David Gilmour

David Gilmour
David Gilmour

Gilmour playing his iconic black Fender Stratocaster in concert in Munich, Germany on 29 July 2006
Background information
Birth name David Jon Gilmour
Also known as Dave Gilmour
Born 6 March 1946 (1946-03-06) (age 65)
Cambridge, England
United Kingdom
Genres Rock, progressive rock, psychedelic rock, art rock, blues rock
Occupations Musician, Songwriter, Producer
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, saxophone, programming
Years active 1963–present
Labels Capitol, Columbia, Sony, EMI
Associated acts Pink Floyd, Joker's Wild, Deep End, Richard Wright
Website davidgilmour.com
Notable instruments

David Jon Gilmour,[1] CBE (born 6 March 1946) is an English rock musician and multi-instrumentalist who is best known as the guitarist, one of the lead singers and one of the main songwriters in the progressive rock band Pink Floyd. In addition to his work with Pink Floyd, Gilmour has worked as a producer for a variety of artists, and has enjoyed a successful career as a solo artist. Gilmour has been actively involved with many charities over the course of his career. In 2003, he was appointed CBE for services to music and philanthropy and was awarded with the Outstanding Contribution title at the 2008 Q Awards.[2]


Early life

Gilmour was born in Cambridge, England. His father, Douglas Gilmour, was a senior lecturer in zoology at the University of Cambridge and his mother, Sylvia (née Wilson), was a teacher and film editor who raised her family at Grantchester Meadows, later immortalised by a Roger Waters song on Pink Floyd's Ummagumma.[3] He has a younger brother who is also a musician.

Gilmour attended The Perse School on Hills Road, Cambridge, and met future Pink Floyd guitarist and vocalist Syd Barrett, along with bassist and vocalist Roger Waters who attended Cambridgeshire High School for Boys, also situated on Hills Road. He studied modern languages to A-Level, and along with Barrett, spent his lunchtime learning to play the guitar. They were not yet bandmates however, and Gilmour started playing in the band Joker's Wild in 1962. Gilmour left Joker's Wild in 1966 and busked around Spain and France with some friends. However, they were not very successful, living virtually a hand-to-mouth existence. In July 1992, Gilmour stated in an interview with Nicky Horne on BBC radio that he ended up being treated for malnutrition in a hospital.[4] In 1967, they returned to England.

Pink Floyd

Gilmour was approached in late December 1967 by drummer Nick Mason, who asked if he would be interested in joining Pink Floyd, which he did in January 1968, making Pink Floyd briefly a five-piece band. He filled in for Syd Barrett's guitar parts when the frontman was unable to take a consistent part in Floyd's live performances. Syd Barrett "left" the group due to his erratic behaviour—commonly believed to have been caused by excessive use of LSD—when the band chose not to pick Barrett up one night for a gig; and Gilmour by default assumed the role of the band's lead guitarist. He took over most of the band's lead vocal duties with bassist Roger Waters and keyboard player Richard Wright also occasionally singing in Barrett's stead. However, after the back-to-back successes of The Dark Side of the Moon and then Wish You Were Here, Waters took more control over the band, writing much of Animals and The Wall by himself. Wright was fired during The Wall sessions and the relationship between Gilmour and Waters would further deteriorate during the making of The Wall film and the 1983 Pink Floyd album The Final Cut.

Gilmour, in the early 1970s with Pink Floyd

After recording Animals, Gilmour thought that his musical talents were being underused, and channeled his ideas into his self-titled first solo album (1978), which showcases his signature guitar style, as well as underscoring his songwriting skills. A tune written during the finishing stages of this album, but too late to be used, became "Comfortably Numb" on The Wall.[5]

The negative atmosphere surrounding the creation of The Wall album and subsequent film, compounded by The Final Cut's virtually being a Roger Waters solo album, led Gilmour to produce his second solo album About Face in 1984.[6] He used it to express his feelings about a range of topics, from the murder of John Lennon,[6] to his relationship with Waters. He has since admitted that he also used the album to distance himself from Pink Floyd. He toured Europe and the US along with support act The Television Personalities,[6] who were promptly dropped from the line-up after revealing Syd Barrett's address on stage.[6] Mason also made a guest appearance on the UK leg of the tour,[6] which despite some cancellations eventually turned a profit.[7] When he returned from touring, Gilmour played guitar with a range of artists, and also produced The Dream Academy, who had a top ten hit with "Life in a Northern Town".[8]

In 1985, Waters declared that Pink Floyd was "a spent force creatively".[6][9] However, in 1986, Gilmour and drummer Nick Mason issued a press release stating that Waters had quit the band and they intended to continue without him.[6][9] Gilmour assumed full control of the group and produced A Momentary Lapse of Reason in 1987 with some contributions from Mason and Richard Wright.[6] Wright officially rejoined the band after the release of the album for a lengthy world tour and helped create 1994's The Division Bell.[6] Gilmour explained:

I had a number of problems with the direction of the band in our recent past, before Roger left. I thought the songs were very wordy and that, because the specific meanings of those words were so important, the music became a mere vehicle for lyrics, and not a very inspiring one. Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here were so successful not just because of Roger's contributions, but also because there was a better balance between the music and the lyrics than there has been in more recent albums. That's what I'm trying to do with A Momentary Lapse of Reason; more focus on the music, restore the balance.

