A serious blog for today.

Can you imagine what it must be like to be homeless?

As you know from the recent ‘Island Jam’ video, which was made available in return for a voluntary donation of any amount to Crisis, David cares passionately for the homeless. Indeed, in 2003, David became vice president of Crisis, the London-based homelessness charity whose motto is ‘Fighting for hope for homeless people’.

We’re not asking for anything here. Just please think about this for a moment or two.

Apparently, around 25 per cent of Britain’s homeless people are aged 18 to 25. One third have attempted suicide. Two thirds will leave school with no qualifications.

That said, a Crisis survey of 150 homeless people across Britain revealed that 15 per cent have degrees and 13 per cent have professional qualifications, proving that anyone can end up sleeping rough.

Six per cent of Britain’s homeless people are over 60. About one in ten sleeping rough are women.

Compared to the general public, homeless people are 35 times more likely to commit suicide, 13 times more likely to have experienced violence, 40 times more likely to not be registered with a GP and eight times more likely to have mental health problems.

81 per cent are addicted to either, or both, drugs and alcohol. Dependency means they are twice as likely to be banned from homeless services as those who are not.

The average life expectancy of a homeless person is just 42. For the rest of us, the average is 74 for men and 79 for women.

Added to this are the ‘hidden homeless’ – those who are infrequently staying in hostels, squatting, sleeping on a sofa somewhere and of no fixed abode. Apparently there are some 380,000 people who fit this category in Britain.

However, there are no official figures. Crisis is currently urging all concerned people to contact their local MPs to call for a Hidden Homeless Census. If you’re interested in lending your voice to this campaign, then please visit and click the little red button down in the right-hand corner of your screen. It only takes a moment and your support will be vastly appreciated.

Maybe you have experience of this issue or know people who have. Feel free to write whatever you feel.

January is by far the coldest month of the year here in the UK, and it’s uncomfortable knowing that, right now, there are people sleeping rough on our streets when most of us are warm and safe, worrying about such trivial matters as our hair getting wet on the way to the bus stop tomorrow morning.

If you came looking for news or to see another of Polly’s photographs, then we apologise for disappointing you. But please spend the time you would have spent generally looking forward to David’s new album and tour to think about these cold, harsh facts. It puts all the petty stuff in its place. Besides, awareness of the issue is perhaps of equal importance to putting your hand in your pocket and making a contribution.

You have already helped by making that contribution. From everyone involved at Crisis and, thank you very much.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

55 thoughts on “Crisis”

  1. Hello, I hope i’m not too late to post a poem or that i’m posting inapropriately considering the theme of todays blog entry. This is a short something i wrote when i first started trying to make lyrics (a year ago) it was actually called ‘islands’ when i wrote it, it’s poor but i’m proud that it was my first ever attempt at creative writting :).

    A heavy conscience for an anchor.
    A heart lies where the pirates sank her.
    A broken raft, a shipwrecked life,
    A refugee from paradise.

    These rolling seas can turn their tide.
    You’re castaway not cast aside.

    And when the storms have cleared,
    This island bares no native fear.
    Look from the high sands,
    Set course for mainland.

    Those rolling seas have turned their tide.
    On friendly waters, home you ride.

  2. Dear David, Features Ed. and DG bloggers:

    On a serious tip – give if you can. Your karma will benefit and so will others. Me, I spent more money than I make in a month to travel to see David perform live. But in turn I think David will turn around and put some of the money he earns into good charitable causes like Crisis. I have been on the verge of homelessness myself a few times. Sadly, no one is immune in this day and age.

    While you’re at it and if you can afford it – give to PETA. The animals need your help; we’re all they have.


  3. It’s interesting to see (as of yet) that there are JUST TWO comments in regards to the Crisis entry. We write to complain about tickets and DVDs or ask for free guitars or maybe even private lessons but when it comes to the well being of fellow people, we’re quiet. I’m not trying to be too preachy- but thanks Eds for putting the light on people with REAL needs.

  4. I was homeless along time ago when i was young and because of the help of complete strangers and someone i was not all that nice too.I was given a place to stay and a chance to turn my life around.This is a great cause that David is championing.But would not the best thing for him to do is what is staring everyone in the face.A concert in Hyde Park after the Royal Albert Hall gigs.Its not as if its not been done before.A pay or Free concert to raise funds or awareness would be the hilight of the 2006 musical year.He could bring some old friends for one last Hurrah.David and Pink Floyd have been my constant passion and Hi through out my life.They have kept me going,How about saying goodbye from the top and helping all the homless people’s lives a little better.

  5. I know the feeling. I remember peddling encyclopedias and burial plots for a living and making a very paltry income. Not knowing if you are going to pay the rent, or not knowing where your next meal will come from, and being one paycheck away from homelessness.I’ve almost been there!

  6. Everyone needs a home.
    Not just a shelter or a makeshift tent but a real home.
    People need more than a roof over their heads and a meal in their belly (although these things are very important especially in the cold winter months).
    The homeless also need people with strong shoulders so they can lean on them.
    They need sympathetic ears to listen to them.
    And most important they need compassionate hearts to feel for them.
    It’s not enough to give money.
    You have to give of yourself!
    No man…or woman…
    is an island.
    So if you are…
    on an island
    Get the fuck off…
    and help those who are
    without hope
    and without a home.

