Novelist and journalist Polly Samson described the new album as keyboard player ‘Rick Wright’s swansong’ when she announced it on Twitter. She also said it was ‘very beautiful’. Richard Wright died from cancer in 2008. Samson is married to Dave Gilmour.
Polly Samson began said tweet with “Btw”, and 7.1k retweets and 3.7k favourites later it must surely be the hottest so-incidental-she-used-an-acronym announcement of the year.
Sampson co-wrote seven of the eleven songs on ‘The Division Bell’. She has also contributed lyrics to the forthcoming ‘The Endless River’.
Pink Floyd made their music available on Spotify in 2013, and in anticipation of the big event they streamed one song, ‘Wish You Were Here’. Once fans streamed the song one million times, access to the whole back catalogue was granted.
Charlie Gilmour is the son of Sampson and novelist Heathcote Williams, and is David Gilmour’s adopted son. Charlie was jailed in 2011 for violent disorder during student fees demonstrations, after famously swinging from a union flag on the Cenotaph whilst under the influence of whisky and acid.
Pink Floyd sued label EMI in 2010 when it sold tracks separately on iTunes (the band stipulated in their contract that tracks had to be sold as a whole album or nothing at all). The judge agreed that separate songs could not be sold without the group’s consent.
While Pink Floyd don’t perform anymore, there’s a whole industry of lucrative covers bands who will take their songs around the world. The Australian Pink Floyd have sold more than 3 million tickets playing in 35 different countries, and they even made an appearance at David Gilmour’s 50th birthday party.
Roger Waters caused an international furore in December 2013 and was accused of antisemitism when he compared modern day Israelis to the nazis. Speaking about “oppression” of the Palestinians in a magazine interview he said: “The parallels with what went on in the 1930s in Germany are so crushingly obvious.”
Pink Floyd have sold a whopping 118.8 million records (certified units) worldwide. Only six artists in history have sold more.
In 2005 Waters joined Mason, Gilmour and Wright for the first (and last) show the four would do together since Earl’s Court in 1981. The special occasion was Live8, an event to put pressure on G8 leaders and to Make Poverty History, organised by – who else – Bob Geldof.