David Gilmour is guitarist, vocalist and writer with Pink Floyd, but is also renowned
for his solo work: his highly
acclaimed 2006 platinum album On An Island was Number 1 in the UK and achieved Top Tens
in many countries.
David Gilmour and Roger 'Syd' Barrett met as children in Cambridge, UK, and later began
playing guitar together. In 1965 Syd joined
Roger Waters, Richard Wright, and Nick Mason to form Pink Floyd, while David continued playing
with a succession of his own bands. In
1968 David was asked to augment the Pink Floyd line up as the singer and guitarist, only for
Syd to leave the group five gigs later.
David's guitar playing, singing and song writing became major factors of Pink Floyd's
worldwide success, including his distinctive vocals
and guitar playing on The Dark Side Of The Moon, the third most successful album of all
In 1978, David released his first solo album, David Gilmour, which charted in the UK
and the US. His second solo album, About Face, was released
in 1984, again hitting the Top 20 in the UK.
David assumed control of Pink Floyd in 1985, after Roger Waters' departure, creating the new
Floyd album A Momentary Lapse Of Reason with Richard Wright
and Nick Mason. It was followed in 1994 by The Division Bell, which contained the
instrumental Marooned, composed by David and Richard Wright, for which
Pink Floyd won their sole Grammy Award. Both albums charted at Number 1 on both sides of the
Atlantic and were supported by sell-out world tours. Live album
and video, P.U.L.S.E., followed in 1995.
In 1996, Pink Floyd were inducted into the US Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, followed by the same
honour in the UK in November 2005. In 2002, following a concert for
Robert Wyatt's Meltdown Festival, three semi-acoustic concerts were performed by David Gilmour
and friends at London's Royal Festival Hall, released on DVD as
David Gilmour In Concert.
David is one of the all-time guitar greats, with an instinctive and distinctive sound; he was
voted 'Best Fender Guitar Player Ever' in a poll in Guitarist
magazine, beating such greats as Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. In 2005, David was made a CBE
for services to music. In July 2005, Pink Floyd reunited with
Roger Waters for a one-off performance at Live 8 in London's Hyde Park, which was regarded by
many as the highlight of an astonishing show.
On 6th March 2006, David released his third solo album, On An Island, which entered the
UK Charts at Number 1, subsequently hitting the top position in the
pan-European Charts, as well as hitting multi-Platinum around the world. On An Island
was accompanied by tour dates in the US and Europe, including a
one-off performance in the historic dockyards of Gdańsk, Poland, with a 40-piece
orchestra. David's live show at London's Royal Albert Hall was filmed by
director David Mallet and released in 2007 as a DVD, entitled Remember That Night
Live At The Royal Albert Hall, which topped the charts upon release.
In May 2008, David was awarded an 'Ivor' for Lifetime Achievement by the British Association
of Composers and Songwriters. In September 2008, Fender Guitars
made available their David Gilmour Signature Black Strat model, in 'Relic' and 'New Old Stock'
models, a month which also saw the release of Live In Gdańsk,
David's live album from the outdoor show there.
In 2009, David was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from East Anglia's Ruskin University
of Cambridge and Chelmsford for his outstanding contribution to
music as a writer, performer and innovator. In 2010, David gave a performance with Roger
Waters in aid of the HOPING Foundation charity in Oxfordshire, UK.
Following that appearance, David appeared at one of Roger Waters' stagings of 'The Wall' at
the O2 Arena, London, on 12th May 2011.
In 2010, an album entitled Metallic Spheres, by The Orb featuring David Gilmour, was
released to help the cause of UK alleged computer hacker Gary McKinnon,
who was then fighting extradition to the US, subsequently winning his battle. The album
entered the UK charts at Number 12.
In September 2014 Pink Floyd released The Endless River, and David confirmed that it
would be the band's final album: it topped the charts in over 20 countries.
David then returned to working on his album Rattle That Lock, released worldwide on
Friday 18th September 2015.
Rattle That Lock once again featured novelist Polly Samson as primary lyricist,
although David wrote lyrics for two songs himself. Longstanding
collaborator Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music co-produced the album with David. The striking cover
was art directed by Dave Stansbie from The Creative Corporation
under the creative directorship of Aubrey Powell from Hipgnosis. The title track begins with
the four notes, created by Michaël Boumendil, which precede
announcements at French SNCF railway stations which David recorded on his phone at
Aix-en-Provence station. Polly's lyrics were inspired by Book II of
John Milton's 'Paradise Lost', which is also featured in her recent acclaimed novel, 'The
Kindness'. The album went to Number 1 in 13 charts around the world
and Number 2 in a further eight, hitting the Top 5 in a total of 25 listings.
The Rattle That Lock world tour saw David play fifty shows in thirteen countries; on
July 7th and 8th 2016, David performed two spectacular shows at the
legendary Pompeii Amphitheatre in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, 45 years after he first played
there for Adrian Maben's classic film Pink Floyd Live At Pompeii.
The concerts were the first-ever rock performances played to an audience in the ancient Roman
amphitheatre, which was built in 90 BC and entombed in ash when
Vesuvius erupted in AD 79. David was the only performer to play to an audience in the arena
since the time of the gladiators, almost 2,000 years ago. The film
of these shows directed by Gavin Elder, was released for one night only and topped the box
office In Italy, Germany and France and was Number 2 in the UK.
David Gilmour Live At Pompeii was released on Blu-ray, Vinyl, CD, DVD and digital
download on Friday 29th September 2017.