    On a lighter note…

    The Lone Ranger and Tonto went camping “On An Island”.

    After they got their tent all set up, both men fell sound asleep.
    Some hours later, Tonto wakes the Lone Ranger and says,
    “Kemo Sabe,look towards the sky, what you see?”
    The Lone Ranger replies,
    “I see millions of stars.”
    “What’s that tell you?” asked Tonto.
    The Lone Ranger ponders for a minute then says,
    “Astronomically speaking, it tells me there are millions
    of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.

    Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo.
    Time wise, it appears to be approximately a quarter
    past three in the morning.
    Theologically, the Lord is all-powerful and
    we are small and insignificant.
    Meteorologically, it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.

    What’s it tell you Tonto?”

    “You dumber than buffalo shit.
    Someone stole the tent.” 🙂

  7. I know that David doesn’t do it for the credit or praise but as a fan I’d just like to say how proud I am of his work with Crisis.

    Also, I saw a story today on the new album, complete with track listing. It’s been years since I’ve looked this forward to a new album and March 7 cannot come soon enough!

    Lastly, the blog made my day today. There will be two halves to the shows!!! I was afraid we’d be treated to a simple 90 mins plus encore. Could it be 1st half “On an Island” 2nd half “Classic David”? Now that would be a dream come true. See you soon David!

    Bob from Toronto

  8. The issue of homelessness is one that is never gets the kind of attention it deserves. I applaud you guys (David Gilmour, Features Editor, et al) for using this corner of the internet to raise awareness.

    I used to work at a transitional living community in the village here in NYC. The place was all about helping people get off the street and on their feet in every sense by providing mental health services, substance abuse services, life skill building, public benefits assistance, work readiness skills, and placement at single room occupancy units around NYC. What rings true is this: you can not cure homelessness without rebuilding lives. I’m glad to see Crisis raising awareness and influencing policy on this issue back in the UK.

    Homeless youth are persistent problem in the village, and there’s a community coalition trying to tackle the issue. For those of us here from NYC, I read that almost 50% of homeless are children. Local governments are taking the brunt of the storm with mixed results with little support from state governments or Washington, D.C. Get involved or at least stay informed.

    Check out what NYC Department of Homeless Services are up to. New York Cares and the New York City Rescue Mission are two places you can check out to see how you can help locally.

    The food pantries and the soup kitchen in the neighborhood where I work today are forever running low on supplies as are many others in the NYC area. Try to find one close to home, give what you can, and put on a little “Dark Side of the Moon” in your mp3 player as you walk away feeling good about getting involved…..

  9. comecei tocando e gostando de música após o show PULSE, qndo vi você Gilmour fiquei impresionado c/ o q era possivel fazer numa guitarra, agradeço pelo seu talento pois fez com que eu me interessasse por algo tão grande, a música!!! Parabéns pelo site, aguardo o novo disco On An Island, e o dvd Pulse, até mais grande abraço mestre David Gilmour!!!!

  10. Hi FEd and friends,

    I didn’t get a chance to ‘wax poetic’ yesterday, although there were thoughts and images rolling around in my brain of a somewhat poetic nature. Strange, but when I was pondering the theme ‘On An Island’ I kept imaging that island as Mother Earth, an island in the universe we all share. I thought about how each good deed done, no matter how small, can have a positive, healing effect all around our island. On the flip-side, every negative, mean-spirited act can perpetuate the same.

    Like a stone dropped into a pond, the ripples spreading out in ever larger circles, a simple act of kindness, giving a helping hand to another, or by just being ‘open’ we can reach someone who is lost or in need and maybe they will in turn do the same for another down the road.

    Anyway, these were the thoughts dancing around my head and as it turns out they seem to fit in with today’s topic as well.

    I don’t think it matters if you’re rich, poor or in between, everyone can offer up something to help ease another’s emotional or physical pain or discomfort. We all live on this island together and each of us can only benefit from the nurturing of others who may need a little more than we do at a particular time. Be kind, be generous, with whatever you have, be it words of comfort or money for food, clothing and housing, or training someone in a trade or providing a job for them so they can go on with a sense of worth.

    Enough … I sound like I need a soap box or a pulpit! But I put my 2 bits in at least.

    Keep up the good work. Oh yes, thanks for the tidbit — first half acoustic, second electric? I can hardly wait!

    Best wishes to everyone at that end!
    Gabrielle in Washington State

  11. Dear Editor, having read those lines makes me think of the situation in France. Actually, I am of German nationality but living in France together with my French wife. Ther is an organisation in France called the Resto du Coeur (Restaurants coming from the heart) which provide especially in the hard winter time thousands of meals to the homeless and poor, but also accomodation, sleeping bags, …. . Why do I mention it? The idea was from a French comedian called Coluche, and he had the idea to spread his idea on the back of music. And since 1994 each year there is a big show, followed immediately by a DVD and CD where the most prominent french singers, writers, actors, … promote the idea and organisation (no, don’t be cheeky and ask who they are…taste and country idols are – well, a matter of taste and country specific) like Goldman, Aznavour, Halliday, … . And it works, a lot of money is collected every year and there is also a LAW since 1994, that allows to deduct the money given to Resto du Coeur from your tax bill. Oh, the people coming together to the show call themselves Les Enfoirées … and they do it without profit.
    Bonne journée, Robert

  12. How about having a series of special videos like the excellent “Island Jam” from the rehearsals and preparations for the new “On An Island” album in return for a donation to the Crisis charity?

