David Gilmour

David Jon Gilmour CBE (born March 6, 1946 in Cambridge) is an English guitarist, singer, and songwriter best known as a member of the band Pink Floyd. In addition to his work with Pink Floyd, Gilmour has also worked as a record producer for a variety of artists. Gilmour has been very active in many charity organizations over the course of his career. In 2003, he was appointed CBE for this work. Gilmour was also voted No. 1 in Fender's Greatest Players poll in the February 2006 issue of Guitarist (UK) magazine. Gilmour was born and grew up in the affluent Grantchester Meadows area of Cambridge, England. His father, Douglas Gilmour, was a senior lecturer in zoology at the University of Cambridge and his mother, Sylvia, was a teacher.

Gilmour attended The Perse School on Hills Road, Cambridge, and met future Pink Floyd bandmate Syd Barrett who attended Cambridgeshire High School for Boys, also situated on Hills Road. He took modern languages A-Levels, and along with Syd, he spent his lunchtimes learning to play the guitar. They were not bandmates however, and Gilmour started playing in the band Joker's Wild in 1963. Gilmour left Joker's Wild in 1966 and busked around Spain and France with some friends. They weren't particularly successful, living a hand-to-mouth existence. Indeed, Gilmour ended up in hospital being treated for malnutrition, as he confirmed in an interview with Nicky Horne on BBC radio in July of 1992. In 1967, they returned to England, driving a van with fuel stolen from a building site in France.

Gilmour was asked to join Pink Floyd late 1967 making Pink Floyd briefly a five-piece. He was used to fill in for Barrett's guitar parts when the front man was unable to take a consistent part in Floyd's live performances. When Syd Barrett "left" the group (when the band chose not to pick him up one night for a gig due to his increasingly LSD-induced unresponsive behaviour on stage), Gilmour by default assumed the role of the band's lead guitarist and shared lead vocal duties with Roger Waters and Richard Wright in Barrett's stead. Gilmour's guitar playing and song writing became major factors of Pink Floyd's world-wide success during the 1970s.[citation needed] However, after the back-to-back successes of first Dark Side of the Moon and then Wish You Were Here, Waters took more and more control over the band, writing most of Animals and The Wall by himself. Wright was fired during The Wall sessions and the relationship between Gilmour and Waters would further deteriorate during the making of The Wall film and the 1983 Pink Floyd album The Final Cut.

In 1985, Waters declared that "as far as he was concerned Pink Floyd was over". However, in 1986, Gilmour and drummer Nick Mason issued a press release saying that Waters had quit the band and they intended to continue on without Waters. Gilmour assumed full control of the group and created A Momentary Lapse of Reason in 1987 with some contributions from Mason. Wright rejoined the band for a lengthy world tour and helped create 1994's The Division Bell as well. Gilmour explained:
“ I had a number of problems with the direction of the band in our recent past, before Roger left. I thought the songs were very wordy and that, because the specific meanings of those words were so important, the music became a mere vehicle for lyrics, and not a very inspiring one... Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here were so successful not just because of Roger's contributions, but also because there was a better balance between the music and the lyrics than there has been in more recent albums. That's what I'm trying to do with A Momentary Lapse of Reason; more focus on the music, restore the balance. ”

In 1986, Gilmour purchased the houseboat Astoria which is moored on the River Thames near Hampton Court, and transformed it into a recording studio. The majority of the two most recent Pink Floyd albums and Gilmour's 2006 solo release, On An Island, were recorded there.

On July 2, 2005, Gilmour played with Pink Floyd — including Roger Waters — at Live 8. The performance caused a temporary 1,343% sales increase of Pink Floyd's album Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd.[citation needed] As a result, Gilmour vowed to donate all of his resulting profits to charities that reflect the goals of Live 8 saying:
“ Though the main objective has been to raise consciousness and put pressure on the G8 leaders, I will not profit from the concert. This is money that should be used to save lives. ”

Shortly after, he also called upon all artists experiencing a surge in sales from Live 8 performances to donate the extra revenue to Live 8 fundraising.

On February 3, 2006, he announced in an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica that Pink Floyd would most likely never tour or write material together again. He said:
“ I think enough is enough. I am 60 years old. I don't have the will to work as much anymore. Pink Floyd was an important part in my life, I have had a wonderful time, but it's over. For me it's much less complicated to work alone. ”

He said that by agreeing to Live 8, he had ensured the story of Floyd would not end on a sour note.
“ There was more than one reason, firstly to support the cause. The second one is the energy consuming an uncomfortable relationship between Roger and me that I was carrying along in my heart. That is why we wanted to perform and to leave the trash behind. Thirdly I might have regretted it if I declined. ”

On February 20, 2006, Gilmour changed his stance on Pink Floyd's future when interviewed by Billboard.com stating "Who knows? I have no plans at all to do that. My plans are to do my concerts and put my [solo] record out." The tone of that statement seems to imply that either he has not ruled out any more one-off gigs or a farewell concert. Also 2007 will mark the 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd as a professional recording and touring band and reports are out that some big occasion will go down to celebrate Pink Floyd's 40th anniversary although as things stand there are no plans to reactivate Pink Floyd at the moment.

