Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason turns 75

Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason turns 75

Nick Mason. Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Nicholas Berkeley Mason, popularly known as Nick Mason, turns seventy-five on this very day. The English drummer is best known as the founder member of the progressive and psychedelic rock band, Pink Floyd.

Although his name is hardly mentioned individually, Mason was an impressive drummer who perfectly matched the band he played for, with driving beats and riveting rhythms.

Nick Mason. Image Courtesy: Wikipedia
Nick Mason. Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

Though he has very few songwriting credits than the remaining members of the band, Mason is the only consistent member to be featured on every one of their albums. He has co-written some of the most popular Pink Floyd compositions such as 'Time' and 'Echoes'. He has contributed a single line vocal for the song 'One of these days' from the album Meddle.
Mason has always been a race car enthusiast and has an amazing car collection. He has also competed successfully at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

He was the only one who thought that the breaking up of the band was not a good idea. After waiting for a quarter century for the Pink Floyd to reunite, he decided to start a band of his own, Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets which focuses on performing tracks from Pink Floyds beginning years.

About the Pink Floyd:

Roger Waters and Nick Mason met while studying architecture at the London Polytechnic in 1963 and Richard Wright, a fellow architecture student, joined in a year later. Guitarist and the early backbone of the band Syd Barrett joined the rest in the mid-1965. 

Waters, Mason and Wright first played music together in late 1963, in a band formed by Keith Noble and Clive Metcalfe. They called themselves Sigma 6, but also went by the name the Meggadeaths.

After Keith Noble and Clive Metcalfe left, the band came by many names such as The Abdabs, or The Screaming Abdabs, Leonard's Lodgers, Spectrum Five, and the Tea Set before being named as Pink Floyd.

Pink Floyd. Image Courtesy:
Pink Floyd. Image Courtesy:

The name Pink Floyd comes from the first names of Pink Anderson and North Carolina bluesman Floyd Council, which Syd merged together.

'The Piper at the Gates of Dawn' was their debut album and the only one that was made under the leadership of Syd Barrett.
The band was referred to as The Pink Floyd up to the 60s and disappeared soon after Syd Barrett left.  He suffered from acid-induced schizophrenia and the band had to go on without him. 

Also read: Pink Floyd shoots to the top after 20 years

Syd was replaced by David Gilmour who became the band's guitarist and lead vocalist. Syd recorded two solo albums with the help of Gilmour: 'The Madcap Laughs' and 'Barrett'. 

The 1973 album, 'The Dark Side of the Moon' stayed on the Top 200 Billboard Chart for more than 800 weeks. It was one of the best-sold albums in the world, with one in every twelve owning a copy. 

In 1983, after their twelfth studio album, 'The Final Cut', Waters quit the band to establish a solo career. He considered his departure as an end to the Pink Floyd, to which Mason and Gilmour disagreed. This resulted in a badly frayed relationship between them leading to an ugly legal battle. 

Also read: Pink Floyd sues EMI in dispute over royalties

Waters, Gilmour and Mason later reunited to perform at Live 8 in 2008. 

'The Endless River' which was released in 2014 was the fifteenth and stated as the last album by the Pink Floyd. The album has tracks based on materials recorded during 'The Division Bell' sessions, with 'Louder than words' being the only song sung by Gilmour in the album.

Still ruling over thousands of hearts:

Ayushi Bharadwaj, a music enthusiast, gets all excited upon hearing the name Pink Floyd and says, "Oh yes indeed, I love the band! When it comes to music, good music I mean, Pink Floyd is still the first band which comes to my mind. The lyrics of a Pink Floyd song is way beyond just music to me."

She adds that today’s generation is drawn towards hip-hop and rap but still there are many youngsters who do prefer Pink Floyd because they represent what music is all about and their lyrics do have a deep meaning to it.

Nikhil Sudheer exclaims that Pink Floyd's music was far ahead of its time. The music is unique when compared to any other band, he says. Some of its lyrics are rebellious and criticises the society and its systems which still connects with people, whereas some are just hypnotic and puts one's mind into a state of trance. Pink Floyd makes people appreciate music, he adds.  