  13. It would be easy to go cynical here, but just about everyone I know has seriously ingrained stereotypical images about the homeless, that need re-examining. I know I did until recently.

    I’ll be brief – My wife is a PC network administrator, who some years ago introduced me to a wonderful human being (at one of her company holiday parties) who was a brilliant software programmer, engaging, father of 2 beautiful girls, husband, homeownowner, and Floyd lover! His wife runs away with a guy half her age, files for divorce, takes the house,and now he is living on a hillside by the San Diego Zoo in the bushes, mostly just talking to himself in run on sentences…

    Life is not always fair, and goes way way beyond the heartbreak of not getting Gilmour tickets – I know it’s hard to believe.

    Count your blessings one and all!

  14. Many times we can be homeless even having a home to stay, falling into desperation and isolation because we don’t feel beloved or matching any social role. Just anybody can become homeless, even coming from a successful life or career. Helping the homeless with immediate physical needs is the first priority of course, but not lastly it is preventing new ones become homeless, starting from their minds, making everybody feel beloved and respected, living in peace and harmony, preserving self esteem and dignity.

  15. I’m only 17, but I know how important it is to do all we can for the homeless. Two summers ago, my grandpa’s neighbor held a small gathering out at their lake and raised well over $200,000 (there were some wealthy people there). The same man developed an afordable housing community a year later and continues to fight for the homless. If this old guy I know can do so much, imagine what David Gilmour can accomplish.

    When I was reading this post, I really got the feeling that David has a warm and compassionate heart.

    Some people are just shit out of luck, and need a helping hand. With all of the technology and money in the world, what so fucking hard about getting someone a proper meal and a warm bed to sleep in? This has gone on far long enough.


  16. Thanks for posting that. I am always glad to hear David promoting an important cause, and one – I know – so close to his heart. I wish more artists in prominent positions would pay more than lip service to helpful funds! I have made a donation to Crisis along with the price of my ticket to see David in May 🙂

  17. Hi folks.

    Just had a thought/suggestion. Why not arrange a few volunteers to have a collection for crisis at the door of each concert, you could perhaps even make up ltd edition badges/tshirts with a £1/£10? fee, all profit going to crisis? even a simple collection plate alone would bound to be overflowing at the end of the night… especially if theres one left at the bar :p

    Brain Damage has some VERY interesting reading on it atm… full track list, and a contender to beat the comfy numb solo, the title track of on an island!! woohoo can’t wait another second now!! come on march 7th!!! wheeeeeee

  18. Some very moving and meaningful follow-ups so far. Thanks, everyone.

    Oh, and Deborah is right. PETA is a very worthwhile cause – and one that David has also supported.

  19. i must echo both tom quinn and deborah – it is important to be aware that there is very little dividing the comfortable from the homeless. i too was once just a paycheck away from being out on the street.

    it can happen to any one of us. the mental and physical effects are devastating: the fear, uncertainty and loss of hope are as damaging as hunger and lack of health care. those of us who can spare money for a concert ticket can surely spare some money and/or time to help these people rebuild their lives.

    in their isolation, the homeless may as well live on an island. but they don’t, and we don’t. we all share this planet.

    we must remember to have compassion towards any helpless human or animal. the less fortunate depend upon the rest of us. and those of us with homes and jobs are fortunate indeed.

  20. I like the suggestion that a charity such as PETA or whomever with David’s authority only, be allowed to accept donations for every venue of the Island Tour. Each city needs fundraising, and if chosen, can represent itself to the needs of their individual communities. Hey David, can’t wait to see you shuffle into Toronto. Remember a song called Panama Shuffle? Love it. Thanks Ed and Polly.

  21. Id like to start by saying I myself was homeless at one point in my life for 2 years. I mostly lived in a car, or slept on friends couches. Luckily I dug myself out of that Hole and now own my Home, have a wife and two children. I bought a Classic Corvette recently and must admit that I was at a all time high. Now im laid off and looking for work, but my head is up high and I will not give up. I praise David for the work he has done with the homeless. I myself have given to homeless charities here in the US over the years. If I was more financially stable at this point I would donate to crisis. I look forward to seeing David in April and hpefully by then I will be back to work with a check ready for crisis.

  22. Hi – long-time reader (well, as long as), first-time poster.

    I’d just like to say I think it’s a very positive thing to promote a cause such as Crisis through a medium like this blog – I don’t have anything especially deep or meaningful to say I’m afraid, but please carry on plugging it – it’s good to be reminded of these things.

