24 January 1970 Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris, France

Photos by Philippe GRAS

« (…) Aux Champs-Elysées leur musique a laissé une profonde empreinte sur ceux. qui ont assisté à leurs shows. Sur scène, un matériel exceptionnel. Derrière eux, opère un ingénieur du son sur qui repose la responsabilité de la sono composée d'une multitude de baffles sur la scène et dans la salle qui permettent aux sons de l'envahir pleinement. Le concert débuta avec une chanson du style folk jouée et chantée par Gilmore et Waters avec deux guitares sèches.  Puis il y eut le " gimmick » pendant lequel ils prennent le thé. sur scène, des bruits de portes, cris d'oiseaux, grincements parcourant la salle. Mais le délire musical atteint son paroxysme lorsqu'ils jouèrent " A Saucerful of secrets », l'orgue de Wright sortait des sons absolument irréels et d'une rare beauté. 

Les Pink Floyd utilisent des effets de Larsen, de distorsion et improvisent de façon spontanée dans plusieurs de leurs morceaux. Ils se servent des instruments traditionnels aux groupes pop (guitares, batterie, orgue) mais ils en tirent des sons qui n'ont absolument rien de commun avec le classique. Ils exploitent toutes les ressources actuelles de l'électronique qui leur permettent la recherche de sonorités nouvelles. Leur souci majeur étant d'inventer des sons, de créer des ambiances, ils veulent amplifier l'utilisation des bandes magnétiques pré-enregistrées en studio qui leur permettront de créer des sonorités nouvelles qui se mêleront à leur musique. Nul ne sait jusqu'o˘ iront les Pink Floyd, mais ils se classent comme le meilleur groupe actuel de Pop Music et sa valeur est reconnue par tous (…) »

« Les fabuleux Pink Floyd, musiciens du XXIème siècle », La Tribune de Genève, 16 June 1970


«Deux soirs de suite le théâtre des Champs-Elysées, et ce à l'initiative de Norbert Gamhson, a accueilli le Pink Floyd. Deux soirs de suite nous avons vu et entendu cet acte de création totale qu'est cette musique étonnante, merveilleuse, multi-dimensionnelle, qui éclate, murmure, fusionne et semble émerger à la fois de rien et de tout, qui vous enveloppe, vous étreint, puis s'échappe au moment o˘ vous croyez la saisir et vous entraîne alors, dérouté, dans un autre infini, un autre poème, o˘ elle se volatilise à nouveau. Et il ne vous reste plus qu'à vous y abandonner ... 

Me voilà bien lyrique, direz-vous : bien sûr on peut toujours parler des aspects techniques et matériels de cette musique, analyser et disséquer ce que fait le Pink Floyd sur scène, et je vais d'ailleurs le faire, mais presque à contre-coeur car jamais cela ne m'a semblé aussi vain. Certes c'est intéressant, parfois passionnant même, mais ce ne sont jamais là que les composantes matérielles et concrètes et j'allais dire vulgaires d'une création dont elles ne peuvent rendre compte de l'aspect essentiel, qui se situe sur le plan affectif et émotionnel, bien loin de la raison, de la technique et des mots. Des mots je pourrais en aligner beaucoup encore, ce serait vouloir exprimer l'inexprimable: nous sommes là dans le domaine éternel de ce que l'homme peut ressentir, et seulement ressentir, car il ne peut chercher à le traduire ou l'expliquer, dans quelque langue que ce soit, sans en détruire l'essence même. Il en est de la musique des Pink Floyd comme d'un poème de Baudelaire ou de Breton : elle est belle, immensément belle, et la beauté qui s'en dégage se situe en fait bien au-delà de l'aspect formel, en dehors de lui : il n'en est plus que le support, presque le prétexte.  Rassurez-vous, je n'oublie quand même pas que cet aspect formel, je suis justement là pour vous en parler ! Sur la scène, un matériel assez extraordinaire. Dave Gilmore, en plus de la maintenant classique combinaison ampli/pédale wah-wah, utilise pour les effets d'écho un étrange appareil. Basiquement, c'est en fait un magnétophone, dont on n'aurait conservé qu'une seule bobine, remplacée par une simple roue métallique. Cela permet de varier et surtout de contrôler beaucoup plus les effets d'écho et de "loop" qu'avec une vulgaire chambre d'écho, d'autant plus que, bien que Dave m'ait avoué que ce genre de bricolage était déjà utilisé par les Shadows, le sien soit beaucoup plus complexe et lui permette des combinaisons et des recherches de sonorités innombrables. 

D'ailleurs, sur scène, Dave revient continuellement à son appareil pour en manipuler les multiples boutons ! Nick Mason a complété sa classique double batterie par deux énormes timbales et un petit gong, tandis que c'est au bassiste Roger Waters que revient la tâche de "s'occuper" de l'immense gong chinois qui occupe le milieu de la scène. Enfin le laconique Rick Wright disparaît presque entre son vibraphone, son orgue, un complexe et peu orthodoxe système d'amplification, tandis que derrière lui, à une table encombrée d'appareils, officie leur ingénieur du son. C'est sur ces deux hommes que repose la responsabilité des effets de stéréo (le fameux "azimuth coordinateur" (sic)) rendus possibles par la présence, en plus de ceux situés sur la scène, de quatre baffles disposés dans la salle même : deux au fond, un de chaque côté. Tout cela avait bien s˚r nécessité des réglages longs et minutieux pendant les répétitions.  Le light-show a été abandonné : seule l'intensité et la couleur des éclairages varient selon les morceaux (il y a eu d'ailleurs un certain cafouillage le premier soir, les techniciens du théâtre semblant un peu dépassés, au grand désespoir du manager du groupe !). Cela ne veut pas dire que les Floyd aient abandonné la conception de "Spectacle total" (d'ailleurs nous vimes largement la preuve du contraire !) mais simplement, comme l'explique Roger Waters : "Il n'y avait plus grand-chose à tirer du light-show classique, mais nous avons des projets dans ce domaine : nous préparons des films, des effets lumineux sur le gong .. Cette idée de spectacle total est très importante pour nous, et je crois qu'il y a beaucoup de possibilités à explorer dans ce sens. Nous ne voudrions pas cesser de faire de  la scène, c'est quelque chose de très différent du studio, un tout autre domaine d'expression, et même sur le plan strictement musical les problèmes sont différents. En particulier il ne faut pas utiliser les mêmes dynamiques sur scène et en studio, cela ne rend pas du tout pareil : c'est d'ailleurs ce que trop de groupes ne réalisent pas ... Il y avait une foule incroyable pour voir le Pink Floyd, et cela les deux soirs. Or parmi cette foule des anarchistes et des gauchistes (samedi soir j'ai retrouvé là des amis qui venaient droit de Beaujon où on leur avait "offert l'hospitalité" après qu'ils aient occupé le Centre d'Education Active !) voulurent et en grande partie réussirent à rentrer de force, sans payer (oh, les vilains ...). J'étais curieux de savoir ce que les Pink Floyd eux-mêmes pensaient de ces manifestations qui prouveraient bien, s'il en était besoin, que leur musique, plus encore peut-être que celle de n'importe quel autre groupe, s'inscrit dans un contexte d'opposition à la culture de notre civilisation, et donc à cette civilisation elle-même. Mais les Floyd, comme la majorité des musiciens anglais, à l'encontre de beaucoup d'Américains, ne semblent guère avoir de conceptions politiques vraiment affirmées, et sur ce plan ils ont une espèce d'aveuglement et de naïveté qui contraste étrangement avec la richesse de leur imagination artistique. " Bien s˚r, chacun de nous a des idées politiques, quoique nous n'en discutions guère, mais aucun de nous n'est un révolutionnaire. Pourquoi voulez-vous que nous le soyons, en Angleterre ?  

Nous n'avons pas de répression, nous pouvons faire ce que nous voulons, et il n'est pas besoin d'avoir recours à la violence ... Nous avons insisté auprès de notre firme de disques pour que notre double album soit vendu moins cher que normalement et nous l'avons obtenu,  mais nous ne pouvons quand même pas donner nos disques : on ne nous laisserait plus enregistrer! Vous savez, de toutes façons jusqu'ici tout ce que les Pink Floyd ont gagné, que ce soit par les disques ou les concerts, a être re-dépensé en matériel ! Personnellement, je n'ai actuellement pas de quoi me payer une maison à moi ! En fait c'est seulement à partir de maintenant, avec les musiques de films (deux déjà : «More » et « Zabriskie Point » d'Antonioni dont le disque sortira en mars) que nous pouvons espérer faire des gains véritables ... »

Le concert fut à peu près le même les deux soirs. Il débuta sur un très joli morceau, très folk, joué et chanté par Gilmore et Waters avec deux guitares sèches. Puis, surprise, un morceau très rapide et violent, blues, presque hard-rock ... Mais c'est seulement à la fin de ce morceau que les Floyd commencent à jouer leur musique avec un morceau à base uniquement de percussions : la batterie de Mason, le vibraphone de Wright, les deux autres avec des blocs de fonte, frappés à coup de maillet, et bien sûr Waters avec sa scie et son morceau de bois... Ensuite c'est le fameux moment du thé, qu'on leur sert sur scène, sur fond de musique douce. Réponse de Gilmore à qui je faisais remarquer qu'ils auraient pu en offrir au public : " Nous n'avions pas assez de sucre... et je ne suis pas Jésus ! D'ailleurs le public peut très bien apporter son propre thé ... » Et il ajoute : «De toutes façons ce n'est qu'un gimmick ... ».  Un gimmick peut-être, mais génial de toutes manières, de même que ces bruits de portes qu'on ouvre et de pas qui, grâce à la stéréo, font le tour de la salle plongée dans l'obscurité ! 

Puis, après un morceau de " More », c'est Saucerful of Secret, dans sa dernière extrapolation. C'est prodigieux et inexprimable. Gilmore est à genoux, penché sur sa guitare : les sons qu'il en tire, comme ceux qui naissent de l'orgue de Wright, semblent totalement étrangers à ces deux instruments.

Le Pink Floyd est le seul groupe dont la musique semble évoluer en dehors de tous les courants et les modes qui les environnent. Ils font leur musique, la créée, et c'est tout : jamais on ne peut vraiment parler d'influences, même si la formation classique de Rick Wright est évidente, ou si Waters et Mason s'intéressent à la musique concrète (les deux autres beaucoup moins d'ailleurs). Ils ont des go˚ts très variés, en pop', en jazz, en classique, mais aucune influence particulière. Ils sont, je crois, le seul groupe dont on est obligé de dire : il y a une musique Pink Floyd, 

faute de pouvoir la rattacher à un genre précis. Ils n'ont pas à véritablement parler de méthode de travail particulière, ou plutÙt ils les utilisent toutes, avec une liberté d'esprit et de créativité totale. Il suffit que l'un d'eux lance une idée, or ils n'en manquent guère ! De même pour les improvisations : ils les construisent aussi bien autour d'un thème donné, comme en jazz, que librement ... La deuxième partie du spectacle nous permit de retrouver et de nous laisser emporter par trois autres classiques des Floyd, là aussi dans leur dernière élaboration î car pour eux un morceau n'a jamais de forme définitive : Let there be more light, le merveilleux Set the controls for the heart of the sun et, entre les deux, Astronomy Domine, de Syd Barret (sic) (…) 

Jusqu'où iront-ils ? Nul ne peut prévoir une musique qui n'est qu'à eux ... Ce qui est certain c'est que jamais aucun groupe ne m'a laissé une telle impression de saisissement et de bouleversement profond. J'étais dans la musique des Floyd comme dans un autre monde, où tout n'était que beauté, et il était bien difficile de retrouver le réel ...  »  

« Jusqu'où irons les Floyd ? », Best, March 1970

31 January, a seminal article entitled « Confusion and Mr Barrett » by Chris Welch is published in Melody Maker:

Barry Wentzell:

« Chris Welch and I went along to do a quick interview with Syd at his managers office. We were a bit apprehensive, as stories of Syd's behavior of late seemed bizarre. When we got there, we were met by a very upset guy who said Syd had locked himself into a room and he wouldn't come out. Oh dear! It seemed the stories were true. Chris and I spoke to him through the door and tried to convince him that we were his friends and that everything was ok. He slowly opened the door and ushered us in quickly shutting and locking the door behind us. He stood there looking very frightened, muttering, Those people out there are aliens, and are after me! We tried to tell him that they were his management and friends and they cared about him, as do we. He seemed unconvinced, and I took this dark side of Syd pictures and managed to persuade him to let Chris and I out and that we'd send help. He took the key from his pocket, unlocked the door. We escaped and Syd locked himself back inside »

« Hairy Mess », The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit Website, 1st February 2013

Late January 1970 David Gilmour first talk of Atom Heart Mother (the track) in the January issue of Melody Maker entitled « Pink Floyd, the electrical wizard who care »

FEBRUARY 1970

2 February 1970 Palais des Sports, Lyon, France

Pictures by Philipp GRAS (left) and Georges VERMARD (right))

Second appareance of the band in Lyon. Originally planned at Le Théâtre du VIIIème but eventually rescheduled for a bigger place


«Lorsque j'appris que Pink Floyd, prévu dans le cadre de l'abonnement pop music du Théâtre du Huitième, se produirait en fait non sur la scène de ce dernier mais au Palais des Sports de Lyon, je ne réalisai point d'abord l’envergure de l'entreprise. Mais plus tard, lorsque l’on m’apprit que le Palais en question (moi et les sports...) absorbait environ 12 000 personnes, j'ai éprouvé une sourde angoisse l Pourtant la gageure que je craignais impossible aura été tenue, grâce au «Huitième» et avec l'aide de «Art et Charité» (qui fait revenir Soft Machine — en quintet cette fois — à la fin de février). La publicité faite autour du concert avait contribué à amener quelques 10000 personnes]: pas de «trous» dans la salle (oufl).

Pas 10 000 fans des Pink Floyd sans doute: beaucoup étaient là parce qu'ils avaient lu ou oui-dire que ce serait « l'événement de la saison jeune» (sic), parce que «More» a un énorme succès à Lyon (comme ailleurs). Peu importe, ils étaient là et, si l'on excepte les quelques-uns (d’âge avancé) venus avant tout pour voir un public de « pop—musique » (et ils purent d'abord se réjouir ou se lamenter tout à loisir: «Tu as vu celui-là» c'est une fille, non? »), l'écrasante majorité des autres resta jusqu'à la fin… et sans souffrir apparemment (re-ouf). Il était important me semble-t-il de situer les conditions de ce concert sans précédent en province (à ma connaissance) et peut-être même à Paris car il n'y avait là qu'un nom pour autant de monde. Ce nom - Pink Floyd - aura donc enfin acquis la popularité qu‘il mérite depuis si longtemps ... Programme à peu près similaire celui du concert au Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. Je n'avais pu écouter de celui-ci (sur «Campus ») que la première partie. « The Man ». Je signale au passage qu'il ne s'agit pas précisément d'une création puisque le groupe donne cette représentation épique (épique bien qu'elle relate du plus simple: la journée d'un homme) depuis son concert au « Festival Hall » le 14 avril 69 (voir épisode à Plumpton également). Impression peut-être subjective: cette « journée » m'a parue plus courte à Lyon qu'à Paris *; peut-être ont-ils éliminé quelques longueurs ? Le lever du jour (Waters magnifique), le travail (avec anecdote la colère de ce même Waters à cause de la scie qui ne veut pas prendre sur un bois trop dur «Be (sic) careful with that saw, Roger »), le thé (assez bref, heureusement), l'amour (assez long, avec un solo inhabituellement « ras-terre » de Gilmour) et surtout la nuit, avec ses innombrables cauchemars et fantasmes.

Enfin l'air de « Cymbaline», applaudi d'entrée. Enchantement ... Curieux tout de même comme l'apparence physique du personnage de David a changé : beaucoup plus négligée qu’avant. Qu'importe, il semble être resté aussi disponible et avenant. Sur scène, il garde cet aspect un peu craintif et sauvage qui le met parfois un tant soit peu mal à l'aise si le projecteur l'isole. Il préfère nettement rectifier ou parachever le réglage de son ampli, qui est posé par terre directement, un peu en retrait, rendant la guitare tour à tour discrètement rythmique ou agressivement aiguë et violente. Après un entracte qui vit notamment affluer une partie du public contre la scène et une certaine confusion en résulter, deuxième partie avec principalement les succès spatiaux que l’on connaît: « Astronomy Domine» d'abord (toujours signé Barrett), pendant lequel les baguettes de Nick Mason éclatèrent littéralement les unes après les autres par la furie des coups en gerbes étincelantes (sous le feu des projecteurs... auxquels nous reprocherons par ailleurs un manque de souplesse). Beau, calme et indifférent, Richard Wright, musicien original. âme polyvalente du groupe, organiste savant et constructif mais également éblouissant au Vibraphone avec un jeu tout de finesse (écartant la virtuosité gratuite fréquente sur cet instrument), classique derrière l'immense Steinway ou bien grand sorcier projetant un environnement de sons fantastiques en maniant une sorte de moulin à café électronique! L’immense coupole qui abrite l'édifice allait-elle dans un de ces sifflements grandioses se transformer en monstrueuse soucoupe volante? « Set the controls for the heart of the sun »; etc, etc. (autant d'interprétations magistrales) ... Jusqu'au dernier titre, qui n'en a encore pas d'ailleurs«car il a été créé il y a une semaine » ** (et ça se voit, les nombreux échanges de regards-signes entre les musiciens trahissent l’absence de cette formidable mise au point instaurée ailleurs), morceau très beau, avec des voix qui se croisent dans le cosmos, suggérant encore l'infini et la plénitude (oui, les deux) de la musique de Pink Floyd. Commentaires ultérieurs des «amateurs» et de ceux qui les avaient vus déjà au «Huitième» en octobre 1968: certains pensent «qu’avant, ils vivaient mieux leur musique» - difficile à affirmer - d’autres ramènent à toutes occasions que «ça serait meilleur avec un light-show» (avec du concentré de tomate). Ne soyons pas trop difficiles ! Les Pink Floyd ont beaucoup gagné en technique (je ne parle évidemment pas des «accessoires»; là, ‘est évident, le système de bandes pré-enregistrées est employé à son plein effet !): ainsi David Gilmour prend des solos beaucoup plus déliés et assurés, Nick Mason est aujourd’hui éblouissant et Rick Wright l’a toujours été. Les voix sont meilleures aussi, plus musicalesCe merveilleux spectacle de Pink Floyd restera encore gravé dans beaucoup de mémoires. Il aura peut-être suscité des enthousiasmes, voire même «élargi des consciences» ?. Une date en tout cas pour la POPularisation de la pop music»

«Pink Floyd: à Lyon», Rock & Folk, March 1970.


* It's not actually the case because the band only played « The Man » on both gigs.

** This is Atom Heart Mother which had no title at this time and who was presented to the French public by Gilmour by this way.