Pink Floyd. Image Courtesy :
Pink Floyd. Image Courtesy:

Even if one is not really a music person, Pink Floyd is hard to resist. Many people who have a slight interest in music will often take the time and go out of the way to spend the time to sit and listen to Pink Floyd songs. It's not just about listening to music but people put in the effort to analyse and understand the meaning of the lyrics. 

Mohana another music enthusiast states, " I had always known Pink Floyd as the 'we don’t need no education' band all throughout my childhood. The lines, 'We don't need no education… Teachers leave them kids alone',  are an inspiration to any rebellious teenager who takes up a liking to Pink Floyd."

Also read: Pink Floyd archives to be released

The Pink Floyd's songs open up a whole new world for many youngsters. It makes them realise that music is way beyond just the vocalist screaming his lungs out or the beats of the drums or the chords of an electric guitar, it's about the elegance in the lyrics which helps one connect with their inner self. 

Many painters love listening to Pink Floyd. They say it helps trigger their imagination giving them new ideas to paint. Some even claim that they have learnt to pay detailed attention not just to lyrics but also in every aspect of life.

Paulo Coelho's quote from The Witch of Portobello, "Music isn’t just something that comforts or distracts us, it goes beyond that- its an ideology. You can judge people by the music they listen to," applies to many of the Pink Floyd songs and its listeners. 

Music isn't just something about what's trending but it's about the songs that can gain the hearts of people for generations not just with its music but also its lyric.

Here are some of the best Pink Floyd songs:

1. Comfortably Numb - The Wall

'Comfortably Numb' is a song from the eleventh studio album 'The Wall', which released in 1979. The song reflects the state of mind which everyone experience in life at some point of time.  


2. Shine on you crazy diamond - Wish You Were Here

'Shine On You Crazy Diamond' from the album 'Wish You Were Here' is about the founding member Syd Barrett. Syd's excessive usage of LSD led to acid-induced schizophrenia changing him into a completely different person. Waters writes "now there's a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky", referring to Syd's blank, dead-eyed stare.

3. Another Brick in the wall - The Wall

'Another Brick in the Wall' is a three-part composition with its second part featuring a protest song by children against rigid schooling. 

4. Us and Them - The Dark Side of the Moon

The song 'Us and Them' from the album 'The Dark Side of the Moon' is unique in its tone and dynamics. It is timeless poetry that has many interpretations. It refers to the nature of the cruelty of war and reflects a lot about human nature. 

5. Echoes - Meddle

'Echoes' from the album 'Meddle' is one of Pink Floyd's trippiest track that has a running time of 23:31 minutes. 

6. Brain Damage - The Dark Side of the Moon

The track 'Brain Damage' from 'The Dark Side of the Moon' sung by Waters poses the question "can everyday life drive one insane?" The song was initially named 'Lunatic'. 

7. Hey you - The wall

The song 'Hey You' stands out lyrically from the rest of the album 'The wall'. In this video, the character 'Pink' is trying to call out to the world but realises that all communications to the outside world have been disconnected. 

The best way to understand the songs from this album is to understand the entire concept of 'The Wall'. 

8. Flaming - The Piper at the Gates of Dawn 

'Flaming' an excellent track with lyrics written by Syd Barrett has profound meaning. Taking one through a fancy dream with words like 'eiderdown', 'unicorn', 'dandelions' and 'buttercups', the song has trippy music too! 

9. Point me at the sky - Single

Pink Floyd's 'Point Me at the Sky' is a song that's lesser known to many, with its flip side 'Careful with that Axe Eugene' being comparatively popular. The vocals are by Gilmour, and the bridge vocals are shared between Gilmour and Water.  The song is an excellent example of the 60s psychedelia. 

10. Bike - The Piper at the Gates of Dawn 

As simple and sweet as it can get, the song 'Bike' from the band's debut album can be considered either Syd's best or worst, varying from person to person. The song is funny and is known for its quirkiness and uniqueness.