    As to the tour and the album, I’m looking forward to both immensely – I’ve managed to secure my tickets for Manchester. Unfortunately, I’m in Dubai at present, and will be in May, so it’s touch-and-go as to whether I’ll make it myself. However I’ve got several friends who’ll be able to go in my stead, so they won’t go to waste – or to eBay…

    Rearding the repeated calls for people to stop asking about additional tour dates/Pulse info/inane rubbish, and the Ed’s replies to them in the posts, I think the point has been made now, as much as it ever can be, and the time has come to draw a line. To paraphrase Henry Fonda in 12 Angry Men, they can’t hear you, and they never will. It just seems a shame to mar each entry with yet another plea to the heedless idiots to stop posting…

    Having said that, is there any chance of a Dubai gig…? (Joking, joking…)

    In any case, I’ve been enjoying the posts, and the ‘Island Jam’ sample from Christmas – feel free to do something similar again (like you need our permission…)

  23. Where are the comments from the guys who paid $700 or 500€ for one ticket at e bay?

    Oh – yes i know David Gilmour spent a lot of money for homelessness charity. But if i read this blog, i believe the concerts are only for the rich people!

    One more provocation? Read this: If PETA means, animals are more important, than a hungry child, a raped woman, the victims of the hurricanes and tsunamis, than forget PETA!
    Most time i think PETA is a organization for bored millionaires like Paul McCartney they lose the view for the reality …
    now i listen “High Hopes” – maybe the wrong title at the moment ….


  24. I know that some will give me grief for saying this, but I will make a point anyway. In many cases, people are homeless due to their own actions. For example, they had a good home and life BUT their addiction to drugs caused them to stray on a different path and loose everything. So now society needs to take pity on these people for having no self-control?? Its our problem that they didn’t know when to stop and ask for help?? Its our problem that they ignored the loved ones around them when they were approached to get help?? I have no issue helping an individual who truly wants to better themselves. But the individual needs to want to make the change. You can’t make an alcoholic stop drinking – they have to want to change. If you really want to do something about the homeless, you need to look at what drives them there. And in many cases what you’ll find are individuals with no self-esteem who had weak parental upbringing, if any at all. All the money will not fix the homeless problem. Parenting and really being involved with your children will go much further.

  25. Dear Sirs & Mr.David Gilmour and Polly Samson and everyone out there who is reading this.

    I have written in this website numerous times in regards to my “selfish” feelings and rantings that I can not afford to see Mr. David Gilmour in concert in the United States this year & the reason is it was between spending a riduculous amount of money to scalpers and e-bay or giving to Crisis for the homeless. I had to make the decision and it was to donate to Crisis. I am not writing this for any “honors” because I wish I could do alot more. I wish for alot of things. I can not imagine what it would feel like to live on the streets and be in this situation and I want to do more. I would do anything for the people at Crisis and it has absolutely nothing to do with Mr. David Gilmour.

    For you see I am a registered nurse who works in the acute mental health, chemical dependency fields in the Western New York area, Buffalo etc. I have seen things alot of the readers have never seen or want to see. I know for a fact that this tragedy of mental illness, chemical dependency and sometimes the two go hand in hand and you don’t know what comes first. I have see suicide victims of all ages, races and financial backgrounds. I have taken care of males,females, children and adolescents from all walks of life. I see this horror everyday. It can happen to any of us. Not one person is “above” that fine line between being homeless or having mental health issues or becoming chemically addicted and doing things out of sheer desperation.

    Do you have any idea what it actually feels like to be ‘desperate’? I do everything in my power to help those I can. I wish I had the means (financial) to give more. I am not naive. It takes a “celebrity” with fame and fortune to draw attention to certain charities and this angers me.

    That is how I have come to my level of “comfort” knowing that I can not see Mr.David Gilmour on tour in the United States this year. At times i have overwhelming feelings of guilt for ranting and whining about not being able to go to the concert or seeing Mr. Gilmour.

    I would love to do more for the homeless and victims of poverty. I have found during all my years of psychiatric experience that the homeless and the poverished are no different than you or me. Many are very educated and come from so-called good backgrounds, some have had terrible “luck”. What people need are the hands of a person who cares, to help them help themselves. Many times that is what they really need. Money yes. I go above this, I help the people i come in contact with to regain their sense of power, pride and self esteem. I help people get the education that they may need so they can improve themselves in the long run. These people need to have their basic needs met which are warmth, water, food and shelter, clothing and medications. They need their basic needs met first and then we build from there or at least that is how I practice. They need to have safety and comfort. They like so many people need to feel important and loved and cared for. I am but one person. I am not a celebrity, I am not wealthy or a socialite, I do not come from money and I know what it is like to feel desperate for the basic things in life.

    No one should ever be without “hope”. What the world needs in my own opinion is understanding and for people to help others in any way they can. I made my decision and it was not easy for me. I am no saint. I have been there myself and I know what it is like and no one should be without love and hope. But people need their basic needs met first. Then we can move on from there and help them regain their sense of self and self worth.

    I can only think of one song as I am writing this and that is John Lennon’s song “Imagine”…Though I may be criticized for not being a BIG BEATLES fan or John Lennon fan but just really IMAGINE what it would and could be like? “What a wonderful world it would truly be.”

    Too may people are to quick to “judge” others. I can write all the “ifs” in the world and that won’t make me any more important or influential as other people are able to do because of their status, fame, fortune or notarity. I am not a princess and I am not a celebrity. I am a woman who cares deeply about human beings and wishes to do everything I can in my power to help out.

    I of course will be visiting this website daily as I have from its start. I do look forward to pictures of David and maybe someday of Polly but there are really more important situations out there.

