Mason is the only Pink Floyd member to have been featured on all of their studio albums, and the only constant member of the band since its formation in 1965. It is estimated that as of 2010, the group have sold over 250 million records worldwide, including 75 million units sold in the United States. Despite solely writing only a few Pink Floyd songs, Mason has co-written some of Pink Floyd's most popular compositions such as "Echoes" and "Time".
He collects classic cars and drives competitively.
Mason at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, 2016
|Birth name||Nicholas Berkeley Mason|
|Born||27 January 1944|
Edgbaston, Birmingham, England
|Origin||Hampstead, London, England|
The son of documentary film maker Bill Mason, he was born in Birmingham but brought up in Hampstead, London (many online biographies mistakenly cite the street address Downshire Hill, sometimes as "the Downshire Hills", as a district of Birmingham), attending the Hall School, Hampstead, and afterwards studying at Frensham Heights School, near Farnham, Surrey. He later studied at the Regent Street Polytechnic (now the University of Westminster), where he teamed up with Roger Waters, Bob Klose and Richard Wright in 1964 to form Pink Floyd's predecessor, Sigma 6.
Mason has been the drummer on every Pink Floyd album.
The only Pink Floyd songs whose composition is credited solely to Mason are "The Grand Vizier's Garden Party Parts 1–3" (from Ummagumma) and "Speak to Me" (from The Dark Side of the Moon). The one-off song by the band titled "Nick's Boogie" was named after him.
The only times Mason's voice has been included on Pink Floyd's albums are "Corporal Clegg", the single spoken line in "One of These Days" and spoken parts of "Signs of Life" and "Learning to Fly" (the latter taken from an actual recording of Mason's first solo flight) from A Momentary Lapse of Reason. He does, however, sing lead vocals on two unreleased but heavily bootlegged tracks, "Scream Thy Last Scream" (1967), penned by original leader Syd Barrett and "The Merry Xmas Song" (1975–76). In live performances of the song "Sheep", he did the spoken section.
Despite legal conflicts over ownership of the name 'Pink Floyd', which began when Waters left the group in 1985 and lasted roughly seven years, Waters and Nick Mason are as of 2010 on good terms. Mason joined Waters on the last two nights of his 2002 world tour to play drums on the Pink Floyd song "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun", and he also played drums on some concerts of Waters' European tour in 2006, and during performances in Los Angeles and New York City in the United States.
In July 2005, Mason, Gilmour, Wright, and Waters played together on stage for the first time in 24 years. A four-song set was played at the Live 8 concert in London. Mason also joined Gilmour and Wright for the encore during Gilmour's show at the Royal Albert Hall, London, on 31 May 2006, reuniting the post-Waters Pink Floyd. Mason has claimed to be the link between Gilmour and Waters, and believes the band will play live again, mentioning the possibility of "playing again for a charitable cause" or even "a tour" in various interviews in the last few years. He also stated in 2006 that Pink Floyd had not officially disbanded yet, but with the death of Wright in 2008, the band effectively came to an end as confirmed by Gilmour. In spite of this, Mason has continued to join Waters onstage on occasion. On 12 May 2007, Mason joined Waters again on stage at Earls Court to play The Dark Side of the Moon. Again, on 12 May 2011, Mason was featured (along with David Gilmour) on the encore "Outside the Wall" at a concert by Waters, who was performing The Wall in its entirety (Gilmour also performed on "Comfortably Numb" that night).
Unlike the other members of Pink Floyd, Mason has rarely played an instrument other than his drum kit or large array of percussion instruments, although he has utilised tapes and contributed sound effects to many Pink Floyd albums. He has only played non-percussive instruments on "The Grand Vizier's Garden Party", his personal composition from Ummagumma, where he used a mellotron to play brief melodies and create ambient noises, on "Jugband Blues", where he played kazoo, and on live versions of "Outside the Wall", where he played acoustic guitar along with the rest of the band. However, on the Profiles album Mason released with Rick Fenn in 1985, he is also credited with keyboards. He can be seen playing a vibraphone in the promo video for "Lie for a Lie", but it is unknown if he actually played on the recording. Mason has also said that he took some failed piano and violin lessons as a child before taking up drums.
Mason has occasionally worked with other musicians, notably as a drummer and producer for Steve Hillage, Robert Wyatt (with whom he appeared on Top of the Pops), the Damned and Gong. He also drummed for Michael Mantler.
