The opening night of the Pink Floyd retrospective at the V&A museum in South Kensington turned out to be a star-studded event.
Sir Bob Geldof, Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes, Queen’s Roger Taylor and Brian May and ‘High Flying Bird’ Noel Gallagher were among the guests.
From guitars, sketches and iconic album artwork, guests were treated to sensory overload whilst walking through the band’s 50-year career.
This major exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s album ‘Piper at the Gates of Dawn’ and their debut single ‘Arnold Layne’.
Over 350 objects are featured in the exhibition including: 6-metre high metallic heads from the cover of 1994’s ‘Division Bell’, musical scores, everyday material from the 1960s publicising the band, several guitars once owned by David Gilmour and purpose-built mixing desks.
On the wall of a room illuminated by psychedelic colours and patterns, guests can view a poster advertising a Pink Floyd gig at the UFO club, a short-lived underground music venue.
“We were living the hippy life, experimenting with LSD, we were smoking cannabis, reading Kerouac,” said Aubrey “Po” Powell, the band’s creative director who helped visualise the exhibition.
“They were playing whatever, call it an amateurish way, but in a very English way, a very eccentric way…they were the darlings of the London underground scene,” said Powell, recalling Pink Floyd playing at the UFO club.
“I never envisioned for one minute that 50 years later, we’d be having an exhibition here.”
Passing through a room dedicated to the 1975 album ‘Wish you were here’, the headphones switch between interviews by Waters and Gilmour, explaining how they came up with the song of the same name.
A centre-piece of the exhibition is a huge installation dedicated to Pink Floyd’s 1979 album “The Wall”, over which hangs the terrifying schoolmaster who terrorised children in the band’s celebrated rock opera.
The exhibition ends with footage of the band singing ‘Comfortably Numb’ in 2005 – the last time Pink Floyd played as a full line up.
The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains runs from May 13-1 October 2017. Sound Experience by Sennheiser. Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London SW7 2RL. Tickets on sale now. www.pinkfloydexhibition.com/vam.ac.uk/PinkFloyd. #TheirMortalRemains