    I understand that Mr. David Gilmour is the vice president of Crisis & I am very happy that Crisis has such a wonderful, giving talented man like Mr. Gilmour. Keep up the good work. It breaks my heart to see anyone who is hurting in any way. Believe this or not. This is who I am.

    Linda Penner

  26. Thanks for the information on the homelessness issue. Its no less an issue in Canada.

    Perhaps off topic however: None of the credits on the information you provided re the new album says anything about the art. Do you know if it is Thorgerson effort?

  27. Off topic directed to the powers that be-and please forgive me for going off topic (I’m not going to ask if David will play a two week set in my basement)

    The press release for the album. No mention of the designer of the album cover. Is it Storm?? Polly??

    Thanks, Jeff in Chicago

  28. I know Rush used to ask for fans to bring in cans of food for a food drive whenever they played in each city on their tour.

    Something to think about.

  29. Not the right space for this, but the new album cover looks great. The list of credits: impressive, as is David Gilmour’s personal input which means we have a lot to listen to with a fine ear…

    That’s what I’m looking foward to!

    Gotta hear it! Gotta have it!

  30. In Berlin there are many homeless persons, too. I see them nearly everyday at the station and sometimes i wish to close my eyes. But thats not right, because closing my eyes is semiliar with doing nothing….

    …dear blogwriter, thanks for opening our eyes!

  31. it’s terrible. i always buy a copy of the big issue and i made a donation to crisis when david gave us the fab ‘island jam’ video. it wasn’t much, but if everyone gave just a pound, euro or dollar, it would make a big difference.

    david was extremely generous to donate the entire proceeds of his house sale to crisis. never mind the music, this is why david is such a special man to so many people.

    the music is very important, of course. he’s not a bad singer/guitarist, is he? 😉

    the moaners sure are very quiet today…

  32. Hi again,

    Whether or not a person has only themselves to blame for their ‘position’ in life really isn’t the issue, in my humble opinion. With regards to CRISIS or any other organization that is trying to help those who fall into homelessness, whatever the reason (drug addiction, alcoholism, mental illness, neglect, etc.), doesn’t it benefit all of us to at least help provide some of the basic necessities for these people? Yes, some will choose to remain in their own hell regardless, but shouldn’t everyone have at least a hot meal, and the ‘luxury’ of a safe warm place to rest their heads at night? Shouldn’t they receive at least what you might offer a stray dog or cat?!!

    Maybe only one out of a hundred will go on to be able to improve their situation in life, but isn’t that a worthy goal? And maybe that one person can inspire another, and so on.

    If you have ‘issues’ about how and why some people in the land-of-plenty become homeless, I think that there are countless numbers of other homeless and destitute people on this planet that need help who have not (as some people may think) ‘brought it on themselves’.

    If you’re only willing to donate based on some sort of expectation of gratitude and a complete, immediate life change from those who might receive the help, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons anyway. It’s not about Us, it’s about Them! If you don’t think the urban-dwelling homeless whose numbers are growing larger by the day deserve a helping hand, how about the children left homeless, without parents, and without hope who are in Pakistan, Africa, and dozens of other countries around the world — do their sad eyes filled with hopelessness and their bodies ravaged by disease and neglect move you?

    There are so many people who need help in this world, I think it goes without saying that, if you don’t feel you want to donate to CRISIS, there are plenty of other organizations who are trying to help those who haven’t ‘brought it on themselves’. Message is: DO SOMETHING, NO MATTER HOW SMALL — THE PERSON YOU SAVE JUST MIGHT BE YOURSELF!!

    Okay, I’m outta here. Thanks for the forum to vent my frustrations. It just seems that, with all that has and is still happening around the planet, a person doesn’t have to look too far to find something or someone deserving of help.

    Best to all,
    Gabrielle in Washington State

  33. very sobering to read the blog about Crisis. I am going to two RAH concerts and didn’t think for a moment about the cost of the four tickets in total. So whilst this is in no way in line with the huge support DG has offered, I am making a donation equal to the cost of my four tickets. Thanks for bringing us all back to the real world.

  34. I used to work in London and every night on the way home I used to pass a guy who’s whole life was laid out under Blackfriars bridge. I used to say hello when I could. And then one day he was gone (probably moved on). Haven’t a clue what happened to him. I have never thought of donating to Crisis before now but somehow David’s dedication to their cause has resonated with me and spurred me to belated action. I hope that I have helped in some small way.

  35. I know what you’re saying, A. I agree with you and don’t think you should get flamed for saying it. People do have to take responsibility for their own actions. In this day and age, we really should be big enough and ugly enough to take some responsibility and stop looking for others to blame for our misfortune all the time. That’s all you’re saying. Yet no two cases are the same and if people deserve help, then they should get it. Those stats are shocking. Anyone can end up homeless for so many different reasons. It’s scary. Many do want a helping hand. I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to live on the streets. In our world of plenty, no one should have to no matter where in the world they live. I’d also like to quickly point out that Crisis do many other thing besides getting people off the streets, such as building affordable housing for key workers who aren’t paid enough in our cities. That’s what the Urban Village that caught David’s imagination is all about.

  36. I’m sorry Karin feels the way she does about PETA. I believe man’s cruelty to animals is mirrored in a lack of respect for human life; that the two are directly tied to one another.

