Yesterday, David Gilmour announced that Pink Floyd had reconvened with a new line up to record a new single for charity. Understandably, many of the band’s more open minded fans were overjoyed. Some of their more vocal supporters, bizarrely – though not entirely unpredictably – expressed an extreme displeasure.
Gilmour, original Floyd drummer Nick Mason, long serving bass player Guy Pratt (associated with the band since the mid 80s) and Nitin Sawney (substituting for the sadly deceased Rick Wright) have issued the new recording ‘Rise Up, Rise Up’ under the Pink Floyd name to raise money for the war effort in Ukraine. David has friends and family ties there, and a long standing love for the country. The vocals on the new recording are performed by his friend Andeiy Khlyvynyuk of Ukrainian band Boombox, and its lyrics are taken from a protest song. Everything about this is from the heart. Everything about this revival of the Pink Floyd name is admirable. And yet, for some supposed fans, it’s not enough.
The social media channels went into overdrive. Among the praise for Gilmour, there seemed to be an alarming number of idiots unable to see past their own interests and prejudices. On the Facebook page for Prog magazine, the first comment read “Pink Floyd my arse.” [sic].
The comments kept coming. The worst actually called Pink Floyd “Ukro-Nazi collaborators”, and another claimed that Waters was right “not wanting any part of [this] insipid nonsense.” Many detractors wheeled out tired chants, centring around a “No Waters, No Floyd” rhetoric, almost as if the outspoken ex-bassist had brainwashed his army of whining fanboys. Perhaps worst of all, some accused Gilmour of resurrecting the Floyd moniker to merely draw attention to himself, completely (and perhaps deliberately) missing the point of why this recording even exists.
David is capable of pulling a crowd on his own merits and own talents. His ‘Rattle That Lock’ album is arguably fresher, more varied and infinitely more likeable than Roger’s concurrently released ‘Is This The Life We Really Want’, but none of that is the point here at all. The revived Floyd name is merely a means to make this more amenable to the casual music fan. It also guarantees wider news coverage, getting the charity download out there further. Gilmour knows that the Pink Floyd name will automatically sell more downloads of the new track, and with all proceeds going to an important charity, that can only be a good thing.
Waters supporters (increasingly sounding insular and in need of some kind of self-help group) need to understand that this is more important than fan loyalties to certain band members, even ones who’ve been creatively spent since the mid 90s. Their “no show without Mr. Punch” attitude has been tiresome for years. Now, it’s just plain unforgivable. By trashing the latest move from Gilmour and Mason, they might as well be supportive of Putin’s ongoing attempts at destroying Europe.
This travesty is bigger than all of us. The world’s well-being is far greater than your love for a man who has had no claim upon Pink Floyd’s work since 1987.
Get over yourselves.
Hopefully, just hopefully, there’s a lot of new music out there you actually enjoy. Otherwise that’s a lot of spent energy attacking various Pink Floyd members on internet platforms, year in and year out.
The new recording from Pink Floyd (featuring Andeiy Khlyvynyuk) can be downloaded from the vendor of your choice.
A heartfelt piece detailing David Gilmour’s reasons for issuing the new single can be read here.