In the 8th grade, our school had experimental music lessons. We listened to songs and then analyzed their lyrics and music, how they connect. It was not a lesson for musicians, so no musical theory or anything. We started with a couple of Beatles songs and then switched to The Wall album by Pink Floyd.
I never heard Pink Floyd before, or at least it never registered, so the whole sound was new to me, as well as the idea of a conceptual album or a rock opera. We would listen to one track each lesson in order and analyze it. We only had a short time to do that so, we probably only went five tracks into the album. In the last two lessons, we watched the movie The Wall. This experience greatly affected me and consolidated my love for Pink Floyd’s music, which started with these lessons. I then listened to the rest of Pink Floyd’s catalogue and other artists in the progressive and psychedelic rock genres. I also influenced my close friends with this music, and we all went through this musical journey together through high school and later.
A couple of years later, my dad bought me my first guitar. David Gilmour’s guitar playing in Pink Floyd had an immense influence on my initial style and development as a musician. It was an influence when we wrote songs in the band with some of these friends, and to this day, when I release my music, people would often hear Pink Floyd’s influence in it.
Today is David Gilmour’s 75th birthday. His influence on the world of guitar is immense. He may not be considered a technical player, yet guitarists learn his techniques. Most importantly, his playing is very emotional – it’s full of soul. Gilmour’s sound is legendary, and generations of guitarists have been trying to get close to it. May you stay healthy and continue to inspire us.
And thanks to the young 8th-grade music teacher. She changed my life and the life of some of my close friends without knowing it.