    On another subject – dunno if I missed the information somewhere on the blog, but I was wondering if Storm designed David’s “On an Island” album cover?


  37. Hello everyone
    It’s very moving to see how so many people have mobilised to talk and share their experiences and thoughts about homelessness and other tough issues. The truth is it’s easy to lose perspective of the more fundental realities of human existence. The reality is that many people around the world live in a situation of historically unprecendented prosperity. Never before have so many people been richer or healthier. Never before have we had access to education, jobs, food, i-pods and other commodities than now. However, we lose sight of the fact that we are privileged to have these things.
    Most people in the world live in conditions well under what is considered acceptable standards in the developed world. And yet we continue our lives and we get upset about the most superfluous things. Whether a DVD comes out or not is really unimportant compared to the problems some other people are facing. Homelessness, but also malnutriution, starvation, abuse of women and children in some countries, disease and genoside are but a few of the hardships in millions’ lives.
    Thank David Gilmour for responding to admiration with resposability. For pointing out the importance of the cause he is championing through CRISIS when we’re so consumed in our own lives and become concerned about our tickets and DVD’s and “who did the artwork?” or “who mixed the album?”… (and I have to admit I have to include myself in those who want answers to those questions). David’s exhortation really puts all these subtleties into perspective.
    May I say there’s another excellent reason to hold David Gilmour in the highest of steems.
    (Oh, and thanks also to all those who shared their personal experiences in such an intimate way.)

  38. Hello,

    It’s always good to pay attention to people in need, and artists can fullfil a leading role in this. They can make people aware of what is happening and what is not right, where our society is going to the wrong direction.

    So Crises got my attention too, althrough I think that in my little country the need is just so high as in the U.K., just like a lot of countries.

    The last year several artists have put a lot of effort in a few charity projects and happenings. Projects like: Live8; Make Poverty History, and the smaller musical projects when a Tsunami hit Asia in December 2004 like One World Tapestry, The Tsunami Project and ProgAid.They all could need our interest and our support.

    People caring and helping that is what we need. We cannot live our life alone on this Island.

    Nick from the lovely South of the Netherlands.

  39. Perhaps in this grand game called life people choose their reality, their conditions, and their role in the game.

    Wouldn’t it be interesting to know that since we are all connected in this game we have freedom of choice also. Which is to say we can choose:
    to help
    to ignore
    to join ’em

    I’ve played many roles, taken many paths to the dark. Including being on my own turmoiled island – totally my choice. And I looked down and saw the great void and chose another path instead of choosing to leap.

    Life is impermanent. Choose your role and play it out.

    See you in CA in April.


  40. Regarding PETA or any organization like it: just because money is given to help animals doesn’t mean those other causes are losing out. Collectively we can and should try to raise awareness and correct ALL kinds of wrongs concurrently. Individually, we can give money or time to the specific charities we feel strongly about. For you, maybe it’s helping battered women or feeding hungry children. For me, it may be providing disaster relief, helping the poor and promoting humane treatment of animals.

    One thing about animal abuse: it has been shown that there is a correlation between cruelty to animals and cruelty towards humans. If we could take better care of the earth’s creatures (and the earth iself), it would make us all better.

    And thanks to everyone here and out there who cares about things other than money and profits.

    yht bk;h <- My cat typed that.

    Your resident bleedin’ heart,

  41. Dear Ed.What a can of worms you opened here. Wow. If I may iterate, it’s special that we, as human beings can be be so opposite in opinions that we fail to see what can truly is at hand here. There will always be a Dark side of the Moon, with a jolly Fat Old Sun beside it. Thanks David, we know where your true heart leads you. As a fellow blogger wrote, it wouldn’t hurt to support food drives throughout the tour as this would necessatate(is this a word?) an immediate need for the homeless. I would definitely volunteer. I’ll keep my eyes open. The new album cover is SPECTACULAR, it seems so serene and I feel the album will calm us all. Imagine, 3 instrumental songs. What more can we ask. Thanks again all.

  42. p.s.

    at first i thought “On An Island” a simple enough title. but it’s more than that. bear with me – it connects many threads of our discussions.

    roger barrett was – and is even now – on an island. he retreated there when he could no longer function in regular society. fortunately, family and friends kept him from becoming homeless.

    some people may as well be on an island, because their rigid beliefs and their actions create rifts which isolate them from others.

    some few are fortunate enough to be able to take a break from their lives by vacationing – perhaps on an island, where they may gain persepective from a distance.

    and some of us escape from our ruts by using music and art to retreat in our own minds, to our own islands of fantasy, if only for a few hours. it feels so good.

    being on an island would allow one to seek isolation, and reflect on it: how much isolation is a good thing?

    i, for one, have enjoyed the personalities unfolding here, from all over the world. a lot of thought goes into what we post. i don’t feel so isolated myself, reading what you all write.

    what a nice blog-island community this is. thank you for slogging through the daily email muck, FEd, and moderating us with restraint.

