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Did you know that there is a jazz guitarist called David Gilmore in the US? Did you know that on the Radio KAOS album Roger Waters cites Prague among places where people “feel at home”? Did you know that the inflatable pig called Algie from the Animals album artwork was made by Zeppelin? After the original pig flew away by accident, the Heathrow airport traffic had to be disrupted for four hours for safety reasons?
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Gilmour, David Jon

guitarist, singer, composer, producer

David Gilmour was born on March 6th 1946 in Cambridge, as the second child of Douglas and Sylvia Gilmour. He spent his youth in his native Cambridge, where he attended The Perse School and later studied languages at the Cambridge College of Arts and Technology. At the same time, Syd Barrett studied painting at the same school. David knew Syd and it is said that he taught him to play the guitar.

In 1963 David founded a band called Joker’s Wild. In 1966 a pirate radio station aired their first single even before it was released and the band split. David founded another band named Bullit and later renamed to Flowers, which spent the summer of 1966 and 1967 touring France and Spain. The band’s repertoire consisted mostly of The Beatles or Jimi Hendrix covers.

In autumn 1967 Flowers broke up. In the spring of 1968 David was asked to become a member of Pink Floyd, initially just to substitute for Syd Barrett in case he failed to play a concert, but soon he replaced Syd for good.

David Gilmour was responsible for the immense success of Pink Floyd in the early 1970’s. Because of him the band gradually progressed from the “hippie” themes of Barrett’s to experiments that could be called art or progressive rock.

In the late 1970’s there was a growing tension between David Gilmour, who focused mainly on the music and Roger Waters, for whom the most important thing was the lyrics. The conflict between Waters and the rest of the band reached its peak during making Pink Floyd The Wall and especially during the recording of The Final Cut in 1983.

At the time of preparations for The Wall project, Gilmour compensated the tension with his solo career. He released an album named simply David Gilmour, which was relatively successful. Later he used some of the songs originally meant to be on the solo album for The Wall. That is the case of Comfortably Numb, Run Like Hell and almost certainly various motifs from other songs.

In 1984 Pink Floyd were breaking up. Gilmour released his sophomore solo album called About Face. The lyrics reflected even the then current “Floyd war,” for example in You Know I’m Right.

After Roger Waters left the band, Gilmour became its creative leader and along with Nick Mason he revived the act under the original name, Pink Floyd.

In 1986 David Gilmour bought the Astoria houseboat and he made it a recording studio. It was there Pink Floyd recorded A Momentary Lapse Of Reason, the first album Pink Floyd released since Waters left. David later used the studio to record his 2006 solo album On An Island.

David Gilmour is known for his selfless help to other artists whose careers he helped launch. He has contributed to many albums by producing them or recording the guitars. This way he helped musicians such as Roy Harper, Kate Bush, The Dream Academy, Grace Jones, Tom Jones, Elton John, Arcadia, Bryan Ferry, Berlin, Robert Wyatt, Hawkwind, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Sam Brown, Jools Holland, Propaganda, Pete Townshend, The Who, Supertramp, Warren Zevon, Alan Parsons and many more.

In the early 1990’s Gilmour divorced his first wife Ginger, with whom he has four children, Alice, Clare, Sara and Matthew. Then he married Polly Samson, a lyricist, who wrote some of the lyrics on The Division Bell. Gilmour has three children with Polly Samson, their names are Joe, Gabriel and Romany. He has adopted Samson’s first son Charlie.

In 1996 David Gilmour was introduced to the British Hall Of Fame and in 2003 he became Commander Of The Empire for his contribution to music and work for charity.

Fun facts:

David Gilmour owns a Fender Stratocaster with the serial number 001. Most probably it is not the first Stratocaster ever made, but rather the first custom-made strat.

David Gilmour has a pilot’s license. He once owned a pilot training company and the Interpid Aviation company, which he sold. Now he owns a vintage biplane which he likes to fly in spare time.

Even though David Gilmour is known primarily for being a guitarist, with Pink Floyd he even played the bass guitar, for example on One Of These Days, Sheep, Hey You and Pigs (The Different Ones). The reason is said to be the fact that the bass parts of these songs were too difficult to play for Waters at the time.

David Gilmour is a devoted F.C. Arsenal fan.

David hates the nickname “Dave,” but he cannot make others stop using it, as even the members of Pink Floyd would call him the name.


English version by:
Vít Benešovský, Jan "Johnny" Petrus

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