The Syd Era Tours
As of 1965 Pink Floyd toured as Pink Floyd/The Pink Floyd/The Pink Floyd sound, in the beginning with a mixture of original songs and standard cover songs, but come 1967 the band had switched to playing only their own material. Their early shows were described by Peter Jenner as “they played a conventional set list, with songs like Louie Louie and then played Wacky bits in the middle.” Waters admitted that the band didn’t know much songs, and therefore was forced to improvise, “if that’s the word.”
A 1966 set list had been recorded for posterity (the set list, not the show) and lists the bands performance as
Pink Theme; Let’s Roll Another One; Gimme a Break; Piggy Back; Stoned Alone; I Can Tell; The Gnome; Interstellar Overdrive; Lucy Leave; Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk; Flapdoodle Dealing; Snowing; Matilda Mother; Pow R. Toc H.; Astronomy Domine
At the end of 1966 the band became the house band of the London Underground and played many gigs at the roundhouse and the UFO, gigs that consisted of, among other things, 45-minute renditions of Interstellar Overdrive.
First American Tour
The first American tour was a disaster from the start. A first series of dates scheduled for 22oct to 1 nov 1967 had to be canceled when the band failed to get their work permits ready on time.
There was some debate on whether the 1nov1967 (at the Whiskey a GoGo) had been canceled as well.
Jon Rosenberg and Vernon Fitch (amongst others) had this to say
As best I can tell from my research, they arrived on Thursday, November 2, 1967.
Here’s four pieces of evidence that tend to support my theory:
According to producer Malcolm Jones, the Abbey Road Studio logs show Pink Floyd recording Apples and Oranges at Abbey Road Studios in London on October 30, and November 1, 1967.
According to Peter Albin, bass player of Big Brother and the Holding Company, Pink Floyd were at the Fillmore on Thursday, November 2nd, but did not play that night because all of their equipment had not yet arrived.
Dick Clark stated twice during his interview with the Pink Floyd on American Bandstand that they had only been in the country 2 days. This is an important piece of information because it contradicts the long standing belief that the American Bandstand appearance was on Monday, November 6th. Since American Bandstand was generally recorded on a Saturday (delayed broadcast was on Thursday nights), that would put the American Bandstand appearance on Saturday, November 4th, and Clark’s comments would support the arrival date of November 2nd.
Also on the American Bandstand appearance, Dick Clark asked Syd Barrett how long they would be in the U.S., and Barrett replied that they were here for 10 days. Richard Wright also stated during this interview that they were going to New York. Since their New York date was at the Cheetah Club on November 12th, for them to be in the country for 10 days as Barrett indicated, they would have arrived on November 2nd.
I disagree for several more reasons.
The band flew into Canada but had to cancel the first week of the tour due to “lack of proper work permits”. They returned to the UK and did one off-gig as long as they were waiting around: 28.10.67 Dunelm House, Durham University, Durham, Co. Durham, England. Flying back for the 30th show at the Whiskey would have been rough but do- able.
Bill Graham was furious with the screw up and canceled dates, and threatened to ban the group for life if they didn’t make it back for the next set of dates (2-4Nov67). This is from a book about Bill Graham, page unknown, and (I think) in notes in the recent “History of the Fillmore Posters” book. Damn good thing BG never went thru with ban, the Fillmore West shows are classics!
The “other” LA appearance at the “Cheetah Club” in Venice (Santa Monica) on 5Nov67 is documented in print. I found a review of the show (wildly positive!) years ago in the LA Free Press newspaper. The reporter states that this gig is (was) the only area appearance for the band. Strange he should forget about the one at the Whiskey 4 days before…
I’ve never seen one ad for any of the three reported Whiskey shows in the LA area underground papers. The Cheetah show is in several. The Cheetah ad says “On Sunday The Pink Floyd makes the L.A. debut direct from England”.
According to the EMI studio log (which logs in the tapes after each studio session, but could have been the next day) the band were at EMI on 30Oct thru 2Nov doing A&O (5 takes), Paint Box (2x), and an untitled song (3x). See Vernon’s point #1 and Malcolm Jones’ book on Syd for details.
There is one last piece of information that is related to this discussion. Tower Records held a press party at the Whiskey to celebrate the U.S. release of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn album. As Piper was released in the U.S. on October 21, 1967, I suspect that the party was held on that date. We know for a fact that Pink Floyd were not in the country on this date (they were playing concerts in the U.K. through October 28th). Perhaps people who remember going to see Pink Floyd at the Whiskey are remembering this event instead?
At the end of 1967 the band embarked on a package tour of the UK with Jimi Hendrix and The Move headlining, and supported by Amen Corner, The Nice, The Outer Limits and Eire Apparent. They got a 20 minute slot (just enough for 3 songs) and played 2 gigs per day. The pressure during this tour became too much for Syd, and at times Davy O’List (of The Nice) was asked to stand in for Syd.
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