  43. Well speaking from experience of living homeless out on Skid Row in Los Angeles and being addicted to drugs and alcohol for 6 yrs, thank you for bringing the awareness up. My life has changed dramatically in the last two years. I now work full-time in a treatment facility and I got custody of my two kids back. It was through donations from caring prople that keep these places open that help the homeless. Admist all the heartbreak there are the stories of men and women turning their lives around and rejoing society. Me being one of them. But unfortunatly most of these programs can’t stay open unless it’s through donations from kind people like you guys. Thanks MR. Gilmour for supporting Crisis. If you live in the states or particularly in Los Angeles there are many programs that need donations. Not just money but clothes, blankets, toiletries, furniture, cars etc and they are all tax deductible. (hint, hint).
    Thanks for hearing me out.
    BTW excellent cover for the new album and I can’t wait to see Mr. Gimour on April 20th. That was my gift to me 🙂
    Renee B.

  44. I guess what just gets to me is the hypocrasy. And it seems that in many cases people just don’t start supporting a cause until it has a celebrity endorsement. Celebrities are wonderful for bringing issues forward. Look at Bob Geldolf. But then how many that went to Live 8 even remember what it was all about other than a fantastic reunion of Pink Floyd. Society is so short sighted. And you want to know what kind of charity I think is worthwhile?? Habitat for Humanity. Here is an organization that helps people build homes and the reason it is special is because the people who will be living in that home also have to contribute time into building the house. It is that kind of commitment that is important and it helps to not just build a home but it builds self esteem and pride. Shelters, soup kitchens important?? Yes to a degree. And how many that go there are just going for the free ride?? Mainly cause they have no desire to something else for themselves. Some can’t and yes, we need to focus on those people differently. It reminds me of an image I saw once in NYC. A guy who was clearly homeless because he had a cart with all his stuff. But he was behind the Javitts Convention Center and he was jumping around and shadow boxing. It wasn’t threatening, he was basically working out. You could tell this guy was not going to be homeless long. He was down but not out. I saw him a few days and then no more. And as for starving children in foreign countries – let’s not go there. Remember, people have lived in third world countries for thousands of years. In some cases, who are we to judge how someone else is living in another country. After all, you don’t like to be judged for how you are living in your country. So you have two cars? You have a boat? And you also believe that giving $10 makes a difference to a starving child in Africa?? It will never reach the kid. You want make a difference, sell your boat and get your ass over there. But don’t be surprised if you’re not greeted with open arms. Yes, the media bombards us with all the pitiful images that turn your stomach and wretch your heart. And your heart goes out to that. Back to Geldof, how much of that relief that was raised actually got to the people effected??? Very little is the answer. Why?? Because the government running those countries is corrupt. Once again, it is a bigger picture that needs to be addressed.

  45. Excellent idea, FE, to focus on Crisis. It has obviously been good “food for thought” for many, myself included. I have donated to Crisis before on more than one occasion (and not just when Island Jam became available!) but your posting came as a sobering reminder that for all the talk of expensive or non-obtainable tickets, there are indeed much more important things in life – keeping alive, for one, if you have no home, no money, and little hopes of getting out of that situation.

    Rest assured, I will be making a further donation to Crisis this weekend. Every little helps…

  46. I wrote a few days ago about Radio City Music Hall, the beautiful theater in New York where David will perform in April. When I saw R.E.M. there in the mid 1980s, they had Greenpeace on tour with them. That animal rights group had its table set up in the lobby, spreading awareness and collecting donations. It made me proud to be an R.E.M. fan.

    In the United States, there are many more homeless people than ever before. At the same time, increasingly obscene amounts of money are controlled by an increasingly small group of people at the top. Among other socioeconomic factors, we can thank the policies of our elected officials who favor this situation. The shame of this weathiest nation on Earth is that its own citizens are increasingly lucky just to have a home. Health care is increasingly out of reach because it is considered a luxury, not a basic right.

    As an adult-education teacher, I have been assigned for the past two years to teach at a local homeless shelter. The idea is to give them an education so that they may eventually lift themselves out of poverty. The shelter provides free medical care, hot meals, clothing, drug and alcohol intervention, assistance in obtaining work, mental health services, a mailing address (which is much more important than people realize), and emergency cash assistance (where it will help prevent people from becoming homeless), among many other things.

    Teaching at the shelter has been a real eye-opener for me. So many of them are abuse victims, or suffer from mental health, or lost their home after getting downsized out of a good job… These are good people to whom bad things have happened. From my perspective, I see people who lack the basic skills required for modern living. I get students who cannot add and subtract. I get students who cannot apply for a job because they not able to read the job application. I get students who never learned how to get places on time. I get students who don’t know how to be diplomatic (which really messes them up when they apply for government assistance). I spend most of my time teaching them basic living skills, and very little on G.E.D. preparation skills (which is what I am supposed to be there for).

    Anyway, these are my thoughts on what we are talking about when we talk about homelessness. For many people, it’s not just a temporary lack of shelter. It’s a way of life, a life that is extremely difficult to lift one’s self out of, and (in the United States, at least) a life where the need is so great and the assistance so paltry. And, the need is increasing at the same time that the resources are dwindling.

    Needless to say, I applaud Mr. Gilmour’s efforts to assist the homeless. Thank you, David. And to you, the reader who contributes to the solution, I again say thank you.

