In May 2006, as part of his On an Island Tour, Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour created a surprise supergroup for a performance at the Royal Albert Hall.
With Pink Floyd founding member Richard Wright back on the keyboard, Gilmour introduced surprise guest avid Bowie to the stage for a rendition of the band’s debut single ‘Arnold Layne’ which was originally released in 1967.
In what has been seen by many fans as a tribute to founding member Syd Barrett—who not only wrote the song but named the band and was the original lead singer—Gilmour asked Bowie to take the lead who took to the mic and said: “I hope I warrant that,” as the crowd erupted into a standing ovation.
The track is said to be built around a transvestite, who, the rumour has it, enjoyed the hobby of stealing women’s clothing and underwear from washing lines. Discussing the origins of the song, Gilmour once claimed it was based on a real person: “Both my mother and Syd’s mother had students as lodgers because there was a girls’ college up the road so there were constantly great lines of bras and knickers on our washing lines and ‘Arnold’ or whoever he was, had bits off our washing lines.”
Pink Floyd track trivia behind us, enjoy Bowie’s rendition, below.