In December 2006, Gilmour released a tribute to Syd Barrett, who had died in July of that year, in the form of his own version of Floyd's first single "Arnold Layne". Recorded live at London's Royal Albert Hall, the CD single featured versions of the song performed by Floyd keyboardist (and Gilmour band member) Richard Wright and special guest artist David Bowie.

During Pink Floyd's quiet spells, David Gilmour has amused himself as a producer and even concert sound engineer, for a wide variety of acts including former bandmate Syd Barrett, Kate Bush, Grace Jones, Tom Jones, Elton John, B.B. King, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Sam Brown, Jools Holland, Bob Dylan, Pete Townshend, The Who, Supertramp, Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson, Alan Parsons, various charity "supergroups" and many more.

He has also recorded two solo albums which both hit the U.S. Top 40 and went Gold, his 1978 self-titled debut and 1984's About Face. His third released album was On an Island.

With Nick Mason and Pink Floyd manager Steve O'Rourke, he took to the road in October 1991 to take part in La Carrera Panamericana - a scenic film which recreated the legendary car race held in Mexico throughout the early 1950's. The original film, which was shown on BBC in December 1991, included a soundtrack of new and previously released tracks from Pink Floyd. The edited video was released the next year on VHS and LD.

In 2001 and 2002, he held a small number of acoustic solo concerts in London and Paris, along with a small band and choir, which has been documented on the In Concert release.

His third solo album, On An Island, was released on March 6, 2006, his 60th birthday, and one day later in the U.S. Produced by Gilmour with Phil Manzanera and Chris Thomas, the album features orchestrations by renowned Polish composer Zbigniew Preisner. The album features David Crosby and Graham Nash on harmonies, Robert Wyatt on cornet and percussion and Richard Wright on Hammond organ and vocals. Other contributors include Jools Holland, Phil Manzanera, Georgie Fame, Robert Wyatt, Andy Newmark, B. J. Cole, Chris Stainton, Willie Wilson, Rado ‘Bob’ Klose on guitar and Leszek Możdżer on piano. The album also features Gilmour's debut on saxophone.

David Gilmour toured Europe, the U.S. and Canada from March 10 to May 31 for On An Island. There were 10 shows total in the U.S. and Canadian leg of the tour. Pink Floyd alumnus Richard Wright, and frequent Floyd collaborators Dick Parry, Guy Pratt and Jon Carin have accompanied him on the tour. There were some further shows in July and August of 2006 in Europe.

In a press release to promote the tour, David Gilmour stated:
“ "I'm rather hoping that with this tour announcement people will believe me when I say, honestly, this is the only band I plan to tour with!". ”

On An Island confirmed Gilmour's popularity by entering the UK charts at #1. The album was also certified platinum in Canada on April 10, 2006, with sales of over 100,000 copies. The album also gave Gilmour his first U.S. Top 10 album as a solo artist.

Gilmour has a very precise solo style, rooted in blues and notable for expressive note bends and sustain. His solos are noted for being well-composed, economical, lyrical and emotional. In interviews, Gilmour has explained that what he sees as his lack of technique led him to concentrate on melody over speed and 'virtuosity', and this is borne out by the enduring appeal of his solos. To this end, he has also been an experimenter and innovator in the use of amplifiers and guitar effects.

During many of his solos he would switch the guitar to the rhythm (or neck) pickup. This produced a fatter and stronger sound and is featured in "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and "Echoes". This is part of what gives Gilmour's playing such an distinctive sound and tone.

While he is chiefly associated with the Fender Stratocaster, Gilmour's sound is more the result of choice of notes and playing style than specific equipment. Indeed, one of his most famous solos ("Another Brick in the Wall Part 2") was played on a Gibson Les Paul.

Although mainly known for his guitar work, Gilmour is also a proficient multi-instrumentalist. He also plays bass guitar (which he did on some Floyd tracks), keyboards, drums (as heard on the Syd Barrett solo track "Dominoes", and other songs where he opted to play all the instruments) and lately, the saxophone.

In 1996, Gilmour was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Pink Floyd.

In August 2006, Gilmour's solo on "Comfortably Numb" was voted the greatest guitar solo of all time in a poll by viewers of the digital music station Planet Rock.

