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Music

The man Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason called a "rock God"

Nick Mason is one of the most influential drummers of the past six decades. He augmented Pink Floyd’s mythic prog adventure, and without his understated brilliance, they would not have been the same band that we all know and love today. Furthermore, during their iconic 1970s period when their ever-increasing dynamism needed their drummer to be more on point than he’d ever been before, Mason blossomed. 

Added to his skill as a drummer, Mason is also a gifted songwriter, helping to pen some of the band’s best-loved cuts such as ‘Time’ and the unmistakable odyssey that is ‘Echoes’.

Ostensibly, Mason is a lover of all things music and has been a keen listener of all kinds of music since he was a child. During a 2019 interview on the BBC’s The Rock Show With Johnnie Walker, Mason revealed himself to be a huge fan of Brixton’s favourite son, David Bowie, and bestowed the late musician with some extremely flattering praise. Mason went as far as to choose Bowie as his definitive “rock God” and then discussed his love for ‘The Starman’. 

As for Bowie, he tragically passed away in January 2016, but it is well-known that he was a lifelong Pink Floyd fan. He had a particular affinity for the early Pink Floyd material that featured their original frontman and guitarist, Syd Barrett.

Commenting on Bowie, Mason said: “I think David is worthy of being the rock God, because he managed to over so many years to become so many different rock Gods. It’s that ability to move foward all the time and be one sort of God and then another sort of God.”

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The drummer recalled: “But not only being a rock God but actually archive his own collection. So that future generations can see what he did and more or less how he did it. I went to see him play live in Canada, (it) must have been something about ’87, I think. It was just such a fantastic show. I didn’t really know him until I met up with him afterwards.”

Mason concluded: “He just had that charisma, ability to sort of look you in the eye and to make you feel that his attention was entirely with you, rather than glancing over to your shoulder to see if someone else was there.”

Nick Mason’s portrayal of Bowie echoes that of everyone who knew him. By all accounts, he was a warming and profoundly interested soul who had an uncanny ability to hold your attention and the room.

Watch Bowie and Mason perform together below.