In 1986, Gilmour purchased the houseboat Astoria which is moored on the River Thames near Hampton Court, and transformed it into a recording studio.[9] The majority of the two most recent Pink Floyd albums, as well as Gilmour's 2006 solo release On an Island, were recorded there.[9]

Gilmour at Live 8 in July 2005

On 2 July 2005, Gilmour played with Pink Floyd—including Roger Waters—at Live 8. The performance caused a temporary 1343% sales increase of Pink Floyd's album Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd.[10] Gilmour donated all of his resulting profits to charities that reflect the goals of Live 8 saying:

Though the main objective has been to raise consciousness and put pressure on the G8 leaders, I will not profit from the concert. This is money that should be used to save lives.[10]

Shortly after, he called upon all artists experiencing a surge in sales from Live 8 performances to donate the extra revenue to Live 8 fund-raising. After the Live 8 concert, Pink Floyd were offered £150 million to tour the United States, but the band turned down the offer.[11]

On 3 February 2006, he announced in an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica[12][13] that Pink Floyd would most likely never tour or write material together again. He said:

I think enough is enough. I am 60 years old. I don't have the will to work as much anymore. Pink Floyd was an important part in my life, I have had a wonderful time, but it's over. For me it's much less complicated to work alone.

He said that by agreeing to Live 8, he had ensured the story of Floyd would not end on a sour note.

There was more than one reason, firstly to support the cause. The second one is the energy consuming an uncomfortable relationship between Roger and me that I was carrying along in my heart. That is why we wanted to perform and to leave the trash behind. Thirdly, I might have regretted it if I declined.
Gilmour in 2009

On 20 February 2006, Gilmour commented again on Pink Floyd's future when he was interviewed by Billboard.com, stating, "Who knows? I have no plans at all to do that. My plans are to do my concerts and put my solo record out."

In December 2006, Gilmour released a tribute to Syd Barrett, who had died on 7 July of that year, in the form of his own version of Pink Floyd's first single "Arnold Layne".[9] Recorded live at London's Royal Albert Hall, the CD single featured versions of the song performed by Pink Floyd's keyboard player (and Gilmour's band member) Richard Wright and special guest artist David Bowie.[9] The single entered the UK Top 75 charts at number nineteen and remained steady for three weeks.[14]

Since their Live 8 appearance in 2005, Gilmour has repeatedly said that there will be no Pink Floyd reunion. With the death of Pink Floyd keyboardist Richard Wright in September 2008,[9] another reunion of the core group members became impossible. Gilmour said of Wright

In the welter of arguments about who or what was Pink Floyd, Rick's enormous input was frequently forgotten. He was gentle, unassuming and private but his soulful voice and playing were vital, magical components of our most recognised Pink Floyd sound. Like Rick, I don't find it easy to express my feelings in words, but I loved him and will miss him enormously. I have never played with anyone quite like him.[15]

In May 2010 Roger Waters told the Associated Press that Gilmour "is completely disinterested in anything like [another reunion]. After Live 8, I could have probably gone for doing some more stuff, but he's not interested, so it is what it is."[16]

Other projects

Gilmour performing in Brussels in 1984, on his About Face tour

Taking time off from Pink Floyd's schedule, Gilmour also took up various roles as a producer, sideman and even concert sound engineer[6] for a wide variety of acts which included[6] former bandmate Syd Barrett, Paul McCartney, Kate Bush, Berlin, Grace Jones, Tom Jones, Elton John, Eric Clapton, B. B. King, Seal, Sam Brown, Jools Holland, Bob Dylan, Pete Townshend, The Who, Supertramp, Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson, Alan Parsons, and various charity groups among others.

In 1985, Gilmour was a member of Bryan Ferry's band. He played on Ferry's album Boys and Girls, as well as the song "Is Your Love Strong Enough" for the U.S. release of the Ridley Scott-Tom Cruise film Legend. A music video for the latter was created, incorporating Ferry and Gilmour into footage from the film[6] (released as a bonus on the 2002 "Ultimate Edition" DVD release). Later that year, Gilmour played with Ferry at the London Live Aid concert;[6] his first meeting with Ferry's keyboard player Jon Carin, later to tour with Pink Floyd.

David Gilmour also took part in a comedy skit titled "The Easy Guitar Book Sketch" with comedian Rowland Rivron and fellow British musicians Mark Knopfler, Lemmy from Motorhead, Mark King from Level 42, and Gary Moore. Guitar tech Phil Taylor explained in an interview that Knopfler used Gilmour's guitar rig and managed to sound like himself when performing in the skit.[17]

He has also recorded four solo albums, all four of which charted in the U.S. Top 40 (2006's On an Island peaked at No. 6 in 2006, 2008's Live in Gdansk peaked at #26, his 1978 self-titled solo debut peaked at No. 29 in 1978 and 1984's About Face peaked at No. 32 in 1984).

In 1994, Gilmour played guitar for the video game Tuneland, along with the additional saxophonist for Pink Floyd, Scott Page.

On December 14, 1999, Gilmour played a show at the Cavern Club in Liverpool with Paul McCartney, Mick Green, Ian Paice & Pete Wingfield.

In 2001 and 2002, he performed a small number of acoustic solo concerts in London and Paris, along with a small band and choir, which was documented on the In Concert release.[9] In 2003, Rolling Stone placed Gilmour at number 82 in a list of the hundred greatest guitarists of all time.[18]

On 24 September 2004, Gilmour performed a three song set (tracks 28–30) at The Strat Pack concert at London's Wembley Arena, marking the 50th anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster guitar.

Gilmour in performance, Frankfurt 2006

On 6 March 2006, his 60th birthday, he released his third solo album, On an Island,[9] and a day later it was released in the US; it debuted at No. 1 in the UK charts.[19] The album reached the top five in Germany and Sweden, and the top six in Billboard 200.[20][21] Produced by Gilmour along with Phil Manzanera and Chris Thomas, the album features orchestrations by renowned Polish composer Zbigniew Preisner.[9] The album features David Crosby and Graham Nash performing background vocals on the title track, Robert Wyatt on cornet and percussion, and Richard Wright on Hammond organ and vocals.[9] Other contributors include Jools Holland, Phil Manzanera, Georgie Fame, Andy Newmark, B. J. Cole, Chris Stainton, Willie Wilson, Rado ‘Bob’ Klose on guitar and Leszek Możdżer on piano.[9] The album also features Gilmour's debut with the saxophone.[9]

Gilmour toured Europe, US and Canada from 10 March to 31 May 2006 to promote On an Island. There were 10 shows in the US and Canadian leg of the tour. Pink Floyd alumnus Richard Wright, and frequent Floyd collaborators Dick Parry, Guy Pratt and Jon Carin, also accompanied him on the tour. More shows took place in Europe from July to August in 2006.