The noisy audience is one of the reasons for Nick's later skepticism about the fact to playing in France. An audience member will testify this:

« Je tenais à vous faire part de ma déception à la suite de l'attitude du public lyonnais lors du concert du Pink Floyd le 2 février au Palais des Sports. Comme disait ma grand-mère : «de la confiture donnée à des cochons ». Un lecteur dont vous avez publié la lettre dans le dernier numéro terminait ainsi: «Espérons que le Pink Floyd qui vient prochainement sera à la hauteur ». C'est aujourd'hui qu'il peut mesurer (s'il a assisté au concert bien sûr) toute la dérision de ce souhait d'ailleurs fort légitime. Car comment demander au Floyd d'être à la hauteur lorsque l'on a affaire à un aussi pauvre public que celui qui envahit l'arène du palais des sports et qui fut loin de l'être, lui. Un public venu là parce qu'il y avait un groupe anglais à l'affiche. Parce que le journal du coin (cf. Le Progrès) avait, dans de généreux entrefilets explicatifs, qualifié d'événement de l'année à Lyon le passage de ce groupe " d'Outre-Manche », l'un des plus grands au dire des spécialistes. Ben voyons. Un public dont on peut à coup sûr affirmer que ses réactions auraient été semblables en face de n'importe quel orchestre de troisième ordre qui leur aurait distillé de la guimauve vaguement rocketneurollesque. Un public incapable de dépassement qui ne vit pas de différence entre «A saucerful of secrets » et «Nana he he kiss him good bye ». Un public ne voulant ni se taire, ni …écouter, auquel Waters dut lancer des «please » pathétiques avant de pouvoir interpréter, de manière splendide au demeurant, son «Grantchester meadows ». Un public qui se fit agressif et railleur lors de l'exécution de " The man » (eh bien s˚r, on était loin du sirop tiphon des bals du samedi soir). Certains spectateurs î mais qu'étaient-ils venus faire là î poussèrent même l'indécence jusqu'à gueuler des «cinéma » et des «chiqué » à gorges rabattues. Public ridicule, applaudissant aux moments les plus inopportuns, restant muet quand il e˚t fallu clamer son enthousiasme. Non, décidément, le public français n'est pas mûr pour ces manifestations pop dont beaucoup pourtant souhaitent avec ardeur qu'elles deviennent de grandes rencontres de jeunes partageant le même enthousiasme, unis fraternellement comme le disait justement un autre lecteur, dans cette musique qui est la vie même. Faudra-t-il toujours aller à Wight ou à Woodstock pour être comblé? Si le public français est à la traîne, il faut qu'il s'éduque, et vite. Car le ver est dans le trop beau fruit pop et menace de le g‚ter. Ce serait trop bête non ? »

«Courier», Rock & Folk, March 1970

3 February, many projects are detailed on the issue of Melody Maker called « Pink Floyd British concert; writing film, cartoon scores ». The most interesting is the unreleased animation movie « Rollo » (See this page for more details).

5 February 1970 « Cardiff Arts Centre Project Benefit Concert », Sophia Gardens Pavilion, Cardiff, Wales

On February 1970, photo session at Wimbledon by Michael Randolph.

NEMS’ advert for the coming English tour.

The band photographed prior the London shows

The band set a new show for the Albert Hall gig by playing rare tracks and by the add of a drum percussion kit, used for the first time 


Roger Waters:

« Un batteur qui se trouve devant une batterie classique, qui a une formation normale, a toujours tendance à retrouver les mêmes réflexes, et à réaliser les mêmes constructions rythmiques : celles du jazz, du rock … 

Et c'est ce qui se passe avec Nick. Aussi nous allons peut-être remplacer sa batterie classique par un kit de percussion de notre création : une sorte de cadre métallique sur lequel seraient disposés divers instruments de percussions et au milieu duquel se trouverait le batteur. Ainsi nous espérons pouvoir aller plus loin dans le domaine rythmique »

« Jusqu'où irons les Floyd ? », Best, March 1970

7 February 1970 Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London, England

« From rhythm and blues to where The Pink Floyd are now took them four years. It also took in a vast change of musical direction as witnessed at Saturday's concert at London's Royal Albert Hall. The watershed in their music was when Syd Barrett left. He had written their hit parade songs and was the influence behind material such as Corporal Clegg on the « Saucerful Of Secrets » LP. Now the Floyd have left the stage far behind as « Ummagumma » and Saturday amply demonstrated. They started with a number never before performed called Embryo. Augmenting their basic group sound of lead and bass guitars, drums and keyboard was a mass of electronic equipment, gongs, triangles, cymbals and a whole Stonehenge of amplifiers. The music was tight and controlled yet very free in its concept. It is probably nearly as far away from orthodox pop music as Stockhausen, from which it borrows so much atmosphere. Their second number was the  score to the film « More » with an incredible amplifier which produced a 360 degree stereo effect in the hall. Not their most successful composition, « More » nevertheless demonstrated how close the group were to producing an extended work in the European symphony tradition with extensive use of collective improvisation. The blues traces of the group have been well assimilated and produce the soul of the Floyd's music never any direct influences.

The second part of the concert started off with a quiet, rambling piece written originally for Antonioni's « Zabriskie Point »* film. It was a dignified and moving piece of music written apparently for a riot scene! The band followed it with one of their best known pieces Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun from their « Saucerful Of Secrets » and « Ummagumma » albums.

Almost a religious piece, it started out with the gongs creating a broad base for the key phrase of the composition. It was met with rapturous applause. Perhaps this is the Floyd's most successful song with Dave Gilmour chanting the lyric out in a background of. a science fiction sounds. They followed it with an untitled piece they have performed only a few times before which led to a demand for an encore which they performed for twenty minutes using every.aid they could lay their hands on. So the concert came to an end. And Pink Floyd have shown once again that they are one of the most significant groups in the country ». 

« Pink Floyd concert », Record Mirror, 14 February 1970.

* It was already well-know The Violent Sequence was an outtake from the « Zabriskie Point » sessions


« The electricians of Pop, Pink Floyd, filled London’s Albert Hall on Saturday, proving that nearly 6,000 people will still pay basically to hear four-year-old favorites. As far as their equipment goes, they are definitely still unique by sheer one-upmanship. Speakers placed at intervals round the Albert Hall made listening from the centre a sensation, as the sound spun round one's head (…) »

« Pink Floyd stay One-up », Record Mirror, 11 February 1970


« Most pop groups, when handed the Albert Hall for an evening, try to fill every cranny with sound, but on Saturday for once the Pink Floyd respected its emptiness by using it as a vast sounding chamber, sometimes flooding it with noise, more often sending out select waves of sound which seemed to quiver in the great space of the hall. But then the Pink Floyd are now different from most pop groups — almost alone they have the desire and ability to add electronic effects economically, to think of their music in terms of pure sound and, most important, to build up each number gradually and painstakingly, instead of plunging straight into the action. This process isn’t so much architecture as abstract improvisation. For instance, the first number in the second half started with reverberating drumming, like amplified heart beats, which was gradually overlaid by magnified hissing and growling, this fading back to the drumming and then down to very soft sounds from the vibraphone, eventually reaching after about ten minutes a hard rock theme. Even this, it turned out, was not the meat of the number, which was provided by the long soft piano interlude that followed.

Their music in fact has exactly the same effect as the interplay of colour in a light show; the sounds merge and change like abstract images, the throbbing guitar entries for electronic intrusions came stabbing in just like startling splashes of crimson or orange. It isn’t surprising to learn that they have already done the sound track for one film and that the number just described was commissioned though never used for Antonioni’s latest venture. In a sense, the Pink Floyd are their own film. For all this a group has to be integrated and they are, to the extent hat the naming of names and praising of solos would be irrelevant. Whether the end result has any importance is quite another matter; this kind of music of the universe, with cosmic space fiction overtones, is not half so relevant as music from one’s own backyard and the effects fade as soon as one leaves the concert hall. But at the time it works beautifully and this is probably exactly what they want to achieve »

« Light and Sound », Times, 09 February 1970

Pictures of the rehearsals

Special article on the Dutch « Pep » magazine on February, 7th

08 February 1970 Opera House, Manchester, England

9 February 1970, « Zabriskie Point» is released in USA. Premiere at the Coronet Theater, New York City.

David Gilmour:

« My parents live in New York and i asked my mother to see the film twice when it opened over there to see what we sounded like and how much of us remained. I have yet to hear from her »

« Pink Floyd - The electricals wizards who care! », February 1970, Melody Maker

Unused poster for the 1970 American release by Milton Glaser

11 February 1970 Town Hall, Birmingham, England

« At their best, Pink Floyd get as close to anybody I know to playing the Music of the Spheres. They are, through skillful manipulation of textures, able to create an atmosphere which transcends the actual notes they play, lifting them into another context. But they aren’t perfect, as their Albert Hall concert las Sunday night demonstrated. They are quite fallible, capable of errors of judgement and, sometimes, bad playing. Richard Wright’s Syssyphus, for instance, had its opening and closing theme statements almost ruined by David Gilmour’s slipshod pitching, and Wright, all of whose downbeats arrived separately like raindrops in the barrel. In addition, a long untitled number in the second half featured far too much random noise-making on gongs and other percussion devices, while A Saucerful of Secrets might have been retitled « Can i have my cymbals back ? ». One notice these errors far more with the Floyd because so much of their music is based on controls and precision, qualities which they usually manage ti combine with their very human feeling. So it’s a surprise when they choose to shatter the mood which they crate with such care and attention to detail. These niggles apart, the concert was beautiful. They began with sirens and searchlights sweeping the domed roof before going into The Embryo, a new song with a characteristically simple melody and interesting words. The guitar of Gilmour slashed and whined during this number like an intergalactic Steve Cropper and his singing was soft-restrained and perfect. The main theme from « More » grooved beautifully, stated by Wright’s blipping keyboard and the third number (I think it was Eugène) was a very far-out trip for voices and microphones. Sysyphus ended the first half, saved by Wright’s thundering piano. A long multi-sectioned work, including a rather inconclusive piano piece written for Antonioni’s film « Zabriskie Point » constituted much of the second half, and highlights were a melodic vibes solo and a pleasant medium blues, the classic Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun, taken slower than usual, followed up, and the inevitable encore was a rousing Saucerful of Secrets. The ending to this, with Wright’s heavenly organ joined by Gilmour’s chanting, is invariably one of the mist beautiful things you could hear ». 

« Pink Floyd », Melody Maker, 14 February 1970.

14 February 1970 King's Hall, Town Hall, Stoke-On-Trent, England

« At their best, Pink Floyd get as close to anybody I know to playing the Music of the Spheres. They are, through skillful manipulation of textures, able to create an atmosphere which transcends the actual notes they play, lifting them into another context. But they aren’t perfect, as their Albert Hall concert las Sunday night demonstrated. They are quite fallible, capable of errors of judgement and, sometimes, bad playing. Richard Wright’s Sysypus, for instance, had its opening and closing theme statements almost ruined by David Gilmour’s slipshod pitching, and Wright, all of whose downbeats arrived separately like raindrops in the barrel. In addition, a long untitled number in the second half featured far too much random noise-making on gongs and other percussion devices, while A Saucerful of Secrets might have been retitled «Can i have my cymbals back ?». One notice these errors far more with the Floyd because so much of their music is based on controls and precision, qualities which they usually manage ti combine with their very human feeling. So it’s a surprise when they choose to shatter the mood which they crate with such care and attention to detail.

These niggles apart, the concert was beautiful. They began with sirens and searchlights sweeping the domed roof before going into The Embryo, a new song with a characteristically simple melody and interesting words. The guitar of Gilmour slashed and whined during this number like an intergalactic Steve Cropper and his singing was soft-restrained and perfect. The main from «More grooved beautifully, stated by Wright’s blipping keyboard and the third number (I think it was Eugène) was a very far-out trip for voices and microphones. Sysyphus ended the first half, saved by Wright’s thundering piano. A long multi-sectioned work, including a rather inconclusive piano piece written for Antonioni’s film «Zabriskie Point» constituted much of the second half, and highlights were a melodic vibes solo and a pleasant medium blues, the classic Set the COntrols for the Heart of the Sun, taken slower than usual, followed up, and the inevitable encore was a rousing Saucerful of Secrets. The ending to this, with Wright’s heavenly organ joined by Gilmour’s chanting, is invariably one of the mist beautiful things you could hear ».

« Pink Floyd », Melody Maker, 14 February 1970.

Early 1970, Storm Thorgerson set a photo session at the Palm Court of the Kew Gardens, London.

Photographies by Storm Thorgerson.

One of the first « Zabriskie Point » review in the english press: Record Mirror, 14 February.

The band is shot in Liverpool

15 February 1970 Empire Theatre, Liverpool, England

17 February 1970 City Hall, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England

24 February Gilmour’s participation to the Syd Barrett session for the «Top Gear» radio show (broadcast: 14 March 1970). 

Macom Jones:

«Syd was offered a ‘live’ session by Top Gear, and the recording was broadcast during late February. Elsewhere there was precious little airplay either for the single or for any of the album tracks. Radio was even more charts oriented than it is today with only a couple of ‘rock’ programmes per week, and the initial sales of a couple of thousand were largely through word of mouth based on Syd’s reputation. I recently found a sales figure sheet dated 27th February, showing that, in almost two months, « The Madcap Laughs » had sold just over 6,000 copies. Not bad! »

«The Making of The Madcap Laughs », Malcom Jones, 1988

Session sheet

28 February 1970 « Endsville '70 », Refectory Hall, Leeds University, Leeds, England

Photographies by John Rettie.

MARCH 1970

The French magazine « Actuel » dedicated a long review to their festival of Amougies with two articles « Festival Pop » (12 pages) and « Amougies, c’est fini » (11 pages)

2 March 1970 EMI Studios, London, England. Recording sessions for « Atom Heart Mother »

Photographies by Ron Geesin.

Ron Geesin:

« It would have been around the time of finishing the music for « The Body » in March that Nick and Roger first asked me if I would do something with a tape they had compiled at EMI Abbey Road Studios. None of the group could read or write music in the conventional sense, but they wanted « something big » »

« The flaming Cow - the making of Pink Floyd’s Atom Heart Mother », Ron Geesin, The History Press, 2013.

5 March 1970 « Zabriskie Point » is released in the United Kingdom.

Première of the movie at the Empire Theater, Picadilly Circus, London.

In the meantime, Barbet Shroeder want to work with the Floyd again for his next project:


Interviewer: « Avez-vous des projets ? Pensez-vous travailler encore avec les Pink Floyd ?»

Barbet Schroeder: « Oui. je prépare un film, mais je ne sais pas encore comment cela va se passer musicalement. puisqu'il y a des séquences en son direct et d’autres non»

«La tête de «More»», Actuel, March 1970

Roger and Judy Waters, 1970.

6 March 1970 Great Hall, Imperial College, London, England

7 March 1970 «Bristol Arts Festival - Timespace», Univeristy of Bristol, Colston Hall, Bristol, England

« The Floyd’s Saturday show was something from an underground siesta. Tea time at the weekend isn’t exactly the right moment to suffer the violence and intensity of a Floyd concert (it commenced at 3.00pm). Their music’s so involving, sometimes overpowering, that the time of day should have been a positive disadvantage. It didn’t matter too much however. They somehow generated the right enthusiasm and turned a lazy afternoon into a full, now and again, frightening experience. 

This show had its faults. The volume on a couple of their disturbing destructive numbers was quite terrifying, enough to make you feel physically ill. Maybe that’s what they were after. But in their melancholy numbers - particularly the ‘Main Theme’ from More - they created a sumptuous atmosphere of sadness and regret. The music was effective and it was a thoughtful, worthwhile show »

Bristol Evening Post

8 March 1970 Mothers, Erdington, Birmingham, England


« If I could travel back in time to just one Floyd show that I attended, it would be this one (ok, well maybe after the 67 show with Syd, which HAS to be number one – I mean…..Syd 30 feet away AND Interstellar Overdrive AND a decent light show). For this show, I can’t separate the show from the venue and it was probably the latter that made it so special. Yet another school friend was living in Birmingham and had become a regular at Mother’s club somewhere on the outskirts. All the big names were playing there and the Floyd had, as everyone knows, recorded some of Ummagumma there. Anyway, he contacted us and said they were back…..did we want to go? No hesitation and tickets were duly bought. A couple of us hitch-hiked down there and stayed over with him. Well, the outside wasn’t what I expected of Britain’s premier music venue….. a bit of a shit-hole to be honest (Google it). I need to describe the inside though. It was up a flight of stairs and the room upstairs was pretty small. It was L-shaped (I think) with a small bar at the back. The stage was about 18 inches off the floor and very….er…compact (read ‘tiny’). Immediately in front of the stage were 2 rows of seats. In my mind I can picture theatre-type seats, fixed to the floor but, for all I can remember, they may have been free-standing school-type seats. There were about 15 seats in each row and, apart from that, it was all standing. I’d guess the place might have held a couple of hundred people tops (I’m sure someone will come in to say it held 5,000 – I don’t know, but it was VERY small). Now the optimum places were probably either in the seats or standing at the bar. We didn’t hesitate, the front row was already taken so we grabbed some beers and sat in the middle of the second row of seats……. about 4 feet from the edge of the stage which, as I say, was only about 18 inches high. Perfect!

When the band came on, they were about 6 feet in front of us (look at the room you’re sitting in now and imagine 6 feet away, on a stage 18 inches high!) – it was like watching them in your own front room. Yes, there were about 200 people standing behind us but they weren’t in our eye-line – the Floyd were playing just for us 30 or so sitting in the seats! The stage was small so they were pretty packed in on it. Roger was in particularly good form, chatting and introducing each number – I got the impression that he enjoyed the venue. Being so close we could really see everything they did. I remember Dave sitting down by his foot controls for ASOS which was an incredible version (was it really ‘incredible’ or was it just because it was all so close up?). Even though we were right up to the stage, the sound was very clear, despite being loud. Had we had a tape deck it would have been a great recording. [No point saying "if only"]. Atom Heart Mother was again the highlight of the show. It really was a great version and this WASN’T just because we could see Dave and Rick performing it right in front of us – we were all buzzing about it when we came out. I do think Roger said it would be on their next LP and I’m sure he gave it a name but it wasn’t Atom Heart Mother – maybe it was The Amazing Pudding? [It’s not always clear where my actual memories stop and ‘inherited memories’ (ie. what I’ve since heard and read) start but, in all these posts, I’ve tried to err on the side of caution and only include things I’m certain I witnessed]. The Embryo was also a more polished, tighter, version than the one in Manchester and I started to warm to it (although I can easily take it or leave it these days). I have no other real memories of individual songs but my abiding memory is of a superb show, great sound, extremely close up, in a very intimate atmosphere (oh, and the beer wasn’t bad either) »

« Recollections of Early Floyd Shows » (Simond), Yeeshkul Website, 8 March 2015


It is the first time the band play a «blues» as encore. They’ll repeat this kind of improvisation the next years on stage.