Mason's book, Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd, was published in the UK in October 2004. It is also available, abridged, as a 3-CD audio book, read by Mason. An updated edition was published, in paperback, in 2011.
He performed in the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games on 12 August 2012. He produced and played on the charity single "Save the Children (Look Into Your Heart)", which also featured Beverley Knight, Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood and which was released in May 2015 in aid of Save the Children's Nepal Earthquake Appeal.
On 17 April 2018 Mason announced his new band, Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets. The new five-piece band will be performing four shows in London in May 2018. The band includes long-time Pink Floyd and David Gilmour bass player Guy Pratt; Blockheads guitarist Lee Harris; Spandau Ballet's Gary Kemp on guitar and vocals; and producer/composer Dom Beken on keyboards. The band will focus on performing tracks from Pink Floyd's embryonic years of 1967-1972.
Influenced by jazz and big band music, Mason embraced acoustic drums (both single and double headed), tuned percussion, electronic drums and Rototoms, melding all of these into a melodic whole. His snare drum sound shifted from harsh demarcation of beats 2 and 4 ("Careful with that Axe, Eugene") to a fatter and gentler timbre ("Echoes") — a change that reflected growing studio skills. His style was gentler and more laid back than that of other progressive rock drummers of the time. Mason soloed on a few Pink Floyd compositions including "Nick's Boogie", "A Saucerful of Secrets", "The Grand Vizier's Garden Party", "Up The Khyber", "Skins", and "Time". Due to the dynamic live performances of Pink Floyd, Mason's style was more energetic and complex live, and can be heard on such albums as Ummagumma and Live at Pompeii. He used Premier drums in the 1960s and occasionally in the 1970s. After that, he used Ludwig drums from 1970 until 1992. He currently uses Drum Workshop (DW) drums, pedals and hardware. His kit is a DW double bass kit with the Dark Side of the Moon logo on the drums. He has also used Paiste cymbals during his entire career with Pink Floyd and currently uses a mixture of Paiste Traditional, Signature and 2002 cymbals. He also endorses Remo drumheads, Latin Percussion and Pro-Mark sticks.
|24 Hours of Le Mans career|
|Teams||Dorset Racing Associates|
|Best finish||18th (1979)|
As Pink Floyd's recording and touring schedule grew more sporadic, Mason was left with more time to pursue his favourite hobby: motor racing. This interest was documented in the 1986 short film Life Could Be a Dream. He owns (through his company Ten Tenths) and races several classic cars, and has competed successfully at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. His racing cars include: Alfa Romeo 8C; Bentley 4½ Litre (his father's racing car); Bugatti Type 35; Jaguar D-Type; Ferrari 250 LM; Ferrari BB LM; Maserati Tipo 61; McLaren F1 GTR; and he previously raced a BRM P30.
Mason is mostly associated with Italian-manufacturer Ferrari, and estimates he has owned 40. His first purchase in the early 1970s was a Ferrari 275 GTB/4, which he comments would regularly wet-plug. His most notable purchase was in 1977 from his proceeds from the sale of the Pink Floyd album Dark Side Of The Moon, when he paid £37,000 for one of the 39 built Ferrari 250 GTO cars - he still owns the car, valued now in excess of £30M. Mason and Pink Floyd guitarist Dave Gilmour drove the first two Ferrari F40's back to the UK from Maranello.
Mason was invited by Ferrari to purchase one of the 400 Enzo models (now sold replaced by a Blu Scozia-coloured LaFerrari), which he let Jeremy Clarkson borrow for reviewing purposes on the BBC motoring programme Top Gear. Mason agreed, on the sole condition that throughout the review, Clarkson promoted the release of the book Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd. This led to Clarkson using Pink Floyd album titles in his description of the Enzo and The Stig driving round the track with "Another Brick in the Wall" playing (despite the fact that the Enzo does not come equipped with a stereo).
Mason appeared on Season 2, Episode 8 of The Grand Tour. He competed and won against Stewart Copeland for the title of "fastest rock drummer from a band that begins with a P" in the show's Celebrity Face Off segment.
Mason's first marriage was to Lindy Rutter, with whom he had two daughters Chloe and Holly. Lindy was an accomplished woodwind player; she played flute on "The Grand Vizier's Garden Party" from Ummagumma. The couple divorced in the late 1980s and Mason is now married to his second wife Annette Lynton (Nettie), an actress also known for her adjudication role on the second series of Treasure Hunt in 1984. They have two sons Cary and Guy and live in Hampstead, London. Since 1995 they have also owned Middlewick House, the Grade II listed former home of Andrew and Camilla Parker Bowles, in the Wiltshire town of Corsham. Holly is married to sports car racer Marino Franchitti, the younger brother of multiple IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti.
