Phil answers your questions

Remember That Night DVD (2007)El Magnifico, Phil Manzanera himself, was kind enough to answer some of your questions recently.

From today, I’ll be publishing them, along with his answers.

Thanks to everyone who submitted the following for consideration, and special thanks to Phil for being so obliging with his time.

There’s no update on the cinemas involved in the world premiere of ‘Remember That Night: David Gilmour Live at The Royal Albert Hall’, so please don’t ask. As soon as I have anything new, the information will be here.

I don’t expect to have the complete list for the United States until the middle of the week at least.

How did the ‘On an Island’ creative process work? Did you and David jam together a lot, or did you work individually, layering on each other’s material? (GianLuca)

No jamming. A period of layering on material, then trying out tracks with different configurations of musicians.

You were able to develop your “conceptual thinking and with the making of little soundscapes” once the title for the album was decided. How did David (and Polly) arrive at the title for the album? (Ken F)

Not sure, but it worked brilliantly and the title track is one of my favourites, especially the amazing harmonies of Crosby and Nash with David.

I would be interested to know how you managed to whittle down the “150 pieces, enough for three albums” that David supplied you with, to a produce a manageable amount of tracks to conceive ‘On an Island’? (Ronny)

How long have you got? It’s the subject of a dissertation at Oxford… mine! Just joking. A lot of listening, patience, development and green pea soup.

Could you give us one or two examples of which direction an ‘On an Island’ track(s) could have gone in were it not for your influence during the album research/demo-ing/recording? (Angelo Ortiz)

Good question, but impossible to answer. We’re all delighted with how it came out.

If you could change anything on the album, what would it be? (Paul Sexton)

I’m one of the producers. NOTHING, of course. You can’t get better than a Number One album and a platinum disc!

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’.

45 thoughts on “Phil answers your questions”

  1. My question answered first?!?!?! I think you made my day FEd 🙂

    Thanks for your time Phil!

  2. Hi Fed,

    Had you noticed that Live from Abbey Road is being repeated on More 4 in the UK? Next episode is Saturday midnight (the doctor John Leanne Rimes one). Not sure when the David Edition will be.

    Maybe you can find out!


    [I wasn’t aware of that, Roger. Many thanks for the update. Saturday’s episode is Show Four. David’s episode is Show Eight. Assuming that they’re only showing one episode every Saturday, then you can expect to see David’s performance again on 18 August. – Features Editor]

  3. Dear all,

    I was at the Barbican last night to see Medeski, Scofield, Martin and Wood (which was amazing) but noticed in the programme that our friend Zbigniew Preisner is conducting at the Barbican on December 2nd.

    Thought some of you would want to know – I believe tickets are available now.


  4. I learned one thing.

    Patience,development and green pea soup.

    It was easy!

    I’ve got a secret.Run to write a great album!

    Thanks Mr Manzanera for answering us,and Fed for the verve of finding always new ideas to keep us all involved with the Blog.

    Someone saw Bob Dylan yesterday…:) I was there with mind,girls,hope you enjoyed it!


    [I hope that person enjoyed and is going to tell us which songs were performed. – Features Editor]

  5. nice Q and A fet ed . i bet posting el magnifico’s answers was a nice break from all the goings on about the odeon tickets and the cinema showing of rtn .

    have a good week

    i had some green pea soup myself on saturday in bewleys hotel by dublin airport and i can see how it can lubricate the mental processes to help you work. it is lush ! nice with a bit of cream on top and some croutons !

    i’m off to work now !

  6. Happy Monday!

    What happened to “The Thing about Syd” on Saturday, July 14th? I was home, waiting patiently for the broadcast of “The Thing about Syd” from BBC Radio 2, I believed they played Genesis concert instead. Did I get mixed up!

    [No, it should have been on. It’s now on this Saturday instead. – Features Editor]

  7. Hi again,

    This Wednesday on Discovery Home & Leisure: 21:00

    THREE MEN IN A BOAT: Episode 1

    Comedians Griff Rhys Jones, Dara O’Briain and Rory McGrath set out from Kingston in a wooden camping skiff, journeying on up the Thames to Oxford. “Where they find a house boat!!!”

