Hive Five: Reasons We’re Lucky Pink Floyd Didn’t Reunite
Pink Floyd at Live 8

Pink Floyd at Live 8 in Hyde Park, London, July 2005. Photo: John D. McHugh/AFP/Getty Images

The U.K. media played fast and loose with the fragile hearts of diehard Pink Floyd fans on Tuesday by boldly – and as it turns out, incorrectly – announcing that the three surviving members of the iconic British band were “set to reunite” for a performance at the London Olympics in August. Skeptics – i.e. anyone even remotely familiar with the less-than-fraternal dynamic between Roger Waters and his former bandmates David Gilmour and Nick Mason – were made more dubious by the fact that the information was attributed to an unnamed “insider” and that even this mysterious source admitted the reunion was still unconfirmed. Sure enough, less than 24 hours later, Gilmour officially debunked the reunion reports. Since this will spell melancholia for the multitudes who still roll their joints atop a worn Dark Side of the Moon LP cover (and the five or six who purchased post-Waters Floyd albums), we thought we’d illuminate the silver lining by bringing up a quintet of reasons the reunion would have been ruinous.

1. No referee

The first and last time the lads reunited was in 2005, for the epochal Live 8 event. It should be noted that this was at the specific behest of Sir Bob Geldof, who had taken one for the team back in ’82 by playing the lead in the misanthropic, misogynistic mess that was the cinematic interpretation of The Wall. Presumably, Geldof is uninvolved with wrangling entertainment for the Olympics though, and without the global hero’s peacekeeping presence, it’s easy to imagine that the band’s notoriously contentious relationship could have quickly devolved into fisticuffs, or at least harsh insinuations.

2. No peace in the Middle East

Some time after the aforementioned Live 8 reunion, an interviewer asked Nick Mason what it would take for Pink Floyd to reconvene again. In keeping with the low-key, understated style for which the band is known, he humbly – and earnestly — stated, “Something like a huge peace process in the Middle East … Israel as well as Palestine, should sign a treaty. Where we could help that process, we surely would be there.” At last report, Israeli-Palestinian relations remain hostile, so the Middle Eastern peace process is apparently not quite ready to call on Roger, Nick, and Dave for assistance just yet.

3. Rick Wright’s revenge

Sadly, keyboardist Rick Wright passed away in 2008, the second founding Floyd member to go (Syd Barrett died two years earlier). While Syd’s spirit was presumably preoccupied (most likely heading into his own “Interstellar Overdrive” on some kind of afterlife acid trip), the more mild-mannered Wright is probably still maintaining a spectral presence within haunting distance of Waters, who kicked the keyboard player out of the band after The Wall. Despite Wright’s rep as the Quiet One, it seems likely that his ghost would embrace the opportunity to appear in Roger’s dressing room and unnerve him into soiling his pants just before taking the stage.

4. The inevitable group hug

After finishing their set at Live 8, the Floyd men engaged in the Hug Heard ‘Round the World, with members embracing onstage (see photo above), and inadvertently creating the ultimate classic-rock photo op. To put it plainly, nobody needs to see that again.

5. Roger Waters’ solo career

Perhaps the most potentially hazardous effect of a Floyd reunion would be the monkey wrench it might throw into the solo career of infamous musical martinet Roger Waters. For the frivolous few who haven’t been keeping track, in the 20 years since his Amused to Death album, his sole new release has been 2005’s Ca Ira, an opera — not a rock opera, a real opera — about the French Revolution. If Waters’ fragile focus was distracted by renewed Floyd activity, there’s no telling how long it would take him to craft a sufficiently complex concept piece to follow that. Hey, on second thought, maybe that reunion wouldn’t be such a bad idea after all…

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