On 26 November 2012, Mason received the Honorary title of Doctor of Letters from the University of Westminster at the presentation ceremony of the School of Architecture and Built Environment (he had studied architecture at the University's predecessor, Regent Street Polytechnic, 1962–1967).
In common with Roger Waters, Mason has played concerts to raise funds for the Countryside Alliance, a group which campaigned against the ban on fox hunting with the Hunting Act 2004. In 2007 they both performed at Highclere Castle in Hampshire in support of the group.
He is a board member and co-chairman of the Featured Artists' Coalition. As a spokesman for the organisation, Mason has voiced his support for musicians' rights and offered advice to younger artists in a rapidly changing music industry.
Mason has joined Roger Waters in expressing support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel over the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and urged the Rolling Stones not to play in Israel in 2014.
a future episode [...] will see Nick Mason and Stewart Copeland competing for the title of fastest rock drummer.
Media related to Nick Mason at Wikimedia CommonsAny Colour You Like
"Any Colour You Like" is the eighth track on the English progressive rock band Pink Floyd's 1973 album, The Dark Side of the Moon. It is an instrumental written by David Gilmour, Richard Wright and Nick Mason, making it one of three tracks on the album for which Roger Waters did not receive a writing credit, the last Pink Floyd track that Waters had no part in writing while he was still a member, and the last Pink Floyd studio track credited to Mason until The Endless River.Blackhill Enterprises
Blackhill Enterprises was a rock music management company, founded as a partnership by the four original members of Pink Floyd (Syd Barrett, Nick Mason, Roger Waters and Richard Wright), with Peter Jenner and Andrew King.Blackhill were the organisers of the first Hyde Park free concerts.
After Syd Barrett left Pink Floyd, the partnership was dissolved, and Jenner and King continued Blackhill to manage Barrett. Following Blackhill's eventual dissolution, both Jenner and King continued to work in music management.They also managed:
Marc Bolan (who met his wife, June Child, while she was working as Blackhill's secretary)
Edgar Broughton Band
Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranoias
Bridget St John
The Action (until they became Mighty Baby in January 1969 and parted company with Blackhill Enterprises).Echoes (Pink Floyd song)
"Echoes" is a song by English rock band Pink Floyd, and the sixth and final track from their 1971 album Meddle. It was written in 1970 by all four members of the group. Containing several extended instrumental passages, largely ambient sound effects, and musical improvisation, the track has a running time of 23:31 and comprises the entire second side of the vinyl and cassette recordings.It also appears in shortened form as the fifth track on the compilation album which took its name, Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd. The composition was originally assembled from separate fragments, and was later split in two parts to serve as both the opening and closing numbers in the band's film Live at Pompeii. The song was used to open the band's 1987 A Momentary Lapse of Reason Tour after not being played for more than a decade, but was retired again after eleven shows. It was revived for Gilmour's 2006 On an Island Tour, where it was performed at every show. Live versions were released on Gilmour's albums Live in Gdańsk and Remember That Night.Eclipse (song)
"Eclipse" is the tenth and final track from British progressive rock band Pink Floyd's 1973 album, The Dark Side of the Moon. It was sung by Roger Waters, with harmonies by David Gilmour and Rick Wright. After Waters left the band, Gilmour sang the lead when performing live. This song was one of several to be considered for the band's "best of" album, Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd.Fearless (Pink Floyd song)
"Fearless" is the third track on the 1971 album Meddle by Pink Floyd. This song was one of several to be considered for the band's "best of" album, Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd.Free Four
"Free Four" is a song by the English rock band Pink Floyd, written by Roger Waters and released on the band's 1972 album Obscured by Clouds.List of songs recorded by Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd were an English rock band who recorded material for fifteen studio albums, three soundtrack albums, three live albums, eight compilation albums, four box sets, as well as material that, to this day, remain unreleased during their five decade career.
