As the only member of Pink Floyd present from their psychedelic noodler beginnings through to their recent high point at Live 8, drummer Nick Mason is well qualified to write the Personal History of Pink Floyd. This new paperback version doesn’t disappoint; Floyd’s original sound set ups are comprehensively described, perhaps to the point of tedium for non-musicians. Mason’s unique anecdotes add an exclusive personal touch, although, you won’t find details of the internal conflicts that hampered the band. Nor does Mason’s style ever really portray the excitement which the band must surely have felt during their meteoric rise.
Mason is surprisingly modest both about his own abilities as well as those of other band members, but his self-deprecation is always witty and slightly tongue-in-cheek, rather than naïvely over-humble. Despite some of the jargonistic studio vocabulary, the story rips along nicely, and the edition still includes much of the stunning photography from the coffee-table edition. As with most autobiographical accounts however, the non-obsessed fan, unlike myself, may lose interest.