    [Good spotting, Roger. I’ll be damned if I can find it. – Features Editor]

  8. Hey I watched that…pretty funny guys…very interesting to see the inside of the Astoria wouldn’t you think?

  9. Three Men In A Boat, excellent show.

    I do hope Dara O’Briain was joking when he asked “Who’s David Gilmour?”!!

  10. Dear El Magnifico,


    I’ve attened Milan Italy – 24 March Concert and it was an incredible experience (above all: echoes, wywh – my favourite one – and Wot’s … Uh The Deal)

    Best regards and thanks for all


    [Phil has answered a batch of questions for us, sorry. He’s not answering any others. These were submitted back in April. Please click your name below to see the original entry. – Features Editor]

  11. FeEd,

    It was about 35 years ago, June 1972 to be exact, when I was first was introduced to the music of PF. I was just a lad of 16 over at a friend’s house and he was playing a brand new record just released.

    That LP was Obscured by Clouds.

    Shortly afterwards, I bought my own copy which I have to this day. It still is one if not the favourite PF album of mine. I know many of you will be mystified by this LOL.

    It has been a true love affair outlasting several girlfriends and many changes to my life. The love has also spread to PF solo albums and CD’s cumulating in David’s new CD and tour last year.

    Now I have a chance to see the end of the process at Leicester Square in September. And I can’t tell you how excited I am flying in from Canada for the show.

    There are few music celebs that offer fans real appreciation for their time and support over the years. David is one of them with the creation of his blog. Most of us will never meet the man but at least we feel closer writing on the blog knowing he actually reads the entries.

    I was a doubting Thomas over the DVD, worrying that all my favourites were not to be included. The song Wot’s the prime example of this. David proved me wrong.

    Now I feel great and very very pumped for the show. I am looking forward to meeting as many of you fellow irregulars as possible in London wherever we decide to gather.

    Cheers, Howard

    PS. I will be very easy to recognize. Just look for the guy clutching a copy of Obscured by Clouds :-)))

  12. Just a reminder that Live from Abbey Road (the episode David performs on), is this Thursday at 10:00pm Eastern time, on The Sundance channel, in the U.S.

    I’m very much looking forward to it.

    [We’ll remind you again on Thursday. Dont forget the repeats, all on our calendar. – Features Editor]

  13. really enjoyed the recent seven ages with mr manzanera

    when I was learning to play the sax as a teenager I listened to a lot of roxy music 🙂

    is there going to be a t-shirt or programe for the big night? sorry FE’d had to ask. can’t wait

    hope everyone is ok?

    [I’m afraid that these things are yet to be decided, let alone announced. – Features Editor]

  14. [No, it should have been on. It’s now on this Saturday instead. – Features Editor]

    ah thank for the explanation fet ed . when i came here this morning and checked the calendar i realised what i missed . i went to find it on bbc radio 2 listen again and couldn’t . now i know why !


  15. [I hope that person enjoyed and is going to tell us which songs were performed. – Features Editor]

    I just hope that person could RECOGNIZE the songs that were performed!! LOL

    I love Bob Dylan, too, but sometimes it’s a challenge with him…..

  16. Sorry FEd,

    I should have said “Discovery Real Time”.

    They changed the name a year ago & I still haven’t caught up! Sky channel 250.


    [Many thanks, Roger. There are too many of them, that’s the problem. – Features Editor]

  17. Mr. Bayliss, I would only be mystified if Obscured By Clouds was not in your top ten!

    I have to say OBC is one of my favs. An intrigal part of PF’s history, as is shows a bridge between the abstract soundscapes and form and concept, that culminates on DSOTM. Plus, DG has a more prominant role, which we are partial to.

  18. Wow!! I was just catching up on the Blog, and it was quite entertaining (after the fact) to read about the ordeals of Friday the 13th!! Being that I’m WAY across the pond, I wasn’t trying for tickets.

