Words by Akhil Balagopal
Pink Floyd is a household name for music lovers. Their epic live shows, light effects, heavy lyrical pieces and unorthodox drops have always made them stand a string apart in the musical world. In ‘Inside out’, the entire story of the band unfolds straight from how the members met to the famous Live 8 Reunion where they featured together for the last time. Like the cherry on the cake, the readers can be happy that it’s not an outsider who is telling the story of the band but the only member who has been part of Pink Floyd from day one to the last- Nick Mason.
The drummer takes the readers on a ride through the ups and downs of the band, their struggles, their love lives and how ‘The Dark Side’ made their life a whole lot brighter. The witty man known also for his love of racecars apart from the drum kit unfolds the never before heard story of the band including the rise and fall of Syd Barret, one of the founding members of the band describing how their paths started and united to be the first ever sound of acid consciousness and the darlings of the London Underground.
Regent Street Polytechnic was the start of the endless river of music; it was during the Poly day that the band was formed constituting of Nick Mason, Richard Wright, Roger Walters and Syd Barret. Straight from the first chapter the book tells us how these youngsters came together to make The Pink Floyd Sound (as the band was called then). Spanning over more than 50 years from the 1950s to the early 2000s Nick Mason gives a detailed and witty outlook into the hurdles they faced, the first recording they did and the efforts they took to make The Atom Heart Mother (the first Pink Floyd album) a reality. The downfall of Syd Barret was always a huge question in the minds of Floyd fans around the world and Mason has given the true facts behind the sidelining of him and the arrival of the man who came to be known as the guitar and voice of Pink Floyd-David Gilmour.
The book also dwells into the time when they were composing songs for their most famous album yet- The Dark Side of the Moon which went on to be one of the most successful albums worldwide. Like they say there are two sides to a coin, the drummer tells the readers about the ego clashes and tensions between the members which soon followed after the epic success of The Dark Side in a very straight forward way and how it lead to the splitting up of the band after which David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright still continued to be Pink Floyd while Roger Walters went away to start a troop of his own. The book ends with the live 8 reunion and how things helped to make the reunion a reality with all the members playing together (apart from Syd Barret).
The book is a must read for all the Pink Floyd fans as it dwells into everything about and around the band including the extended Pink Floyd family and the people who worked behind the stage and helped in creating stadium filling sights and sounds that are Pink Floyd today.