Biography of David Gilmour
David Jon Gilmour is a legendary rock musician, virtuoso guitarist, composer, frontman of one of the greatest rock bands of all time – Pink Floyd.
Legendary musician David Gilmour
Experts believe that it was he who brought to it an incredible, which has become a hallmark, scale everywhere and in everything – in amazing sound, in innovative visual and technical means, in fantastic shows. He is a 1994 Grammy winner (as a member of the band) for the instrumental composition Marooned, notable for its unique playing with “floating” guitar sounds, rapidly and significantly (by an octave) changing in pitch.
After the rock band’s unspoken breakup, Gilmour continued to record and perform solo.
The rock performer is a member of eight charitable organizations. In 2003, he transferred the money from the sale of his house in the amount of 3.6 million pounds to the implementation of a social project to provide housing for the homeless.
For outstanding musical services, David was awarded the title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and also included in the lists of the best guitarists in the world (Rolling Stone and Classic Rock), and the greatest rock vocalists (listeners of Planet Rock).
Childhood and youth
The future rock idol was born on March 6, 1946 in Cambridge. His dad taught zoology at one of the largest and oldest local universities in Britain. Mom was a teacher by education, she worked as a film editor for the Air Force.
David Gilmour in his youth
The boy’s interest in music appeared early. His parents approved and encouraged his son’s hobby. He acquired the first single in his collection at the age of 8. It was the famous song “Rock Around the Clock” performed by Bill Haley. Then his attention was drawn to Elvis Presley’s 1956 composition Heartbreak Hotel. And a year later, after the appearance of the single The Everly Brothers “Bye Bye Love”, which he liked, he began to play the guitar with the help of self-instruction books.
From the age of 11, David attended Perse School and made friends with the guys from the High School, located in the same area of the city. His new friends were Syd Barrett and Roger Waters, who later became the founders of Pink Floyd.
David Gilmour was friends with members of Pink Floyd
Since 1962, the young man studied at the Technical College; did not finish the course, but learned to speak excellent French. In his spare time, he played the guitar with Barrett, exploring the musical and sonic possibilities of the instrument. During that period, he became a member of the rock band Jokers Wild. At the capital’s Regent Sound Studio they recorded a single, which was released in a small edition of 50 copies.
In 1965, Gilmour left this group and went on a European tour with Barrett and other friends. During the trip, they performed a lot on the streets, performing songs from the Beatles’ repertoire. These street performances were not very commercially successful – they were often detained by the police, and they lived almost from hand to mouth. As a result of malnutrition, Gilmour ended up in the hospital.
David Gilmour with guitar
Then he moved to Paris, where he was a frequent guest of the Louvre, worked as a driver and for some time, thanks to his remarkable appearance, worked as an assistant to the famous fashion designer Ozzy Clark, the costume designer for Mick Jagger and other Rolling Stones musicians.
David Gilmour at one of the concerts
In 1967, he toured France with former Jokers Wild bandmates Rick Wills and Willie Wilson. Their reunited band, which was first called “Flowers”, then “Bullet”, also did not achieve much popularity. True, David recorded two songs for the soundtrack to the film “Two Weeks in September” with Brigitte Bardot in the title role. But they returned home with completely empty pockets – they did not even have money for gasoline, so their friends pushed their bus from the ferry on their own.
Music career development
In December of the same year, Nick Mason, the drummer of the beginning band Pink Floyd, offered Gilmour to play with them, replacing Syd Barrett, who was hooked on LSD, if necessary.
During this period, the band was gaining popularity among fans of psychedelic rock, and Gilmour, of course, agreed. Initially, it was planned that Barrett would continue to write music for Pink Floyd, but after a year they still had to say goodbye to him. As bassist Waters later admitted, despite the fact that Sid was their friend and creative genius, during this period they often “wanted to strangle him.” He could “withdraw into himself” right on the stage, wander aimlessly, staring blankly at the audience and the musicians who were waiting in confusion for his playing.
Gilmour became the lead guitarist and soloist instead of him, by that time he had formed a recognizable virtuoso style.
Pink Floyd albums with David Gilmour top the charts
Pink Floyd’s first album featuring Devil Gilmour was A Saucerful of Secrets in 1968.
In 1970, Pink Floyd’s fifth album and David Gilmour’s fourth, Atom Heart Mother, reached number one on the national chart.
In 1971, talented performers created the grandiose musical film Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii. In 1973, with the release of the unprecedented disc “The Dark Side of the Moon”, the peak of their career came.
Album cover of Pink Floyd – The Dark Side Of The Moon
In 1975, their next project Wish You Were Here was released, which became his favorite (according to the musician) with the track “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” dedicated to Barrett.
Bass guitarist Waters, the creator of many compositions of the albums of that period – “Animals” and “The Wall” “took over” the leadership in the team. Friends on the stage had the first conflicts, as a result of which keyboardist Richard Wright left them. Relations between the new leader and Gilmour worsened.
