David Gilmour playing a rare Stratocaster doubleneck? You’ll see that 1972 photo and others in this reference book documenting Floyd’s many North American tours (FYI, one Strat neck was set up for slide).
Largely a compilation of tour dates, setlists, and memorabilia with brief historical descriptions, what makes this tome interesting is the way it contextualizes Floyd’s tour history in chronological order, giving a sense how rock concerts evolved.
During their early (and quite humble) club tour of 1967, guitarist Syd Barrett was already displaying mental-health symptoms – dates were chaotic or canceled. After a gig at Santa Monica’s Cheetah Club, the penniless Floyd stayed in the apartment of a local band fronted by a singer later known as Alice Cooper. After Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd jumped into arenas and, by ’77, were playing sold-out stadiums to upward of 55,000 fans.
Gear detectives can sift through photos to see Gilmour and Roger Waters using various Strats and Precision basses, as well as hip backline gear like Gilmour’s Binson Echorec box and Hiwatt heads. Pink Floyd in North America is by no means essential, but it does chart the rise of what became a touring juggernaut.
This article originally appeared in VG’s March 2023 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.