Brian Johnson & Nick Mason A Life on the Road: Season 1, Episode 3
Brian visits Nick at his private car collection in the Cotswolds, an apt location, as they are both racing car enthusiasts. After a tour of the collection, Brian and Nick settle down to talk about the early days of Pink Floyd and how they were catapulted into performing large shows without many live hours under their belts. They talk about the nature of Floyd as a live act and what made them unique—for example in their early shows, they would always put all their effort into creating a spectacle with lights and sets, rather than projecting their own personalities on stage.
Brian and Nick return to the car collection as Nick reveals the car that allowed the band to tour following Roger Waters’s departure from the band—the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO which Nick bought in 1973 for £35,000 and is now reputedly worth £40 million. It was this car that Nick put up as collateral for the 1987-9 tour, A Momentary Lapse of Reason. Roger Waters was fighting with the rest of Pink Floyd at the time over the use of the band name. No one would under-write the tour so the Ferrari came to the rescue.
It was a vast enterprise. There were 200 performances over nearly 18 months, playing to 4.25 million fans. Box office receipts were more than £60 million, not including merchandising. A live record of the tour, Delicate Sound of Thunder was sent into space on Soyuz TM-Z and Nick and Dave Gilmour went to Russia for the launch. It was the first rock album to go into orbit! Brian and Nick discuss this tour in detail and how it catapulted the band into being one of the highest-grossing live acts of the 80s.
Cover image © Somethin Else Sound Directions Ltd. 2017