In a press release to promote the tour, David Gilmour stated:

"I'm rather hoping that with this tour announcement, people will believe me when I say, honestly, this is the only band I plan to tour with!".

On an Island reached number one on the UK charts. On 10 April 2006, the album was certified platinum in Canada, with sales of over 100,000 copies. The album also gave Gilmour his first US Top 10 album as a solo artist.

A video recording of a show from Gilmour's solo tour, entitled Remember That Night – Live At The Royal Albert Hall[22] was released on 17 September 2007.[9] The double DVD, directed by David Mallet, contains over five hours of footage, including an on-the-road documentary and guest appearances by David Bowie and Robert Wyatt.[9] The two and a half hour concert features band members Richard Wright of Pink Floyd, Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music, Steve DiStanislao on drums, and various Pink Floyd regulars such as Dick Parry, Guy Pratt and Jon Carin.[9] The 20-page booklet accompanying the DVD, features over 80 photos selected from studio recording and touring.[9]

The final show of David Gilmour's On an Island tour took place at the Gdańsk Shipyard on 26 August 2006.[9] The concert was held before a crowd of 50,000, and marked the twenty-sixth anniversary of the founding of the Solidarity trade union.[9] The concert was notable for the inclusion of "A Great Day For Freedom" as part of the encore.[9]

The show was recorded, resulting in a live album and DVD release: Live in Gdańsk.[9] The concert was the only occasion on which Gilmour performed the tour material with an orchestra, using the 40-strong string section of the Polish Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Zbigniew Preisner, who was responsible for On An Island's orchestral arrangements.[9]

On 25 May 2009, he participated in a concert at the Union Chapel in Islington, London. The concert was part of the 'Hidden Gigs' campaign against hidden homelessness, which is organised by Crisis, a UK-based national charity campaigning against homelessness. In the concert he collaborated with the Malian musicians Amadou and Mariam.[23]

On 4 July 2009, he joined his friend Jeff Beck onstage at the Royal Albert Hall. David and Jeff traded solos on Jerusalem and closed the show with Hi Ho Silver Lining.

In August 2009, he released an online single, Chicago – Change the World, on which he sang and played guitar, bass and keyboards, to promote awareness of the plight of Gary McKinnon. A re-titled cover of the Graham Nash song Chicago, it featured Chrissie Hynde and Bob Geldof, plus McKinnon himself. It was produced by long-time Pink Floyd collaborator Chris Thomas.[24] A video was also posted on-line.[25]

On 11 July 2010, Gilmour gave a performance for the charity Hoping Foundation with Roger Waters in Oxfordshire, England.[26] Also performing were Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Nick Cage and Tom Jones. The performance was presented by Jemima Khan and Nigella Lawson. According to onlookers, it seemed clear that Gilmour and Waters had ended the their long-running feud and seemed to be the best of friends, laughing and joking together along with their respective partners. Waters subsequently confirmed via his Facebook page that Gilmour would play Comfortably Numb with him during one of his shows on his upcoming The Wall Live tour – Gilmour performed the guitar solo on 12 May 2011 at the O2 Arena, London and, with Nick Mason, played with the rest of the band playing 'Outside The Wall' at the conclusion of the show.

Gilmour is featured on the 2010 album "Metallic Spheres" by The Orb.[27]

Musical style

Gilmour is best known for his lead guitar work. Gilmour's solo style is often characterised by blues-influenced phrasing, expressive note bends and sustain. In 2005, Gilmour was rated the 82nd greatest guitarist by Rolling Stone. In January 2007, Guitar World readers voted Gilmour's solos, "Comfortably Numb", "Time" and "Money" into the top 100 Greatest Guitar Solos ("Comfortably Numb" was voted the 4th, "Time" was voted the 21st and "Money" was voted the 62nd greatest solo of all time).[28]

In his early career with Pink Floyd, Gilmour played a multitude of Fender Stratocasters. One of his popular guitar solos ("Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2") was played on a Gibson Les Paul Gold Top guitar equipped with Bigsby tremolo bar and P-90 pick-ups.[29][30] In 1996, Gilmour was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Pink Floyd. Gilmour's solo on "Comfortably Numb" was voted as one of the greatest guitar solos of all time in several polls by listeners and critics.[31]

Although mainly known for his guitar work, Gilmour is also a proficient multi-instrumentalist. He also plays bass guitar (which he did on some Pink Floyd tracks),[9][32] keyboards, synthesizer, banjo, harmonica, drums (as heard on the Syd Barrett solo track "Dominoes",[9] and other songs where he opted to play all the instruments) and lately, the saxophone.[33]

Personal life

Gilmour in 2005

Gilmour's first marriage was to American-born model and artist Virginia "Ginger" Hasenbein, on 7 July 1975.[34] He had four children from this union, Alice (born 1976), Clare (born 1979), Sara (born 1983, a fashion model[35]), and Matthew (born 1986). The children originally attended a Waldorf School, but Gilmour called their education there "horrific".[36] In 1994, he married journalist Polly Samson, and the couple have four children, Charlie (Samson's son with Heathcote Williams whom Gilmour adopted), Joe, Gabriel and Romany. Charlie's voice can be heard on the telephone to Steve O'Rourke, at the end of "High Hopes" (The Division Bell).