9 March 1970 City (Oval) Hall, Sheffield, England

11 March 1970 Stadthalle, Offenbach, West Germany

12 March 1970 Kleiner Saal, Auditorium Maximum, Hamburg University, Hamburg, West Germany


« Eine « Elektronische Klangorgie » verspricht das Kommunikationszentrura Johnsallee, Veranstalter eines Konzertes mit Seltenheitswert, das morgen um 20 Uhr im Audimax über die Bühne geht. « Pink Floyd » heißt das Quartett junger Musiker aus Großbritannien, die sich seit 1956 immer mehr zu motorischen Schrittmachern der avantgardistischen Musik entwickelt haben- Das Konzert, das mit einer Lightshow verquickt wird, soll zweieinhalb Stunden dauern (…) » 

« Pink Floyd spielt morgen im Audimax », Hab, 11 March 1970.

the band, backstage at the Berlin shows.

13 March 1970 Konzert Saal, Technische Universität, West Berlin, West Germany (two shows)

14 March 1970 Syd Barrett speaks to the « New Musical Express »

Syd Barrett:

« After I left the group i just spent a year resting and getting the album together (…) I didn’t do much else at all, some painting and thinking about getting a band together. I’ve got a lot of ideas I want to explore later (…). Making my own album was fine because after two years away from the group I didn’t have to lead on from anything, I want to discover now if it’s possible to continue some of the ideas that came from a couple of tracks on the first album » 

« Syd speaks out - at last! », 14 March 1970, New Musical Express

14 March 1970 Grosser Saal, Meistersinger Halle, Nuremberg, West Germany

15 March 1970 Niedersachsenhalle, Hannover, West Germany

Photos session in the streets of Stockholm by Roger Tillberg.

19 March 1970 Stora Salen, Stockholm Konserthus, Stockholm, Sweden

Photographies by Claes Murman.

« Pink Floyd's performance at Konserthuset Thursday night was at times brilliant, at times quite ordinary. However, the group's originality makes the positive impression stand out. Pink Floyd's stage performance is a mixture of horror, visions of doom, space music and the joy and excitement of sound. The group seem completely fascinated by their own ability to create peculiar sound and [hisnande klanger]; they have basically left the psychedelic and are now more like an experimental sound workshop. Let's start with the best: the two movie compositions for «More» and Antonioni's «Zabriskie Point» were absolutely fantastic. Guitarist David Gilmour's singing during the first was of high class, and Richard Wright's piano during the second was lyrical and consumptively beautiful.

Pink Floyd used a compelling quadrophonic effect during «More». Speakers that were placed around in the Konserthuset made footsteps and sounds wander in the back of the audience.

However, during the more «ordinary» parts, the group is relatively limited without being bad. Their control of the technical is perfect, but musically it can at times get rather flat. With the exception of parts where Wright's organ playing is combined with the vocals to an original and powerful completeness, for example during the wonderful end of "Saucerful of Secrets".

But otherwise one respect Pink Floyd without boiling over with enthusiasm. In an encore, a blues, they showed exactly that: Very competent but nothing you go sleepless over »

« Brillant - at times », Dagens Nyheter.


« It was a powerful sound that was created by Pink Floyd at Konserthuset Thursday night. They used high volume, but through the music's weight and variation the volume was never seen as something negative. Pink Floyd is a group. The members are hardly noticeable, only their music. When this works, the group is something of the most powerful one can experience today. Their well arranged pieces are in those moments electrified feelings that forces itself on the audience with enormous power. There were moments Thursday night when this happened, and they were memorable. When Pink Floyd's music doesn't work, it's no fun task being an audience. The lacking emotional moods in the music slows everything down to a boring level with an almost drowsy effect. There were also moments like this during the night. However they couldn't take away the positive overall impression of « Ummagumma » ».

« Pink Floyd - Powerful pop », Svenska Dagbladet

Photographies by Gunnar SJODIN.

20 March 1970 Akademiska Foreningens Stora Sal, Lund, Sweden

21 March 1970 Tivolis Koncertsal, Copenhagen, Denmark


An interview of Roger and Nick recorded two days earlier by Swedige Radio is broadcasted on the « Radio Sweden's Saturday Show » presented by Roger Wallis

Due to flight delay, the 23 March recording session is cancelled

24 March, while the band works on the Atom Heart Mother track with Ron Geesin, Syd Barrett accompanied by Geoff Mottlow make an appearance on studio

30 March 1970 « Le Festival Musique Évolution », Le Bourget, France

Photography by Francis GROSSE.

« In « Le Bourget » airport, the first French Pop Festival took place last week (...) Quality was rather low average ans attendance fairly good»

« France », Cashbox, 25 April 1970


«Au Bourget, a eu lieu le premier festival de pop music en France. Un festival qui, à la vérité, ne pouvait dire son nom et se cachait sous le titre de Festival musique - évolution 70 ". Un festival presque "à la sauvette", sans publicité,  avec les Pink Floyd, Edgar Brougthon, Ginger Baker et les Pretty Things. Le folklore était là avec les sacs de couchage, les couvertures multicolores, les tuniques bariolées et les peaux de bête. 

Mais la sérénité presque surnaturelle des visages de l'île de Wight ou de Hyde Park faisait place ici au vide et à l'ennui. Ce que l'on appelle la "mentalité pop" n'était pas au rendez-vous du Bourget ».

« Mentalité pop et excès de lyrisme », Le Monde, First April 1970


« Particularly exasperating as the Pink Floyd play a vey subtle music which demands silence » 

Cited in « Pink Floyd », Rick Sanders, 1976.


Roger Waters:

« Mais Le Bourget était mieux organisé que la plupart des festivals du continent »

Cited in « Télégrammes », Rock&Folk, May 1970

Nick, backstage by J-P LELOIR.

28 March, « Melody Maker » announce the line-up for the forthcoming festival « Extravaganza’ 70 ». Syd Barrett is not yet included

Late March, The March issue of the French musical magazine « Rock & Folk » dedicate a long number about the french gigs of the band.

« Pink Rose », Rock&Folk, March 1970.

Roger and David playing Mahjong, the inspiration for the future A pillow of Winds. Photographies by Nick MASON.

AVRIL 1970

On April 1970, Nick Mason 


Nick Mason

« Whilst we were in the studio recording the drum part for the «Breast Milky» section of «Atom Heart Mother», I hit upon an idea which, in the future, proved to be a useful labour-saving device in the studio for many years. I played the drum part for the bit where the group come in and play with the horns in 4/4 (…) I played that drum part behind the band and put it down on tape, then by using different tape speeds and occasionally editing and looping the tape, I managed to use the same drum track for the rest of the pieces on the album. (…) I managed to use the same piece of tape for the drum tracks on all the albums up until 'The Wall'. Dave (Gilmour) would come back from the studio with tapes of whatever they'd been working on and by using the vari-speed on my Revox at home I'd just speed up or slow down my bit of drums tape to fit whatever they'd done. (…) Well, some criticism has come my way, suggesting unkindly that there are deficiencies in my technique, that I only know one drum part! I know more, but I've never used them - only this tape because I enjoy editing more than drumming - also I’m the World's laziest drummer! Occasionally, of course, I used backwards cymbals and suchlike, mainly to disguise the fact that I haven't had my drums set up in the studio since the end of April 1970 when we completed '...Mother »

« Interview w/. Nick Mason », Rock and Role, 1985

Photographies by Ron Geesin.

2 April 1970 The band fly to USA. In New York, David Gilmour goes to buy a Black with Rosewood Neck Fender Stratocaster to the famous Manny’s Music Store. Gilmour purchases a Fender 1000 pedal steel during the US leg of « Atom Heart Mother tour ».

Tape cover of the demo sent by the group to Ron.

Tape cover of the demo sent by the group to Ron.

The band is photographed at the Howard Johnsons Motor Lodge in New York the afternoon before their show.

A major step for the band: Pink Floyd play the Fillmore.

David Gilmour:

«We are renting the Fillmore ourselves and it has sold out. Originally Bill Graham who runs the place offered us a 40 minute spot with three other groups »

« Floyd in the Pink! », 11 April 1970, Melody Maker

9 April 1970 Fillmore East, Manhattan, New York City, USA

« Pink Floyd, the four-man group from England which for some time has been heard orbiting in the vast reaches of rock music’s outer limits, is an unusual group indeed. Even in an age when rock groups seemingly proliferate like fruit flies, it can be said that Pink Floyd is the only group of its kind performing, at least within the rock designation. Pink Floyd appeared live at the Fillmore East on April 19* (sic). They brought their axes, their wall of amps and their tape recorders with them. As the crowd settled itself in its seats, the Fillmore became alive with sounds of chirruping birds and insects, which made the theater resonate for a few dark moments like some mysterious glen. Pink Floyd, both live and on record, is one of the few groups who use pre-recorded sound in an effort to make more creative uses of electric amplification. This is almost enough by itself to put Pink Floyd in the realm of “quasi-serious” music, though the group also uses these electronic effects to illustrate some of the simpler or more conventional (if that’s the word) themes in rock. The first song of the evening, for example, was Roger Waters’ Grantchester Meadows, a soft, descriptively lyrical set of passages with Waters and David Gil mour performing both vocally and on the guitar.Next was some music by Richard Wright on piano. The piece was originally designed for «Zabriskie Point» as a soundtrack to go with the pictures of the riots at Berkeley, although the music had been ultimately edited»

« Pink Floyd Fillmore », Columbia Daily Spectator, 15 April 1970

*Actually, the 9th


«Pink Floyd appeared live at the Fillmore East on April 19. They brought their axes, their wall of amps and their tape recorders with them. As the crowd settled itself in its seats, the Fillmore became alive with sounds of chiruping birds and insects, which made the theater resonate for a few dark moments like some mysterious glen (...) The first song of the evening, for example, was Roger Waters' Grantchester Meadows, a soft descriptively lyrical set of passages with Waters and David Gilmour performing both vocally and on the guitar. Next was some music by Richard Wright on piano. The piece was originally designed for "Zabriskie Point" as a soundtrack to go with the pictures of the riots at Berkeley although the music

had been ultimately edited from the film before its release. Wright, who was perhaps too little in evidence elsewhere in the concert, was more subdued in concert than he was in Floyd's last album, UMMAGUMMA (re: Sisyphus). He was nevertheless moving and quite unexpectedly so. Wright's pensive, winding phrases evoked a different set of images about Berkeley than one might have envisioned. The last number before intermission was "A Saucerful Of Secrets," in which Waters and Gilmour (through the electric din and Nick Mason's swirling percussion effects) were superb as "celestial voices," though one may have enjoyed the album cut better because of Wright's "Wal-purgis"-like work on the organ in the record version. One other thing was revealed: though Pink Floyd uses a full complement of electronic devices and echo chambers to reproduce much of their sound, those high-pitched, scarcely-human wails one hears in such numbers as

"Careful With That Axe," and "Eugene" (which opened the second set) were actually produced live onstage by Waters himself. With Pink Floyd it's sometimes hard to know where the human voice leaves off and the mind takes over. Then came the almost raga-like "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun," with Gilmour's guitar droning on and on into endless space, Mason's cymbals flashing like Saturn's rings and Waters chanting, almost inaudibly "Little by little the night is around..." After a standing ovation for what was a good, if not exceptional (for Pink Floyd) performance, the group encored with a version of "Interstellar Overdrive" that sent the audience vibrating out of their seats, through the doors and out into the night air of the city. Some of us, leaving reluctantly, felt that we had left something behind in the theater that, alas, had to remain there»

« Fillmore: Pink Floyd », Columbia Daily Spectator, 15 April 1970


«Try to imagine the loudest noises your mind can concur up: sticking your head in a jet engine of a 747 as it revs for take-off; sun bathing next to an active volcano at the moment it begins to erupt; putting up the volume of your stereo to full, clamping on your headphones, and letting Frank Zappa freak out right in your head. Those are paltry efforts at imagined extremes of volume. Pink Floyd’s sound is at times louder than can be imagined and they are reality. At other times their music is quiet and peaceful. The combination or blend is unique.

The group works at large productions, often taking as long as twenty minutes for one number. During that time they work at setting a whole mood that flows from usually gentle beginnings to frenzied climaxes using all sorts of feedbacks on organ and guitar, as well as booming, crashing percussion and soaring bass. Almost the whole audience was wiped-out as they bobbed on Pink Floyd’s surging sea of sound—and that was a great trip for some and disaster for others. Depending on how much one is open to their rather avant-garde techniques in music (or how high your resistance to pain is) is the deciding factor of enjoyment. Pink Floyd can be your friend or your friend. The four members are creators-artists using standard rock instruments to produce effects that are usually left in the studio. From “Embryo,” to music they did for a French film called “More,” to “Careful With That Axe, Eugene” (also called “Come In Number 51, Your Time Is Up” when it was used in “Zabriske Point”), they have perfected their artistry in their genre of feedback, tape delay/replay and other mind boggling audio effects.

One final word, if you plan to attend one of their concerts, obtain rear seats instead of those up front, for the sake of your sanity and your stirrup, anvil, hammer and eardrum»

« Talent on Stage », Cash Box, 18 April 1970


The band meet Arthur Max, light operator resident for the Fillmore. impressed by his work, the band will ask him to join them on the 1972 Japan tour and the following (their collaboration will ending at the 1974 British Winter Tour).

10 April 1970 Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, USA

« Midnight was the right time for Pink Floyd to start. The British rock and regn group didn't have their light show Friday at the Aragon, but the sound headed straight for time-warped dreamland. Several San Fransisco groups go farther into the psychedelic jungle. Few leave the listener free to swing with the blood-sea tides. Pink Floyd plays it simple all the way, Rick Wright has a gimmicked set of keyboards which ran produce a considerable battery of inter-modulated electronic sound. All of the microphones are similarly equipped. In such stroundings a slow roll on a large gong can be a wizard thing to sway multitudes. Sibilants die lingering deaths in reverberations limbo, eradicating their parent words as impossibly precise. "Green is the Color" is asked in an impressionist, linguists haze. A lot of groups going the experimental route get trapped in their apparatus pushing the music to cuter sonic limits. The Floyd goes toward nuclei, using the gear to ornament and elaborate elemental fragments of child-like melody in basic waves - changing vibrato, altered harmonix subtle fluctuations in volume. Their sets are long, arching reminders of music's primal power potential. The final one was built on a broken chord pattern right from the piano classics»

« Floyd's midnight raga », Chicago Tribune, 13 April 1970.

11 April 1970 Richard and David speak to the « Melody Maker » about the past and the future of the Floyd

« We’re not an aggro group, We have a lot of self-control, although Roger can get through some violence on stage. If we were a violent group, we would have had some punch-ups by now. We have been in a few bother-ups. We’ve got some new material. There is one new number which will last half an hour, which hasn’t got a title yet* (…) I feel we are getting stale. We tend to play on stage what we have been playing for years. But we don’t just generate one mood in our performances. In fact our music is a lot less on one level than in many other groups. That’s something I find boring about a lot of heavy groups who are just very heavy and very loud.  We had a lot of opposition to us from the Business at first. The Business lust didn’t like us at all. They thought the whole thing was a joke and that the whole UFO thing was a joke. Our only real problem is the time factor. We just don’t have enough time to do all the things we want. We are working too hard incredibly hard since last November. Our next album probably won’t be out for some time and in the meantime we are. working on producing Syd Barrett’s next album »

« Floyd, in the Pink! », Melody Maker, 11 April 1970.


David Gilmour:

«We open at the Fillmore East on Thursday. Our last tour was okay - pretty good really. This time we are taking the Asimuth (sic) Co-Ordinator with us. They have never heard it before. This tour should be a lot better organised. Last time we staggered about trying to get gigs … there were so many hang ups(…) I don’t know is the tour is important to us or not. I like America - for short spells, but not too long. Las time, we lost money. If you can make it through a first American tour intact, the chances are you will survive anything »

« Floyd in the Pink! », 11 April 1970, Melody Maker 

* A reference to Atom Heart Mother

11 April 1970 The Gymnasium, State University of New York, Stony Brook, USA

The band shot backstage by Ron GOTT.

12 April, American reporter set an interview with the band before the Boston show.

12 April 1970 Boston Tea Party, Boston, USA

16 April 1970 Fillmore East, New York City, USA

« Pink Floyd appeared live at the Fillmore East on April 19* They brought their axes, their wall of amps and their tape recorders with them. As the crowd settled itself in its seats, the Fillmore became alive with sounds of chirping birds ans insects, which made the theater resonate for a few dark moments like some mysterious glen (…) The first song of the evening, for example, was Roger Waters’ Grantchester Meadows, a soft, descriptively lyrical set of passages with Waters and David Gilmour performing both vocally and on the guitar. Next was some music by Richard Wright on piano. The piece was originally designed for «Zabriskie Point» as a soundtrack to go with the pictures of the riots at Berkeley (…) »

« Pink Floyd Fillmore », Columbia Daily Spectator, 15 April 1970 


Nick Mason:

« On the first tour of 1970 the most significant show had to be playing the Fillmore East in New York. Bill Graham was not sure we could fill a 3,000-seat theatre, especially as our last date in the city had only been a 200-seater club*, so instead of promoting the show himself he rented the theatre out to us for $3,000. We sold out. It was the most money we had made (…) »

« Inside Out - a personal history of Pink Floyd », Nick Mason, 2005.

Paul MCCartney releases his first solo album


David Gilmour:

« Of course, I'm a great fan of the Beatles and am impressed by their sound. I think we'll be getting good stuff from them for many more years—singly or as a group.  But I must admit that I was disappointed with Paul McCartney's lone effort. It was slapdash, and pointless. I know Paul can do great things alone, and I can't understand how he could put out such junk » 

« Pink Floyd group featured in concert », The Los Angeles Times, 26 October 1970

17 April 1970 Electric Factory, Philadelphia, USA

18 April 1970 Electric Factory, Philadelphia, USA

« Pink Floyd appeared live at the Fillmore East on April 18th. They brought their axes, their walls of amps and their tape recorders with them. As the crowd settled itself in its seats, the Fillmore became alive with sounds of chirping birds ans insects, which made the theater resonate for a few dark moments like some mysterious glen (…)  The first song of the evening, for example, was Roger Waters’ Grantchester Meadows, a soft, descriptively lyrical set of passages with Waters and David Gilmour performing both vocally and on the guitar. Next was some music by Richard Wright on piano.  The piece was originally designed for « Zabriskie Point » as a soundtrack to go with the pictures of the riots at Berkeley (…) »

« Pink Floyd Fillmore », Columbia Daily Spectator, 20 April 1970

22 April 1970 Capitol Theater, Port Chester, USA

24.04.1970 Eastown Theater, Detroit, USA

Photographies by Charlie AURINGER

25.04.1970 Eastown Theater, Detroit, USA

28 Avril 1970

The group was scheduled for a concert on April 29th.  John Coney (the director of the concert and co-producer) then asked that the concert be recorded as part of the show « The 10 o'Clock Mix » but it was canceled at the last moment. The producer then found the money to produce a show called « One Hour with Pink Floyd » with a supplementary budget to produce some additional special effects (created by Larry Armstrong). The show was recorded live with video cameras to reduce costs through a mobile studio parked in the parking lot next door. The installation was performed live and recorded on videotapes 2 inches. Not broadcast until Jan. 26, 1971.


