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Pigs Might Fly: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  1,048 ratings  ·  87 reviews
Mark Blake’s history of Pink Floyd – the first for fifteen years – has already been acknowledged as the final word on this remarkable band’s life. Lucidly written, incorporating over a hundred new and exclusive interviews, it covers Pink Floyd from their Cambridge beginnings in the early sixties to their triumphant re-formation at Live 8 in 2005 24 years after their last l ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published October 25th 2008 by Aurum Press Ltd (first published 2007)
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Man, is this one going fast. I've neglected books I was reading just to zip through this one. I'll even be in bed, barely awake, and CANNOT put the fucker down.

I think I've read just about every book on PINK FLOYD, learning little bits of information along the way, filling in the gaps, sometimes even getting most of the same stuff with every book I read. First it was Miles' PINK FLOYD datebook from the 80's, then Nicholas Schaefer's A SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS, then the recent Nick Mason autobio/unmi
Scott Holstad
Wow! After reading this book, I've come to the conclusion that Roger Waters was one of the biggest assholes who has ever lived. He was/is a freakin' monster! A bully. A grouch. Never happy. Always has to be right. Always has to win. Always has to have the last word. Confrontational. Critical as hell. A royal dick. To everyone. Especially to David Gilmour. And Richard Wright. He generally spared Nick Mason.

This is one of the most comprehensive rock bios I've ever read, starting out with the group
Erik Eckel
Pink Floyd’s contributions to music, songwriting, motion picture scoring, motion picture authoring, arena rock productions, musicianship, engineering, production, lyricism and infighting are unsurpassed. Regardless your position or opinion debating the greatest band of all time, the greatest arena show performer ever or the greatest guitarist of all time, the facts remain: 250 million albums sold, Grammies, a BAFTA, Hall of Fame inductions, record-setting tours and a 14-year Billboard listing fo ...more
Not as nerdy as I would have liked (would have liked to have more on the actual recording process) but an entertaining (and quick) read nonetheless.
Part of me just likes to read about songs or albums that I like--the more mundane the details the better: my favorite book on the Beatles is "The Beatles: Recording Sessions," which is a day-to-day account of what went on while they were recording all of their records (who played what when and so on).

But another part of me is fascinated to read about the personalities that go into making the songs or albums I like--it's like a family saga, reading about John Lennon & Paul McCartney trying to
Mark Blake covers a lot of ground in the span of 448 pages. The members of Pink Floyd have always been notoriously private which makes writing anything about the band difficult. Add to this the dual loss of Syd Barrett, mentally so many years ago and physically just a few years ago, and one wonders how Blake was able to pull off this project in the first place.

Despite these challenges, Blake has done solid work. His insights into the creative process of the three Pink Floyd's explain why it too
Outstanding! This book had me riveted from start to finish, much to my surprise (I'd anticipated that it'd be okay, at best). The author does a commendable job of balancing the story of the Floyd's fame and the group's personal lives including, most poignantly, Syd Barrett's. I now have even greater appreciation for their music, but I don't think one has to love Pink Floyd to find this an excellent read.
James Kennedy
Fantastic rock biog. Makes me want to re-visit areas of the discography I've always been a bit ambivalent about rather than worship fervently (basically anything from DSOTM onwards). Yes, even the solo albums. Found a copy of 'The Division Bell' in the attic at my house which must have belonged to one of my partner's family.

Greatest thing about it is the absolute attention to detail. This is particularly exceptional with the descriptions of where members of the band and their friends used to ha
If you're interested in Pink Floyd, I'd highly recommend this book; it offers a wide history of the exploits of Waters, Gilmour and the rest of the Floyd.

