David Gilmour Invite a Street Musician to Play “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” with Himself

ByQuyen Anne

Nov 3, 2023

David Gilmour needs no introduction, so I’ll stick to background information that informs the videos in this article. David Gilmour joined Pink Floyd as Syd Barrett (a founder-member and the band’s mercurial guiding light) started to fade. Gilmour, a school friend of Barrett’s, was initially brought into the band as a second guitarist. As Barrett’s drug use escalated and his mental well-being deteriorated, Pink Floyd found it necessary to ease the ever more erratic and unreliable Barrett out.

By 1968, Syd Barrett was, for all intents and purposes, no longer part of Pink Floyd. The band admired Barrett, and missed his creativity, but felt they had no choice. The track Shine On You Crazy Diamond on the 1975 album Wish You Were Here was a nine-part tribute to Barrett. On the album, it is split into two halves, bookending the LP. Part one of the track has a wine glass sequence, originally recorded as an experiment in 1971, overdubbed on it. Fast forward to this video, shot in Venice 2006.

Sorry about the brevity of the clip, but that’s what’s available. Fortunately, there is a complementary short clip of Gilmour and wine glasses from the same tour, which we’ll get to. So on 11 August 2006, David Gilmour and his wife, Polly Samson, were wandering around Venice on the day before Gilmour’s last concert in St Mark’s Square (the last two concerts were delayed by a week due to a partial stage collapse). They encountered busker Igor Sklyarov playing a set of glasses (aka a glass harp).

Gilmour and Sampson were sufficiently impressed for Gilmour (with a nudge from Sampson who says “got to go with the flow”) to invite Sklyarov to play with him at the next night’s concert. Sklyarov appears to have no idea who David Gilmour is, but is soon persuaded and, as he promised, turned up to help out on Shine On You Crazy Diamond (he was taught his part on the afternoon before the show). Here’s the second wine glass video that I promised. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include Sklyarov:

Perhaps if Gilmour had encountered Sklyarov on his first day in Venice, Sklyarov might have played more concerts. One can only imagine how thrilling it was for him on the night that he did perform. What a blast!

It rained for hours before the 12 August 2006 Venice show, and the rain kept up until after the intermission. As we saw in the video featuring Igor Sklyarov, this didn’t stop the audience from turning up to see the legendary David Gilmour in concert. If you would like to see more from David Gilmour, you can subscribe to his YouTube channel or follow him on Facebook. You can also visit his official website for more information.

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