« Their current American tour, however, makes one forget any lapses in judgment in the past and presents the British group as one of the most innovative and technically superior groups on the scene. And they’re accomplishing this by being highly selective on their gigs; playing about half-as-many dates as the standard tour usually consists of and appearing alone on the bill … sort of «An Evening with Pink Floyd»

The reasoning for the above stems from the inherent technical nature of the group. They make more use of electronics (as opposes to electricity), tape devices and multi-channeled sound reproduction (both on record and in person) than all of their contemporaries combined. And to have this sound come out to perfection, an awful lot of setting-up and testing is necessary. This would be virtually impossible if they were sharing a bill with two other groups; there’d be too much moving of equipment on stage and not enough time. In any case, the group and the audience would suffer. That’s essentially what happened during prior Floyd tours.

But not this time. With enough time and space to work with, the Floyd have brought to America their newly-formulated Azimuth Coordinator, an electronic sound system which makes use of the quadrophonic sound principle; in other words, the sound emits from four channels instead of the regular two with stereo. This “wrap-around-sound” is exactly the vehicle Pink Floyd has needed all along to best convey their highly eclectic, highly galactic journeys.

The idea of a one-man show is not unique in rock. The higher-priced acts (Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Doors, etc.) have been doing it continuously, usually succeeding, however, more in demonstrating their self-indulgence than in showcasing their talents. Bo the one-artist gig has its limitations; it’s most successful with truly creative and multi-talented assemblages … like the Floyd »

«Notes form underground», Record World, 16 May 1970


Jim Farber:

« I’m amazed we got it done. We did it on such a shoestring, and it all came together at the right moment. 

They really wanted to do it, we wanted to do it, and we got a good performance. You could take out certain little glitches, but I kind of like it for its roughness. ‘Cause it was a reflection of who we were at that time. The ‘60s were still very alive in San Francisco in 1970, and the thing that I loved about KQED is that you had a public television station, but the people on the staff were exceedingly hip. The amount of energy that was being generated at KQED at that time was remarkable »

While the US tour will continues to the West coast, some of David about this first leg:

David Gilmour:

«We're terrified by what we may face down there. Even in New York, we are constantly heckled because we wear our hair long and don't wear conventional clothes. I understand Texans are especially intolerant of youngsters that look the way we do (..) The individuals we meet in the music business are very nice. They don't care what you look like. They respect talent and couldn't care less how you wear your hair and clothes But most other Americans are different. I find this a very frightening country »

«Pink Floyd group featured in concert», The Los Angeles Times, 26 October 1970

Late April - Early May 1970, Rehearsals sessions at the Capitol Studios of Los Angeles

01.05.1970 Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica, USA

6 May1970 University of California Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, USA

«Pink Floyd did their bit for peace by giving a free concert at California University, L.A. It helped calm down a riot situation and was attended by 10,000 students and even the National Guardsmen, complete with helmets, riot shields and rifles»

«Pink Floyd’s bit for peace», Melody Maker, 16 May 1970


Jim Farber, the main producer of the special KQED TV Show travelled with band to get some additional footage, without success.

Jim Farber:

«(This free concert) was really a disaster»

KQED Website, November 2017

9 May 1970 Terrace Ballroom, Salt Lake City, USA

12 May 1970 Municipal Auditorium, Atlanta, USA

Photography by Bill FIBENN.

15.05.1970 The Warehouse, New Orleans, USA

The band occured many technicals problems with the Azimuth Coordinator system during the show.

16.05.1970 The Warehouse, New Orleans, USA

After this show, the hired truck parked at the Royal Orleans Hotel with all band’s equipment was stolen. The subsequent gigs in Houston, Dallas Kansas City and Cincinnatti are therefore cancelled.

Richard Wright:

«We had all our equipment stolen in New Orleans, all £12,000 worth of it. We got on the radio and on television and the truck (...) was found found abandoned with all our gear, except for three guitars, intact»

«The group that came in cold», Record Mirror, 20 June 1970


Nick Mason:

« We sat down at our hotel thinking: « Well, that’s it. It’s all over » We were pouring out our troubles to a girls who worked at the hotel and she said here father worked for the FBI. The police hadn’t helped us much, but the FBI got to work and four hours later, it was found »

Melody Maker

David flew back to London but made a stop in New York at Manny’s Music to buy a new Stratocaster to replace a similar guitar his parents bought him for his 21st birthday,. The Black Strat was originally a sunburst colour, but had been repainted black at Manny’s.


David Gilmour:

« It was legendary. It was a very New York experience — the sort of thing we English boys had seen in films. It’s hard to describe, but it was a wonderful place »

« Questions with David Gilmour », Christie’s, April 2019

29 May 1970 The soundtrack of «Zabriskie Point» is released in the UK, and failed to chart.

The movie « Music Power » is released in France

JUNE 1970

June 1970, release of a sampler by EMI with the unreleased track « Embryo » (without the band’s agreement).


Gilmour

« Embryo was a track that we recorded in about '68 or '69 and we never finished. We all went off it for some reason. We never actually finished the recording of it. EMI got Norman Smith I think to mix it, and they released it without our okay, and that's one of the very very few tracks that we never actually finished »


Waters

«  Honestly, I can't remember ... it still dates back 20 years (…) It's not a song I'm proud of ... that's why it was never released on an album . It came out, I think, on a compilation ».

« Interview with Kevin Hilleré », ANZ Rocksat, Mai 1988.

The « 1970 Holland Pop Festival » is officially announced in Netherlands

5 June - 15 June, EMI Studios, London: the band is working on « Atom Heart Mother». Syd Barrett made a quick apparition during the recording process 


Ron Geesin:

«He turned up during a break, he breezed in, in a long coat, spun round a couple of times, and disappeared. Someone said: «This is Syd Barrett». I didn’t even know who he was. I had a vague notion that he had been a member of the group and had left, but that was all. There was no idea of someone with talent or who had done a lot of work or anything, it was just: there he was and there he wasn’t»

«Pink Floyd: The Making Of Atom Heart Mother», TeamRock Website, 9 October 2013

Photographies by Frances GEESIN.

6 June 1970 « Extravaganza '70 Music & Fashion Festival », Olympia Exhibition Hall, London, England

Photographies by Ray STEVENSON.

« The following day, backed by Gilmour and Shirley, Syd played live on the last day of the « Extravaganza ’70 Music and Fashion Festival » at the Olympia in London. He referred to the festival in interviews as ‘this Wembley thing’. Asked about a return to live performance, Barrett admitted it « would be nice. I used to enjoy it, it was a gas, but so is doing nothing. It’s art-school laziness, really. I’ve got this Wembley gig and then another thing in summer. I’ll be getting something together for the Wembley thing and then just see what happens.

The ‘Wembley thing’ was an initiative by organisers of an odd music and fashion festival at the Olympia Exhibition Hall. Through Bryan Morrison, who organised and promoted the festival, there was pressure on Syd to play. Bo Diddley and many others were on the bill. Also playing that night was Syd’s mate Meic Stevens. Nervous, Syd had not performed live since the pier in Hastings. He was plagued by indecision to the last moment. ‘He was going to do it, he wasn’t going to do it.  Finally we said, « Look, Syd, come on, man, you can do it! » Jerry Shirley recalled. The trio took the stage, scene of Syd's last big stand with his old group. 

Shirley played drums, Gilmour, bass, and the impromptu group performed ‘Terrapin', ‘Gigolo Aunt', ‘Effervescing Elephant' and ‘Octopus'. 

Plagued by inaudible vocals, someone from the audience shouted, ‘We can't hear your voice!' Syd was having

 difficulties making himself understood in day-to-day life, and once again he was onstage shouting. By ‘Octopus’, the mixing board problems were solved.  Barrett's voice breaks through, like a record leaping out of static on Radio Luxembourg. The trio sound fantastic.

‘It got good,' said Shirley, ‘and then after “Octopus" Syd said, “Oh great, thanks very much," and walked off! We tried, you know.' Shirley did a hurried drum  roll to disguise Barrett's sudden exit »

« Syd barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark globe », Julian Palacios


Gilmour

« We’d rehearsed four or five songs. We did what we’d planned to do. Did he walk offstage?  Nothing would surprise me with Syd. If he did finish abruptly and take his guitar off, then I would have taken mine off »

«Syd barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark globe», Julian Palacios


John Edginton:

« There was a lot of anticipation, “First sighting of Syd! Live performance by Syd Barrett!" We got to the third number.  Syd stopped and walked off. It wasn't one of those, “I'm a rock star who's walking offstage!" and throws his guitar down in a moment of drama.  It wasn’t remotely fashionable. All he did Radio Luxembourg. The trio sound fantastic ». 

« Syd barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark globe », Julian Palacios

16 June, Since their collaboration with the cult movie makers Antonioni and Shroeder,  the very serious Swiss newspaper «La Tribune de Genève» dedicated a complete article to the band for the first time.

« Depuis quelques mois, tous les amateurs de Pop Music ont les yeux tournés vers quatre Anglais aux conceptions musicales révolutionnaires: les « Pink Floyd ».  Ignorés il y a encore peu de temps, ils ont connu la consécration grâce à la musique du film « More.» de Barbet Schrœder. D'une qualité et d’une richesse très rare, cette composition a tout de suite été appréciée du public. Depuis les Pink Floyd ont été de succès en succès : la sortie de leur album double « Ummaguma » a été couronnée du Grand Prix de l’Académie Charles Cros, et ils ont écrit la musique d’un nouveau film d’Antonioni :

' « Zabriskie Point ».

« Les Fabuleux Pink Floyd », La Tribune de Genève, 16 June 1970

20 June, A rare and exclusive interview is given by Richard Wright to « Record Mirror »:

« Seven weeks in just too long to be away from anyone you want to be with », he explained. « It isn’t just that though. In America today there is an almost frightening feeling of fear among people, particularly young people as we all know. But it is having some very strange effects. First of all it pushes young people and old people further and further apart, so that they are both suspicious of each other with no real reason. Then there is the incredible antagonism about long hair. They didn’t bother about us ... their attitude was ‘you quaint olde English are always doing eccentric things’ ... it doesn’t matter.

« But young Americans with long hair are regarded as dangerous. The whole hippie thing has turned a somersault, too. 

Now some of the people who were the leaders of the Love Generation have bought guns to protect themselves » Surprising,  there was no violence during the group’s concerts, «You could say that we made it in spit of pop music» said Richard Wright, thoughtfully munching the last mouthful of eggs, bacon and tomato. He didn’t mince words, though. He went on: «Our success is 99 per cent attributable to our music. It has nothing to do with images, hit singles or sex» Nevertheless it was a long, hard grind: it took Pink Floyd almost four years to make it to the stage where they could play a seven week concert tour of America AND make money out of it. And that ain’t bad. For dozens of groups who slip across the Atlantic on the quiet, intent on making a quick killing, overlook the skyrocketing expense of it all. At the end of two similar tours in ’68 and ’67 Floyd got back to England found that they had actually LOST money on the trips. (…) And it was a seven week tour, too long the Floyd have since decided. Next September the group goes on another USA tour, this time for three weeks.

«Seven weeks in just too long to be away from anyone you want to be with», he explained. «It isn’t just that though. In America today there is an almost frightening feeling of fear among people, particularly young people as we all know. But it is having some very strange effects. 

First of all it pushes young people and old people further and further apart, so that they are both suspicious of each other with no real reason. Then there is the incredible antagonism about long hair. They didn’t bother about us ... their attitude was ‘you quaint olde English are always doing eccentric things’ ... it doesn’t matter.

“But young Americans with long hair are regarded as dangerous. The whole hippie thing has turned a somersault, too. Now some of the people who were the leaders of the Love Generation have bought guns to protect themselves»

Surprising,  there was no violence during the group’s concerts, Richard said:«The audiences during our concerts were very good. The critics were magnificent ... we didn’t get one put-down during the whole tour.” It was a far cry from the days four years ago when the group each had about £5 per week to live on. ‘The times we thought about jacking it all in. I was living off Juliette and nothing seemed to work for the group»

He met the rest of the group through the London Polytechnic where he was studying architecture. He had previously studied music at the London College of Music for a year and a half and really got into pop music with an early Beatles number “Tomorrow Never Knows”. «There weren’t any really formative things in music for me early on. I suppose if I was ever really influenced it was by people like Miles Davis»

For the next fortnight the group will be working on a new LP. One of the sides is to be orchestrated and the group hopes to take a choir on tour with them to perform. During July the group plays six major British festivals, then they holiday in August and set off for America again in September. At last, it seems, Pink Floyd have come in from the cold»

« The group that came in from the cold », Record Mirror, 20 June 1970 (extracts)

The Bath festival was the biggest event for the English music scene in 1970.

Various posters for this event.

27.06.1970 « Bath Festival of Blues & Progressive Music '70 », Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, England

Photographies by Bruno DUCOURRANT

It was the first time the band played Atom Heart Mother with choir and orchestra. Gilmour use his Black Strat for the first time

«More than 100,000 pop fans were still in this sleepy town today after a weekend of singing and dancing emptied the area of food and drink.

Britain's biggest festival of jazz and blues, on a 112-acre site, was crammed with 150,000 people to hear progressive music by leading pop groups.

Police said the fans were well-behaved and no arrests were made. The townspeople even invited them back anytime they liked after the 48-hour non-stop jamboree ended late last night. About 350 people were treated for minor stomach complaints and seven were taken to hospital.

A naked man leaped on south-west to the stage during one group's act and was hauled off by Hell's Angels (leather-jacketed motor cyclists) who assumed the role of stewards through out the weekend.

Miles-long traffic jams built up around the tented site of the festival during the two days. Some groups, including folk singer Julie Felix, arrived by helicopter. Among those appearing were Canned Heat, Jefferson Airplane, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Fairport Convention.

Regular warnings were given to fans about LSD , pushers after several youths were treated for after-effects of the drug»

«Pop go the Festivals», Canberra Times, 30 June 1970


«I’m not greetly enamored of a choir and orchestra. We've used it live several times including at Bath, when someone put some beer down the tuba, which added to the chaos. It does limit you, because you have to worry about them all the time. It detracts from your enjoyment»

«A touring Circus - that's what Floyd want next», Disc & Music Echo, 14 November 1970


Freddy Bannister (promoter):

«They were a big band, but not as big as all that. I billed them below John Mayall, Canned Heat and Steppenwolf. Things in the admin office had quietened down a little by the Floyd came on, at about 2am, so I went for a walk around. It was raining and I ended up behind the stage - I heard this ethereal sound, and I remember thinking, «What the hell is that ? Who are they ?» It was fantastic. It was the Floyd with and choir. They were very innovative, and it just happened that The Amazing Pudding' was something that they wanted to push to the crowd. They wanted to see, I guess, how it was received».

«To Infinity... And Beyond!», Uncut, May 2019


Geoffrey Mitchell (singer on Atom Heart Mother track):

«Sometimes in the concerts it was just unbelievably, spine-tinglingly good. But it never go there on the recording - it was a shambles, it really was»

«To Infinity... And Beyond!», Uncut, May 2019


Nick Mason:

«We had chosen this event, in the depths of the English countryside, as an opportunity to perform Atom Heart Mother (…) The festival, a two-day extravaganza, in an attempt to emulate the scale of Woodstock the year before, had imported an array of groups from both sides of the Atlantic. In an attempt to keep up with the John Paul Joneses, it seemed entirely appropriate that we should make the grandiose, but logistically challenging, gesture of herding the entire complement of backing musicians out the wilds of the West Country (…)

Our original slot had been 10.15 p.m. By the time we were finally able to lead our merry band of musicians on stage - most of whom had never encountered anything quite so chaotically grandiose even in their long and varied careers - dawn was breaking. As a result events conspired to give us a dramatic backdrop that really lifted the impact of our arrival on stage.

The choir’s conductor, John Aldiss,  did a magnificent job of controlling the choir and orchestra, and we managed to stagger through the show (…)»

«Inside Out - a personal history of Pink Floyd», Nick Mason, 2005.


Gilmour:

«The first time we played it was at Bath and that was a bit of a mess, well far from ideal anyway (…) After three days at Bath the sound equipment they were using had practically worn out» 

«Outside the Rock Machine», Music Now!, 28 November 1970

Nick Mason:

«(…) We found ourselves leaving the stage and on another demon drive through the early morning mist straight back to London to catch a flight to Holland to play another, but less extravagant, festival the following night.»

«Inside Out - a personal history of Pink Floyd», Nick Mason, 2005.

« Backstage » at the Rotterdam’s festival. Picture by Nick Mason

Various posters for this event.

28 June 1970 « Holland Pop Festival '70 », Kralingse Bos, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Pictures by Laurie VAN HOUTEN

There is some confusion about the exact date. It’s due to the fact Pink Floyd begin to play at 4:00 AM the next day

«Een 2.000 watt geluidsinstallatie, het voor een Holland Pop Festival uiterst geschikte Kralingse Bos, maar vooral de meer dan 30 popgroepen trokken 26, 27 en 28 Juni naar schatting 80.000 jongeren naar Rotterdam. Dat alles goed gegaan is, is niet zozeer te danken aan de organisatie, die voor de buitenstaander foutloos leek, of aan de tolerante Rotterdamse politie, die buiten het immense j terrein bleef, maar aan de medewerking en het geduld van de bezoekers — aan deze generatie, aan dit 'Iangharig ; werkschuw tuig'. I Een tiental jaren geleden zouden er nog massale storm- ! (open op het podium zijn geweest om de 'elektrische goden' levensgroot te zien, waarbij bij dat aantal duizenden onder de voet zouden zijn gelopen. Over de optredende groepen valt weinig meer te zeggen dan dat ze stuk voor stuk zonder meer goed warcn. Enkele uitschieters waren onder ahdere Country Joe, Canned Heat, Dr John the Nighttripper, the Byrds, Soft Machine, Pink Floyd en de Nederlandse groep Super Sister, die een of twee maal werden teruggeroepen. Mungo Jerry kreeg met zijn bpzwepende muziek zelfs iedereen overeind. De muziek was echter niet het enige waarvoor de 80.000 waren gekomen en misschien wel niet het belangrijkste. In het Kralingse bos hadden de tienduizenden Jongeren dit weekeinde een eigen maatschapDij gesticht. 

