|PINK FLOYD DRUMS|
|BLOG - WHAT'S GOING ON?|
|Friday, 23 April 2010 14:19|
So many strange things happened out of the blue in 2009 and all were as a result of me picking up the sticks once again. Friends from school not heard of for 30 years, old band mates from 31 years ago, family friends from 32 years ago, all have been in touch having 'found' me on the internet. The chain reaction of events seems endless and here is another bizarre twist that happened back in November.
Naturally a fascinating experience that enabled me to ask some questions relating to his drumming and their legendary stage show and I have been fortunate to meet with Nick again since to discuss what follows in more detail.
I was just a few rehearsals into the new show with the band and with lots planned for the future, events took another unexpected twist when I was asked if I was interested in obtaining one of Pink Floyd's very own drum kits? My curiosity was peaked, so I obtained more details and photographs and decided to travel to Wales to check the kit over.
Although it was stated that it could possibly have belonged to Nick himself, my own research quickly showed it to be part of the set used by Gary Wallis on 'The Division Bell' World Tour of 1994 and as featured on the stunning 'P.U.L.S.E' dvd that contained the only official release by the band of a full performance of 1974's Dark Side of the Moon.
The kit is a DW (Drum Workshop) kit in Exotic Birdseye Maple with a lacquer finish. Both Nick and Gary had the same kits, although Gary's had a full tom range and at least 4 bass drums in his tour set up.
Gary had apparently flown out to DW and coordinated Pink Floyd's requirements for the tour on behalf of himself and Nick and the drums were some of the first with this lacquer finish. The colour is also apparently unique to the two Pink Floyd kits. Sadly DW's own records are very limited in terms of what the band had.
After a number of years using the kit, Paul had a few adjustments made by Poole Percussion to lighten his equipment load. Firstly the two largest toms (15" & 16") were converted to floor toms with legs being added, while the second adjustment was in the addition of a DW bass drum tom mount fitting which enabled two double tom stands to be removed from his hardware case.
The kit has appeared on many recordings and covered many miles on tour as Paul has been the back bone to the likes of Judie Tzuke (Secret Agent (1998), Six Days Before The Flood (Live 2000), Queen Secret Keeper (2001), Drive Live (Live 2002), The Beauty Of Hindsight (2003), The End of the Beginning (2004) ) and Andy Fairweather Low (another Floyd connection there!), while he has also performed with Robert Fripp, Russ Ballard, Leo Sayer, Thea Gillmore, Andy Summers, Toyah, Lisa Stansfield, Robbie McIntosh, Terry Britten, The Waterboys, Alex Parks and Sandi Thom.
Through my meetings with Nick and additional research, the kit has ended up almost replicating the layout Nick used for the final ever Pink Floyd show at Hyde Park, London for Live 8 July 2005.
Nick also used a Paiste Signature Heavy China 22" with Roger Waters and a number of Paiste 2002 cymbals have also been used for various shows.
The original built in May Internal Microphone System is still in place in the bass drum and is fully functional making the sound engineer's job a little easier! The only damage to the kit (apart from the odd scuff) is that a repair had to be made to the bass drum after it was allegedly "dropped" by a road crew member with Judie Tzuke which resulted in a spur punching through the shell. However an excellent repair was made and the tone remains unchanged.
Currently I am using the Mapex Black Panther Aztec steel snare on the kit, but I am looking at other options (once the bank balance has recovered!)
Naturally, Roto-Toms were required and while I had retained my original 10" Remo Roto bought in 1978, I have added Pro Percussion 6,8 & 10 replicas, and also original Remo roto-toms in 14", 16" and 18".
Pink Floyd had a large 'e' element in their kits in 1994, so for the Time To Breathe shows, on tracks like 'Learning To Fly', I am using a Roland Octapad SPD-30 which allows me to recreate live the percussion parts played by Gary Wallis, which I then loop before switching back to the DW kit. There were some teething troubles as I was using one of the first Octapads in the UK, but everything is now as it should be.
Nick Mason still retains and uses his kit, which was last seen and heard when he used it for the 'Children In Need' 'All We Need Is Love' charity single recorded at Abbey Road in September of 2009.
2010 will see 'Floyd on Floyd' as I take the kit out on the road with Time To Breathe, performing a tribute to the classic sound of Pink Floyd and the very tour that Pink Floyd used the DW kit on, the 1994 Division Bell Tour, perhaps now also known as 'P.U.L.S.E' thanks to the CD and DVD archive of the band's final tour.
I am sure it will be a very surreal experience recreating such historic moments on the very equipment used on the tour and I can only hope that it inspires my own performance to take it to another level!
You can see a video of me playing the kit at my third show after a 25 year break, seen here with Time To Breathe, the classic sound of Pink Floyd. The footage includes some close up shots of the kit during the sound check. You can find out about some of my other projects and drums at www.graham-collins.com or DW Drums at www.dwdrums.com