'L'Incroyable Histoire…

Blog Poll: What did you think of the BBC's 'Seven Ages of Rock' programme, which covered Pink Floyd? 75% vote 'Good', 5% vote 'Bad' and 25% vote 'Pass'.…du Rock’.

Better known as ‘The Seven Ages of Rock’, the second programme in this BBC series is about to be broadcast once more in Belgium and Switzerland – and wherever else channels TSR2 and La Une can be received by cable or satellite.

The programme – entitled ‘White Light, White Heat: Art Rock, 1966-1980’ – includes a considerable portion reserved for discussion of, and footage from, Pink Floyd. David was interviewed for the programme, so that might be ‘new’ footage for you, as well as snippets of one or two early rarities. Click here for more on that.

That’s tonight, Sunday 13 July – on TSR2 – at 21:25 (CET), then Monday 14 July – on La Une – at 22:00 (CET).

As we’ve been talking about Syd all week, I’d be interested to hear how well you felt the programme explained his gradual retirement from the music industry and, indeed, the public eye. As one viewer noted on the BBC site: “Awful overview of the Syd Barrett story. Subjective twaddle, giving people the hyped-up myth they want to hear.”

Do you agree with this statement?

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’.

26 thoughts on “'L'Incroyable Histoire…”

  1. I wish like hell that you were really reading this! I know that fans can be overwhelming, and I am most likely one of them.

    Ohhh what can I say? I have so much that I want to relay and speak to you about, like the fact that I am so poor yet managed in my younger years to do so much. I want to tell you how you have not only touched my life but so many people I have met around the world. I want to tell you their stories. I am now a house wife with two children, but that is only a very small part.

    I want to thank you David, and no hard feeling if you don’t get it, I got it out for so many others than me. I hate computers and the like but I also am a traditional student of all things human.

    I will stop rambling and tell you why I am enamoured the most.

    Lots of people say a lot of things in their music and lyrics. You on the other hand can say one thing on top, which is totally profound, and then say something underneath, which is so mind blowing for the lack.



  2. “TWADDLE?” What, the program’s coverage of Syd’s story was so awful they had to invent a new word to describe it?

    “TWADDLE” could be a number of things, all of which will likely sound funnier to me than to anyone else.

    “TWADDLE” could be a waddle with a Texas twang. It could be a new flavor of candy. It could be a sound, as in “My car has been making an awful twaddle and I can’t figure out where it’s coming from.”

    And, it could be a place: “Twaddle, Nebraska.”

    I cannot comment on the “7 Ages of Rock” show, as it won’t be shown in these United States and I haven’t seen it. Would like to see it, though.

  3. I agree with the statement….myth being the proper word.

    Syd became ill and couldn’t play and a bunch of mates lost a friend, very sad really. You can understand why Syd didnt want to talk about it in later life.

  4. I thought the overview brief rather than ‘awful’ and it didn’t seem overly subjective to me. People who knew & loved him talking fondly of him doesn’t strike me as hyperbole either. Certainly, there was nothing that hadn’t been documented before in the programme.

    Syd really was a wonderfully talented person, I hope he found contentment.

  5. This just re-aired…mmm, yesterday on Vh1. And I watched it again because I do this. I’ve seen some documentaries like thirty times. It’s not easy being me.

    I think there was a huge skimming going on mainly because they were trying to cram a lot of information into each episode. Also, the producers got a lot of name-value interviews and liked to feature as many as possible.

    Did they do the subject justice? No. The whole thing was moderately superficial but enjoyable for the rare footage and rare performances as well as interviews with people who aren’t often interviewed.

    I’ll hit my pet peeve though: there’s a bit from the 1960s in which Syd and Roger did a discussion television thingy with a lovely man who seemed confused by the idea that not all music is of the chamber variety and they showed Roger’s response instead of Syd’s. I think Syd’s response gave me more insight into his nature: he spoke as if he was trying not to frighten a wild bunny. I loved it.

  6. Hi FEd. Writing some thoughts now from down under (a beautiful country!)

    I saw The 7 Ages of Rock when they aired it in Norway some months ago, and I think that the program was a light edition of the Pink Floyd story, something for somebody who is not a Floyd devote. There are loads of better resources for the Floyd story. But the series was a nice watch altogether.

    Hope you’re enjoying your summer up there as much as I’m enjoying my winter.. Going to Sydney later today!

  7. I don’t think they could get too much into detail with Syd only because they had to cover other bands and happenings with the subject. Other than that, I thought it went really well especially with with some of the material I haven’t seen yet.

    Good stuff.

  8. i was unfortunatley off sick, with a severe bout of man flu this weekend, however i wasn’t aware i had stepped into a time machine?

    “That’s tonight, Sunday 13 August – on TSR2 – at 21:25 (CET), then Monday 14 August – on La Une – at 22:00 (CET).”

    august? think you might need to go to bed a little earlier my friend. 😉

    [Definitely. – FEd]

  9. All the speculation of an artist’s life (Syd) results in “subjective twaddle”. In the US we are consumed by twaddle there are industries of subjective twaddle. Deconstructing someone’s life and the events that create personality may give some insight on interpretation of their art but not a full understanding of them personally.

    The only people that could ever tell his “story” would be him.

    What if the real story was just some sad young man suffering from severe Bi-polar disorder had a wonderfully creative manic phase then the inevitable crash fueled by excessive drug use or just natural progression of the disorder. This doesn’t sound very legendary does it?

    By American standards, quite average isn’t it?

  10. VH1, in the States, has been showing the “White Light, White Heat” for several months now. It is stored permantly on my DVR.