Een maatschappij zonder de gevestigde normen van de bestaande. Een eigen wereldje waar iedereen deed waar hij zin in had met als enige maatschaDbelijke code: ook een ander zijn soms bizarre uitingen van plezier te gunnen. Op het terrein waren 1.200 stewards, herkenbaar aantiun shirts waarop met enorme letters 'we help you' stond: Deze jongelui waren wegwijzer, bewakers — van de hekken om het terrein — en verlengstuk van het 'drug-team'. 'Drugs' Dit 'drug-team', dat bestond uit een aantal xnedici en de lekenstichting 'Release'., ondergebracht in een enorme tent, heeft ontzettend veel werk verzet. , Dit werk bestond voornamelijk uit het opvangen van f Unoers. Dat zijn mensen, wier trip — LSD — niet goed verloopt en die dan soms zelfmoordneigingen vertonen.. . Verder zorgde het 'drug-team' voor informatie van de drug gebruikers. Via de geluidsinstallatle werd omgeroepen, wanneer een slechte partij LSD in de handel was gekomen. 

Verder werden 'betirs-berichten' omgeroepen met de prijzen van de verschillende soorten trips en hasjietj, die ongeveer twee maal zo hoog lagen als 'normaal', namelijk 5 tot 6 gulden per gram tegen 2,50 tot 3,50 normaal. Met de Rotterdamse politie was door de organisatoren overeengekomen. dat tegen drug gebruik niet zou worden onsetreden, wel echter tegen de verkoop hiervan. Op dit festival zijn echter een slordige 50 kilo hasjiesj — 250.000 gulden — en vele honderden trips verkocht zonder ook maar een arrestatie. Ging de handel Vrijdags nog stiekem, Zaterdags en Zondags werd er zelfs geadverteerd met bordjes, waarop kreten stonden als: 'we sell hash', 'shit' en 'trips for sale'. Ook werd de hele handel geetaleerd. Na een stralende Vrijdag en Zaterdagochtend begon om ongeveer 1 uur Zaterdagmiddag de lucht te betrekken. In navolging van het beroemd geworden Woodstock popfestival in de Verenigde Staten klonk het toen uit duizenden kelen: 'no rain, no rain . . .' Toen het desondanks toch ging regenen — net als in Woodstock — kropen enkelen onder stukken plastic bij de kleren van anderen. die in hun badpak — of zelfs een enkeling met helemaal niets aan — stonden te dansen. Toen het bleef regenen kroop bijna iedereen gelaten onder het plastic of hi de slaapzak. Bij de honderden - kampvuren zaten mensen zich te warmen. Vuilnisbelt Toen Zondagochtend de hekken waren opengegooid kwamen enkele tientallen Rotterdamse echtparen in hun Zondagse pak kijken wat er nu eigenlijk allemaal in hun bos gebeurde. Maar nu waren de rollen omgedraaid. nu waren zij het die opvielen tussen de bossen haren. Zij werden echter niet hoof dschuddend nagekeken of bespot met kreten in de trant van

'moet je dat nou eens zien'. Door de enorme drukte was het onmogelijk de tonnen vuil, die door de 80.000 geproduceerd werden af te voeren. De honderden vuilnisbakken en containers, die over het hele terrein verspreid waren, waren al vol voordat het popfestival goed en wel begonnen was. »

«Holland Pop Festival was enorm success», Dutch Australian Weekly, 17 July 1970

Pictures by Harrie VERSTAPPEN

« (…) en de hallucinerende muziekmakers van Pink Floyd. Het kon gewoon niet op en rondom de kampvuren en in het natte gras werd indrukwekkend gezwegen, of, zoals in het geval Pink Floyd, het gebodene gebiologeerd ondergaan.  Organisatorisch is er nauwelijks iets aan te merken op dit betrekkelijk vlot in elkaar gedraaide festival, of het moet de ravitaillering van Coca Cola en zijn relatie International Food Service be-treffen.  Deze firma's hadden in ruil voor een forse investering (waarschijnlijk in de vorm van een voorschot annex garantie ten bedrage van om en nabij driekwart miljoen) het monopolie van de voedselvoorziening gekregen. En dat betekende dat elk van de 200.000 omgezette blikjes coca cola 75 cent moest kosten, dat één (!) vacuüm verpakt plakje kaas 35 tot 50 cent deed, dat er onder het broodbeleg worst gesignaleerd was waarvan de versheid gegarandeerd was tot 1969»

«Indrukwekkend slot aan briljant popfestival», Algemeen Handelsblad, 29 June 1970

JULY 1970

12 July 1970 «Open Air Pop Festival», Reiterstadion Soers, Aachen, West Germany


Nick Mason:

« With no time to recover, we were plunged back into exactly the same kind of scenario, although  at least this time we were minus the orchestra, a merciful release for both parties »

« Inside Out - a personal history of Pink Floyd », Nick Mason, 2005.

Alan Styles with Nick before the show

16 July,  The band gives his premiere of the track Atom Heart Mother during the « John Peel Sunday show ». The track is given at the last minute.

Evening Standard, 16 July 1970 issue.

18 July, the magazine « Disc & Music Echo » announce that « Atom Heart Mother » will be released in September

18 July 1970 « Blackhill's Garden Party - Hyde Park Free Concert », Hyde Park, London, England

Photography by Tony THOMAS

Photo by Jeff BAXTER

« More than any group that i can think of, the Pink Floyd are the most ideal electric band to relax to in the clean fresh air (…) After presenting a programme of sound stories, which included Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun, hey were augmented on stage by a brass section and choir to present their extended work Epic which they premiered at Bath »

« Roy Carrs London … », New Musical Express, 18 July 1970.


« The Pink Floyd gave an hour of beautiful mature music, soothing and inspiring to listen to. They kept the numbers short, apart from the finale, and carefully restrained. With the sun glitching on Nick Mason's drums ans the clouds breaking up overhead, it seemed as if the sounds were dropping from the sky itself. After a quick and lazy bluesy introduction, the went gently into Green is the Colour and Careful with that Axe, Eugène. Even in the latter, the volume was down, and the mood reflective.

Set the Controls for the Heart of the sun was at its most ethereal, the smooth crescendos flying away over the heads of the captivated audience. To end, a brass section and choir were brought on for the 25 minute finale, which will figure on one side of the group's next album. The piece began with an arrangement for the brass, and then switched into a lengthy choir pattern, followed by a dash of marvelous Floyd rock-jazz. In came the brass again, pursued by incantations from the choir and swirling  special effects to twin-channel stereo. A reprise took up the original theme-based on a simple chord progression skin to the finale of « The Man » - and group, choir and orchestra projected it together in fine combination »

« Playing in the Park », Melody Maker, July 1970


Tony Collins (photograph):

«This was the first time I'd ever seen Pink Floyd live. They played numbers from their new album 'Atom Heart Mother'. For the first couple of numbers I stood watching and listening-then to my dismay stewards started clearing photographers from the front of the stage, and at that point I hadn't taken a single picture! However, to my complete surprise, a steward took my arm and guided me up the steps at the side of the stage. Suddenly, there I was, standing practically in amongst the band-and I wasn't about to waste the opportunity, I still don't know who they thought I was!»


« (...) Finally there were the Pink Floyd, veterans of the first free concert in 1968 and still at the British vanguard, moving through pre-taped electronics to long, ethereal improvisation. They played the whispered, pulsating “Set the controls for the heart of the sun,” just as the sun broke through, and ended with “Atom-heart mother,” complete with brass section and sopranos, who would probably have been happier at Covent Garden, Stirring, optimistic, unworldly, the Floyd have written their own electronic New World Symphony —and the setting on Saturday was exactly right»

«Free pop in Hyde Park», The Guardian, 20 July 1970


20,000 people in audience to see the festival

Late 1970, A famous photo session is set by Storm Thorgerson in London near Belsize Park


Storm Thorgerson:

«(…) Floyd photo session taken in the Country Club in Belsize Park London circa 1972 * near where i lived, but it was not a country club but a rock’n roll joint and the chaps are seated in the neighboring garden/folly hiding their eyes from yet another stooped publicity session … »

« Oh! By the Way » boxset booklet

Late July 1970, Pink Floyd, their crew, friends and families rented a villa in St Tropez. The band were scheduled to play a handful of festivals in France, but many were cancelled due to civil unrest.

Rehearsals before the Antibes show. Photographies by Jean-Pierre LELOIR.

26 July1970 « XIème Festival International de Jazz », Pinède Gould, Antibes Juan-les-Pins, France

Photographies by Jacques Bisceglia

« (…) Même le festival d’Antibes qui proposait sa nuit pop avec le Pink Floyd. C’est devant un « parterre » à moitié vide que les quatre dandies prirent possession de la scène, laissant paraître le plus profond ennui, le plus complet détachement. 

L’attention devait rester en éveil... çà et là, la pop produit commercialisable apparaissait, aux devantures des cafés, dans tous les clubs à la mode : nuits underground, pop circus, etc …  

La tournée CBS, avec Titanic, les Irrésistibles, et même le festival d'Antibes qui proposait sa nuit pop avec le Pink Floyd. 

C'est devant un « parterre » à moitié vide que les quatre dandies prirent possession de la scène, laissant paraître le plus profond ennui, le plus complet détachement. Aussi la musique produite ne fut-elle qu'une suite sans passion de leurs thèmes les plus exploités avec les clins d'oeil indispensables aux spectateurs de More qui étaient la majeure partie de ce public payant ; jusqu'à l'entracte où, sous la poussée de quelques centaines de rescapés du festival de Biot, le service d'ordre et les organisateurs durent s'avouer vaincus. 

L'enceinte du festival devint rapidement trop petite pour contenir ce « public neuf». David Gilmur fut celui qui manifesta le plus de sympathie, pour cette nouvelle redéfinition de la soirée, il allait falloir compter sur ces invités permanents, la suite des festivals nous le confirma. Pour leur part, les membres du Pink Floyd assurèrent leur contrat sans chaleur, techniquement déphasés, blasés surtout, sans trouver nécessaire d'offrir un changement d'orientation que Bath nous avait pourtant laissé présager : ainsi l'oeuvre nouvelle qu'ils nous proposèrent, extraite de leur nouveau LP à paraître, est un assemblage-cocktail de tous les « trucs » sonores, de tous les " artifices » de leurs compositions précédentes. Peut-être est-ce le début de la fin, l'impasse. Peut-être aussi cherchent-ils à tâtons vêtus de leurs costumes de lumière, le chemin qui mène plus loin; ou bien leur manque-t-il la folie d'un Syd Barrett, nécessaire et continuelle »

« L’été Pop », Rock&Folk, September 1970


«L’attention devait rester en éveil... çà et là, la pop produit commercialisable apparaissait, aux devantures des cafés, dans tous les clubs à la mode : nuits underground, pop circus, etc. La tournée CBS, avec Titanic, les Irrésistibles, et même le festival d'Antibes qui proposait sa nuit pop avec le Pink Floyd. C'est devant un «parterre » à moitié vide que les quatre dandies prirent possession de la scène, laissant paraître le plus profond ennui, le plus complet détachement. Aussi la musique produite ne fut-elle qu'une suite sans passion de leurs thèmes les plus exploités avec les clins d'oeil indispensables aux spectateurs de More qui étaient la majeure partie de ce public payant ; jusqu'à l'entracte où, sous la poussée de quelques centaines de rescapés du festival de Biot, le service d'ordre et les organisateurs durent s'avouer vaincus. L'enceinte du festival devint rapidement trop petite pour contenir ce «public neuf». David Gilmour fut celui qui manifesta le plus de sympathie, pour cette nouvelle redéfinition de la soirée, il allait falloir compter sur ces invités permanents, la suite des festivals nous le confirma. Pour leur part, les membres du Pink Floyd assurèrent leur contrat sans chaleur, techniquement déphasés, blasés surtout, sans trouver nécessaire d'offrir un changement d'orientation que Bath nous avait pourtant laissé présager : ainsi l'oeuvre nouvelle qu'ils nous proposèrent, extraite de leur nouveau LP à paraître, est un assemblage-cocktail de tous les «trucs » sonores, de tous les " artifices » de leurs compositions précédentes. Peut-être est-ce le début de la fin, l'impasse. Peut-être aussi cherchent-ils à t‚tons vêtus de leurs costumes de lumière, le chemin qui mène plus loin; ou bien leur manque-t-il la folie d'un Syd Barrett, nécessaire et continuelle»

«L’été Pop», Rock&Folk, September 1970

David and Nick attending the others acts in the audience

Pink Floyd is announced to the majors French Festivals in the musical press

30 July 1970, Syd Barrett is announced for the « VPRO Pik Nik Festival » in Netherlands. His participation will be eventually cancelled

« Het Vrije Volk », 29 July 1970.

AUGUST 1970

1 August 1970 «Le festival de musique progressive», Parc de Saint Pons, Aix-en-Provence, France (cancelled)

« Aix-en-Provence. On attendait cent mille personnes au domaine de Saint-Pons, où s'est tenu - sous le nom de " concerts prolongés " - le premier véritable festival de musique pop' sur le territoire français, malgré l'interdiction prononcée par le maire d'Aix. Concerts " prolongés ", mais raccourcis en définitive : commencés samedi soir, ils s'achevaient ce lundi vers 5 heures du matin. Vedette annoncée, le Flock (sic) n'est pas venu, mais ce n'est pas le seul absent à ce rendez-vous de la pop'music: le public a lui aussi fait faux bond »

« Aix-en-Provence: la pop' music a manqué son entrée en France », Le Monde, 4 August 1970

Rehearsals before the Biot show. Photographies by Gerard BOUSQUET

5 August 1970 «Popanalia Festival», Biot, France

Planned to last 36 hours, the event was abandoned soon after it started. Unfortunately, the organizers only managed to get payment out of 4,000 spectators. The other 30,000 just crashed the site. As a result, there was not enough money to pay the artists. The only acts that actually got to play were Joan Baez, Country Joe and Rare Bird. When Soft Machine were told they wouldn't receive their contracted fee, they refused to perform. When the crowd was told about the situation, some radical revolutionaries, called Les Companions de la Route, burned the stage and destroyed the equipment in protest. The result was that the event was cancelled. It was subsequently dubbed by the French as « Festival Maudit de Biot » (The cursed festival of Biot)

« En ce 5 août 1970, une petite année après Woodstock, Biot se réveille aux couleurs hippies. Une scène géante est installée dans le quartier de l'Eganaude à l'emplacement des bâtiments actuels de la société Amadeus. Le terrain a été loué par Jean Karakos, un homme d'affaire qui estime que l'organisation d'un concert rock en France peut être rentable. Ce festival doit durer deux jours dans des conditions «woodstockiennes» : ni point d'eau, ni toilettes et une piste poussiéreuse en guise d'accès.  « Nous étions un groupe de Biotois bénévoles pour aider ce Festival à se monter. Aucune autre commune n'en avait voulu », se souvient  Michel Coulet retraité et consultant en sécurité. Pour ce Biotois, Popanalia a été un échec retentissant. « C'était un raté considérable pour l'organisateur. Les stars étaient là, mais le public ne voulait pas payer. L'organisation s'est laissée débordée. Les gens arrivaient de n'importe où. C'était le bordel. Le concert s'est mal passé, des individus ont coupé le cable du groupe électrogène, et ce fut la panique la plus totale. Il n'y avait plus d'électricité, plus de concert. Les Pink Floyd, comme Eric Clapton sont partis chez Emile De La Tour où ils étaient logés »

« Antibes : « Ce fut un véritable fiasco »», Nice-Matin, 18 février 2010.


«(…) Peut-on parler de festival pop' pour la nuit Popanalia de Biot, mercredi 5 ? L'affiche est de premier ordre : J. Baez, Pink Floyd, E. Clapton, mais les conditions posées aux organisateurs sont strictes : aménagement de voies d'accès, installations sanitaires, prise en charge d'un service d'ordre de deux cents gendarmes et C.R.S., et d'un service de sécurité composé d'une dizaine de camions-citernes et d'une cinquantaine de sapeurs-pompiers. M. Jean Georgakarakos, qui réussit la gageure d'organiser la manifestation pop' d'Amougies, parviendra-t-il à faire la preuve que la France est un pays où cette musique a droit de cité ailleurs que dans les boites à musique et les salles de music-hall ?»

«Le festival pop' de l'île de Wight aura lieu à la fin du mois», Le Monde, 5 August 1970


«(…) Il y avait pourtant à Biot l'amphithéâtre naturel perdu au milieu des bois, parmi les senteurs de thym et de sauge, il y avait l'enthousiasme et la générosité de Jean Georgakarakos qui, avec le soutien de Radio-Télé-Luxembourg paraissait le seul en France à pouvoir organiser - après celui d'Amougies - un festival de pop' music sans que l'odeur du commerce asphyxie la fête, la passion de Georgio Gomelski qui avait constitué une affiche hors du commun avec Joan Baez, Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd et de nombreux groupes de pop' music, de folk et de free jazz, enfin, la rare qualité des " light shows ", c'est-à-dire des projections sur écran se mélangeant harmonieusement avec la musique»

«Les festivals de pop'music pourront-ils connaître le succès en France ?», Le Monde, 8 August 1970


« En ce 5 août 1970, une petite année après Woodstock, Biot se réveille aux couleurs hippies. Une scène géante est installée dans le quartier de l'Eganaude à l'emplacement des bâtiments actuels de la société Amadeus. Le terrain a été loué par Jean Karakos, un homme d'affaire qui estime que l'organisation d'un concert rock en France peut être rentable. Ce festival doit durer deux jours dans des conditions «woodstockiennes» : ni point d'eau, ni toilettes et une piste poussiéreuse en guise d'accès. « Nous étions un groupe de Biotois bénévoles pour aider ce Festival à se monter. Aucune autre commune n'en avait voulu », se souvient  Michel Coulet retraité et consultant en sécurité. Pour ce Biotois, Popanalia a été un échec retentissant. « C'était un raté considérable pour l'organisateur. Les stars étaient là, mais le public ne voulait pas payer. L'organisation s'est laissée débordée. Les gens arrivaient de n'importe où.  C'était le bordel. Le concert s'est mal passé, des individus ont coupé le cable du groupe électrogène, et ce fut la panique la plus totale. Il n'y avait plus d'électricité, plus de concert. Les Pink Floyd, comme Eric Clapton sont partis chez Emile De La Tour où ils étaient logés »

« Antibes : « Ce fut un véritable fiasco »», Nice-Matin, 18 février 2010.

Photography by Jean-Claude PAILLOUX

Before the San-Tropez show, the band is photographed by the French press with all the Floyd family


From left to right in the front row: Ben Watts, David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Roger Waters, Rick Wright with his daughter Gala Wright.

On the second row: Miv Watts and his daughter Naomi Watts, Peter Watts, Lindy O’Rourke, Lindy Mason, Steve O’Rourke, Judy Waters and  Katy O’Rourke, Alan Styles, Juliet Wright.

