Guitarist David Gilmour celebrates his 71st birthday today. Born in Cambridge, England in 1946, Gilmour joined the iconic late-1960s British rock band Pink Floyd as co-founding member Syd Barrett transitioned out of the groundbreaking group. Alongside Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Richard Wright, Gilmour helped build Pink Floyd into one of the most popular and appreciated bands in the history of rock ‘n’ roll.
Gilmour and Barrett were adolescent acquaintances and later forged a friendship while attending the same college. Barrett went on to form Pink Floyd with Waters, Mason and Wright, issuing their debut album The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn on 1967. The album primarily featured the songwriting of Barrett, including the opening track “Astronomy Domine,” as well as “Interstellar Overdrive” and “Bike.”
For a brief stint Pink Floyd became a five-piece when Gilmour came into the group in early-1968, but Barrett’s erratic behavior soon led to his leaving the band. Gilmour developed into the band’s primary guitarist and with Waters led them to enormous success behind landmark LP such as Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Wall.
Gilmour has continued to incorporate Barrett’s music into his live performances a solo artist. Below are five videos capturing David playing songs written by Syd. There’s “Terrapin” off Barrett’s solo album The Madcap Laughs and a moving rendition of “Dark Globe” from the same LP that Gilmour performed following Syd’s death in 2006. There’s also a performance of “Astronomy Domine” featuring Wright on keys and David Bowie is featured on a live rendition of the debut Pink Floyd single “Arnold Layne.” Wright is also on stage in the final video below showcasing Barrett’s “Dominoes” off his second solo album Barrett.