It’s more than safe to say that Pink Floyd is one of the biggest and most successful bands in music history.
Formed in London in 1965, they achieved worldwide admiration and success with their progressive and psychedelic music combined with philosophical lyrics. The original Pink Floyd lineup consisted of Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, Nick Mason, and Richard Wright.
David Gilmour joined the band two years later in 1967. Only a couple of months after Gilmour joined, Syd left the band due to deteriorating mental health.
In 1996, Pink Floyd was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But enough with the trivia, now let’s dig into some interesting Pink Floyd facts.
15 Interesting Pink Floyd Facts
15. Pink Floyd wasn’t always Pink Floyd
Before becoming what they are known as today, the band underwent many name-changes until 1965.
At first, they were known as Sigma 6. This was a sextet composed of Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Richard Wright, and three other musicians who later left the band.
However, that is just one of the many names the band had before settling on Pink Floyd. It was also called the Meggadeaths, the Abdabs and the Screaming Abdabs, Leonard’s Lodgers, the Spectrum Five, and the Tea Set.
Tea Set was supposed to be the final name that everyone liked, but sadly they had to rename the group once again because there was another band with identical name playing at the same event as them. Apparently, Barrett came up with Pink Floyd shortly after learning about the other band’s name.
14. The name Pink Floyd is an amalgam
The band’s name was inspired by two American blues musicians Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. Syd Barrett named the group in their honor by combining their first names. Thankfully he chose their first names instead of their last names. Imagine a band called Anderson Council, that doesn’t sound nearly as cool as Pink Floyd.
13. The Dark Side of the Moon is the fourth best-selling album of all time
Not only it’s the band’s best-selling album, but ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ is also the fourth best-selling album of all time in music history. As of November 2018, ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ has sold over 45 million copies worldwide.
12. Bob Klose – Pink Floyd’s forgotten lead guitarist
Bob Klose was part of the original line-up of Sigma 6 in 1963. He remained the band’s lead guitarist until the birth of Pink Floyd.
Apparently, he wanted to focus more on his studies and quite frankly didn’t like the new type of music Pink Floyd was making under Syd Barrett’s leadership. He was more interested in jazz and blues.
Despite his love for music, Bob Klose went on to become a successful photographer and print-maker.
11. Pink Floyd recorded albums in David Gilmour’s houseboat
In 1986, David bought a houseboat called Astoria that was already a century old at the time. He then turned the houseboat into a recording studio.
In fact, all of Pink Floyd‘s post-Waters era albums were recorded there. For instance, ‘The Division Bell’, ‘A Momentary Lapse of Reason’, and ‘The Endless River.
10. Pink Floyd was the first rock band to use live surround sound
Yes, you heard that right. Pink Floyd was the first group to use live surround sound. They used the Azimuth co-coordinator quadraphonic sound system. Probably one of the main reasons for their unique sound.
9. Their debut single ‘Arnold Layne’ is based on a real person
The odd fellow who steals women’s clothing is actually a real person that the bandmembers knew. Here’s what Roger Waters had to say about this eccentric fella.
“Both my mother and Syd’s mother had students as lodgers because there was a girls’ college up the road so there were constantly great lines of bras and knickers on our washing lines and ‘Arnold’ or whoever he was, had bits off our washing lines.”
Fun fact – this single landed them a deal with EMI records.
8. Despite their huge commercial success they kind of “sucked” at singles
Maybe one of the most interesting Pink Floyd facts is the fact that they topped the Hot 100 Singles Billboard Chart only once. And of course, the only single to achieve such feat was ‘Another Brick in the Wall (part 2)’.
However, the reason behind this was the group’s reluctance to shorten their songs for radio plays. Similar to Led Zeppelin, they also wanted fans to listen to their entire albums and not just greatest hits.
7. The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wizard of Oz similarity
When the two are played simultaneously, they are perfectly matched. However, the band has denied any kind of intentional synchronization in the past. Nevertheless, there are still some fans out there who believe that it was intentional.
Personally, this is one of my favorite Pink Floyd facts.
6. The ‘Wish You Were Here’ album cover isn’t edited
This is the part where Pink Floyd facts get wild.
The album’s cover image which portrays two businessmen shaking hands while one of them is on fire, is in fact real. Ronnie Rondell (the man on fire) wore a fire-retardant suit and actually was set on fire. Those aren’t some cheap photoshop effects!
5. Roger Waters fired Richard Wright
During the making of ‘The Wall’, Wright had some personal issues and distanced himself from his band-mates. They couldn’t even get to him, and that caused problems and frustrations in the band.
Because of that, Waters was forced to make a move and fired Richard. Eventually they made peace and Wright returned to complete the album.
This was also the last album made by Pink Floyd‘s most famous and accomplished lineup.
4. Syd isn’t Barret’s real name
Not many people know that Syd’s real name is Roger Keith Barrett. He was nicknamed “Syd” by his friends after a local drummer named Sid Barrett.
3. Pink Floyd has sold over 250 million records worldwide
One of the most astonishing Pink Floyd facts is that they have sold over 250 million records worldwide. Only Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, and The Beatles are ahead of them. What an achievement!
2. “Kids” sued Pink Floyd
Do you remember the kids that sang the chorus on ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ (part 2)? Of course you do.
Well, while filming the music video someone ‘forgot’ to pay them. So, 25 years after the song was released, the “kids” (now adults) decided to sue Pink Floyd. However, the band won the lawsuit and the kids did not receive a dime, once again!
1. Pink Floyd rejected Stanley Kubrick
In 1970, Stanley Kubrick approached Pink Floyd and asked them for permission to use part of Atom Heart Mother album’s title track for his famous film A Clockwork Orange.
However, the band denied him permission. The reason? Stanley was going to cut parts of the track while the band wanted everything to be included because the song would “lose its artistic integrity”. Another reason was the fact that Kubrick didn’t know exactly what pieces of music he wanted to use or what to do with them.
If you know more interesting Pink Floyd facts and want to share them leave a comment down below!Share