The concert of San Tropez remains famous for being shot by a TV crew.  The performance and the rehearsals were filmed to be broadcasted in the « POP 2 » TV show (see this page)

8 August 1970 « Festival de St. Tropez», Route Des Salins, San Tropez, France

Photographies by Jean-Claude GASSIAN.

Rehearsals before the Saint Rapahël show.

12 August 1970 « Fête de St. Raphaël », L’Amphithéâtre Romain, Fréjus, Saint Raphaël, France

30 August, The Floyd cancelled their participation to the « Yorkshire Folk, Blues & Jazz Festival » (15 August) and the « Open Air Festival Heidelberg » (29 August 1970). Then David Gilmour makes a stop to the « Isle of Wight festival » to see the Jimi Hendrix performance. For the occasion, Peter Watts, the Pink Floyd sound engineer, will record the « guitar hero ». But Watts is not able to assume his work. So Gilmour takes over quickly this job with the agreement of Hendrix (Dave was his guide when he performed to Paris in 1966)


David Gilmour:

«I helped mix the sound for Hendrix at the Isle of Wight in 1970. Not a lot of people know that. From the side of the stage with WEM Audiomasters with Charlie Watkins. I went down [to the Isle of Wight] to go to it and I was camping in a tent, just being a punter and I went backstage where our main roadie guy, Peter Watts, was trying to deal with all the mayhem, with Charlie Watkins of WEM, and they were very nervous, they were going to have to mix Hendrix’s sound. I did some mixing stuff in those days and they said ‘Help! Help!’ so I did»

«Gilmour», Prog magazine, March 2019

Gilmour seen in the audience of the festival.

31 August 1970 Charlton Park, Bishopsbourne, England


The french directors François Reichenbach and Gerard Patris had shot this festival. The first cut was rejected by the Warner Studios who are called Martin Scorcese to Re-cut the footage without the Floyd's set. The final cut was released under the title « We come for your daughter » but without trace of the band (See this page)


Harry Barlow:

«I was delighted to find your site about the Medicine ball concert in Canterbury. Living locally we all went along mainly because Canterbury band Caravan were due to play. I believe Pink Floyd have said its one of the best gigs they ever played. I remember being at the front of a small crowd watching Floyd do a brilliant version of Careful with that Axe. All this was being filmed and I think it was one of the Warner Brothers sons was pacing up and down saying ‘fantastic...fantastic’ The big surprise was The Faces. They stumbled on stage dressed in their purple velvet suits. I think Rod Stewarts suit was white velvet. Within ten minutes they tore the place apart with a truly brilliant set»

«UK Rock Festivals» Website

SEPTEMBER 1970

The musical magazine « Rock & Folk » makes a bitter assessment of the French summer festivals

12 September 1970 « Fête de L'Humanité», Bois de Vincennes, Paris, France

Photographies by Philippe GRAS (left) and Sylvie LEBRE (right).

« Pink Floyd au bois de Vincennes, c'est un événement. La pelouse est encore noire de monde quand les derniers échos du gospel par les Voices of East Harlem se sont tus. Pop'music de consommation, rengaine gentillette avec Michel Polnareff, aux refrains accessibles à  tous, follement acclamés et repris chacun pour soi ; et puis désarroi du plus grand nombre, quand les Pink Floyd entrent en scène et jouent les premières mesures d'Astronomy domine, aux accents subtils et secrets. 

Les badauds s'étonnent : on ne peut taper du pied, frapper des mains ... 

Qu'est-ce que cette musique soi-disant pop' ? Un quart de l'assistance se retire, les autres, progressivement conquis, font silence : A Saucerful of Secrets éclate dans la nuit, partition aléatoire, faussement monocorde ; c'est le triomphe. La musique pop' a réussi sa percée populaire. Cette réussite fera peut-être oublier les fiascos d'Aix et Biot. Mais, à qui la faute si la pop'music en France fait l'objet de tant de malentendus? 

N'est-ce pas celle des radios qui diffusent n'importe quel Mungo ferry sous cette étiquette »

« La Pop' Music, qu'est-ce que c'est ? », Le Monde, 15 September 1970.

Backstage. Photographies by Philippe GRAS.

David Gilmour:

«  Enfin un festival de pop music réussi en France »

« Ça sonne jeune », L’Humanité, 14 September 1970.

Late September 1970, the beginning of an American tour


Nick Mason:

« The American Tour that followed almost immediately coincided with the release of «Atom Heart Mother», and so e felt obliged to repeat the orchestral experience. David and Steve flew to New York to book the musicians »

« Inside Out - a personal history of Pink Floyd », Nick Mason, 2005.

26 September 1970 The Electric Factory, Philadelphia, USA

27 September 1970 Fillmore East, Manhattan, New York City, NY, USA (two shows)

Photographies by Amelie ROTSCHILD

« Pink Floyd. long one of the most inventive of British groups struck new ground at Fillmore East with a 25-minute avant-garde work with the assistance of a 10-piece brass ensemble. a mixed choir of 

20. and a conductor, Peter Phillips. The work, The Atomic Heart Mother, supplies the title and one side of Pink Floyd's next Harvest  Records album. It occupied the second half of two shows. Sept. 27. 

In the opening segment of the first show, the four handily overcame  technical problems, which could have been disastrous for less experienced groups, which rely so  heavily on equipment. 

Lead guitarist Dave Gilmour performed yeoman service at one point, when the elaborate keyboard of Rick Wright. including electronic apparatus, went out. Bass guitarist Roger Waters was again brilliant on gong and also joined drummer Nick Mason on cymbals.  "The Atomic Heart Mother." scoring with a young hip audience. 

proved far more interesting than many contemporary works fed classically-oriented audiences. The brass work was fine, while the chorus. individually, grouped or all together tackled their difficult sections. mostly wordless, excellently.  The four group members were exceptional, a tall order for so talented a foursome. For example, at one point. Mason played the strings of a grand piano, striking and plucking. while Gilmour aided Wright with a tricky electronic effects. The piece combined rock, jazz, soundtrack, classical and other elements. Pink Floyd continues a unique musical experience » 

« Pink Floyd - Fillmore East, New York », Billboard, 10 October 1970


«Way back when the word ‘Underground’ was sleeping its prenatal sleep in the minds of mediamen the world over, a very weird British group released a single called “Arnold Layne.” Every Anglophile in this country (admittedly a weird lot themselves, but they were there first, Charlie) immediately freaked for the record because they were tuned in enough to know that this was music of a totally different color. It had taken the rest of the music world five years to catch up, folks, but finally last weekend that selfsame group alone minus, of course, Syd Barrett who left after the first LP) sold out the Fillmore twice on Sunday night attracting Leonard Bernstein in the process. In point of fact the group completely transformed the house. Everyone was there to hear the music and in that respect the audience was more like a New York Philharmonic crowd than it was a typical Fillmore gathering.

Pink Floyd have never compromised. They have been true to their musical vision, and have, more than any other group, been able to combine electronic and electric music in such a way as to give it life, ambience, and dynamics. The quartet fuses on stage so that, Dave Gilmore becomes the chiaroscuro sounds of the guitar, Roger Waters flows in throbbing dark bass patterns, Nick Mason rebounds from drumskin to bass pedal to cymbal with sticks and mallets, and Rick Wright stretches from wall to wall in deep throaty whispers that eddv in distant corners as, simultaneously, he screams, croons, shrieks, sighs all with the dancing hands that flash and dart like lightning over his keyboard. “Astronomy Domine” from the first album, on to “Fat Old Sun,” a new Dave Gilmore composition from the forthcoming LP that sounds bright and Autumnal and very Ray Daviesish, And then “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun,” in which Rick does just that, manipulating what looks like a stick-shift on the organ so that the sounds from his left hand continue to issue from the stage speakers, while the right hand figures float from speakers midway back to the right, then from the rear of the auditorium, then to the left, then the front, on and on in a whirling circle of energy. “Saucerful Of Secrets,” which ended the first half of the show consists, in the first movement, of a series of electronic and percussive crescendos reminiscent of Berio followed hy a warm hymnlike section that is as powerful as the Who’s “See Me, Peel Me” segment of “Tommy.” Here Roger forsakes his bass for a pair of large cymbals which he played with soft mallets, muting the sound to blend with the ‘cathedral’ organ, while Dave contrasted with sharp slide guitar figures.

After intermission Pink Floyd was joined by a brass orchestra and a voice choir for the thirty minute “Atomic Heart Mother,” which is the title track of their new LP. Immediately it was quite obvious that this composition and its execution were what the group had been working toward for some time. There was no battle between orchestra and group as to what style of music was to be played. It was Floyd Music all the way with total integration of all musicians into the flow of the music. The choir began with an alto aria over the contralto melody line followed by the introduction of the male baritone and basso voices. The amalgam of voices (which added terrific scope to the organ part) brass and electric instruments couldn’t have melded better and the work itself achieved a vulcanic intensity that electrified the audience.

Pink Floyd returned to the stage after fifteen solid minutes of wild rhythmic applause from the standing, cheering crowd. Smiling, David Gilmore said, “We’re absolutely knocked out by the response and would play more but we just can’t follow that number. Thank you and good night. And the audience cheered on »

« Pink Floyd », Cash Box, 10 October 1970


Roger Waters:

« When you have a hall with a high roof like that you need baffles to absorb the sound or it just gets lost up there »

« Pink Floyd », Circus, October 1970

Backstage. Photographies by Amelie ROTSCHILD

Backstage. Photographies by Amelie ROTSCHILD

« Atom Heart Mother » is the first album of the band heavily publicized in USA.

Streets promo in USA.

Dave Croker (Columbia’ publicist):

« We’d seen some other group’s adverts in which they superimposed a flock of sheep on to a photo of the traffic in Oxford Street, so we decided to go one better. We arranged with the police to ban cars from the Mall at the crack of dawn one morning, and we brought in a herd of cows; the photos were brilliant »

«Pink Floyd», Rick Sanders, 1976.

Rough sketches for the first concept.

OCTOBER 1970

October 1970, first echoes about the ballet « Pink Floyd » in the English and US press.

«Pink Floyd is now into ballet. Well, not exactly into ballet - they’ve agreed to write the music for a huge production featuring Rudolf Nureyev, sixty dancers and a 108-piece orchestra, to be performed next spring at the Paris Grand Palais on the Champs-Elysées. They were asked to do the job by Roland Pettit (sic), a French ballet producer, after he’d become «bored» with standard material».

«Freakier and freakier», Rolling Stones, October 1970.


Waters:

«We’re writing a ballet for Roland Petit which will be in Paris next June and the sky’s the limit for that»

Georgia Straight

Advert published on US press

1 October 1970 Memorial Coliseum, Portland, USA

Front cover (with the signatures of the band) and back cover of the first English issue (1970)

2 October 1970 Pink Floyd's fourth studio album « Atom Heart Mother » was released in the UK, and reached No. 1 in the charts.

David Gilmour:

« I don't expect too many stations to play a 25-minute number but I think the kids will still buy the albums »

« Pink Floyd group featured in concert », The Los Angeles Times, 26 October 1970


Mason:

« Another time job; the B-Side was definitely rushed and even the main track was not what it could have been »

« Pink Floyd », Rick Sanders, 1976.


Aubrey Powell

« Sur ce projet précis, roger Waters voulait un truc déjanté. Moi et Storm on a alors pensé à Marcel Duchamp. on voulait faire un truc  ordinaire en apparence, mais qui surprendrait tout le monde (...) Les Pink Floyd étaient ravis »

« Mes disques à moi », Rock&Folk, March 2020

English adverts.

2 October 1970 Moore Theater, Seattle, USA

3 October 1970 Moore Theater, Seattle, USA

4 October 1970 The Gymnasium, Gonzaga University, Spokane, USA

6 October 1970 Central Washington University, Ellensburg, USA

7 October 1970 Gardens Arena, Vancouver, Canada

« There are some rare moments of euphoria in every critic’s life, when he can lean back contentedly and feed his soul with the kind of music he always dreams about and seldom hears. When these moments stretch to an evening concert he is sent to cover, and he can go home full of jubilant recollection of what has just come to pass, then he knows that all the other evenings spent listening to mediocrity and brashness have been forgotten.

The English rock group — that itself is an understatement — Pink Floyd gave a sellout crowd at the PNE Gardens such a concert Wednesday (…) Dave Gilmore (lead guitar, vocals), Rich Wright (organ), Nick Mason (drums) and Roger Waters (bass guitar) are each musicians at the pinnacle of their form, and together they form an invincible team that produces a mellow, forceful, strong-but-not-tough, sensitive, miraculous and mystical sound not produced by any other group, with the possible exception of the Moody Blues.

Wednesday I heard them in a concert that lasted, with intermission, nearly three hours. And now I know that my album impression was right. As Dave Zeffert, the sound man, said between songs: « They are not only perfect musicians, but they are also perfect musical technicians ». Pink Floyd brought their own amplifying and speaker system, and never before have I heard better sound: full but not too loud, rich but never shrill. What matter if they took longer than most to tune up between numbers, who cared if Gilmore hopped from amplifier to speaker to check and double check that we would hear only the best sound. That I can dig.

What they played is another indication that Pink Floyd are very much on the move. Three pieces came from UmmaGumma: Astronomy, Careful With That Axe Eugene, and Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun.

The other six were new material, not just an extension of the album, but exploring new avenues. Atom Heart Mother had the strongest impact on me because the singing (by Gilmore and Wright) was without words  hence I could fill in my own lyrics.

Each of the other songs had new surprises in technical tricks, emotive values and musical genius: Fat Old Sun, Cymbaline, Embryo, Green Is the Color, and A Saucerful of Secrets.

If we compare Pink Floyd to Led Zeppelin, my vote goes to Pink Floyd, for this reason. Led Zeppelin haven’t written much new material, and their recent concert was a rehash of their two albums. Pink Floyd didn’t rely on old favorites — audiences always respond best to the music they’ve heard on their stereo sets — but presented new songs. During the intermission I spent fifteen minutes with the group. They are easygoing, unpretentious young men, not apparently spoiled by their success, open and obviously grateful for compliments. I firmly believe that good music — classical, jazz or rock — played to perfection, changes the receptive listener. Something happens to him when he hears outstanding concerts, and the memory of the evening lingers, reasserts itself even years after the event. Pink Floyd. I am happy to confess, have changed me, have enriched my life by yet another small dimension. We should cherish these moments of greatness as they are too rare. Thank you. Pink Floyd»

« Rare moment of euphoria », The Vancouver Sun, 8 October 1970

Photography by Dan SCOTT

8 October 1970 Jubilee Auditorium, Calgary, Canada

« (...) Undoubtedly one if the finest concert halls in Canada, the Jubillee Auditorium in Calgary, was the scene of Pink Floyd's Ocotber 8th concert.  Acoustically near perfectn the auditorium was highly suited for the futuristic sounds of the group. In addition to the thirty-six speakers on stage, there were another half-down placed around the perimiter of the auditorium. By rotating the lever on the azimuth co-ordinator, the organist was able to direct the sound to any point in the hall. A fantastic innovation, the co-ordinator

gave the effects of footsteps across the ceilling, as well as whiring spaceships round and round the auditorium. Calling upon a veritable goldmine of material, the band captivated the entire audience for over two and one-half hours. Leading off with "Astronomy Dominé" from their first album "Piper at the gates of dawn"; Pink Floyd moved through the "Saucerful of secrets" recordings as well as previewing some materiual from their new release "Atom Heart Mother". In addition to this material, they also devied into some of their experimental sounds from the movie score "More", written by the group»

«Music: get yer ya-yas out», Meliorist, 29 October 1970

9 October 1970 Sales Pavilion Annex, Edmonton, Canada

10 October 1970 «Atom Heart Mother» was released in the US and reached No. 55 in the charts.

A rare 1970 promo box was out by Capitol Records. Includes 24" x 36" promo poster (folded) and 15" diameter inflatable promo cows udder, a limited number of the item untitled «Pink Floyd plastic surprise» were signed by the band.

10 October 1970 Centennial Auditorium, Saskatoon, Canada

11 October 1970 Centre of the Arts, Regina, Canada

« Sunday night, at 8:30, Pink Floyd gave one of the finest performances ever seen by this reviewer. It was held in the Centre of the Arts, and the brilliant acoustics of the hall heightened considerably the experience. They did two one-hour sets. The first set brought everyone to the edge of the cliff, the second pushed the audience over.

Pink Floyd's music defies comparison. They are melodic Frank Zappas. They played with skill, they were precise, they were tight. To secure such effects, playing live, playing inventive music requires more than most girls can muster, Pink Floyd brought it off very well. The highlights of the concert were Cymbaline, Be Careful with That Axe, Eugene, Atom Heart Mother, and Saucerful of Secrets.

By placing speakers all over the auditorium, and then adjusting the balance the music became a total environment, encompassing, piercing. It was impossible to remain detached as airplanes flew over your head, as someone walked across your lap. Involvement was the key to the show. None of the members gave outstanding individual performances, but this seemed to be in keeping with the style. Pink Floyd is a group, not a bunch of power-tripping musicians who use the group to sell themselves. At no time did they allow themselves to impose themselves over the music. Nick Mason, the drummer, provides good, solid rhythmical support. Dave Gilmour, the guitarist was always there, but never grandstanding. The organist seemed to be the most proficient, and as well as handling rhythm chores, occasionally did lead work, and worked the tape system. The stage leader is is bassist, Roger Waters. He is a very good bass player, but their music is more reflective of Gilmour's and Wright's talent. Waters also played the gong and gave a very flashy performance on the cymbals and gong in Saucerful of Secrets, accompanied by organ and drums. Gilmour was coaxing some strange sounds from his guitar. He was sitting on it. The group proved themselves both competent musicians, and outstanding musical innovators. The level of the show will not be surpassed in Regina for a long time »

« A Pink Think with the Floyd », University of Regina Carillon Interview, October 1970


Before the show, the band gives an interview to the University student. You can read it here.

13 October 1970 Centennial Concert Hall, Winnipeg, Canada

« (…) They played in a circle of pinpoint light and bank upon bank of amplifiers. Despite the abundance of equipment, they were not an overpowering group. Their sound was like a finely-tuned stereo set playing at a comfortable listening level: one knew there was a great deal more power behind the sensitive sounds. The music did not once offend the ears and played on the subtle shadings of the intricately interwoven music.