However, though, it is not written well. In fact, that's an understatement. I don't wish to discredit Mr. Blake, as he is obviously successful as a journalist (you don't get that high up in the ranks of Q Magazine for nothing, after all), but I was personally astounded by the laziness and general shoddiness of the way the book was written. Mr.
Dec 20, 2009 Rory rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Floyd die-hards
Shelves: memoirs-and-bios
This book did two things to me: 1. made me realize that the members of Pink Floyd aren't really that interesting, amusing or awesome (especially when compared to, say, the Beatles) and 2. make me miss my ex-husband. This book was not fun.
This is one of the best musical biographies that I have read. It provides a detailed, balanced and fascinating account of one of the most iconic groups of our time. Even for someone who is not particularly fond of Pink Floyd (There must be such misguided souls out there), the book has enough detail of the cultural background at the time to provide an interesting read . The members of the band always took care to remain somewhat anonymous, which considering the often dark content of their music a ...more
Nick Mason's personal biography of Pink Floyd is something of a sanitised account. Blake offers a more no-holds-barred history and it's certainly comprehensive, charting the life of the band and its members from the 1960s through to 2012.

Some familiarity with Floyd's music is must even if you're not a die hard fan and it helps to have Spotify on standby too. After the early stages the book basically devotes a chapter to each album.

Two things are notable, one is the long shadow cast by Syd Barret
I thought it was a pretty even discussion of the trajectory of one of the great bands over the past 40 odd years. Poor Syd, happy Mick, angry Roger, timid Richard, and conflicted David sure make for an interesting cast of characters. I remember watching the Live 8 performance a few years back thinking how it was so sad they let so much ill will get in the way of their combined talents.
The book doesn't shy away from calling each of these guys on their nonsense. I appreciated the honesty and the i
Alan Taylor
Very good overview of all things Pink Floyd. Blake is particularly good on the early days and Syd Barrett's decline and he doesn't forget Syd as he tells the band's story, Floyd and Syd's stories being inseparable. He also remains fairly neutral on who is the bigger prick, Waters or Gilmour. Very different men, they both come across as very intelligent, incredibly talented, stubborn, self-important, insufferable - especially when it comes to each other. The latter stages of the book demonstrate ...more
Mason Jones
Being a bit of a Pink Floyd fanatic (up to a point in history), I came across a notice of this book that was pretty complementary so I thought I'd grab it from the library and give it a try. I enjoyed it, but as might be expected, there are some frustrations. The group has always been extremely closed to the press, and while they all apparently spoke to Blake during the writing of this book, they were clearly not overly forthcoming. The most interesting part of the book is the early days, becaus ...more
May 28, 2008 Bruce rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys a great, real-live soap opera (and Pink Floyd fans, too)
I'd have given this book 4.5 stars if GoodReads provided that option. While not foolproof, Mark Blake's latest is pretty terrific. This is true whether you're a dyed-in-the-wool Floyd fan (early, Dark Side of the Moon Waters period, or 80s Gilmour period?), just slightly curious what all the hubbub was about, or fancy a well-told story that happens to span 40 productive, slightly psychedelic years in the lives of famous British rock stars. Still doubt the relevance of this book? Well, consider t ...more
Dave Schwensen
I’ve been a long time fan of Pink Floyd, but admittedly not a hard core fan. This book is well researched and serves as a decent historical account of one of the most popular and innovative bands in rock. But I feel the author had an uphill battle with this one.

One of the mysteries about Pink Floyd were the members themselves. Their photos rarely if ever appeared on album covers – and stage effects and props were the actual stars, relegating the members to the roles of background musicians at th
"We don't need no education", Pink Floyd famously sang. And while that may be proof enough that we actually need one, it struck it's point. Yes, I'm doing another band book, and this time it's over Pink Floyd.
I have recently gotten into them and enjoy their music a lot. This book(like all band books)gave a lot of page-turning information about how they started, how they got famous and so on. David Gilmour is also one of my guitar aspirations, so it was fun reading about him.
I would definitely
Great book all the way around. I thought the author did a thorough job of laying out the history of the band, covering lots of details and bringing in insights from lots of people in and around the group. It was a fair treatment, considering all of the conflict that has swirled around PF over the years. No one got an especially harsh or easy treatment. Very balanced reporting. I liked this a lot and it caused me to go back and revisit the music with new ears.

