Nick Mason of Pink Floyd question

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I'm not as big a Pink Floyd fan as most people, but I do like "The Dark Side of the Moon" album. But question for the Nick Mason fans: did he ever play or record his double basses? He's always pictured with two bass drums, but I don't recall ever hearing him play them. Was there something obscure he used them on? Just wondering when I found this old picture:

Pink-Floyd-web.jpg
 

SomeBadDrummer

Platinum Member
I'm not as big a Pink Floyd fan as most people, but I do like "The Dark Side of the Moon" album. But question for the Nick Mason fans: did he ever play or record his double basses? He's always pictured with two bass drums, but I don't recall ever hearing him play them. Was there something obscure he used them on? Just wondering when I found this old picture:

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That's a great photo! Nick certainly had a great influence on progressive rock, although I don't remember him being known for playing double bass. More finesse and jazz influenced than hard rock DB style I'd say.
EDIT: I love the t-shirt and tie!
 

calan

Silver Member
I still get the impression that it was more of a live thing with him. I can’t really think of any double bass licks on an album, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if somebody offers up contrary evidence.

Related, the Pompeii DVD, maybe even that particular song, brought me around to really appreciating Nick Mason.
 

GretschedHive

Silver Member
Funny(ish) story about that particular clip: the reels containing the film from the other cameras got lost, which is why it's almost entirely shots of Mason doing his thing.
 

GretschedHive

Silver Member
Related, the Pompeii DVD, maybe even that particular song, brought me around to really appreciating Nick Mason.
It's definitely one of the things which did it for me, too. For a few reasons, I actually went 15 years without listening to virtually anything I'd listened to in high school or college—I mean, I literally didn't listen to an entire Who or Stones or Zeppelin or, yes, Floyd song for a decade and a half. And when you take a break that long, hokey smokes does "Free Bird" or "Stairway to Heaven" or "Sympathy for the Devil" or "Won't Get Fooled Again" or pretty much the entire Pink Floyd oeuvre hit like a ton of bricks.

And I really appreciated just how well Nick Mason played for the song. Sure, he had nowhere near the chops of a Bruford or Collins or Palmer but damn the guy had a style and he had musicality and he had restraint. And he changed over the years--his playing on Animals or The Wall sounds virtually nothing like his playing on Atom Heart Mother or Meddle, and yet it all still feels like him.
 

calan

Silver Member
It's definitely one of the things which did it for me, too. For a few reasons, I actually went 15 years without listening to virtually anything I'd listened to in high school or college—I mean, I literally didn't listen to an entire Who or Stones or Zeppelin or, yes, Floyd song for a decade and a half. And when you take a break that long, hokey smokes does "Free Bird" or "Stairway to Heaven" or "Sympathy for the Devil" or "Won't Get Fooled Again" or pretty much the entire Pink Floyd oeuvre hit like a ton of bricks.

And I really appreciated just how well Nick Mason played for the song. Sure, he had nowhere near the chops of a Bruford or Collins or Palmer but damn the guy had a style and he had musicality and he had restraint. And he changed over the years--his playing on Animals or The Wall sounds virtually nothing like his playing on Atom Heart Mother or Meddle, and yet it all still feels like him.
I’m young enough that Pink Floyd had always been classic rock from my perception. I was well aware of their radio hits, general body of work and influence, but didn’t really dig in until the early 2000s. But seeing that performance where he was playing out helped my younger self realize that the album performances weren’t the result of a limit of ability, but an intentional decision, and I could accordingly understand the why. I’d agree that he didn’t have the chops of the mentioned peers, but they were still pretty good, and his composition and phrasing was great.

Also, even when he was playing it right down the middle, like in the last minute of that clip, he’s just bringing it.
 

Lefty Phillips

Well-known Member
I've always been a huge Pink Floyd fan, at least the Gilmour era.

Nick's early playing is more visceral and energetic than his later work, which sometimes strikes me as too laconic, or maybe it's just buried in the mix. I prefer the earlier stuff.

There was a thread about who could replace a famous drummer from a famous band, and he came to mind, but I couldn't think of anyone who could replace him. One of the most important things I ever learned as a guitarist, I learned from him and Gilmour; once the guitar and drums are locked in, you're off to the races.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
He did use a 2nd bass drum here and there on the early material, not so much later on. But he kept the 2nd bass drum anyway.

But lots of 70's era players had a 2nd bass drum for only occasional use.

Keith Moon, Neil Peart, Steve Smith (Journey era), and many others had 2nd bass drums, but didn't play them that often.

There was a time where a 2nd bass drum didn't mean you were shredding double bass chops. It was just for occasional use when you wanted it.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
He did use a 2nd bass drum here and there on the early material, not so much later on. But he kept the 2nd bass drum anyway.

But lots of 70's era players had a 2nd bass drum for only occasional use.

Keith Moon, Neil Peart, Steve Smith (Journey era), and many others had 2nd bass drums, but didn't play them that often.

There was a time where a 2nd bass drum didn't mean you were shredding double bass chops. It was just for occasional use when you wanted it.
And that’s cool. Even Louie Bellson didn’t shred double bass drums, but used them really tastefully. That’s where my heads at, to slip in the occasional double bass bit. And I’m reconfiguring my double bass kit where the second purpose of it is to eliminate all the floor cymbal and tom stands too.
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
I half remember a story which I might be making up that he saw a gig where Ginger Baker was playing, loved the whole image and went down the two bass drum route moreso because of that.
 
And that’s cool. Even Louie Bellson didn’t shred double bass drums, but used them really tastefully. That’s where my heads at, to slip in the occasional double bass bit. And I’m reconfiguring my double bass kit where the second purpose of it is to eliminate all the floor cymbal and tom stands too.

Love the line about Louie Bellson using his double bass drums tastefully Bo. Spot on. Similarly, you see the same tastefulness here from one Mr. William Cobham.

Billy Cobham 2021
 
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