  47. I have to take a moment to get on my soapbox. Please, if you take a moment to read, I’ll share some information that might make you think. I have worked in a women’s shelter and a family shelter here in Toronto. First of all, please think twice or three times about giving money to the pan-handler in the street. Sometimes, they are not truly in need, just working for sympathy. Other times it prevents the truly needy person from coming in and listening to the options available at our meal programs, out of the cold programs and drop-ins. It prevents them from being seen for medical attention by the nurses that are available, the housing worker who can get them stable housing, the mental health nurse that can have their mental state assessed and the harm reduction team that can give them information on making safer choices in their drug use. Give to organizations such as Crisis, the Salvation Army and the Red Cross. They do work where few else will go.
    Secondly love your children, your parents, your extended family. At Seaton House, the men’s shelter in Toronto the motto is we care for your father, your son, and your uncle. No one is throw away no matter how challenging they are to love.
    Thirdly, become informed about mental health issues. Schizophrenia and other severe mental conditions are devasting. It is a tragedy for the person and the person’s caregivers. As a society we must continue to look at what options humanely deal with this devastation.
    And lastly, babies are adorable, children are loveable and teenagers are challenging. Continue to engage your children. Become their hero in how you live your life but don’t be afraid to set limits on their behaviour. Parenting is not a popularity contest nor should it be a reign of terror. And if they go wrong, stay involved. It doesn’t mean condoning what they are doing, it does mean still loving them and keeping the lines of communication open. At the family shelter, we have seen the birth of many an infant. I have helped raise your grandchildren. There is no child who is having a baby that doesn’t need their family to be involved and to give them hope that they can be good enough to raise that baby. A few thoughts. Look around you, be involved with your family and your community, you can be the difference.

  48. Have you thought about making recordings of each show from this tour available to the fans as a souvenir of the show they attended? There are major artists who have done this already, namely The Who, Duran Duran and Peter Gabriel where you can buy a recording on CD of any night of their recent tours.

    EN-CORE Series – A unique series of authorized “bootleg” CD’s, sanctioned and recorded off the soundboard by the artists themselves and presented exclusively (on the artists’ behalf) by Not Available in stores, these 2 CD sets are manufactured and shipped ASAP after the performance, Usually about 3 weeks.

    Now we are in the age of downloading, it makes perfect sense to have shows like these available to download in different formats (MP3 and lossless formats SHN or FLAC). This way nothing needs to be pressed or printed, as all recordings and artwork could be downloaded in return for a modest charge or contribution to Crisis. You could even make the donation variable with a minimum amount.

  49. Good to see mention of Crisis. I work with single homeless people aged 18 upwards. I directly work with people who are making the change from hostel life to supported accomodation before moving to permenant accomodation. The thing that still suprises me after 20 years of working, is people really seemed suprised there is a homeless issue outside of London.
    Lets hope that eventually I am put out of a job because the charity is no longer needed, unfortuantly I do not see that happening in my working time.

  50. With reference to producing music for download of each of the shows on this tour, this is what The Who have done:

    The last two Who tours of 2002 and 2004 were recorded in their entirety and released as the Encore series. These shows are available as individual double CD’s or as box sets of the entire tour.

    Recorded and mixed live from the soundboard, these CDs are as close as you will get to reliving the live experience.

    All profits from the sale of the Encore CD’s go to young peoples’ charities supported by The Who.

    So would fans purchase recordings of the shows if they knew that David’s charities would benefit from this?

  51. I put PETA in the same category as Jehova Witnesses. If anyone truly wants to help animals, local shelters are always in need of money for food, spaying and neutering and medical costs. That way money goes directly for the care of animals.

    If you want to convince someone to go Veg, invite them over and suprise them with some tasty alternatives to dishes that contain meat that taste just as good. If you want to put on a chicken suit and protest…com’on nobody takes that seriously. What good is that doing? You repel people to the idea to the point of a negative reaction.

    Its the old Martin Luther king saying, you get more bees if you lure them with honey.

  52. I think Crisis is an excellant charity with very laudable motives. Would not a good way of raising money for it be for a very popular rock band to reform for a series of farewell concerts? I can’t think of one off the top of my head but I’m sure there must be one that fits the bill! Any suggestions?

  53. Having been a huge Pink Floyd/David Gilmour fan since first seeing them in 1971 and over 15 times since, I’m now a bigger fan that David contributes to ending homelessness. I’ve worked with the Health Care for the Homeless Program for 18 years so I’m quite familiar with the need. So on a self-serving note: does David have a foundation of sorts that he contributes to other homeless causes? In the US funding is drying up because money is being used “elsewhere”.

    Can’t wait for the CD and the concerts!

  54. re crisis and the homeless. I live in blackpool. i went down to london to see the wall at earls court in 1980. I was 16, i did not have much money only my coach ticket home. I stayed around earls court hoping to get a glimpse of my heros. With this i missed my coach home. i was quite afraid and worried my mother was not on the phone so i could not contact her. I tried the police and they turned me away. I made it back to euston station and kept warm in there until again the police threw me out and i had to sleep outside the station. i shall never forget the amount of strangers who approached me offering me somewhere to stay or asking me for money i felt so far from home amd very vunerable.that was just one night as i managed to use my ticket the next morning. I had a home to go to as you know many thousands do not its ridiculous in country as rich as the uk.

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