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Music

Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason and his curious hatred for pie crusts

Nick Mason became one of the most legendary drummers of his generation early on in his career as one of the founding members of Pink Floyd. The band’s success came towards the end of the 1960s and burgeoned into the 1970s as their sound began to find stable footing with David Gilmour’s ethereal soundscapes and Roger Waters’ engrossing thematic vision. 

With their seminal 1973 album The Dark Side Of The Moon, Pink Floyd hit their first major peak and found a level of commercial and critical success that they would sustain for the remainder of the decade. But while The Dark Side Of The Moon was the early peak of Pink Floyd’s new atmospheric and moody prog-rock sound, they had already nailed it two years prior in the 23-minute epic ‘Echoes’, from the 1971 album Meddle

In 1972, Pink Floyd travelled to Pompeii in Italy for a special live performance at the city’s ancient Roman amphitheatre. The performance was staged for a feature film entitled Live at Pompeii. The concert was for the cameras only and so there was no audience present in the amphitheatre apart from the sound and film crew. 

The filming took place over four days in the acoustically profitable setting and the intent was to record some of the new material from Meddle with extra footage taken of the band in and around the amphitheatre. The main spectacle of the film was a blinding performance of ‘Echoes’ (parts one and two). The tracklisting also included ‘Seamus’ (an instrumental adaption retitled ‘Mademoiselle Nobs’) and ‘One of These Days’ as well as some material from older albums such as ‘A Saucerful of Secrets’ and ‘Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun’. 

The footage taken of the band during the trip to Italy consisted of scattershot interviews and some shots of the members enjoying their spare time with each other. One such scene was shot in the canteen where the group were eating a meal, and a bizarre clip from the film revealed Mason’s very assertive dislike for pie crusts. 

The clip below shows the band sitting around the table as they order their apple pie dessert. Mason forcefully demands that his slice be anything but a crusty corner piece. He continuously asks for an “apple pie without the crust”. The staff respond, explaining that they only have the round apple pies now, much to Richard Wright’s amusement. Mason decides to avoid the pie altogether after this crushing news. The strange demands are concluded by Wright seemingly attempting to ameliorate the situation with the simpler order of a cup of tea. 

It’s still unclear why Mason was so steadfastly against pie crusts, the likelihood is that his penchant for pastry fluctuates with every passing day. One can only assume that this particular piece of crumbly pastry wasn’t the best look for his groovy facial hair. The clip remains a rich part of Pink Floyd’s iconography and a pleasing morsel of musical delight nevertheless.