There are currently 217 songs on this list.Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports
Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports is the debut solo studio album by Nick Mason, Pink Floyd’s drummer. Released in May 1981 in the UK and US, this was Mason's first major work outside of Pink Floyd. It is sung by Robert Wyatt, except for the opening song.Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets
Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets are an English psychedelic rock band formed in 2018 by drummer Nick Mason and guitarist Lee Harris to perform the early music of his band Pink Floyd. The band includes Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet on guitars and vocals, longtime Pink Floyd collaborator Guy Pratt on bass and vocals, and Lee Harris on guitar and backing vocals. Mason said the group were not a tribute band, but wanted to "capture the spirit" of the era, and stressed that Kemp was not a replacement for original Pink Floyd frontman Syd Barrett.The band made their live debut in May 2018 in front of an invited audience at Dingwalls in London, playing a selection of Pink Floyd material released before their 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon. This was followed by three small shows at The Half Moon, Putney and European tour in September 2018.Oh, by the Way
Oh, by the Way is a compilation boxed set by Pink Floyd released on 10 December 2007, by EMI Records in the United Kingdom and the following day in the United States through Capitol Records.One of These Days (instrumental)
"One of These Days" is the opening track from Pink Floyd's 1971 album Meddle. The composition is instrumental except for the only spoken (or sung) line from drummer Nick Mason, "One of these days I'm going to cut you into little pieces." It features double-tracked bass guitars played by David Gilmour and Roger Waters, with each bass hard panned into one channel of stereo, but one bass sound is quite muted and dull. According to Gilmour, this is because that particular instrument had old strings on it, and the roadie they had sent to get new strings for it wandered off to see his girlfriend instead.Relics (album)
Relics (subtitle: A Bizarre Collection of Antiques & Curios) is a 1971 compilation album by Pink Floyd. The album was released in the UK on 14 May 1971 and in the United States on the following day. Initially released by Starline, the compilation was reissued by Music for Pleasure in the United Kingdom; Harvest and Capitol distributed the album in the United States. A remastered CD was released in 1996 with a different album cover, picturing a three-dimensional model based on the sketch drawn by drummer Nick Mason for the initial release.Shine On (Pink Floyd box set)
Shine On is a 1992 nine-CD box set by Pink Floyd which was released through EMI Records in the United Kingdom and Columbia Records in the United States to coincide with Pink Floyd's 25th anniversary as a recording and touring band. All CDs were digitally remastered.Speak to Me
"Speak to Me" is the first track on British progressive rock band Pink Floyd's 1973 album, The Dark Side of the Moon, on which it forms an overture. Nick Mason receives a rare solo writing credit for the track, though recollections differ as to the reasons for this. Mason states that he created the track himself, whereas Richard Wright and Roger Waters stated the credit was a "gift" to Mason to give him some publishing income (subsequently regretted by the latter, following his acrimonious departure from the band). A live version is included on Pulse.Time (Pink Floyd song)
"Time" is a song by English progressive rock band Pink Floyd. It is included as the fourth track on The Dark Side of the Moon (1973) and was released as a single in the United States. Bassist Roger Waters wrote the lyrics and the music is credited to all four band members. Keyboardist Richard Wright shares lead vocals (his last until "Wearing the Inside Out" on The Division Bell) alongside guitarist David Gilmour.
The lyrics deal with the passage of time – time can slip by, but many people do not realise it until it is too late. Waters got the idea when he realised he was no longer preparing for anything in life, but was right in the middle of it. He has described this realisation taking place at ages 28 and 29 in various interviews. It is noted for its long introductory passage of clocks chiming and alarms ringing, recorded as a quadrophonic test by Alan Parsons, not specifically for the album.Us and Them (song)
"Us and Them" is a song by the English progressive rock band Pink Floyd, from their 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon. The music was written by Richard Wright with lyrics by Roger Waters. It is sung by David Gilmour, with harmonies by Wright. The song is 7 minutes, 51 seconds in length, making it the longest on the album.
"Us and Them" was released as the second single from The Dark Side of the Moon in the United States, peaking at No. 72 on the Cash Box Top 100 Singles chart in March 1974. The single peaked at No. 85 in the Canadian chart.Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd song)
"Wish You Were Here" is the title track on Pink Floyd's 1975 album Wish You Were Here. David Gilmour and Roger Waters collaborated to write the music, and Gilmour sang the lead vocal.
In 2011, the song was ranked No. 324 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.Works (Pink Floyd album)
Works is a Pink Floyd compilation album released in 1983. It features a variety of material, such as (among others) the band's early singles, "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play", alternative mixes of tracks from The Dark Side of the Moon, and the demo track, "Embryo".