David Gilmour in Pink Floyd
David’s performance on “Comfortably Numb” from “The Wall” has been voted one of the greatest guitar solos of all time in several critic and audience polls. In order to realize his incredible potential, he began to work on a solo record, released under his name in 1978.
With the release of Pink Floyd’s The Final Cut in 1983, which turned out to be almost a personal disc of the bass player, the confrontation between him and David deepened. During the recording, they even tried not to be in the studio at the same time. This circumstance prompted David to think about the next solo disc “About Face”, which was released in 1984, where he expressed his attitude to a number of sensitive topics, including the murder of John Lennon.
David Gilmour was considered the band’s frontman
In 1985, Roger Waters left the band; Gilmour is the frontman. In 1987, the musicians delighted fans with a new joint creation “A Momentary Lapse of Reason”. In 1994 they recorded their last album, The Division Bell. It topped the charts in the UK and was certified gold and platinum in the US. In 1996, the iconic guitarist was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In 2005, Pink Floyd played in Hyde Park at Live 8, an action calling on the leaders of the G8 to end poverty. David donated the money he received to charity. After this performance, which took place 24 years after their last concert together at Earl’s Court in 1981, sales of the band’s albums increased many times over. In addition, they were offered a contract of 150 million pounds for a US tour. However, the musicians rejected him, citing his advanced age.
On his 60th birthday, David presented his third solo album “On an Island” to the judgment of many fans. Gilmour recorded it in his home studio set up aboard his Astoria, a houseboat on the Thames. After the release, the disc took first place in the domestic charts, entered the Top 10 in the United States, and reached platinum status in Canada.
In 2006, he also released a reworked version of the band’s debut song “Arnold Layne”. He dedicated it to the deceased Syd Barrett, friend and author of the original composition. Richard Wright and specially invited David Bowie participated in its recording.
David Gilmour in his youth and now
At the end of 2008, the guitarist was awarded the “Q” magazine award for outstanding contribution to music. He dedicated this award to his friend and bandmate Richard Wright, who passed away in September of that year. In 2009, the musician received his doctorate from Anglia Ruskin University.
In 2015, the singer-guitarist released his 4th studio album, Rattle That Lock, which peaked at number one on the UK Albums Chart and number five on the Billboard 200. The lyrics of the title single were written by his wife, Polly Samson, and he performed the piano part on “In Any Tongue” son, Gabriel.
As part of the tour in support of this record, the vocalist and guitarist performed two concerts in Pompeii in 2016, 45 years after Pink Floyd’s first live performance at the same venue. But, if in 1971 the shooting was carried out without an audience, now 2.6 thousand of his fans have gathered in the ancient city.
Personal life of David Gilmour
The musician is married for the second time. He married for the first time in 1975. His chosen one was an American, model, artist and sculptor Virginia Heisenbein, nicknamed “Ginger” (born 1949). Four children were born in the marriage – Alice, Claire, Sarah and Matthew.
David Gilmour and his first wife Ginger
In 1990, the couple divorced.
In 1994, the guitarist married the English writer and journalist Polly Sampson, who wrote the lyrics for a number of his compositions. Polly was 16 years younger than David. Her father was a correspondent and editor for the Morning Star newspaper, and her mother was a writer of Chinese descent. By the time she first met the rock musician, Polly already had a 5-year-old son, Charlie, from a previous marriage to playwright Heathcoat Williams. Later, a son, Joe, a daughter, Gabrielle, and a younger daughter, Romani, were born into the new Gilmore family.
David Gilmour and his second wife Polly Sampson
The guitarist is a longtime fan of Arsenal FC. Like his parents, he is an adherent of the “left” political views. He does not believe in an afterlife and considers himself an atheist. He is an experienced pilot and aviation enthusiast. For a long time he collected a collection of historical aircraft under the auspices of Intrepid Aviation, but then he sold it, leaving himself a reliable biplane for flying. The musician also collects guitars. In particular, he owns an electric guitar with serial number 0001 Fender Statocaster.
David Gilmour and his children
Together with his family, David Gilmore lives on a farm near the town of Wisborough Green, West Sussex, and also has a house in the seaside resort of Hove, on the English Channel.
According to the Sunday Times Rich List 2016, the musician’s fortune is estimated at 100 million pounds.
David Gilmour now
On September 13, 2017, the film “David Gilmour: Live at Pompeii” was shown in 2 thousand cinemas around the world. The audience saw the best moments of both of their idol’s light shows, accompanied by lasers, pyrotechnics and using the famous huge round screen at the back of the stage, where landscapes and psychedelic images were projected.
He performed the classic songs “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”, “Wish You Were Here”, “Breathe”, “One Of These Days”. During the sound of “Comfortably Numb”, a mirror ball appeared on the stage, turning it, according to eyewitnesses, into a “Milky Way of shimmering effects”.