Great Psychedelic Discography
Nick Mason iTunes Tracks

Nick Mason

Born Nicholas Berkeley Mason, 27 January 1944, Downshire Hills area, Birmingham, England, NICK MASON is the long-standing drummer behind London’s cosmic prog-rock giants PINK FLOYD. From as early as 1963 as he studied architecture at Regent Street Polytechnic, Nick performed with an embryonic, pre-SYD BARRETT version of the said act; then as Sigma 6, before becoming The Screaming Abdabs.
One could bandy the merits of the ‘Floyd until the Atom Heart Mothers came home (cryptic sic), so way down the line between “The Wall” and “The Final Cut”, producer of The DAMNED, ROBERT WYATT, GONG and STEVE HILLAGE, the sticksman had time away from his fanatical interest in sports cars to unfetter NICK MASON’S FICTITIOUS SPORTS (1981) {*6} – they were all doing it (GILMOUR was already one in front).
However, only know-it-all acolytes of his main act would know that in 1969 (on the double-set “Ummagumma”); MASON contributed his solo section of the proceedings with the sprawling and oft-forgotten closing triumvirate, `The Grand Vizier’s Garden Party’.
The percussionist had seemingly learned nothing of this ‘Floyd live/solo entrée into the music world, and with the poor sales of the said 1981 debut, he was free to drive others around the bend. Swapping his adventurous musical motifs for the sounds of early-80s-styled KING CRIMSON (at least on opener `Can’t Get My Motor To Start’) or SOFT MACHINE, the percussionist brought together progressive jazz composer/pianist CARLA BLEY (who scribed the whole set) and a handful of like-minded musos, including the all-encompassing ROBERT WYATT (on main vocals), fellow “motor-fiend” CHRIS SPEDDING (guitars), and Gary Windo (bass). Needless to say, the off-kilter record (highlights `I Was Wrong’, `Do Ya?’ and `I’m A Mineralist’) was a marked diversion for the drummer; a man waiting in the wings for PF’s next big thing – without ROGER WATERS!
Subsequently teaming up 10CC’s guitar man Rick Fenn for the collaborative pop/rock outing, PROFILES (1985) {*4}, NICK MASON was now equal in sets to GILMOUR (who provided vocals on the drummer’s only single `Lie For A Lie’). Yes, that’s how one scored it back in the day when yer idols decided to fart about with solo (or dual) ventures. The synthetic and tinny-production 80s values were the record’s downfall, but in the schizoid 2-part title track, listeners could watch paint dry for ten minutes. The pairing of MASON + FENN completed one further set, though soundtrack WHITE OF THE EYE (1987) {*5} was canned just as the PINK FLOYD were racing back into contention a la “Delicate Sound Of Thunder”. Incidentally, the aforesaid OST (and everything else) was finally issued on a 3-CD set, UNATTENDED LUGGAGE (2018), which actually cracked the UK Top 100!
Subsequently setting the controls for the heart of a comeback, NICK MASON’s Saucerful Of Secrets combo embarked on a few gigs in 2019 to point them in the right direction. The supergroup-type line-up of bassist Guy Pratt (plucked from GILMOUR’s band), guitarist Lee Harris (of The Blockheads), keyboards/producer Dom Beken (ex-ORB) and long-time ‘Floyd fan and singer Gary Kemp (ex-SPANDAU BALLET), an extensive tour was booked for April 2020; a concert album scheduled to complement.
© MC Strong/MCS Sep2018-Feb2020

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