Like most band in the sixties, Pink Floyd was a product of the upheavals and climactic changes happening that time. The band was formed in 1965 during the psychedelic era in London’s music underground. The original band members were Nick Mason, Rick Wright, Roger Waters, Clive Metcalf, Keith Noble, and Juliette Gale. Juliette later married Rick.
The band’s name went through a series of changes from Sigma-6, The Meggadeaths, and The Abdabs, The Screaming Abdabs, and The Architectural Abdas. The band broke up eventually, but Waters, Wright, and Mason stayed together. Bob Close and Syd Barrett joined up with them later as guitarists.
For a time, they were called the Tea Set (or perhaps T-Set as spelled by some sources), but after encountering another band with the same name in the bill, they had to change the band’s name to something else. That was when they were called the Pink Floyd Sound because Syd Barrett had worked with blues players Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. The word “Sound” was dropped shortly after and the group just went by the name of Pink Floyd.
A New Kind of Sound
Pink Floyd was known for its avant-garde music and its electrifying live performances. Words like lavish, over-the-top, and flashy were attached to descriptions of the band’s performances. Pink Floyd was actually the first to use a combination of sound and lights in their live performances. Each show was a theatrical production with explosions, laser lights, film clips projected on white screens, and stage smoke. In fact, the performers themselves seemed secondary attractions.
However, more than the grand concert performances, Pink Floyd was best known among its fans for its brand of music. In the early days, the band covered rhythm and blues songs such as “Louie, Louie.” Later, they shifted to psychedelic interpretations, with extended improvised sections and “spaced out” solos.
The public’s reaction was cold at first because the songs were new and odd sounding. The newness of the sound and the easy-to-remember lyrics attracted a small crowd each time they perform in the underground clubs.
How They Were Discovered
Pink Floyd’s members were ready to break up and go their separate ways before the band was discovered by a music agent named Jenner. Jenner had already absorbed the different genres of hippie music scene in the Unites States that time. He was also appreciative of the underground scene in London.
Jenner felt that the group had huge commercial potential. He and the band formed Blackhill Enterprises, which brought them to completely new ways of using lights and sounds for concerts. Sounds were taken from other groups playing the London underground and mashed together to form new music. Light technicians from the United States replaced their color slide light shows with oil slides, which were projected on the stage during concert.
The name was changed back and forth from “the Pink Floyd Sound” to “Pink Floyd” and finally ended as the latter, which is still in use. The band’s popularity was increasing radically with the increasing numbers of concerts. In early spring 1967, the band has been playing as many as 20 concerts a month. The band was signed on with a record label named EMI, which held their first press launch on April 1, 1967.