Quick menu

Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett & The Story Behind The Making Of ‘Wish You Were Here’

At the end of last year Pink Floyd released the album ‘The Endless River‘, their fifteenth studio album, it had been a long time coming, over 20 years since their previous release, ‘The Division Bell‘ and Floyd’s first studio album since the death of keyboardist and founder member Richard Wright.

The surviving members of the band considered it as a tribute to their departed band member and Wright features on the album.

It was a noble and heartfelt gesture for a departed friend, but it wasn’t the first time they had reached out with a musical offering like this.

Back in 1975 Pink Floyd walked into Abbey Road Studios and began work on their ninth album, it had been a busy year, well actually it had been a busy 3 years of touring, promoting their previous release, The Dark Side Of The Moon (one of the decade’s biggest hits) and the band were exhausted.

The former Pink Floyd frontman Syd Barrett was suffering a mental breakdown and despite attempts to get him involved with the new album his ongoing addiction to LSD made it impossible for him to recreate any semblance of the rock god he used to be.

It was a sad and difficult time. But the album got made and the rest is history.

It’s enough to make you break out and listen to on endless loop one of the best albums (i think most Pink Floyd fans would agree with me) that the band have made (to date), ‘Wish You Were here’.

Well, hold that thought because the members of one of the greatest bands in the history of greatest bands discuss the recording of that masterpiece and their one-off performance at Live 8 in 2005.

Nick Mason, Dave Gilmour and Roger Waters dissect each song on the album, talking about what it means to them and how they went about creating it, interspersed with archive footage of its inspiration: Syd Barrett.

For fans of the band it’s essential viewing. And for everyone else, it’s also essential viewing.

Thx to the BBC for ‘lending’ me the following editorial copy (not really, sorry BBC), seeing as they made the documentary and all i figured their words describing it would put mine to shame, so i have included them below:

John Edginton’s documentary explores the making of Pink Floyd’s ninth studio album, Wish You Were Here, which was released in September 1975 and went to top the album charts both in the UK and the US.

Featuring new interviews with band members Roger Waters, David Gilmour and Nick Mason alongside contributions from the likes of sleeve designer Storm Thorgerson and photographer Jill Furmanovsky, the film is a forensic study of the making of the follow-up to 1973’s Dark Side of the Moon, which was another conceptual piece driven by Roger Waters.

The album wrestles with the legacy of the band’s first leader Syd Barrett, who had dropped out of the band in 1968 and is eulogised in the album’s centrepiece, Shine On You Crazy Diamond. Pink Floyd had become one of the biggest bands in the world, but the 60s were over and the band were struggling both to find their purpose and the old camaraderie.

And here’s the song that the title for the album came from (Side 2: Track 2) – Wish You Were Here. Enjoy.

Related items

Artwork by Storm Thorgerson designed to promote Pink Floyd's exhibition Interstellar

Pink Floyd

This stark image was a poster designed to promote the Pink Floyd exhibition, Interstellar, at the Paris Cité De La Musique in October 2003.

Prices from £500.00
print
Artwork by Storm Thorgerson designed for the cover of Pink Floyd's album Momentary Lapse of Reason

Pink Floyd

The idea of beds for the Momentary Lapse cover came from a line of lyric - ‘Visions of an empty bed’ (Yet Another Movie)

Prices from £500.00
print
Pink Floyd (PF021JF)

Pink Floyd

Roger and Nick on a train to Edinburgh, Dark Side of The Moon tour 1974. The band preferred to travel by train rather than bus or plane.

Prices from £525.00
print
Pink Floyd (PF020JF)

Pink Floyd

David Gilmour Dark Side Of The Moon tour 1974. Those Guinness t-shirts were popular on that tour. Roger had one too.

Prices from £525.00
print
Pink Floyd (PF019JF)

Pink Floyd

This is what The Wall looked like during an interval of the The Wall Tour at the The Coliseum in Uniondale, Nassau County, New York.

Prices from £525.00
print
Pink Floyd (PF018JF)

Pink Floyd

The design team Hipgnosis, had two main players - Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell. Po pictured here with David Gilmour and Roger Waters

Prices from £525.00
print
Pink Floyd (PF017JF)

Pink Floyd

David Gilmour playing backgammon (with Storm and Rick Wright) in his hotel room during the Dark Side of the Moon tour 1974.

Prices from £525.00
print
Pink Floyd (PF016JF)

Pink Floyd

David Gilmour taking a quiet moment backstage, during the Dark Side of the Moon tour 1974.

Prices from £525.00
print
Pink Floyd (PF015JF)

Pink Floyd

David Gilmour in Studio 3, at Abbey Road Studios. The band were recording Have a Cigar that day for their new album Wish You Were Here .

