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That is, it’s a story of madness, alienation, absence, hubris and a self-willed grace.
The contributions of band mates David Gilmour, Nick Mason, and Richard Wright, provided the final brush strokes for Pink, a contemporary anti-hero, a modern everyman struggling to find, or arguably lose, self and meaning in a century fragmented by war.
The Wall is the most startling rhetorical achievement in the group's singular, thirteen-year career.
Waters left Cambridge in 1962 to take architecture courses at Regent Street Polytechnic in London, where he met fellow student Mason.
He was already playing guitar – in fact, he sometimes practiced in class when he didn’t want to study.
From the time they helped ignite a pop-cultural upheaval in London in the late 1960s to that touching appearance at Live 8, Pink Floyd always meant something in their moment.
Indeed, the album that transfigured them in 1973, , managed to reflect the doubts and fears of a generation that had to cope with the loss of the ideals of the 1960s, and did it so effectively that it established Pink Floyd as one of the biggest, best-loved bands in rock & roll.That’s because they knew Pink Floyd would not exist past this night, and perhaps they sensed that in the much-too-near future, neither would Barrett, the man who gave the band its name and original purpose.The story of Pink Floyd is the story of the themes that raised and obsessed and tore at the band for almost four decades.None of them had seen him since a surprise encounter in 1975 that left them stunned and in tears, but over the years he continued to define Pink Floyd, as they evolved the style he had left them, and as they began to think and write about the darkness that had eclipsed him.They owed Barrett something – in a way, everything – and if they failed to honor him that night at Live 8, before the world, they could never meaningfully attempt it again.Drawing on these feelings of adult alienation as well as those springing from the loss of his own father during World War II, Waters began to flesh out the fictional character of Pink.The band's first front man, Syd Barrett, and the wild stories surrounding his drugged-out escapades and subsequent withdrawal from the world provided Waters with further inspiration for the moody rock-star Pink.He was already trying the patience of his lecturers.“I could have been an architect, but I don’t think I’d have been very happy,” he told journalist Caroline Boucher in 1970.They had a debt to pay that could never be paid, but it had to be admitted.Syd Barrett, a man who had been mysterious and lonely for decades, had been the heart of Pink Floyd in its earliest days – he wrote their songs, gave them their style, made them a force in the British music scene – but in 1968, Waters, Mason and Wright threw him out of the band after he slipped into mental disintegration.