Gilmour has been associated with various charity organisations. In May 2003, Gilmour sold his house in Little Venice to the ninth Earl Spencer and donated the proceeds worth £3.6 million to Crisis to help fund a housing project for the homeless. Apart from Crisis, other Charities to which Gilmour has lent support include Oxfam, the European Union Mental Health and Illness Association, Greenpeace, Amnesty International,[6] The Lung Foundation, and Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy.[6] He also donated £25,000 to the Save the Rhino foundation in exchange for Douglas Adams' name suggestion for the album that became The Division Bell.[9]

Gilmour is also an experienced pilot and aviation enthusiast. Under the aegis of his company, Intrepid Aviation,[6] he had amassed a collection of historical aircraft. He later decided to sell the company, which he had started as a hobby, feeling that it was becoming too commercial for him to handle. In a BBC interview, he stated:

Intrepid Aviation was a way for me to make my hobby pay for itself a little bit, but gradually over a few years Intrepid Aviation became a business because you have to be businesslike about it. Suddenly I found instead of it being a hobby and me enjoying myself, it was a business and so I sold it. I don't have Intrepid Aviation any more. I just have a nice old biplane that I pop up, wander around the skies in sometimes...[37]

On 22 May 2008, Gilmour won the 2008 Ivor Novello Lifetime Contribution Award[38]

In autumn 2008, he was awarded for outstanding contribution for music by the Q Awards. He dedicated his award to his bandmate Richard Wright, who died in September 2008.[2]

On 11 November 2009, Gilmour received an honorary doctorate from the Anglia Ruskin University.[39]

Main musical equipment

Gilmour on piano, in Düsseldorf during his About Face tour in 1984

The following is a list of equipment Gilmour has used either on his solo or Pink Floyd records and tours.


  • Fender
    • Stratocaster
      • His main guitar, much modified over the years, is a 1969 3-colour Sunburst Fender Stratocaster, also painted over with black, with a black pickguard and white-coloured pick-up covers and knobs, and currently fitted with a vintage 1957 reissue "C shape" maple neck. This neck came from his guitar that he used on the About Face tour. The guitar also has a small toggle switch that combines the neck and bridge pick-ups (Note this guitar was for a brief time fitted with a Kahler locking tremolo system; the system was subsequently uninstalled and the removed wood filled with a replacement piece of timber and repainted to match, as can be seen from close examination of the guitar behind its reinstalled Fender tremolo). This guitar has a Seymour Duncan SSL-1 bridge pick-up, and currently has a strap that once belonged to Jimi Hendrix.
      • His main guitar for the post-Roger Waters era Pink Floyd tours in support of A Momentary Lapse of Reason, Delicate Sound of Thunder (dubbed "Another Lapse") and The Division Bell was a Candy Apple Red '57 reissue (made in 1984) fitted with a set of EMG SA active pick-ups with the two standard tone controls replaced with an EMG SPC mid boost control, and an EXG treble/bass expander (which cuts the mids while boosting bass and treble). On the On an Island tour it was used every night on "Shine On You Crazy Diamond".
      • Gilmour is the owner of Strat #0001. However, this is not the first Stratocaster ever made, but the first to be given a serial number. After not having been seen since the Strat Pack Concert at Wembley Arena in 2004, the Black Strat was brought out of retirement by David in 2005 and fitted with a new Charvel neck for the Pink Floyd reunion at the Live 8 concert. David subsequently used it again for his "On An Island" tour in 2006.
      • Cream coloured '57 reissue. Used on 1984 solo tour and during the early part of the 1987–1990 tour. On the 1994 tour it was used as a spare guitar. Tim Renwick played it with David and the rest of Pink Floyd at their Live 8 set. This Strat was fitted with the same EMG set of pick-ups and tone circuits as the aforementioned Candy Apple Red '57 reissue and, after its use at Live 8, the cream finished guitar's neck was transferred to David's main Black Strat.
      • '57 Lake Placid Blue. (Serial number #0040). Used at The Wall sessions.
      • Double-neck Stratocaster. Body was custom made by guitar builder Dick Knight, but the necks were Fender Strat necks. Used live (1970–72).
      • Sunburst Stratocaster. '63 rosewood neck with '59 body. This guitar was given to David by Steve Marriott of Humble Pie and the Small Faces, and though David didn't like the guitar enough to use it for very long, he preferred the neck to the original one on his black Strat and switched the two. The sunburst Strat was used as his spare and slide guitar in subsequent years (sporting the maple cap neck with a large headstock from the black Strat), and the rosewood neck remained on the black Strat until 1978.
      • White with white pickguard. Used in the late 1960s. Received as a gift from the rest of the band.[40] Stolen in equipment heist in 1970.
      • Gilmour also used a Strat equipped with the Doug Wilkes 'Answer' sliding pick-up system on the 'Momentary Lapse of Reason' recording.
Gilmour playing a Fender Stratocaster in 1984
    • Telecaster
      • Blonde body with white pickguard. Used on the On an Island tour.
      • '52 Butterscotch Reissues with black pickguard. Used between 1987 and 1995. The first guitar was tuned in Dropped D rather than a standard tuning and was used for "Run Like Hell". The second served as a backup instrument and had a regular guitar tuning. Gilmour used this guitar for Astronomy Domine.
      • '59 Custom Telecaster with sunburst ash body, white binding on the body, rosewood fingerboard, and a white pickguard. A Gibson Humbucker was briefly placed in the neck position but this was removed before it was used on the Animals' recording sessions. Last seen at rehearsals during the On an Island tour.
      • '61 Telecaster used during The Wall recording sessions. Also used live in the post-Waters era for "Run Like Hell". Last seen on the Syd Barrett memory concert in 2007.
      • 1960s brown-faded body. Used in the late 1960s.
      • 1960s blonde ash body with white pickguard. This was Gilmour's main guitar during his first year with Pink Floyd, but it was lost by an airline company in 1968, prompting Gilmour to buy the brown-faded Telecaster.[41]
    • Esquire '55 Sunburst body a.k.a. "The workmate Tele". Neck pick-up added. Used at the recording sessions for his first solo album, and The Wall recording sessions and subsequent tour. Also seen when Gilmour performed with Paul McCartney in the late 1990s.
Gilmour playing lap steel guitar with Pink Floyd, Festhalle, Frankfurt, Germany, 26 January 1977
    • Steel guitars
      • 1950s Fender 1000 twin neck pedal steel guitar. Used in the early 1970s, purchased from a pawn shop while Gilmour was in Seattle in 1970. Used during recording of "One of These Days" from "Meddle" and "Breathe" and "Great Gig in the Sky" from The Dark Side of the Moon.[42]
      • Fender Deluxe lap steel guitar. Seen for the first time during The Division Bell tour in 1994.[42]
      • Fender Champ lap steel
    • Bass guitars
      • Fender Bass VI. Used during The Wall recording sessions.
      • Fender Precision bass guitar
      • Fender Jazz Bass. Used during The Wall recording sessions.
      • A Doug Wilkes built Precision-style single pick-up bass, which was also used on the 'Momentary Lapse of Reason' sessions.
  • Gibson
    • A Gibson Les Paul Goldtop (P-90 pick-ups, Bigsby vibrato bridge). Used for the guitar solo on 'Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2'.
    • Gibson: EH150 Lap steel guitar,
    • "Chet Atkins" classical guitar,
    • J-200 Celebrity acoustic guitar[43]
  • Gretsch
  • Bill Lewis 24-fret Guitar. Used at Meddle and Dark Side of the Moon recording sessions.
  • Ovation.
    • Ovation Legend 1619-4 steel string & high string guitars. Used during The Wall recording sessions.[43]
    • Ovation Legend 1613-4 nylon string guitar. Used during The Wall recording sessions.[44]
    • Ovation Magnum bass guitar. Used during The Wall recording sessions.[44]
  • Takamine acoustic guitar.
  • Martin acoustic guitars.
    • Martin D-35.[43][44]
    • Martin D12-28 12-string acoustic guitar.[43]
    • Martin D-18 acoustic.[43]
  • Taylor acoustic guitars
    • Taylor 312CE electro-acoustic
    • Taylor 712CE electro-acoustic (used at Robert Wyatt's Meltdown Concert)
    • Taylor K22 made from koa
    • Taylor electro-acoustic nylon string. Used for the song "High Hopes" at the AOL Sessions
  • Guild F-512 "antique burst" 12-string guitar.
  • Jose Vilaplana nylon string guitar. Used for the song High Hopes in the "David Gilmour in Concert" DVD.
  • Steinberger GL. His main guitar during A Momentary Lapse of Reason recording sessions.
  • Charvel Fretless Fender Precision style bass guitar. Used during The Wall recording sessions.
  • Music Man Fretless Stingray bass guitar. Used by Gilmour while running the house band at the 1991 Amnesty International concert, during Spinal Tap's performance on "Big Bottom". (All guitarists played bass on this song, and Gilmour played a solo.)
  • Jedson lap steel guitars. One red (1977-tuned D-G-D-G-B-E for Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Parts 6–9, 1987–2006: Tuned E-B-E-G-B-E for High Hopes) and one blonde.[42]
  • ZB pedal steel guitar.[44]