    I don’t agree with the statement above. The portion of Syd is very abridged, but the words are accurate from my knowledge of that time. Plus, there is a second of footage of David I have never seen before.

    If someone does not know Pink Floyd’s history, it may have them wanting to know more.

  11. Obviously the comment above shows that this person doesn’t know anything about history.

    Will this be available in Canada later? Sounds intriguing.



  13. I’m surprised at how they basically gave Syd and Pink Floyd the credit for starting the Art Rock genre. I was surprised they didn’t defer to the more generic Beatles.

    Not many TV programs give The Floyd that much influence in the world of music, but they clearly deserve it. I don’t think I’ve met someone under 60 who hasn’t owned a copy of Dark Side of the Moon.

  14. Although I am unsure what “twaddle” is, the documentary is not as bad as that. Yes, the man, the myth, the legend (you painter, you piper, you prisoner) is overplayed a bit but the stories from past are facinating and a littie erie.

    If anything, this documentary was way too short and the content suffers for it.

  15. It looks that the same programme is broadcast in Polskie Radio 3 Trójka.

    Every Fridays at noon Warsaw time or 11 a.m. UK time and repeated on Sundays at 19.00 Warsaw time or 6 p.m. UK time. No listen again feature, after news, it can be found here – click my name – one part takes nearly 1 hour.

    I did not know what to expect, but was lucky to hear probably the first part about Syd last Friday. David and Roger could have been heard as well as some rarities (unfortunately of poor quality) from BBC or fan archive recordings of early Pink Floyd stuff. Peter Jenner was also quoted several times.

    I think it was fair, some may find it not acceptable, but it was truth. I do not see any reason to prepare a series and not to present how it really was. Truth sometimes hurts, but that’s how it is. So everyone interested in history of Pink Floyd, it is still 5 more parts to be broadcast in coming weeks. I’m very much looking forward to listen to them.

    The series is called Historia powszechna rock’n’rolla (Common History of Rock’n’Roll).




  17. I was slightly disappointed with this programme, so I understand the comment from the BBC site about it being “an awful overview”, but it wasn’t that bad!

    FEd, I hope you enjoyed your time off.

    You wouldn’t really sneak off, would you?

    [No, I wouldn’t. – FEd]

  18. I thought it was a reasonable account. That statement doesn’t mean much however… seeing as I was not there.

    Welcome back FEd!

    [Thank you very much. – FEd]

  19. Hi FEd! I hope you had a pleasant few days off and enjoyed yourself, whatever you did or didn’t do. ;^)

    Tomorrow is my youngest child’s 23rd birthday, so “Happy Birthday to Jared”!

    Every time I watch ‘Remember That Night’ I also remember one of the best times I’ve spent with my son. We were lucky enough to share the fantastic musical experience that was Kodak Theater gig as well as the Leno show and I’ll always be grateful to David for that treasured memory. So, thank you to David!

    Now, before the damned phone rings again, welcome back FEd. :^)

    Peace ‘n’ love!

    [Thanks very much. I hope Jared has a great 23rd birthday. I remember being 23… – FEd]

  20. [I remember being 23… – FEd]

    That’s what… half a lifetime ago then right? 😉

    [As someone once said, “It feels like more than a lifetime…” – FEd]

  21. Generic Beatles? OMFG. Obviously not a musician are ya MIKE R?

    You do know that Gilmour/Waters are huge Beatles fans? As a matter of fact, I saw an interview with Roger and he said that if he were to take all of the songs by other artists that he wished that HE had written, that nearly all of those would have been written by Bob Dylan or John Lennon. Opinions do vary I guess however.

    I haven’t seen the program but I do have a lot of documentary footage on Pink Floyd and it is all basically the same. Their history isn’t going to change obviously. I love all of these documentaries but the history is what it is. Syd became ill and could no longer be in the band…the end. It is very sad for him, his family and his friends…and selfishly us.

    Can’t wait for GDANSK baby!

    Blake in Nashville

  22. [Have a great week Fed. I’m off the following one to see friends and family. – frank par]

    While reading again the comments of 18 july 2007, I noticed that today is frank par’s birthday.

    So, have a good one, Frank, wherever you are!


    [Indeed. – FEd]

  23. Mr. Gilmour:

    I would really like to see an EARLY PINK FLOYD singles and almost singles CD that includes Vegetable Man, Scream Thy Last Scream, and a couple of those other early singles that I can’t remember at this early hour in New Mexico.

    I want to be able to buy one now! Having one as part of a big boxed set is one thing, but what about us fans who don’t have a whole lot of dough?

    As for me: I’ve been looking across the net for such a CD and there’s nothing readily available. I could get Relics or Works, but those two discs, of course, would not have Scream Thy Last Scream, maybe not even Vegetable Man.

  24. I would like to clarify my statement as I have not seen the program.

    I have seen many hours of documentary footage on The Floyd and in most the guys were not that talkative on the subject of Syd with the exception of the well known story concerning the Wish You Were Here sessions.

    I stand by however my assertion that he was obviously a disturbed man but it would be nice to focus on him as a profoundly talented but unstable individual and endear him as a human being creating art rather than focusing on drugs and his downward spiral making him just another poster child of 60’s drug casualties. I am interested in a true human interest piece rather than treating him as this legendary guy who burned out too fast, the legendary part is who he was as an artist not a casualty of the 60’s.

    I think the people who knew him and loved him would be much more inclined to discuss more about him on a personal level if they knew the program was to honor his memory and not be exploitative.


    [Well said, Vince. – FEd]

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