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Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd Hardcover – September 30, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; 1st edition (September 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297843877
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297843870
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 1.1 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #839,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The landmark British psychedelic band Pink Floyd's founding drummer limns the group, named after two early bluesmen, in a profusely illustrated coffee-table tome. The band's spacey arrangements, instrumentation, and light shows made it famous; the drug-burnout fate of original leader Syd Barrett, who was later institutionalized, helped, too. As Barrett's legend grew, his former colleagues moved the band closer to the rock mainstream and scored massive hits with such albums as Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall. Mason tracks the outfit's progress from the members' meeting in art school a la the Who, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, and other revered British rockers. He details the band's journey from jazzy R & B to the psychedelic explorations that eventually dominated its output. Given Pink Floyd's erstwhile association with mood-altering substances, the more recent story of band members' children's covert strategy to score at a concert is particularly piquant. Incisive, and freighted with pictures, this is a lush treat for the band's considerable fandom. Mike Tribby
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'As charmingly English as Pimms and heatstroke on a balmy summer's day, few Pink Floyd fans will want to miss out on this.' Q magazine Pink Floyd special edition 'highly-readable, delightfully illustrated book' Sunday Times 'the author's engaging wit... it's always readable' -- Dominic Maxwell TIME OUT '... the compelling Pink Floyd soap opera, capably chronicled in drummer Nick Mason's recently published coffee-table memoir Inside Out. In prose that is both self-deprecating and insightful, he grapples with subjects that have often been off-limits...' -- John Harris THE GUARDIAN '...one of the greatest stories in the pantheon or rock. The production values of the book reflect those of the Floyd themselves: solid, lavish, heavy, beautifully bound and illustrated... Everything about the design of the book ... has been executed with the utmost care... Even the picture captions have been sculpted into precise, informative and often amusing nuggets of information... [Mason] has a measured uncluttered style which he leavens with a dry, original wit.' -- David Sinclair THE GUARDIAN 'INSIDE OUT is a winner... glossy and colourful' NEW STATESMAN

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Customer Reviews

He is quite witty and it is very well written.
Ciaran Flynn
The book is chock full of superb photos, many from Nick's own collection.
David Dolnick
Nick Mason tells Pink Floyd's history in a cautious and funny way.
Felix Rivera

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

247 of 275 people found the following review helpful By Doctor Quartz on March 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
Nick Mason gives an interesting history of Pink Floyd, that's a little light on anecdotes. I enjoyed this book immensly but know I would have enjoyed the manuscript even more, if I'd seen it before David G. and Roger W. had a go at it with their correcting pens (Nick--Ya shouldn'ta let em monkey with it!). What's missing from this book? The juicy stuff. Nick is the most expendable member of the band (drummers usually are), so he must be careful about what he says and not step on anyone's toes. Either that or he has intentionally (or otherwise) forgotten the past. Let me give you a few examples. He toured with Jimi Hendrix but though there are photos, there aren't any Jimi Hendrix stories in the book. His description of Pink Floyd brief meeting with the Beatles is so devoid of concrete detail, that it's pathetic. He also doesn't flesh out Syd Barrett or David G.'s personalities and barely manages a fresh glimpse of Roger W. This is "Pink Floyd Lite." The book reminded me a little bit of George Harrison's autobiog. "I Me Mine" in which John Lennon doesn't appear. You don't get much more than a few superficial paragraphs on Syd Barrett. There are tantalizing sentences and suggestions everywhere in the text that made me curse under my breath. Like why did the Floyd members feel enormous guilt about what happened to Syd? Mason tells us that partly his descent into insanity was their fault. OK, so what does that mean? What did they do to Syd? (There are hints to the answer to that question in some Syd Bios that are out--and in that dreadful bubble-gum "Saucerful of Secrets" faux-Pink Floyd bio.) Why did Roger Waters's songwriting become so dark after Wish You Were Here? Why did Roger get so mean--given that some of his early songs have incredible light, whimsy, optimism and humor?Read more ›
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Kent D. Bentkowski on January 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is THE book to get on the history of Pink Floyd. What a couple of the other reviewers have missed in their own assessment of this book, is that it is the personality of Nick Mason that most comes out in his writing --- there is a reason WHY he is the ONLY band member to have appeared on EVERY album in their 40 year career!