To any Floyd fan, this book is requi
John Branney
You would have to be a big Pink Floyd fan to like this story because beyond the ego conflicts between Roger Waters and the rest of the band members, there was very little controversy or outrageous behavior within the band. I did not know anything about Sid Barrett so that was an added benefit to the book. He was probably the most controversial member of the band, but he pretty much disappeared from the book a quarter of the way into it. Two thumbs up if you are a Floyd fan.
David Grapka
One of the best "band" biographies I've read. It doubles as a history book as well, giving an inside view of 1967's "Summer of Love" from across the pond. I have a greater in-depth understanding of the personal dynamics of highly creative group of people who have to respond authentically to enormous external pressures, tragedy (watching the demise of their bandmate's mental stability). Knowing more of the details of their production values and processes for each of their mega million selling alb ...more
My Kindle version was titled "Pigs Might Fly : ..." with additional chapter from original release. This is an excellently researched and well written account of the Pink Floyd story. Lessons there to ponder on the pursuit of success and trail of personal casualties along the way.
Nov 07, 2009 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
I suppose I knew most of the broad outlines of Pink Floyd's history, but this book laid it out with clarity and detail. It's well-written, an interesting topic and an interesting book. There is a good mix of objective fact with personal recollections occasionally, but not always of opposite views, and perspective.

The band lurches (or is yanked) from one controlling/dominate personality to another. Sid Barrett, David Gilmour, and Roger Waters. Each moulded (as the Brits would write it) the band i
I gave 4 stars because there is too many people mentioned in the book. it makes it unreadable at some points.
p.s. too bad this book was written before The Endless River, i would like to read about making that album, as well.
Anish Majumdar
Amazing. Just amazing. It felt like I was there with this group where everyone was talking to me and telling me about these folks from Cambridge and how they became Pink Floyd.
From the very first sentence it didn't feel like a book but a window through time, cruising through time, pausing to meet people and hear their stories featuring Syd, David, Roger, Richard and Nick.
Every chapter is a treasure trove for the millions of Pink Floyd fans. I do not have enough words to thank Mark Blake for th
Corey Vilhauer
Good for what it was: a history of a band that oftentimes didn't like each other. Straightforward and honest, with a few insights that I hadn't heard in the decades I've known the band.
Radu Stanculescu
I'm more of a fan of post-Syd Pink Floyd but while going through this book I tried to listen to all their albums. Well, things haven't really changed. Whatever mindset or tastes one has to have to enjoy Syd's work, I don't have them. The drama surrounding Syd's life just made me wish he'd have got some help early during his self-destructive period.

Anyway, I did enjoy reading about the creative process behind the rest of the albums. The personality clashes between band members made me cringe a li
A history of the band from its beginnings to its temporary reunion for Live 8, and the death of Syd Barrett. There is not much in terms of criticism or analysis of the music; most of the book is about the personality clashes within the band, as well as about the legal wranglings following the release of The Wall. Much of Blake’s information comes from his interviews with band members and with friends, family and business associates of the group. The book is somewhat more balanced than Dallas’s B ...more
Carol Houston
Full of Floyd

Excellent, thorough and impressive. It is easy to see how Floyd ranks up there with the Beatles. A must for any Floyd enthusiast.
Colin Birge
There are enough Pink Floyd biographies and fan-produced books to break a bookshelf by weight, but most of them are poorly researched or deeply slanted or both. This is the first biography to take a reasonably objective look at the band's musical progression and the more interesting topic of the creative tensions that led to their best music. Since the members of the Floyd were infamously full of English reserve and avoided reporters for much of their career, there are some very new insights her ...more
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“There’s a bit in “Echoes” we call “the wind section” where it all falls apart, and then comes back in,’ explains Guy Pratt. ‘Some of the younger players, mentioning no names, couldn’t get their heads around it not being a set number of bars. It was like, “You have to feel it and know instinctively when to come back in.” David’s great line about that was, “The trouble with modern musicians is that they don’t know how to disintegrate.” 1 likes
“There are people who say we should make room for younger bands. That’s not the way it works. They can make their own room.” 0 likes
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