Gilmour has four children from his first marriage, to Ginger; Alice (b.1976), Clare (b.1980), Sara (b.1982) and Matthew (b.1985). They originally attended a Waldorf School, but Gilmour called their education there "horrific". He has four children from his second marriage (to Polly Samson) - one adopted (Samson's son with Heathcote Williams, Charlie) and three biological, Joe, Gabriel and Romany. Charlie can be heard speaking, on the telephone to Steve O'Rourke, at the end of The Division Bell.

In May 2003, Gilmour sold his London house in Little Venice to Earl Spencer (brother of Lady Diana) and contributed the £3.6 million (U$5.9 million) he made to a housing project for the homeless and mentally ill. Charities to whom Gilmour has lent support include the European Union Mental Health and Illness Association, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, The Lung Foundation, Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy, Crisis and — at the behest of his friend Paul McCartney — PETA.

In November 2003, he was made a CBE, for philanthropy and for services to music.

Gilmour is also an experienced pilot. Under the guise of his company, Intrepid Aviation, he had amassed an impressive collection of historical aircraft. He decided to sell Intrepid, for the following reason (taken from a BBC radio interview in 2002):
“ Intrepid Aviation was a way for me to make my hobby pay for itself a little bit, but gradually over a few years Intrepid Aviation became a business because you have to be businesslike about it. Suddenly I found instead of it being a hobby and me enjoying myself, it was a business and so I sold it. I don't have Intrepid Aviation any more. I just have a nice old biplane that I pop up, wander around the skies in sometimes... ”

Though generally polite, friendly and easygoing, David Gilmour is annoyed when reporters address him as "Dave". He claims never to have used that nickname, preferring his given name, David. However, the three other members of Pink Floyd have often referred to him as "Dave" when giving their own interviews. Gilmour's cause is not helped by the fact that Harvest/EMI in the UK referred to him on his eponymous 1978 solo album and the cover of Floyd's 1971 album "Meddle" as "Dave" although the U.S. pressings correctly referred to him as David.

Also, when his long term friend, author Douglas Adams, died in 2001, Gilmour posted a tribute on the message board of Adams' official site; "Too soon, it is indeed. You'll be missed by the world. I'm just grateful you were able to enjoy your genius being appreciated. Your Friend and Fan, Dave".

The following is a list of equipment David either has used on his solo or Pink Floyd recordings, as well as on current or previous tours.


* Fender
o Stratocaster
+ His main guitar, much modified over the years, is a (1970) black Stratocaster with black pickguard and white pickup covers, currently with a 1957 vintage re-issue maple neck
+ His main guitar for the post-Roger Waters era Pink Floyd tours in support of A Momentary Lapse of Reason, Delicate Sound of Thunder (dubbed Another Lapse) and The Division Bell was a Red '57 reissue with a set of EMG active pickups. On the "On An Island" tour it was used every night of the tour on "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and "Wearing the Inside Out".
+ Gilmour is the owner of Strat #0001. However, this is not the first Stratocaster ever made. It was last seen at the Strat Concert in Wembley Arena in 2004.
+ Cream coloured '57 reissue. Used at 1984 solo tour and at the early parts of the 1987-1990 tour. In the 1994 tour it was used as spare guitar.
+ '57 Lake Placid Blue. (Serial number #0040). Used at The Wall sessions.
+ Double-neck Stratocaster. Used live (1970-72).
+ White with white pickguard. Used in the late sixties.
o Telecaster
+ Blonde body with white pickguard. Used on the On an Island tour.
+ '59 Sunburst body with sunburst ash body and white pickguard. Used on Animals recording sessions. Last seen on rehearsals during the On an Island tour.
+ '61 Telecaster used during The Wall recording sessions.
+ 1960's brown-faded body. Used in the late sixties.
+ 1960's blonde ash body with white pickguard. His main guitar during his first year with Pink Floyd.
o Esquire
+ '55 Sunburst body aka "The workmate Tele". Neck pickup added. Used at the recording sessions for his first solo album, The Wall recoring session and the following tour. Also seen when performing with Paul McCartney in the late 1990's.
o Fender VI Baritone guitar. Used during The Wall recording sessions.
o Fender Precision bass guitar
* Gibson
o A Gibson Les Paul Goldtop (P-90 pickups, bigsby vibrato bridge)
o Gibson EH150 Lap Steel guitar
o Gibson "Chet Atkins" classical guitar
* Gretsch Duo-Jet
* Bill Lewis Guitar. Used at Meddle and Dark Side of the Moon recording sessions.
* Gibson, Ovation and Martin Acoustics
* Taylor Guitars Acoustics
* Jose Vilaplana nylon string guitar
* Steinberger GL. His main guitar during A Momentary Lapse of Reason recording sessions.
* Charvel Fretless Fender Precision style bass guitar. Used during The Wall recording sessions.
* Music Man Fretless Stingray bass guitar. Used by David while running the house band at the 1991 Amnesty International concert, during Spinal Tap's performance on "Big Bottom." (All guitarists played bass on this song, and David played a solo.)
* Jedsen (tuned D-G-D-G-B-E) and Fender Lap Steel Guitars