The lead singer — In fact all but the drummer took a turn at the microphone — had a clear, bell-like voice that was never a scream. He used his voice like a dentist's probe: searching out every inflection in the music and exploring every aspect of his range. When the organist joined him in a high-tenor duet the audience rose to their feet in a standing ovation. This was the music they had come to hear. The delicate intonations of a boys' choir floated over the audience and held them in awe during the entire selection. Pink Floyd are a total sound experience. They use every outlet available to them to put across their message. They used one device to particular advantage — a portable amplifier. It was set up at the rear of the auditorium and by moving a handle on a control box on stage, they could change the source of their sound. In one number all the lights in the concert hall were turned out and the sound of footsteps was heard walking down a hallway. The steps went back and forth across the auditorium as if the owner was walking in space. Doors opened and clanged shut; the pace became alternately faster and slower only to climax in a burst of atomic explosion. In another number, they played heavy breathing through this device; in another, the sounds of a new-born baby; and in yet another, the sounds of an airplane taking off. The effect was startling and showed the ingenuity of the group (…) »

«Music talent galore», Winnipeg Free Press, 14 October 1970


«There’s a feeling of immensity, loudness and tightness when The Pink Floyd is on stage. And such was the case when The Pink Floyd made a recent stop at the Centennial Auditorium. About 800 young Saskatonians were in the audience. The Pink Floyd, from England, are currently on their fourth American tour. Their music is immersed in electronic mastery in which bits of jazz, classical and rock music can be distinguished. But these forms are used primarily as a basis from which to launch their ventures into electronic music. The members of the group are Nick Mason, drums; David Gilmour, guitar and vocals; Roger Waters, bass and vocals; and Richard Wright, organ. Their sound men must also be included as members, as they play an integral part in the Pink Floyd sound.

Astronomy Domine, with which they opened the set at the auditorium, is a perfect example of their seemingly extra - terrestrial electronic sound. Only four songs were performed in each set, among them A Saucerful of Secrets from their Ummagumma album and Atom Heart Mother, a new composition from an album to be released here soon. «We have been together for six years, have been playing for five years but have really only been working well for three years », was the way they described the group's history. When asked about influences the list did not grow past zero. Pink Floyd create a type of music totally theirs. It is doubtful if anyone could distinguish any influences. Travelling and playing are the major components of their life. The group enjoys the latter but constant moving around has become tiring and tedious. British audiences were found to be the most discerning to play to. Pink Floyd have played their share of festivals in the past year, including Bath, Paris and Rotterdam. But the festivals were disappointing to the group. Poor acoustics and bad audiences were given as the reasons»

«Electronics part of Pink Floyd image», Star Phoenix, 24 October 1970

Waters

« I think the new album's [Atom Heart Mother] going to come as something of a surprise, because it's not 'cosmic.’ » 

The Georgia Straight, 14 October 1970

15 October 1970 Terrace Ballroom, Salt Lake City, USA

16 October 1970 Pepperland Auditorium, San Rafael, USA

17 October 1970 Pepperland Auditorium, San Rafael, USA

« Sunday evening almost 1,400 young people attended a concert by Pink Floyd, a musical quartet from England“at the Saskatchewan Centre Of The Arts. Some would call the music of Pink Floyd an assault on the eardrums, others would say « it’s where its at ». One thing is for certain, Pink Floyd has its own sound and defies classification. Its music is beyond psychedelic and must be considered, even in the world of rock, experimental. The four young people that comprise Pink Floyd play lead guitar, electric bass, drums and electric organ. They even use a gong to achieve interesting effects on several of their original numbers.

With these on stage instruments and the aid of a few taped electronic effects, Pink Floyd has devised a musical instrumentation which likens itself to our imagined sounds of space. Pink Floyd's music strikes you like a wave of crescendos, each one more powerful than the former. The group was tremendously caught up in its own music. Unfortunately, must of the audience was not.

The sounds were unique and interesting but two hours of sound effects made for a long show and fewer people were present following intermission than had been at the beginning of the evening.

The most captivating number of the evening was a piece entitled Atom Heart Mother. Putting the organ to good use, a religious setting was established and held throughout the number. Breaking into falsetto, two members of the group sang the words Other Heart Mother, the only words of the song. The result was not unsimilar to a Gregorian chant. The addition of eerie electronic effects provided a rather impressive conclusion to the first set. The stereo equipment setup was vast and the sound literally shook the rafters.

Pink Floyd is not an unknown group. They have released three albums with a fourth ready for release and they are responsible for writing and performing the movie scores for More and Zabriskie Point"

« Concert gets mixed review », The Leader Post, 14 October 1970

18 October 1970 Intercollegiate Baseball Facility, University of California, San Diego, USA

Photographies by Jeff ALLEN

Advert for the Fillmore show.

21 October 1970 Fillmore West, San Francisco, USA

« The Pink Floyd came to The Fillmore Fast last weekend with an incredible amount of equipment, and I think just a little bit more than the normal amount of nerve! The first half of one of the two specially produced concerts was composed of material that the group had performed the last time they were in New York, and whereas they managed to keep a fair amount of control over all that they attempted (not a mean feat considering the potentially excessive nature of their material!), the set they did was still less than inspired.

Organist Richard Wright used the azimuth co-ordinator, a device which shifts the sound around speakers placed all over the hall. Among the numbers performed were Saucerful Of Secrets, Astronomy Dominé, and Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun.” Somehow I thought they would be more cosmic than they turned out to be.

But nothing could have prepared me for the second half. The Pink Floyd trooped out on stage followed by about fen union horn men (dressed "down” for their gig at the Fillmore!), and a chorus of approximately 20 singers. All of this entourage was fronted by a conductor! They all proceeded to perform a type of rock-classically fused composition that lasted about an hour, and sounded like one of Blood. Sweat and Tears' more ambitious compositions at best. I really feel that if one mixes rock with classical music something more ought to come out of it than merely bad rock or bad classical music.

At heart, I like the Pink Floyd though, and I hope they keep on experimenting. The audience, by the way, enjoyed the show immensely, and were cheering for more at the end of the concert » 

« Electric Pink Floyd employ a conductor! », Disc & Music Echo, 17 October 1970.


« Last week Pink Floyd was at the Fillmore East in a special concert produced by Jay Hoffman. I don't know what it is about Hoffman, he's produced some great concerts, but recently he has been involved with two great groups who have presented acutely embarrassing productions. 

First was the Incredible String Band, one of my favorite groups, but with that Mime Troupe Stone Monkey they made me wonder and now the Pink Floyd. The group brought six amplifiers, possibly a hundred speakers, two organs, two guitars, a set of drums, a 600 watt P.A. system, a tape recorder, a gong, and God knows what else, to the stage for the first half of the evening.  All of that paraphernalia didn't help them to play an inspired set, but I enjoyed it. (I had expected more from this "space" rock group however.) Among the numbers the group performed were "Astronomy Domine", "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun" and "Saucerful of Secrets", but only now and then did the music reach the cosmic peak one has come to expect from the Pink Floyd. But I was totally unprepared and not at all pleased with the second half. A chorus of about twenty people filed on stage and stood behind the group and about ten union horn men, with a conductor in front of the entire thing.  A long composition was performed, the music alternating between the singers, the horns and the group. It was really boring and pretentious I thought, resembling one of Blood, Sweat and Tears' more ambitious numbers than anything I feel is worthy of the Floyd. It's too bad, because I would like to see more of them.  I think they take a lot of electronic equipment and use it tastefully, and should experiment more »

« Pop Wire Lisa Robinson », RPM, 24 October 1970


Gilmour:

« (…) We performed the piece (Atom Heart Mother) at the two Fillmore and in Los Angeles, getting the choir and musicians together for those three concerts cost an extra $15,000 (…) We wouldn’t have been able to do it if we hadn’t had a subsidy from our American label, Capitol, they thought it would be good P.R. to help us out » 

« Outside the Rock Machine », Music Now!, 28 November 1970

23.10.1970 Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica, USA 

« In pre-concert interviews, in mid-concert raps and. indeed, in a somewhat pattered programme on the rest of their multi-city itinerary. the Pink Floyd stated that they would not do an encore following their monumental "Atom Heart Mother" suite. After all. as Roger "Gong" Waters so eloquently stated: « How could we top that ? », referring to the aforementioned extended opus.

Well, it was to the credit of Rog. Dave. Rick and Nick that "Atom" was followed by another work last week in a monumental concert at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. But I'll get to that later.

First, consider the reasoning for the encore performance. How do you refuse a SRO. screaming multitude of crowd which gives you an unparalleled 15-minute standing option? There ain't no way__especially when this same crowd was taking turns, in unison, yelling for « More » (no pun intended) and Overdrive. It was. seemingly in vain ... then the light dimmed and our heroes entered from stage left. It was a moment even Syd Barrett would ha\« been proud of.

If you haven't guessed by now. the Floyd offering was like a gift from the Gods to the 3.000-or-so Floyd Freaks who gathered at a mecca by the sea to pay hommage to popdom's most inventive and inspiring assemblage. (Coincidentally, the Floyd played their first-ever US gig some throe years ago. also in Santa Monica... at the now-burned-to-the-ground Cheetah Club. Barrett was there then and the set. unfortunately, was less than inspiring). There was no disappointment at this concert.

It was shades of « UmmaGumma » as the guys took off with Astronomy Domine. It came off just as powerful as their live recording: perhaps more so. due to their dynamic presence. Then into Green is the Colour, which, in turn, faded into the awesome spectacle of "Careful With That Axe. Eugene". Here's where the "fun" began. A scattered number of Floyd Freaks, many deeply stoned, just couldn't contain themselves anticipating Roger's Eugène screams and let loose with a volley of scattered shouts before Rog could act. (One poor chap continued screaming long after Waters had stopped). But old Roger won out I mean, how do you compete with a quadrophonic scream?

Fat Old Sun, a David Gilmour piece off the new album, followed and proved to be quite an

awesome vehicle__the instrumental bridge was totally re-arranged and extended. It'll probably be a staple in future tours. Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun displayed, as usual, their mastery of the idiom of quadraphonic sound; Rick Wright's complete mastery of the Azimuth Coordinator was apparent from the start. With lesser groups (and that includes the overwhelming majority) the usage of exotic sound machines would be carried far beyond the bounds of gimmickry; not so with the Floyd. Their taste and economy is impeccable. This latter point was handily illustrated through Cymbaline. the beautiful ballad-like tune off their « More » soundtrack. Again. Gilmour came to the front on lead vocals and proved himself both highly competent and remarkably improved Cm terms of delivery) over previous performances.

A totally re-worked version of Saucerful of Secrets concluded the first half of the show, displaying a harsher use of dynamics by the group and some deft gong-work by Waters. The latter was enhanced by an utterly-magnificent use of colored stage lights; the gong went from placid grey to red-hot as the music intensified.

Following the intermission came the Santa Monica debut of Atom Heart Mother ... the Floyd complote with horn section and 20-piece choir. Visually, it was a remarkable contrast; Those "long haired" Englishmen fronting a group of near-middle-aged singers, attired in golf sweaters and sport shirts (and that was just the men . . . the women, in dainty dresses, were equally straight). But none of that mattered in the face of the power of the music, itself. The blending of the Floyd, orchestra and choir went far beyond the successes of the Nice or Deep Purple or even Frank Zappa in this grey area of musical fusions... the aforementioned rock people were trying to « combine » the classical and pop idioms. The Floyd, however, just used the other elements for the benefit of their own music. And it worked masterfully... no concessions involved. Such was the impact of Atom Heart Mother; words don't do it justice. You have to experience it to do it justice to brilliance. Let's just say that it could be the ultimate show stopper by any group . .. past or present.

But. owing to the chaotic 15-minute ovation I mentioned previously, the Floyd didn't stop there. They came up with a completely re-worked version of Interstellar Overdrive, utilizing an assortment of false starts, varied time signatures, and audio dynamics to put the capper on an evening that won't soon be forgotten in Santa Monica. Or Los Angeles. Or California. 

And one added note: The Pink Floyd are now the proud owners of a spanking new Moog Synthesizer. So move over. Keith Emerson. Rick Wright is in the wings... and the Floyd are about to fly to even greater heights ».

« The Fantastic Floyd encore », Music Now, 7 November 1970


« There are many, like the adoring capacity audience that attended their Friday evening performance at the Santa Monica Civic, to whom Pink Floyd represents rock-derived avant-garde music at its most brilliant. And there are perhaps just as many who, like myself, find Pink Floyd numbingly boring at best and artistically offensive at less than best. The group is unique in the rock galaxy for its fascination with the musical potential of electronic sound, which it produces in profusion by use of an awe-inspiring assortment of synthesizers, Echoplex units, tape-loops and sun-dry other devices. As if it were to do other-wise it would have insufficient opportunity to produce all the astounding noises its equipment is capable of, the group refuses on stage to extend any song for less than 10 minutes.

This practice poses a major problem in that the four human members of Pink Floyd are all hemispheres less than interesting on their basic instruments but nevertheless reel compelled to doodle about aimlessly thereon while working up to renewed explorations of their gadgets, their music is fully as soporific as it is eerie and chilling. This problem was discomfortingly evident during the first portion of the Friday evening concert during which it extended to exhausting lengths everything from guitarist Dave Gilmour's very pretty ballads through the al-most mainstream-British-rock "Cymbaline" to bassist Roger Waters' predominantly electronic "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" with no perceivable regard to the vastly varying degrees of extendability involved. The second portion of the concert was devoted to the premiere local performance of its would-be epic "Atom Heart Mother," on which it was joined by a brass septet and a 17- strong choir.

Despite occasional quite impressive bits of scoring, the work impressed as only slightly less tedious than the rest of the Floyd repertoire, with which it shares the fault or depending all too frequently on moments of static vapidity to make more striking its few dramatic moments. Ultimately one can scarcely keep from wondering why the four human components of Floyd bother to come out on stage at all (thereon they do their level best to in no way acknowledge the presence of an audience) when computers could hardly fail to make as interesting use of their arsenal of gadgets. Pink Floyd's soul is made of stainless steel. It is essentially a case not of technology facilitating art, but rather of technology replacing art »

« Pink Floyd group features in concert », The Los Angeles Times, 26 October 1970

25 October 1970 Boston Tea Party, Boston, MA, USA


« Ultimately one can scarcely keep from wondering why the four human components of Pink Floyd bother to come out on stage at all wha, computers could hardly fail to make as interesting a use of their arsenal of gadgets »

Los Angeles Times

31.10.1970 « Black Magic & Rock & Roll », Cincinnati Gardens, Cincinnati, OH, USA (cancelled)


Wright: 

« While we were in America, we were asked to play at a voodoo convention. Sadly, we couldn't make it because the American Musicians' Union wouldn't let us play. It would have been marvelous. All the voodoo cults from all over the world meeting up with all the science fiction writers »

Beat Instrumental, January 1970

The movie « The body » is released in England

NOVEMBER 1970

DECEMBER 1970

6 November1970 Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Photographies by Lauren VAN HOUTEN (left) and Gijsbert HANEKROOT (right)

7 November 1970 Grote Zaal, De Doelen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands


« The English pop group Pink Floyd has been refused rooms by the management of Rotterdam Hilton. This was because the group was not prepared to pay in advance, did not want to guarantee that no destruction would be caused in the chambers and did not want to deposit a deposit from which any possible baths could be deducted.

Pink Floyd performed in Amsterdam last night. Tonight the group is in the Rotterdam Doelen. "Oud Wassenaar" castle has now been chosen as a hotel in Wassenaar. The management of Rotterdam Hilton motivates its demands to Pink Floyd as follows: «A few years ago (October 13, 1967 - ed.) The group stayed at the hotel« Centrai », which is opposite us, The members of the group kept it there like wild. Ailes what could be destroyed in Brun rooms is destroyed. Carpeted floors, beds, curtains, you name it. Ailes was crushed and the damage was thousands of guilders. "

In addition, people left without paying the bill of "Central". It took a long time before the management finally got the money. Now, «we do not want to qualify for a repeat of dose events. That is why we have requested a guarantee and payment in advance. Our good recuit. Certainly because next week the congress of British travel directors, the ABTA congress, will start in Rotterdam and we need to have all the rooms in perfect order for the guests that we nibble as a result. ” The management of the hotel "CentraV" wanted to comment on what happened three years ago with Pink Floyd as nlets. "This case is settled for us," was the only comment»

«Pink Floyd door Hilton Rotterdam geweigerd», Rotterdam, 7 November 1970

7 November 1970 Grote Zaal, De Doelen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

11 November 1970 Konserthuset, Gothenburg, Sweden

12 November 1970 Falkoner Theater, Copenhagen Denmark (two shows)

Photographies by Jorgen ANGEL

« They impressed an audience of 3,800 people with their cosmic sound. They dominated their equipment to a scary degree ».

BT Newspaper

13 November 1970 Vejlby Risskov Hallen, Arhus, Denmark

14 November 1970 Syd Barrett's second solo album, «Barrett», produced by David Gilmour and Richard Wright, was released in the UK, but fails to chart. 

The same day,  an exclusive interview of Nick Mason is published in « Disc & Music Echo ». The drummer talking about the future project of the band.

14 November 1970 Ernst-Merck Halle, Hamburg, West Germany

21 November 1970 « Super Pop ’70 VII », Casino de Montreux, Altes Casino, Montreux, Switzerland

Photographies by Alain OGHERI.

« Pink Floyd... More... drogue, rose, psychédélisme, LSD, tout un attirail douteux que vient encore alourdir un dernier disque « Atom Heart Mother » emphatique et grandiloquent. Tout sent l'artifice, le truc pour faire s'enflammer le_, goût romantique qui refleurit en parterre dans la jeunesse fatiguée d'être blasée ou révolutionnaire. Pourtant, bien que la fuite éperdue dans le mysticisme sente sa bonne mesure d'encens et d'orgue, avec ses rappels du murmure feutré des prêtres et des pas sourds des enfants de choeur dans les grandes nefs pleines d'échos et d'éternité, les rosaces médiévales aux mesures cosmiques, le gong d'un bonze appelant pour 'a prière, bien qu'au premier abord ces extraits de la panoplie des ficelles du lyrisme sacré exaspèrent l'entendement Pink Floyd exprime soudain le vertige de la raison devant la contemplation de l'infini, l'homme écartelé entre les étoiles dans sa projection vers l'univers.

A première vue, pourtant, les musiciens du plateau du «Sablier », à Montreux, n'ont rien que d'agaçant en ce soir de novembre : mesures rythmées de complaisance pour faire avaler lés longs dégoulinements électroniques, trucs usés, chambres d'échos, pathétique image artificielle, la salle où l'on ne saurait asseoir_, une personne de plus sent un peu l'attirance, snobarde pour la célébrité, ces soirs de première où l'on vient admirer la dernière oeuvre d'un penseur profond plus pour l'avoir vu que par nécessité spirituelle authentique : la musique pop sait aussi bien maintenant, dans sa diversité, servir l'amateur de western, de Krishnamurti ou de Claudel.