  • Hiwatt (main) DR 103 heads into WEM Super Starfinder 200 4x12 cabinets loaded with Fane Crescendo speakers
  • Fender '56 Tweed Twin amp (used for smaller concerts)
  • Fender Twin Reverb combos
  • Fender Twin Reverb II 1983 105 W heads
  • Fender Bluesmaster
  • Fender Blues Jr.
  • Fender 1984 Super Champ 18W
  • Fender Princeton Combo
  • Mesa Boogie Mark II C+
  • Alembic F2-B bass preamp
  • Custom-built 'Doppola' rotating speakers (driven by the Hiwatt heads)
  • Gallien/Krueger 250 ML combo amp
  • Selmer Stereomaster 100 W
  • Maestro Rover rotating speaker
  • Leslie speaker 147 cabinet
  • Marshall Late 60s super lead 100 W head
  • Yamaha RA-200 revolving speaker cabinet
  • Orange OR50 Early 70s w 4x12 cab
  • Magnatone 280-A 50 W combo
  • Alessandro Bluetick Coonhound High-End, 20 W Tube Amp
  • Hiwatt SA212 combo


  • Heil Talk box
  • Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face (first with NKT-275 transistors and then with BC-108 transistors)
  • Ibanez Tube Screamer, Ibanez AD9 Analog Delay, Ibanez CP9 Compressor/Limiter, DE7 Delay/Echo
  • Univox Uni-Vibe
  • VOX V847
  • Morley EVO-1
  • DeArmond volume pedal
  • Dunlop Cry Baby
  • Binson Echorec PE 603, Echorec II, Echorec II Special
  • DigiTech Whammy
  • Ernie Ball VP JR.
  • Pete Cornish all tube pedalboards and custom effects
  • Pete Cornish Soft Sustain, Soft Sustain-2, P-1, P-2, G-2, ST-2, Line Driver, Linear Boost
  • Pete Cornish Tape Echo Simulator (T.E.S), Custom Tube 6 Band EQ
  • Pete Cornish custom volume pedal
  • Pete Cornish custom vibrato pedal
  • EBow
  • Lexicon PCM70
  • Yamaha SPX90II
  • Zoom multi-effects pedal
  • DigiTech IPS-33B Super Harmony Machine
  • Dynacord CLS-222
  • Roland SDE-3000