* Hiwatt (main) DR 103 heads into WEM 4x12 cabinets loaded with Fane Crescendo speakers
* Fender ‘56 Tweed Twin amp (used for smaller concerts)
* Mesa Boogie Mark II C+
* Alembic F2-B bass preamp
* Custom-built 'Doppola' rotating speakers (driven by the Hiwatt heads)

Effect pedals

* Electro-Harmonix/Sovtek Big Muff
* Electro-Harmonix Electric Mistress
* MXR Dyna-Comp (pre-Dunlop 'Script' logo)
* Demeter Compulator
* Chandler Tube Driver
* BK Butler Tube Driver
* Boss CS-2 Compression Sustainer
* Boss GE-7 EQ Pedal
* Boss MZ-2 Digital Metalizer
* Pro Co RAT Distortion
* Arbiter Fuzz Face
* MXR Phase 90 (pre-Dunlop 'Script' logo)
* Uni-Vox Univibe
* Vox Wah-Wah pedal
* Dunlop Cry Baby Wah-wah pedal
* Binson Echorec
* Electro-Harmonix Small Stone
* Digitech IPS 33B (Used for Whammy effects)
* Ibanez Tube Screamer
* Ernie Ball Volume Pedal
* Pete Cornish all tube Pedal Boards and Custom effects
* Pete Cornish Soft Sustain
* Pete Cornish P-1
* Pete Cornish P-2
* Pete Cornish G-2
* Pete Cornish SS-3
* Pete Cornish ST-2
* Pete Cornish Line Driver
* Pete Cornish Linear Boost
* Pete Cornish Tape Echo Simulator (T.E.S)
* Boss CE-2 Chorus


* Heil Talk box (used in "Keep Talking" and "Pigs (Three Different Ones))
* GHS Boomer strings in a custom set 10-12-16-28-38-48
* Herco Flex 75 plectrums (picks)
* Cross-stitched leather guitar strap used by Jimi Hendrix and bought for David by Polly Samson as a 60th birthday present
* Evidence Audio Cables
* Shaffer-Vega wireless system for The Wall concerts 1980-81 and his 1984 About Face tour
* Pete Cornish wireless system for the 1987-96 live Gilmour appearances

Solo work

For his work with Pink Floyd, see Pink Floyd discography between 1968 to 1995

May 25, 1978 David Gilmour
March 27, 1984 About Face
March 6, 2006 On An Island

September, 1984 David Gilmour Live 1984
October, 2002 David Gilmour in Concert
June, 2007 Remember That Night

Collaborations and work for other artists

* Roger Waters, song "Give Birth to A Smile", found on the album "Music from "The Body"", 1970
* Syd Barrett, album "The Madcap Laughs", 1970
* Syd Barrett, album "Barrett", 1970
* Kate Bush, single "Wuthering Heights", found on the album The Kick Inside‎, 1979
* Wings, "Rockestra Theme" and "So Glad to See You Here", album Back to the Egg, 1979
* Kate Bush, "Pull Out The Pin", found on the album The Dreaming‎, 1982
* Paul McCartney, "No More Lonely Nights(Ballad)", album Give My Regards to Broad Street, 1984
* Paul McCartney, "I Love This House", single The World Tonight, 1984/1997
* Supertramp, "Brother Where You Bound", album Brother Where You Bound, 1985
* Bryan Ferry, "Is Your Love Strong Enough?", album Legend‎ by Tangerine Dream, 1985
* Bryan Ferry, album Boys and Girls, 1985
* Nick Mason and Rick Fenn, "Lie for a Lie" (vocal), album Profiles‎, 1985
* Arcadia, album So Red the Rose‎, 1985
* The Dream Academy, production work/guitar on album The Dream Academy‎, 1985
* Berlin, guitar on album Count Three and Pray‎, 1986
* Kate Bush, "Love and Anger" and "Rocket's Tail", album The Sensual World, 1989
* Paul McCartney, "We Got Married", album Flowers in the Dirt, 1984/1989
* Rock Aid Armenia, "Smoke On The Water", album The Earthquake Album, 1989
* Warren Zevon, album Transverse City (guitar), 1989
* Elton John, "Understanding Women", album The One, 1992
* The Who, Quadrophenia (1996 Hyde Park concert)
* Pete Townshend, song "Give Blood"
* Paul McCartney, album Run Devil Run, 1999
* Alan Parsons, "Return to Tunguska", album A Valid Path, 2004
* Richard Wright, untitled new Album, 2007

* Gilmour was #82 in the 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time in Rolling Stone Magazine.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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