Prices from £525.00
print
Pink Floyd (PF013JF)

Pink Floyd

Nick Mason, David Gilmour & Roger Waters during a sound-check for the Dark Side of the Moon UK tour.

Prices from £525.00
print
Pink Floyd (PF010JF)

Pink Floyd

Dick Parry has played some of the most unforgettable and sublime saxophone solos in the history of rock music - mostly with Pink Floyd.

Prices from £525.00
print
Pink Floyd (PF008JF)

Pink Floyd

Two consecutive frames joined together from a shoot of The Wall tour in New York in 1980

Prices from £525.00
print
Pink Floyd (PF007JF)

Pink Floyd

This was taken on the Division Bell Tour. The sound and lighting people in their headsets look like the crew of a space ship.

Prices from £525.00
print
Pink Floyd (PF006JF)

Pink Floyd

Two pictures joined together to make one image - one was taken in New York and one in London. They are from two different points in the show

Prices from £525.00
print
Pink Floyd (PF002JF)

Pink Floyd

David Gilmour’s superb guitar solo during ’Comfortably Numb’ on PinK Floyd's The Wall Tour

Prices from £2,000.00
print
Pink Floyd (PF002CP)

Pink Floyd

This was Pink Floyd’s first official photo shoot. Although a photographer by trade, Colin Prime’s other love was music

Prices from £375.00
print
Pink Floyd (PF001TCOL)

Pink Floyd

This was the first time Tony Collins ever saw Pink Floyd live. They played numbers from their new album 'Atom Heart Mother'.

Prices from £291.67
print
Pink Floyd (PF001JF)

Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd in Abbey Road making a new album that became 'Wish You Were Here'. Jill Furmanovsky was asked to drop in and shoot some stills

Prices from £375.00
print
Alternative artwork by Storm Thorgerson for Pink Floyd's Division Bell

Pink Floyd

Alternative version of the cover artwork for Pink Floyd's 1994 album 'Division Bell' designed by Storm Thorgerson

Prices from £500.00
print
Artwork by Storm Thorgerson to promote Pink Floyd's Back Catalogue

Pink Floyd

Alternative version of the image designed to advertise the Pink Floyd back catalogue in 1997 designed by Storm Thorgerson

Prices from £2,100.00
print
Pink Floyd (PF001CPUR)

Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd onstage at the Roundhouse, London in July 1967 less than a year after they performed at its opening party.

Prices from £415.00
print
Pink Floyd (PF012JF)

Pink Floyd

Jill Furmanovsky was the official photographer on the Dark Side of the Moon/Wish You Were Here UK tour, taking pictures over c.5 weeks

Prices from £525.00
print
Pink Floyd (PF011JF)

Pink Floyd

Storm Thorgerson with Dave Gilmour whilst rehearsing during the Dark Side of the Moon UK Tour.

Prices from £525.00
print
Pink Floyd (PF009JF)

Pink Floyd

Roger Waters, Roy Harper and Roy's son listen to a playback at Abbey Road Studios. Roy was guest vocalist on Have a Cigar.

Prices from £525.00
print
Pink Floyd (PF004JF)

Pink Floyd

A rare band shot from this period taken by a young Jill Furmanovksy at the start of her photography career

Prices from £1,200.00
print
Pink Floyd (PF005JF)

Pink Floyd

Photographed as a homage to the Pink Floyd album sleeve 'Animals' for the BBC series 'Britain In Pictures'.

Prices from £1,500.00
print
Artwork by Storm Thorgerson for Pink Floyd's album Wish You Were Here

Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here by Storm Thorgerson

Inner sleeve artwork for Pink Floyd's album Wish You Were Here by Storm Thorgerson

Prices from £500.00
print
Pink Floyd (PF001CP)

Pink Floyd

For their first photo shoot, Colin Prime took the band down to Ruskin park. All the guys were in high spirits at the time

Prices from £375.00
print
Alternative artwork by Storm Thorgerson for Pink Floyd's album Atom Heart Mother

Pink Floyd

Alternative version cover art for Pink Floyd's fifth studio album Atom Heart Mother (known as Wire Cow - or Why A Cow?)

Prices from £800.00
print
Alternative artwork by Storm Thorgerson for Pink Floyd's exhibition Interstellar

Pink Floyd

Version of the Interstellar poster art devised for the 2003 Pink Floyd exhibition in Paris

Prices from £500.00
print
Artwork by Storm Thorgerson for Pink Floyd's live single of Wish You Were Here

Pink Floyd

Cover art for the live single of Wish You Were Here. 'What you see is what you get - two lost souls, swimming in a fish bowl'

Prices from £500.00
print