  • EMS Hi-Fli Prototype, Synthi-AKS, VCS3
  • GHS Boomer strings in a custom gauge 10–12–16–28–38–48 on his Stratocasters
  • GHS Boomer strings in a custom gauge 10.5–13–17–30–40–50 on his Gibson Les Paul Gold Top
  • D'Andrea 354 plectrums (picks)
  • Cross-stitched leather guitar strap used by Jimi Hendrix and bought for David by Polly Samson as a 60th birthday present
  • Shaffer-Vega wireless system for The Wall concerts 1980–81 and his 1984 About Face tour
  • Pete Cornish wireless system for the 1987–96 live Gilmour appearances
  • Evidence Audio Cables

Fender Signature Stratocaster

In November 2006, Fender Custom Shop announced two reproductions of Gilmour's "Black" Strat for release on 22 September 2008. Gilmour's website states the release date was chosen to coincide with the release of his Live in Gdansk album.[45] Both guitars are based on extensive measurements of the original instrument, each featuring varying degrees of wear. The most expensive is the David Gilmour Relic Stratocaster[46] which features the closest copy of wear on the original guitar. A pristine copy of the guitar is also made, called the David Gilmour NOS Stratocaster.[47] Both guitars feature:

David Gilmour Signature Stratocaster NOS in its case
  • Black nitro finish (NOS)
  • Black nitro over sunburst finish (relic)
  • Vintage Style Frets
  • Black Dot Position Inlays (Narrow Spacing)
  • American Vintage Synchronized Tremolo with Custom Beveled Tremolo Block
  • White Tremolo Back Cover
  • Shortened Tremolo Arm
  • Fender/Gotoh Vintage Style Tuning Machines
  • Nickel/Chrome Hardware
  • 1 Ply Beveled Black Acrylic Pickguard (11 Hole)
  • Aged White Plastic Parts & Knobs
  • One Master Volume Knob
  • Two Tone Knobs (one for neck and the other for the bridge pick-up instead of standard neck and middle controls.)
  • custom "neck on" switch to allow for turning on the neck and bridge pick-ups in combination
  • Five Position Pickup Selector Switch
  • Fender Custom Shop Fat '50 Neck Pickup & '69 Middle Pickup
  • Seymour Duncan SSL-5 Pickup

HIWATT Signature Amplifiers

  • DG-103: Gilmour's earliest amp setup with Pink Floyd consisted of a Selmer 50-watt head with a 4x12 speaker cabinet. By 1970, he found his signature sound with a stack made of Hiwatt 100-watt heads with WEM 4x12 cabinets. The Hiwatt/WEM combination can be heard on Meddle and Dark Side of the Moon. This amp is designed to the same specifications as the one originally used by Dave Gilmour. It is based on the Hiwatt Custom 100 head but with special modifications as originally commissioned by Gilmour. A normal input, a brill input and also a special linked input where the gain of each channel can be dialled in to suit. Bass, Treble, Presence and Master volume controls. 4xEL34s, 4xECC83s. Original Partridge design transformers. 100W output.
  • DG-504: Based on the Custom 50 head, but with special modifications as commissioned by Gilmour, the DG-504 adds a bit of modern sophistication to the classic performance amplifier. In addition to the Bass, Treble, Presence and Master Volume controls, the DG-504 uses a specially linked input system, where the gain of each channel can be altered. Built using Partridge transformers, 4 x ECC-83 tubes in the preamp section, 2 x EL-34 tubes in the power stage, it is rated at 50 watts output, with switchable 4, 8 & 16 ohms impedance. Internally there is point-to-point hand-wiring, turret tag boards (no printed circuits), and hand-laced wiring harnesses. The power and output transformers are manufactured by Partridge, the original 1970s supplier to the original design sheets. The components and wires are the modern available equivalents of the vintage components, 1-watt carbon resistors, and wound polyester capacitors being used throughout.
  • DG-212: Available with the same features as the HIWATT Custom 50, but with internal linked-input system as specified by Gilmour. Dual 12" Fane speakers, two EL-34 tubes in the power stage, 4 x ECC-83 tubes in the preamp. Adjustable 4, 8 & 16 ohm output impedance.

David Gilmour does not actually use the "Signature" model Hiwatt amplifiers – in fact, he still uses the same Hiwatt heads he purchased in the 70s. After the Live8 performance, Hiwatt insinuated on their website that David Gilmour had used their new signature models for the show – this was disputed by Gilmour, and Hiwatt were forced to retract their statement; the David Gilmour model is now discontinued.


Pink Floyd

For the full discography, see Pink Floyd discography.



Year Album details Peak chart positions Certification
(Sale Threshold)
Album Chart
Billboard 200
Albums Chart
1978 David Gilmour 17 29
  • US: Gold
1984 About Face 21 32
  • US: Gold
2006 On an Island 1 6 1
  • UK: Platinum
  • CAN: Platinum
2008 Live in Gdańsk 10 26 19
  • UK: Gold


  • Fractals: The Colours of Infinity, Documentary (1994)[48]