Mais bientôt on se prend à rêver de Victor Hugo pour les tempêtes et l'ampleur sonore, à Lautrémont pour le surréalisme démentiel, à « Odyssée 2001 » pour la poursuite des astres et des dieux. Au cours des différentes pièces apparaît l'impérieuse nécessité interne de ce formidable langage sonore : les pas d'un homme rayonnent de l'intimité de sa maison jusqu'au lever . du soleil, premier mouvement vers l'audelà, tout résonne, le monde n'est qu'un accident particulier d'ondes sonores, une grande pati hors du cercle étroit, les oiseaux n'ont pas peur de la mort. Pink Floyd, en grand magicien, noue le cercle de l'eau, du feu et du ciel : à une audience rejetée du mysticisme par les aspects séculiers des religions, il ouvre les portes d'or cachées dans la réalité, ses sons trafiqués et tordus, sculptés, malaxés, incantés, rejoignent quelque pureté primitive des temps où l’homme communiquait encore avec ses dieux, où dans la simplicité de la méditation il entendait encore au centre de lui-même les grandes vagues bouleversantes des sens, du destin de la vie et du monde. Sentiments précieux de plénitude de l'enfance, miracles que l'on porte en soi et que l'on a perdu, Pink Floyd stimule les réminiscences psychiques enfouies dans l'âme à l'origine des temps, à l'aube de la préhistoire, connaissance suprême que chaque homme poursuit dans la science, la religion ou les astres. Et la seconde partie du concert s'est épanouie pleinement dans le bonheur du son premier, à la fois naturel et surnaturel. Deux mille ventres, deux mille coeurs et deux mille cerveaux buvaient les promesses puissantes de « Set the control for the heart of the sun » et l'extase atteignait son apogée dans le silence tendu de « Saucerful of secrets » dont l'auditoire reprenait à demi-voix, dans la paix et l'amour, le cantique final.

Pas d'harmonies nouvelles, des bruits dont les créateurs de musique concrète ont fait l'exploration depuis longtemps, des enchaînements harmoniques anciens comme la musique elle-même, un goût très actuel pour un certain orientalisme... Agacement subtil, contrepoint permanent entre toute douceur humaine, parfois pastorale, et les déchaînements immenses de la nature, sans conflit entre les deux, sans rupture, comme si l'un était la protection naturelle et spontanée de l'autre, en étroite connivence, de même nature et du même souffle tout puissant. Revenu sur terre, Pink Floyd ramenait par la même occasion l'auditoire sur les routes du retour par deux bis donnés de bonne grâce, l'un très « Hard bop », l'autre « blues ». L'heure tardive et peu propice aux recherches subtiles voyait un retour au concret, tour de passe-passe habile qui a servi encore le prestige des musiciens »

« L’âme et le religion du pop: Pink Floyd à Montreux », L'impartial 23 November 1970

Claude Nobs gets the band for $ 4,000, and the tickets were sold in a few hours. Reason why an additional concert was organized the next day on November 22th.

22 November 1970 « Super Pop ’70 VII », Casino de Montreux, Altes Casino, Montreux, Switzerland

« Un public nombreux et correct, heureux — oui, heureux, cela est fondamental — et discipliné — oui, cela est peut-être surprenant — s’était rendu au Casino, du fanatique «fauché» qui faisait la quête pour entrer au snob distingué et élégant, plus à l’aise pourtant en cravate parmi nous qu’un chevelu au Conseil national, en passant par une tendre petite vieille, à l’abri de tout quolibet. Couvertures et sacs de couchage servaient de sièges à une partie du public à même le sol, massé au-dessous de la scène. Dès les premières mesures, «Pink Floyd» a su nous prendre, avec sa musique puissante — pas bruyante — grâce à une parfaite «sono», d’une chaleur inattendue qui n’apparaît guère dans les disques. Les musiciens s’adressent à nous physiquement, leur virtuosité nous faisant d’abord ressentir l'impression de chaleur et quelques secondes plus tard frissonner de froid. Et soudain, un bouleversement, au plus, intime de nous, venu peut-être du plus profond des âges, un cri surnaturel de Roger Waters, de plus en plus fort, appel irrésistible vers autre chose... Au feu d'artifice succède le silence, des pas qui résonnent, traversent la salle, un cheval qui hennit, une voiture qui démarre: c’est drôle et insolite, inattendu et parfait. «Pink Floyd»: des truqueurs dans le vent, disent certains, pourtant pris par eux et attentifs à ne rien perdre de leur musique, mais qui refusent de reconnaître qu’ils sont touchés au-delà de la raison, pour atteindre une sorte de bonheur, de bien-être, de plénitude par tous les sens … »

« Le « Pink Floyd » à Montreux », Construire, 16 December 1970

For this occasion, EMI invited 100 members of his crew to the event. Many press and radio crew were invited too. A sampler called "Handle with care" (tracks of Freedom, BB King, James gang ...) was offer after the gig. (Source "Swiss EMI in Floyd drive", Billboard 12.12.1970). See here for more details

Photography by Claude NOBS (the EMI crew in the front row).

David Gilmour is interviewed in French by RTS for the TV show « Carrefour ». See this page for more details

Backstage. Photographies by G. RINDERSPACHER

The same day, the musical press magazine « Crawdaddy » publish a long article about the Floyd.

25 November 1970 Friedrich Ebert Halle, Ludwigshafen, West Germany

26 November1970 Killesberg Halle 14, Stuttgart, West Germany

27 November 1970 Neidersachsenhalle, Hannover, West Germany

28 November « Music from the body » is released

The same day, « New Musical Express » announces four English concert for the end of this year

28 november 1970 Saarlandhalle, Saarbrücken, Germany

« Lorsque les Pink Floyd terminèrent leur premier morceau de la soirée, les 4.000 personnes, des jeunes en majorité qui avaient pris place dans l'immense Saarlandhall de Sarrebruck, éclatèrent en applaudissements, cris et sifflements en tous genres. Et l'on entendit rien; ou plutôt on eut l'impression que quelques centaines de personnes de bonne compagnie, applaudissant du bout des doigts, manifestaient discrètement leur satisfaction. C'était tout à fait ridicule. L'oreille venait d'encaisser un tel nombre de décibels qu'après, tout autre bruit paraissait d'une faiblesse et d'une mesquinerie lamentable.

Ce qui frappait d'ailleurs le fidèle de la religion Pop, ou le païen mécréant lorsqu'il pénètre dans le temple, c'était l'autel où "ils" devaient officier; les enceintes acoustiques tapissaient le fond, et sur le devant, formaient à chaque extrémité deux murs sombres impressionnants et mystérieux. Peut-être y en avaient-ils une quarantaine; les inconditionnels parlaient de soixante, ou même plus. A droite, de profil, on devinait un orgue, et, à côté, ce qui s'avéra être le tableau de commande de toute leur machinerie électronique. Au milieu, une batterie impressionnante, et, légèrement en arrière, un gong magnifique. Un initié m'indiqua respectueusement qu'il y avait pour 30 millions de matériels (anciens Francs), sans compter le gong, qui faisait à lui tout seul un million deux cent mille francs (anciens Francs). Ce que je répétai un peu plus tard, non moins respectueusement, à un autre néophyte.

Ce que le Pink Floyd tira de ces 31.200.000 francs fut absolument magnifique. Si l'on n'a pas été soi-même pour les écouter, on ne peut ni deviner, ni concevoir, ni comprendre le choc que produit une telle musique et son emprise totale sur l'auditeur. Les mots, pour celui qui n'a pas connu cette emprise, paraissent peu convaincants, démesurés. Et cela, justement, parce que c'est la musique de la démesure. Démesure dans le volume sonore, démesure dans le son, démesure dans le scénario, car on se trouve devant une véritable mise en scène de la musique.

La puissance sonore chez les Pink Floyd devient un élément essentiel, au même titre que le rythme ou la mélodie. Elle lui donne une dimension supérieure, qui en fait une musique spatiale, tellement elle enveloppe. Les notions de source et de niveau sonore, et tous les concepts qui servent à mesurer et à limiter n'ont plus aucun sens. L'auditeur est une éponge. La musique un absolu qui est partout, et d'abord au plus profond de soi-même. Pour obtenir un tel impact, il ne suffit pas de faire beaucoup de bruit; à ce point, au contraire, la médiocrité serait insupportable. Or, chaque arrangement est terriblement efficace. Les Pink Floyd, pour lancer leurs improvisations les plus folles, s'appuient sur un thème simple et d'une conception très "classique"; mais grâce à une section rythmique étonnamment inspirée, on ne peut rester indifférent à leurs mélodies qui, en d'autres lieux, paraîtraient banales.

Une telle musique ne peut être que passionnelle; ne serait-ce que parce que, physiquement, elle fait vibrer les tripes. Chaque morceau est une construction dramatique, avec une période de charge, une période de tension, qui atteint parfois un degré presque insoutenable, puis, soudain, tout retombe, de longues notes d'orgue apaisent tout, ou un géant invisible se met à faire le tour de la salle claquant pour finir une porte imaginaire et monumentale. Et lorsque l'on regarde sur la scène, on éprouve un sentiment d'irréel; deux jeunes types grattant nonchalamment une guitare épaisse comme une biscotte, un troisième tripotant des petits boutons ou tournant la manivelle d'une espèce de petit moulin à café (pour orienter les hauts-parleurs directionnels), le dernier, un méchant galurin noir sur le nez, s'escrimant avec deux baguettes. L'esprit n'arrive pas admettre que ce sont ces quatre là, perdus au milieu des remparts de hauts-parleurs, qui déchaînent une pareille tempête. Quelles sont les possibilités d'évolution de cette musique ? Est-elle condamnée à l'appauvrissement ? Ou bien a-t-elle assez de ressources pour se renouveler lorsque, complètement exploitée dans sa forme actuelle, elle commencera à s'épuiser ? Il est bien impossible de le savoir ; mais qu'importe, c'est une aventure passionnante ».

« Pink Floyd à Sarrebruck, pop alchimie », Le Républicain Lorrain, 2 December 1970.


« Il avait l'air respectable avec ses cheveux longs le Pink Floyd. C'est peut-être cela qui attiré 4 000 personnes dans ce gant ouvert, gris acier, armature de la Saarlandhalle à Sarrebruck.

Là, dans le décor bénit d'une scène, tantôt marine, tantôt grenadine, nous avons vu comme par enchantement le Pink Floyd, sans paillettes ni habit, avec un naturel sans duplicata, se changer tour à tour en oiseau ou poisson astraux.Pour ce faire, le quatuor anglais sut exploiter son don de haute sorcellerie, une complicité franchement spatiale, et quarante "marmites-amplis" dans lesquels tout l'intellect se dissout obligatoirement. Plus rien alors ne put empêcher cette musique stupéfiante de réinventer l'agression, pour atteindre finalement la translucidité sereine d'un saphir blanc. Cela semblait être la réponse des astres à l'expressivité si exaspérée de Pink Floyd. Quatuor magique, il est resté 3 heures durant maître d'une improvisation surnaturelle, inspirant consciencieusement une fête extraordinaire plus sonore que visuelle.

Tout semblait prêt pour que le public immense puisse saisir la signification pathétique de « The Piper at the gates of down » ou de « More » … pour que ces milliers de jeunes puissent enfin vibrer tout entier à la substance organique d'un The Heart of the sun ou de Green souligné par le tissu orchestral laborieux de Richard Wright à l'orgue qui ne gênait pourtant en rien la netteté formelle des plans sonores produits par les guitares basse et solo de David Gilmour et Roger Waters. Samedi dernier, ils avaient l'air misérables, ceux qui se fichaient de la barbichette de Nick Mason, le batteur. Un jour, ils découvriront qu'ils sont passés à côté du génie de Pink Floyd »

« Quatuor magique », Le Républicain Lorrain, 2 December 1970.

29 November 1970 Circus Krone, Munich, Germany

4 December 1970 Waters, Mason and O’Rourke fly to Paris for a dinner with Petit, Polanski and Nurejev prior their participation to a french TV show.

5 December 1970. the band play an improvisation (called Corrosion in the « Early Years » boxset) for the ORTF Television, Buttes Chaumont (See this page for more details)

Photographies by Alain LIENNARD.

11 December 1970 Big Apple, Regent Theatre, Brighton, England

12 December 1970 The Roundhouse Public House, Dagenham, England

18 December 1970 Town Hall, Birmingham, England

« Snap, crackle and pop, a whistling kettle, and the smell of bacon cooking opened the first set of the Pink Floyd concert at Birmingham Town Hall just before Christmas. (Friday, December 18). Needless to say it was the Psychedelic Breakfast from the «Atom Heart Mother» album. Another surprise came for the opening of the second set. A 15 strong choir and complete horn section wandered on to the stage to accompany Floyd on Atom Heart Mother the first performance in the provinces of this remarkable suite, which brought the 2,000 audience to their feet in acclaim.

The first set was an appetizer for the suite. Moving on from Breakfast Floyd played some very powerful music, with complicated time changes, stops and starts, and a very economic use of sound effects ranging from crying babies, galloping horses, gongs, zissling crash cymbals to aircraft noises on the Moog topped off by the well controlled feed-back.

The Dave Gilmour vocals on Fat Old Sun were tinged with sentimentality, and he delivered the ballad-like tune well. His voice has a certain originality of nearly break ing into a sob, but not quite managing it.

The second set, which had been eagerly anticipated, was no let-down.

As soon as Floyd started to play an electric excitement buzzed through the hall — which intensified with the pressure of the music. The use of choir and horns enhances their musical abilities. At first the music is quiet with soft drumming, a good lead by Dave, a strong bass line and a soothing organ. The choir adds to the sounds, and then the introduction of the brass fuses the rock and classical music, generating a very powerful sound. The use of brass is subtle, making the intricate music more urgent and forceful, highlighting Pink Floyd.

Frequently they are left to put some very hard rock into the suite, driven on by the precise drumming of Nicki Mason, with some relief by Rick on the Moog. loosing the significance of the music in preparation for the climax. And slowly the suite continued to gain strength reaching its final peak to the exuberant delight of the Floyd freaks».

« Alan’s Psychedelic Birmingham », New Musical Express, 2 January 1971.


« It takes courage to record a project like Pink Floyd’s «Atom Heart Mother». But it Is an even bolder step to take ; the work on the road. Yet the occasion was an unqualified success when Pink Floyd performed Atom Heart Mother with choir and brass at Birmingham Town Hall on Friday. Unlike their Hyde Park summer concert, when the music was lost to the birds and the trees, they were able to fill the vast town hall with glorious sounds. It was a moving experience and a truly brilliant exercise in combining the world's of electronic, orchestral and choral music.

Their opening    number, Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast was better than the LP, even smell the eggs and bacon frying and see the whistling kettle coming to the boil bang on cue! Pink Floyd also featured Fat Old Sun from the «Atom Heart Mother» album. But it was in doing one of their more familiar items, Saucerful Of Secrets, that they really pulled out all the stops»

« Pink Floyd », Melody Maker, 26 December 1970

20 December 1970 Colston Hall, Bristol, England

21 December 1970 Free Trade Hall, Manchester, England (with orchestra and choir)

«“Judas!”…. yes, this was the very place where someone had hurled the cruel epithet at another of my heroes back in 1966 (oh, to have been there [must keep reminding myself never to say “if only”……after all, I only missed the Beatles at the Cavern by a hair’s breadth…..but that’s another story] – now, his 1966 electric shows really did redefine ‘rock’). I touched on this show a few days ago and that’s how I got into this whole recollection thing…….not that I’m not enjoying it…….I’m playing 1967-71 shows every step of the way and, for these, I must thank all of you 

The Free Trade Hall, a neoclassical (is that the right word?) building, the home of England’s Halle Orchestra. [All that’s left now is the façade behind which is a modern hotel…..not unlike The Alamo in Texas or so I’m led to believe]. I’d seen Frank Zappa there about a month earlier with seats on about the 6th row. For the Floyd we had seats up in the circle and round to the left (so we looked down and to our left towards the stage. I’ll cut & paste what I wrote a few days ago…… “…I still have hazy memories of the performance. Part (all?) of the stage was set up as a kitchen. There was definitely a huge (maybe 6+ feet high?) box of Kelloggs Cornflakes and I seem to think everything else might have been oversized too - a bottle of ketchup, a radio, a bowl and spoon, maybe the table and chairs too? Did anyone else see these shows or have any photographs survived?”

That’s my abiding memory of this show, looking down onto this ‘large’ breakfast scene. I know that the box Cornflakes was enormous and the other things were there so they must have been ‘large’ too or it would have just looked stupid. I’ve listened and listened to the tape but I can’t dredge up any memory of what was happening on stage, or who participated. Surely someone else out there was at one of these shows?

«Breakfasts aside, this was of course a show with a full choir and orchestra for Atom Heart Mother, which had been premiered at the Bath Festival and released to public acclaim on LP. As I intimated in an earlier posting, I didn’t welcome the additions to this piece because I loved the band-only version so much. Nonetheless, it was stirring (that’s not the right word, but still...…) to see and hear the choir and the brass. I do remember feeling that it seemed to inhibit the band as they had to keep strict time with the rest of the ensemble, who were working to musical scores. That’s all I can really remember of this show except I think it had snowed outside (listen to the audience coughing on the tape of the Sheffield show the following night)»

«Recollections of Early Floyd Shows» (Simond), Yeeshkul Website, 9 March 2015

22 December 1970 City (Oval) Hall, Sheffield, England

Roger is interviewed by Mike Watts for a future issue of « Melody Maker » in his Islington’s home  near London

Barrie Wentzell:

«I was with Mick Watts, the writer from the Melody Maker doing an interview with Roger in this rather dark and cramped basement flat, illuminated only by one small window looking out onto the backyard. We were sitting around the kitchen table talking, I was taking pictures, and Roger was in deep thought about something and about to speak when a black cat suddenly jumped up on the table, sat down, and stared intently out of the window. A few seconds later another cat jumped up to join the first and then a third. Then, as Roger turned to see what they were observing so intently, “snap,” I got this picture »

«No One Knew What They Looked Like», Q Magazine #98, November 1994

25 December 1970: the christmas spirit of the band …


Gilmour:

« I remember after Michael Watts did his piece on us, we all gave him a complete blank in an aeroplane. It wasn’t deliberate. We just didn’t recognize him. But he made some snide remark in the « Melody Maker », so we sent him a box with a boxing glove inside on a spring. Nick got them specially made. But it wasn’t taken in good humour »

Q Magazine, November 1992


Chris Charlesworth (Melody Maker reporter):

«The box arrived in Melody Maker’s offices in December 1970, just in time for Christmas, addressed to Michael Watts.  It was a sturdily constructed hardwood cube, painted dark red, about the size of half-a-dozen hardback books piled on top of each other. It was very heavy, and Watts approached it with caution, gingerly drawing back the catch that held down the lid. THWACK! It zapped open with the speed of light and a boxing glove on a powerful spring shot out. It would have broken my jaw if I hadn’t jumped out of the way fast,” says Watts today. «It was a really powerfully built thing, very dangerous. It was a Christmas present from the Pink Floyd. They hadn’t liked my review of Atom Heart Mother»»

«No One Knew What They Looked Like», Q Magazine #98, November 1994


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