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Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason – ‘The Wall’ Wasn’t Made By ‘Angry People’

Pink Floyd
MJ Kim/Getty Images

In a recent interview to promote the Feb. 28 release of the ‘Immersion’ and ‘Experience’ editions of ‘The Wall,’ Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason put a few longstanding rumors to bed about the atmosphere during the sessions for their 1979 double-album.

The story of the recording of ‘The Wall’ is nearly as famous as the music. Preliminary work began in late 1978 at their Britannia Row studios in London. But the band was forced to spend a year overseas as tax exiles, so the album was recorded at various studios in Nice, France, New York and Los Angeles, and finished barely in time for the Nov. 30 release date. Over the years, stories leaked out about internal fights, namely with producer Bob Ezrin, and the refusal of the members to be in the studio together, but Mason downplayed them.

“The sort of concept people have is that this was a record hewn out of rock by very angry people, and I think that’s not really the case,” Mason tells Billboard. “A lot of the album was pretty civilized in terms of people getting on with it. I think it all felt fairly positive. Things fragmented later on, quite late in the recording.”

However, Mason did acknowledge a fight between Roger Waters and keyboardist Richard Wright, which led to his departure from the band during the sessions. “There was a big blowup, particularly between Roger and Rick towards the end of the process. But the majority of that process I remember as being pretty creative and businesslike, really.”

Wright was subsequently hired as a salaried musician for the tour, and eventually brought back when David Gilmour re-convened the band, over Waters’ legal objections, in 1987. Wright passed away on Sept. 15, 2008 at age 65.

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