Collaborations and work for other artists

Year Artist Album / Work
1970 Syd Barrett The Madcap Laughs[6]
Syd Barrett Barrett[6]
Ron Geesin and Roger Waters "Give Birth to a Smile" on Music from the Body[6]
1974 Unicorn[49][50] Blue Pine Trees (producer)[6]
1975 Roy Harper "The Game" from HQ[6]
1976 Unicorn[49] Too Many Crooks (US title Unicorn 2, features the song "There's No Way Out of Here") (producer)
1978 Kate Bush Executive producer for two tracks on The Kick Inside[6]
Unicorn[49] One More Tomorrow (Harvest Records) (producer, shared with Muff Winwood)
1979 Wings Back to the Egg[6]
1980 Roy Harper "Playing Games", "You (The Game Part II)", "Old Faces", "Short and Sweet" and "True Story" on The Unknown Soldier, credited to Harper/Gilmour.[6]
1982 Kate Bush Vocals on "Pull Out The Pin" in The Dreaming[6]
1983 Atomic Rooster Headline News[6]
1984 Paul McCartney No More Lonely Nights in Give My Regards to Broad Street[6]
1985 Supertramp "Brother Where You Bound"
Bryan Ferry "Is Your Love Strong Enough?" in Legend[6]
Bryan Ferry Boys and Girls[6]
Bryan Ferry Live Aid (Played with Bryan Ferry's band)[6]
Nick Mason and Rick Fenn "Lie for a Lie" (vocals) in Profiles[6]
Pete Townshend "Give Blood" and "White City Fighting" in White City: A Novel "White City Fighting" credited to Townshend/Gilmour. Also performed live as Deep End.[6]
Arcadia So Red the Rose[6]
The Dream Academy Co-produced The Dream Academy[6]
Roy Harper and Jimmy Page "Hope" on Whatever Happened to Jugula?, credited to Harper/Gilmour.[6]
1986 Berlin Count Three & Pray[6]
Liona Boyd Electric guitar on "L'Enfant", "Sorceress" and "Persona" from Persona
Pete Townshend lead guitar in Pete Townshend's Deep End Live![6]
1987 Dalbello "Immaculate Eyes" in she[6]
1988 Peter Cetera "You Never Listen To Me" in One More Story[6]
Sam Brown Guitar on "This Feeling" and "I'll Be In Love" in Stop![6]
1989 Kate Bush "Love and Anger" and "Rocket's Tail" in The Sensual World[6]
Paul McCartney "We Got Married" in Flowers in the Dirt[6]
Rock Aid Armenia Smoke on the Water in The Earthquake Album[6]
Warren Zevon Transverse City[6]
1990 Roy Harper "Once" in Once (w/Kate Bush on backing vocals)[6]
Propaganda "Only One Word" in 1234[6]
Sam Brown April Moon, vocals on "Troubled Soul"[6]
Michael Kamen and David Sanborn Concerto For Saxophone, guitar on "Sasha"[6]
1991 All About Eve "Are You Lonely" and "Wishing the Hours Away" in Touched by Jesus[6]
Hale and Pace Lead guitar on "The Stonk"[6]
1992 Elton John "Understanding Women", in The One[6]
Mica Paris I Put a Spell on You on Later With Jools Holland[6]
1993 Paul Rodgers "Standing Around Crying" in Muddy Water Blues: A Tribute to Muddy Waters[6]
1994 Snowy White "Love, Pain and Sorrow" in Goldtop: Groups & Sessions '74–'94
1995 Guy Pratt Soundtrack to Hackers; according to Pratt on Twitter,[51] features uncredited guitar performance by Gilmour.
1996 The Who Quadrophenia (1996 Hyde Park concert)
1997 B. B. King "Cryin' Won't Help You Babe" in Deuces Wild
1999 Paul McCartney Run Devil Run
2001 The Triumph of Love soundtrack Plays guitar over several chamber orchestra pieces
2003 Ringo Starr Ringo Rama
2004 Alan Parsons and Simon Posford "Return to Tunguska" in A Valid Path
2005 Various artists "Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)"
2006 Chris Jagger "It's Amazing (What People Throw Away)" and "Junkman", in Act of Faith
2009 Nick Laird-Clowes "Mayday" documentary, 'A Time Comes' (Free download from nicklairdclowes.com )
2010 The Orb Metallic Spheres, contributes guitars and vocals to the album, as well as co-writing every track. The album is released as "The Orb featuring David Gilmour"