    I have to say, I know too well the stress & frustration & “knot in the stomach” feeling of trying to get tickets to an important show like this (I didn’t sleep until I got my DG ticket for Gibson Universal). Thank goodness you all seem to have ‘braved the storm’, hung in there together, and got your seats!!

    This Blog Community really IS a Family… with FEd sitting at the head of the table!!

    Although it didn’t include me, FEd, I do thank you for all of your efforts on Friday, and making sure that the Irregulars got their tickets!! What a day that had to be for you! (yet you seemed so calm in Chat that evening….)

    Hope all you Irregulars have a wonderful, magical night on Sept 6th; and hopefully I’ll be watching, too… from across the pond. Have a pint for me at your pre-show gathering!!!

    [Did I really seem calm? Interesting. – Features Editor]

  19. Hi FEd,

    How was your weekend? Did you get any rest and/or relaxation? Don’t wear yourself down and end up sick! [We irregulars depend on you, (way too much, I’m sure)]

    Have a nice week,


    [I had a very nice weekend, thanks. How about you? – Features Editor]

  20. I can’t wait to hear back from all the lucky bloggers who will get to see the movie and more importantly David! God how I wish I lived in the UK 🙂


  21. [We’ll remind you again on Thursday. Dont forget the repeats, all on our calendar. – Features Editor]

    You guys are the best!

  22. Hey now, my question was picked!

    Thanks for taking the time to answer, Phil. Leave it to me to ask an impossible question, ha!

  23. caption contest:

    Tiring of his usual onstage wardrobe, Mr Gilmour decides to surprise and “illuminate” the audience by donning the light bulb outfit made famous on the Delicate sound of thunder lp cover.


  24. Nice one Phil, some great answers to equally great questions!

    After all he is a legend in his own right.

  25. I saw ‘Three men in a boat’!

    Was amazing…the Astoria is shown inside,and on the roof…and If I’m not wrong,David was working on an early version of ‘Smile’. Great!

  26. Dear FED, is there any truth in the rumours going around here in the US that David’s Remember a Night will be released in the Blu-Ray format concurrently with the DVD? I can’t seem to find a date here on the site so I am assuming they are just that…

    But for those lucky enough to have access to Universal’s HD channel I thought they may like to know that starting in August they will be showing the Live From Abbey Road sessions in HD!

    Just can’t wait, it will be like have David and the boys playing in my front room.

    [We’d like the HD and Blu-Ray versions to be out at the same time as the standard DVD version, but can’t promise that they will be. We haven’t announced a release date for that reason, but that doesn’t stop other people from doing so. – Features Editor]

  27. Oh, where do I start?

    First of all, the weather was beautiful, warm and breezy, late in the evening, the sun was setting just behind the stage. I was barefooted in the grass enjoying an ice cold beer, just a few rows back from center stage, and here comes Bob singin ‘Rainy Day Woman’.

    Wow! I think most of us got on his level and started sharing good vibrations with that number. I know it did take me a few minutes to figure out which song I was hearing! lol

    The whole night was this way. I didn’t know if I was at a Bob Dylan concert, or if I was watching some Harlem, juke joint mad man on a keyboard. No joke, everyone was up dancing, it was like being in a strip tease parlor on a few songs. It was great!!! 🙂

    I didn’t hear one bad song the whole night, but I couldn’t name all of them if I wanted to,
    I only recognized a handful of them.

    Rainy Day Woman, It Ain’t Me, Lay Lady Lay, Like Tom Thumb’s Blues, Tangled Up in Blue, It’s Alright Ma…, Nettie More, Highway 61 Revisited, Summer Days, Thunder on the Mountain, All along the Watchtower

    Bob has changed his style and his music so much, I was really surprised. He’s brilliant, I mean what else can I say? BadBob is brilliant!

    I was not disappointed in the quality of the show at all, I had a beautiful experience, but if given the choice, I would have preferred to have seen him when he was more of a folk singer, but I guess ‘Times they are a changin’.

    I highly recommend seeing Bob. He is great.