If you are here to get the GOSSIP RAG version of their history, then perhaps one of the other books out there would be more to your liking.

The thing that really got me in reading this book, was the recounting of the Syd Barrett visit while the band was recording the Wish You Were Here album. I always thought that story was legend only, a fantasy dreamt up by someone with too much time on their hands. However, on pg. 211 is a Polaroid photograph of Syd, which truly brought a tear to my eye.

It is a shame what a bad combination drugs and mental illness had on the man. And, Syd's inexplicable comments about the "pork chops" in his fridge, well, it seemed like I was reading a transcript of someone with bipolar disorder. What a shocking and sad episode; the band would have been quite a bit different with Syd instead of David, that is for sure.

Inside the book are some great rare photographs, that show a human side to this supergroup. As I have had the chance to see them several times, the Pink Floyd put on THE BEST stage show, bar none! The only performer who comes close in theatrical presentation, is Peter Gabriel. But, even HE is a distant second. And, David Gilmour is the absolute most emotive blues guitarist I have ever seen in concert, or heard on record.

This book is not an exhaustive facts-only type of read.
Read more ›
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Grilch on April 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is the first book I've ever read on the Floyd and I chose it because it was written by a guy who ought to know wot's...uh, the deal. Nick is the only member who was in the band from start to finish(?) so I respect his perspective. He certainly doesn't gloss over the more tempestuous moments in the band's history (i.e. Syd Barrett's departure and the infamous schism in the 80s) but he's extremely diplomatic and even-handed so those looking for the juicy details are bound to be disappointed. The book is more a celebration of the band and on that level it suceeds marvelously. Nick is an excellent writer (assuming he wrote it all himself) and a sharp, witty guy. All that would be enough for me but it must be said the pictures alone are worth the price. This is a large, luscious volume that I enjoyed a lot. I only wish Nick hadn't let the other Floyd members add their revisions; this contributes the heavily "authorized" feel of the book.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Haltom on March 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
A complete history written by the most laid back drummer in rock history. Mason is the one constant in Floyd and the only member of the band who could do its legacy full justice. The photos alone are worth the price of the book. The section on Syd is honest and respectful and of course the determination of Gilmour and Mason to keep the band going is riveting. It should never be underestimted how difficult emotionally and logistically that decision was. All fans of the band should take a look.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By doomsdayer520 HALL OF FAME on October 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
Detached music journalists and assorted types of hangers-on often attempt to write biographies of famous bands, but for the real goods it's always best to get it from the inside. It also helps if the band member in question can actually write. Nick Mason appears to have an acceptably clear memory on 40 years worth of history and his writing style is enjoyable, making this book the definitive Pink Floyd biography so far. Nick's style is often funny and self-deprecating, and while some of his historical details contradict other sources (such as who sang lead on certain songs) the book certainly has the feel of an authentic source. Also, as the writer Nick is entitled to talk about his own life, but fortunately he does so sparingly and humbly. Just watch out for some of that dry British humor which doesn't always translate too well, or frequent chunks of barely comprehensible Britspeak like "looked after the punts for rent on the Cam."

The great advantage of this book is that unlike many rock biographies, Nick covers all periods of Pink Floyd's history relatively equally, from the early amateur schoolboy days to the overblown megatours of the 1990s, instead of focusing on certain periods that an outside writer (or fan) would find more interesting than others. As a result, we learn a lot about the personalities within the band and their associates, and a fair amount about their creative processes. Most importantly, Nick provides some quite authoritative insights into the band's biggest stories - most notably the sad mental collapse of Syd Barrett, the ugly legal battle between David Gilmour and Roger Waters in the later years, and the 2005 reunion at Live 8. And upon witnessing this book's rich illustrations, you'll be glad that Nick and his friends have been faithfully carrying cameras around for so many years. [~doomsdayer520~]
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