  1. ^ "David Gilmour Official Biography". http://www.davidgilmour.com/biography.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-02. 
  2. ^ a b "Q Awards 2008 Outstanding Contribution". .qawards.co.uk. http://www2.qawards.co.uk/2008/2008/10/outstanding_contribution_title.html. Retrieved 2011-07-20. 
  3. ^ Mike Watkinson, Pete Anderson, Crazy diamond: Syd Barrett & the dawn of Pink Floyd, pg. 18, Omnibus Press (2001) ISBN 0711988358
  4. ^ "PINK FLOYD – David Gilmour Photos, Biography, Apparel". Megapinkfloyd.com. http://www.megapinkfloyd.com/band_members_david_gilmour.asp. Retrieved 2010-08-09. 
  5. ^ pp221-222 of A Saucerful Of Secrets: The Pink Floyd Odyssey.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb Miles, Barry; Andy Mabbett (1994). Pink Floyd the visual documentary (Updated ed.). London: Omnibus. ISBN 0711941092. 
  7. ^ Blake 2008, pp. 302–309
  8. ^ Blake 2008, pp. 311–313
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y Mabbett, Andy (2010). Pink Floyd – The Music and the Mystery. London: Omnibus,. ISBN 9781849383707. 
  10. ^ a b "Pink Floyd gives back". http://www.soulshine.ca/news/newsarticle.php?nid=2241. Retrieved 2007-12-02. 
  11. ^ "Pink Floyd offered millions to tour". http://www.askmen.com/celebs/entertainment-news/pink/pink-floyd-offered-millions-to-tour.html. Retrieved 2007-12-02. 
  12. ^ "Il requiem di David Gilmour "I Pink Floyd? Sono finiti"". Repubblica.it. 2006-02-03. http://www.repubblica.it/2006/b/sezioni/spettacoli_e_cultura/gilmo/gilmo/gilmo.html. Retrieved 2011-07-20. 
  13. ^ No More Pink Floyd Ever[dead link]
  14. ^ "Arnold Layne chart position". http://acharts.us/song/11777. Retrieved 2007-12-04. 
  15. ^ (AFP) – Sep 16, 2008  (2008-09-16). "afp.google.com, Pink Floyd's Gilmour mourns bandmate Wright". Google. http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gpUJq1E80m4yGRFSq9WNaVNC6jnQ. Retrieved 2011-07-20. 
  16. ^ "Roger Waters' New 'Wall' Tour". The San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/05/07/PKI31D6QUQ.DTL&type=music. Retrieved 2010-05-09. 
  17. ^ "David Gilmour – DVD Draw" – The Phil Taylor Interview
  18. ^ "100 Greatest guitarist of all time". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 30 November 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20071130062723/http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/5937559/the_100_greatest_guitarists_of_all_time. Retrieved 2007-12-04. 
  19. ^ "David Gilmour Biography". Archived from the original on 3 December 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20071203041905/http://www.davidgilmour.com/island.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-04. 
  20. ^ "On an Island music charts". http://acharts.us/album/14324. Retrieved 2007-12-04. 
  21. ^ April 2006 "Billboard 200". Archived from the original on 6 January 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080106170856/http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/esearch/chart_display.jsp?cfi=305&cfgn=Albums&cfn=The+Billboard+200&ci=3065610&cdi=8587179&cid=15 April 2006. Retrieved 2007-12-04. 
  22. ^ "David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) remembers that night on a 2DVD set". Side-line.com. 2007-08-27. http://www.side-line.com/news_comments.php?id=25497_0_2_0_C. Retrieved 2011-07-20. 
  23. ^ "Pink Floyd news resource". Brain Damage. 2009-05-27. http://www.brain-damage.co.uk/concerts/amadou-mariam-with-david-gilmour-union-chapel-london-may-25.html. Retrieved 2011-07-20. 
  24. ^ "Chicago". http://www.londontv.net/freegarymckinnon.html. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  25. ^ "McKinnon Campaign". http://www.londontv.net/latestnews.html. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  26. ^ By Daniel Kreps (2010-07-12). "Pink Floyd's Gilmour and Waters Stun Crowd With Surprise Reunion | Rolling Stone Music". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/17386/179757. Retrieved 2011-07-20. 
  27. ^ "The Orb on Gilmour's website". Davidgilmour.com. http://www.davidgilmour.com/orb/. Retrieved 2011-07-20. 
  28. ^ "100 Greatest Guitar Solos: 51–100". Guitar World. http://www.guitarworld.com/article/100_greatest_guitar_solos_51100?page=0%2C1. Retrieved 2010-08-09. 
  29. ^ "FAQs | Ask Phil | Official Site". David Gilmour. http://www.davidgilmour.com/faqsPhil.htm. Retrieved 2009-01-19. [dead link]
  30. ^ "Gilmour: Guitars & Gear". Sparebricks.fika.org. http://sparebricks.fika.org/sbzine04/sections/ggg.html. Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  31. ^ David Gilmour's Guitar Solo is Number 1 (Musicjot)/
  32. ^ "Rock Compact Disc magazine, Issue 3, September 1992". http://www.pinkfloydfan.net/t1478-david-gilmour-rock-compact-disc.html. Retrieved 2011-07-21. 
  33. ^ "David Gilmour". David Gilmour. http://www.davidgilmour.com/faq.php. Retrieved 2009-01-19. [dead link]
  34. ^ Gilmour, Ginger. "Ginger Art". http://www.gingerart.net/#/the-artist/4519769311. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  35. ^ "Sara Gilmour". Neptune Pink Floyd. http://www.neptunepinkfloyd.co.uk/gallery/main.php/v/OtherRelated/SaraGilmour/. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  36. ^ "Daily Telegraph Article: "We Don't Need No Steiner Education"". Waldorfcritics.org. http://www.waldorfcritics.org/active/articles/TelegraphGilmour.html. Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  37. ^ "Intrepid Aviation". Archived from the original on 21 October 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20071021205312/http://www.brain-damage.co.uk/miscellaneous-articles/david-gilmour-and-intrepid-aviation.html. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  38. ^ 2008 Ivor Novello Award Winners
  39. ^ "Cambridge City News, Cambridge Local News Stories & Latest Headlines About Cambridge | ARU honours Floyd's Gilmour with degree". Cambridge-news.co.uk. http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/cn_news_home/DisplayArticle.asp?ID=455580. Retrieved 2010-08-09. 
  40. ^ The White Stratocaster. "The White Stratocaster". Gilmourish. http://www.gilmourish.com/?page_id=67. Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  41. ^ Telecasters. "Telecasters". Gilmourish. http://www.gilmourish.com/?page_id=194. Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  42. ^ a b c Slide Guitars. "Slide Guitars". Gilmourish. http://www.gilmourish.com/?page_id=69. Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  43. ^ a b c d e Fitch, Vernon: The Pink Floyd Encyclopedia (3rd Edition) 2005
  44. ^ a b c d Fitch, Vernon and Mahon, Richard: Comfortably Numb. A history of The Wall. Pink Floyd 1978–1981 2006, p. 268
  45. ^ "The Voice and Guitar of Pink Floyd | Official Site". David Gilmour. http://www.davidgilmour.com/. Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  46. ^ "David Gilmour Relic Stratocaster". Zuitar.com. http://www.zuitar.com/guitar/102435-David_Gilmour_Relic_Stratocaster.html. Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  47. ^ "David Gilmour NOS Stratocaster". Zuitar.com. http://www.zuitar.com/guitar/102434-David_Gilmour_NOS_Stratocaster.html. Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  48. ^ "The Colours of Infinity: The Beauty and Power of Fractals". Powells.com. http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/biblio?inkey=1-1904555055-0. Retrieved 2009-04-20. 
  49. ^ a b c "Unicorn official site". Unicornmusic.net. http://www.unicornmusic.net/. Retrieved 2011-07-20. 
  50. ^ Unicorn discography at Discogs
  51. ^ "believe it or not David!" in reply to "who did the David'esque guitars on't 'Hackers' OST?"


  • Blake, Mark (2008). Comfortably Numb – The Inside Story of Pink Floyd. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0306817527. 

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