    [Nice. – Features Editor]

  28. [No, it should have been on. It’s now on this Saturday instead. – Features Editor]

    Thanks for confirming that FEd and thank God for the CALENDAR, it is a relief to find that “The Thing about Syd” from BBC Radio 2 has been re-scheduled to broadcast on July 21.

    With all these forthcoming exciting events, I’d never had a chance to express my appreciation to the staff of for the excellent “new & improved” “ON AN ISLAND” page. To me, it was always a well organized page but the improvement sure enhances the outline a great deal. Thank you for that.

    Does the “LINKS’ page get updated also? I visited this page in the past, but I don’t recall some of the linked sites…interesting reading!! I prefer to stick to for just the right amount of material for me to enjoy and appreciate.

    Thank you all for the hard work and special thanks to the Feature Editor (FEd).

    [Thank you for that, Veronica. I’ll pass on your kind words to our webmaster. There’s no big team working behind the scenes here. The two of us thought that the On An Island page could do with being broken down into sections, and so it was done. As for the Links page, then it doesn’t really get updated, I’m afraid. – Features Editor]

  29. Thanks Phil.

    Fed you were calm and most appreciated on Friday. What an ordeal that must have been.

    [All in a day’s work. – Features Editor]

  30. With all the pea soup consumed i was surprised that there was no song called “the Green” on the album…..

  31. Happy Tuesday,

    Oh how I envy you lot going to the film night at Leicester Square. I was on the verge of buying a ticket last night but I pulled out at the last minute after a pang of guilt.

    I do hope that it is a cracking evening though.

    My wife is now home after her operation(s) and, at the moment, needs a lot of help with things. Although she was saying ‘You go, I will be ok’ I just couldnt do it. September is a bit to far away at the moment.

    Fed, did I read that questions can be emailed as long as they are accompanied by a photo ?

    If so I will be up for that.

    Pete – Coventry

    [That’s right. We want everyone to submit their question here to the blog, as they would usually send in a comment. We’ll choose the ones we like best and will then ask those people to either send us a photo with an audio recording of them asking their question, or a video of them asking it. These will be used during the live Q&A, so everyone watching at all the cinemas around the world will be able to both see, and hear, the questioner. We’ll be inviting questions either next week or the week after, so you’ve plenty of time to think of a good one for David. – Features Editor]

  32. Hi from a little and quiet village lost somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Alps mountains.

    No cinema here (so no chance to see David), no crowd, no noise, but goats, marmots, silence, not bad at all.

    No cybercafe of course, but, thanks to that ‘PAD’ technology (ah, Modern Times, cool…), which allowed me to notice that Phil had been very kind with us.

    Once again, what a great site/blog! Many thanks to anyone invoved !


    [Sounds very nice indeed. – Features Editor]

  33. fed, i also want to add how much i appreciate the calendar. is there a calendar fan club?

    [I’m afraid there are no plans for a calendar fan club in any part of the world at this time. If that changes, we’ll let you know. (Sorry, I just get so used to typing that.) – Features Editor]

  34. [I should have said “Discovery Real Time”. – Roger] and [Many thanks, Roger. There are too many of them, that’s the problem. – Features Editor]

    Gives real meaning to “I’ve got thirteen channels of shit on the TV to choose from” , doesn’t it? Not that I am saying “Three Men in a Boat” is a bunch of dung, but you know what I mean!

    Best regards.


  35. [i’m afraid there are no plans for a calendar fan club in any part of the world at this time… – fed]

    ok, so how about this one: can i have the calendar’s autograph? i’m his biggest fan. 😉

  36. The previous blog entry was closed before I came back home, it’s why I write here…

    [The way I feel right now, I’ll be on holiday in France that week! – Features Editor]

    Oh ! is it a joke ? or maybe I didn’t understand what you meant ? Will you really be in France while David will be appearing on all those cinemas ? I can’t believe that !!!

    But, if so, I do hope you won’t be disappointed by France ! (but, please, don’t use ALL the French words that you know ! Some of my compatriots could be shocked ! LOL !)


    [I am tempted to go to France for a long weekend soon, but not that week. – Features Editor]

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