Dom Brown is a renowned and esteemed guitarist having played with many great musicians over the years. Since 2004 he has played and written with Duran Duran as well as garnering songwriting credits with Mark Ronson, Kelis and Tom Grennan, amongst many others. He will release his new album, In My Bones (our review), on 11th June 2021.
He joins us in our Why I Love column for a trip down memory lane about why he loves Pink Floyd, and the opportunities he has had to meet the members of the legendary progressive rock group.
I love Pink Floyd for so many reasons.
At age 11-12 I was already into Bowie, Queen, Stones etc. I had a PE teacher, Mr Newell, an ex hippie who used to play music at the start of the lessons for us to warm up to. He had already switched me to Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, AC/DC etc, all of whom I loved, when one lesson he played ‘Welcome To The Machine’ by Pink Floyd.
Although I was already a big fan of guitar music this guitar sparse song totally blew me away. I was transported to another world, I could see the gods and I was transcended. At that moment I realised I had to make music my life. It was something about the sound and the atmosphere of this track that shook me. I immediately went and bought Wish You Were Here that featured this song. Even the album cover seemed from another world. It was a year or two after this that I got my first guitar and I never looked back.
I started to research Floyd more and particularly got into Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall. All three are amazing albums in different ways.
I have been lucky enough to meet three of the original members at different times over my life. Not long after my epiphany I unbelievably got to briefly meet David Gilmour backstage at Brixton Academy when he was performing for a Pete Townshend solo project. My father got us passes from his friend Peter Hope Evans, who was Pete Townshend’s harmonica player. My father was later in a band with him and I also later worked with him. I couldn’t believe that I was meeting David Gilmour, I was star struck.
A couple of decades or so went by and I continued to establish myself as a guitarist. Then about 6-7 years ago I met Nick Mason through a mutual friend. I was asked to play at the friends wedding in a group that consisted of Nick, Guy Pratt (Floyd’s bassist since 1987), Gary Kemp and Simon Le Bon. It was an amazing moment performing lead guitar on Comfortably Numb and Another Brick In The Wall with the band but particularly with Nick and Guy. Nick was extremely encouraging and said that I’d nailed the solos and jokingly that he’d warn David. We have had many very fun jams since then over the years.
I got to meet Roger Waters and his son Harry, at the Sunset Marquee Hotel in LA about 4-5 years ago, when we were all staying there, and had a very friendly chat with them. It’s been amazing having these random and unrelated experiences with the band. Unfortunately I never got to meet Rick Wright.
When I was younger I would jam along to all my favourite records and this would usually heavily include Floyd. Gilmour’s style has influenced me in a big way. I love the lyrical and melodic quality to his playing. He makes it sound so effortless. Comfortably Numb became one of my favourite solos by any player so it is always very special for me playing it with Nick Mason.
There was another very important moment that I’ll never forget. A keyboardist friend I was working with in the Sugababes, whose mother, PP Arnold, is Roger Water’s backing singer, invited me to Roger’s final production rehearsal for the Dark Side Of The Moon tour, at Bray Studios in Windsor. It was two days after my first child was born in May 2006. It was one of the most extraordinary and memorable musical experiences in my life. I was already in an emotional state due to the birth of my son and hadn’t really slept for 2 nights. I was again transcended and totally tripped out. It was truly life changing and I think the best sounding live band I’d ever heard sonically speaking.
The experience was quite surreal and vividly brought back the memory of years before in my PE class when I first heard Pink Floyd.
Many thanks to Dom Brown for sharing his feelings on such a legendary band.
You can listen to one track from Dom’s forthcoming album due out on 11th June via the Bandcamp link below. You can also pre-order the album there as well (in addition to through his website). Our review of the album will be published this week.