The Man Behind Pink Floyd Turns 75 Today

Today is this man’s birthday, a legend who turns 75.

This photo was taken by me during his “The Wall” tour in 2010
Photo copyright Shant Hagopian 2010

The amount of influence Roger Waters had on my musical career is enormous. He has inspired me from the very first day I discovered Pink Floyd in the early 90’s, when I was still a young teenager. I wasn’t lucky enough like many of you who are born back in the 50s or 60s, neither was I lucky in the the location I was born. Back in those days when I was still in Syria (and even now) we never had any bands on international level to perform live shows, so when I heard Roger Waters was coming to Lebanon on his “In the Flesh” tour in 2002, I was ecstatic. This also happened to be my very first live experience, so try to imagine my feelings.

I was counting down the days from the day I reserved my ticket. And a couple of days before the show, I got on a bus to Beirut; 7-8 hours drive from my hometown Aleppo. The concert was held at Biel, when we arrived there a few hours early, or I thought it was early, but some folks told me that the man himself stopped by for an autograph session half an hour ago… I was devastated! I went there prepared for an autograph with a Wish You Were Here CD booklet and a sharpie.

My seat was on the far left, and the backstage access was on my level and I was able to peak through the curtains from where I was, so I expected him to stop by and take a peak through the curtains at any moment. I was very alert. And suddenly it happened, just like I expected. I remember running towards him with the sharpie and booklet in my hand, what an excitement to shake the hand of a legend and have him sign your CD, and by the time he was done there was a big crowd lined up behind me. Mission accomplished.

Here’s a photo of the booklet itself, which David Gilmour also signed in 2016 on the Rattle that Lock tour in Toronto.

Happy birthday sir!

What was YOUR very first experience?


Whew! I’s been a few weeks since I have last posted here.
Well the reason is I was on vacation in Italy with my wife, what a beautiful country; the food, even more so!
Of course the main reason for going to Italy at this time of the year was to attend David Gilmour at Pompeii, so I’m going to fast forward over everything up to the point where we had to take a train from Naples to Pompeii.

The weather in Italy around July is 30+ degrees Celsius, and extremely humid. The train station in Napoli was packed by tourists who want to get to the ruins of Pompeii, among which are a horde of people with Gilmour and Pink Floyd shirts on. So we get our train tickets and get ready to board the train, the platform was so packed that we figured we won’t be able to find a seat since it’s an internal train and no seats are assigned on the tickets.

So the train arrives and everybody hurries to board, and eventually we get on and stay at a section where there are no seats and inconveniently no windows either. We were about 15 people in that small area, and as soon as the train moves I realize this is going to be tough ride, but it was too late anyway. Fast forward five minutes and I’m dripping sweat from my ass, arms, legs… you name it. In the meantime and during a short conversation of how hot it is where we were stuck, we met a couple; Giulia and Gigi, who came from Rome for Gilmour as well. Giulia was nice enough to hand us a couple of wet wipes to help ourselves.

Meanwhile I was trying to find my water bottle because I thought I was about to pass out of dehydration, you cannot imagine! I thought I wasn’t going to make it. And the thought of staying here for another 40 minutes or so was not helping at all.

Here’s a photo of me dying.


For more pics, please follow me on Instagram @SemanticSat

There wasn’t a single breeze to help with the situation, so I started looking around for a solution and found out a tiny little crack at the bottom of the exit door, where a tiny amount of air was entering. Salvation! I remained seated on the floor for the remaining 20 minutes or so. I made it. Imagine how satisfying was stepping out to a hot 30 something degrees!

So we said our goodbyes to Giulia and Gigi and got to the ruins of Pompeii around noon. As soon as I entered the city, a sudden stream of goosebumps crept all over my body, it was a dream for me to visit Pompeii one day. The place is a magical ghost-town, a silent scream from a distant past. An entire city in ruins, body casts, volcanic ash, and the gigantic mount Vesuvius floating high in the horizon. What a scene!

We wandered around the city and did some sightseeing, until it was time to head towards our main destination, the amphitheater of Pompeii. We met more people at the ruins wearing Gilmour shirts and asked them how to get to the amphitheater. and a 20 minutes walk later we arrived at the entrance. It was around 4:00pm, and obviously there was a long line already, and while we waited at the end of the line we coincidentally met Giulia and Gigi again and we stuck together for the rest of the day. Fast forward to around 7:00pm, the line starts moving, there was heavy security, at least 4 checkpoints. I had a Canon Mark II with me which I borrowed from my brother, I was a bit worried on getting it inside with me, but that wasn’t a problem unless you attempt taking photos during the show.

After the final security checkpoint, we are now entering the Pompeii amphitheater, the scenery, the crowd, the typical round Floyd screen surrounded with lights, this is where the Floyd played back in 1972 for “Live at Pompeii”. All of this was too much for my brain to comprehend what was going on, so another rush of goosebumps crept down my spine, which I think lasted for most of that evening. It was a dream for me just to visit the Pompeii amphitheater one day to be at the same place the Pink Floyd played 45 years ago, but attending a David Gilmour show in the Pompeii amphitheater was entirely out of this world, and unimaginable; my experience was brought to a whole new level of excitement.

Hey, you can see Giulia and Gigi in this photo!

David Gilmour in Pompeii

For more pics, please follow me on Instagram @SemanticSat

As the place starts filling up and the sun begins to set, familiar background sound effects from Pink Floyd albums start playing “Why should I be frightened of dying? There’s no reason for it, you’ve gotta go sometime.” Then suddenly smoke machines around the amphitheater start working… and suddenly, time travels back to the ’70s.

Maybe a photo will help you.

Time travel to the 70s

For more pics, please follow me on Instagram @SemanticSat

I realized there where also big ass cameras that were probably filming the show as well as a couple of drones flying around. As for the set-list, they played most of the classics Shine on, Wish You Were Here, High Hopes, Coming back to Life, Sorrow, Money, some tunes from David’s albums and additionally, A Great Gig in the Sky and One of These Days which were absolutely thrilling to listen to. The show ended with an orgasmic display of fireworks around the entire amphitheater at the end of Run Like Hell.

Of course the crowd was loud enough to bring the band back on stage to play Time, Breathe and Comfortably Numb with the mind boggling laser show. I have pictures but posting them here won’t do it justice. You got to be there!

The night ended with both of us searching for a ride back to our room in Naples, of course there were no trains after midnight (or at least we thought so). Finally we managed to grab a taxi a few other people, I’m not even going to mention how crazy the guy was driving, going 150kmph skipping red lights like there’s no tomorrow, when suddenly the thought of not going to make it pops again in my head, but I was way calmer this time, at least I’ve seen Gilmour play in Pompeii.

And if you have been reading this far… Well you must be as crazy a fan as I am for Pink Floyd. So thank you for reading.


For more pics, please follow me on Instagram @SemanticSat

The Wall of Legends

I thought this wall needed something, so I decided to make it “The Wall of Legends” by hanging canvas frames of some of my idols.

They don’t need introduction, but just in case… Top five are Pink Floyd members , bottom left is the amazing comedian George Carlin, and bottom right is the father of prog. Frank Zappa.
And on the bottom left corner; quietly sitting on the stairs contemplating his next move, is my cat Meowgli. He is not a legend yet, but he’s well on his way to become one if he keeps knocking down every single object in the house.

Don’t forget to follow @SemanticSat on Instagram


Breathe Guitar Cover With Two Guitars

This was recorded during one of the guitar jams with Nick right outside my house, it was a gorgeous day, you can even hear the birds doing the background vocals.

Credits: Pink Floyd
The Dark Side of The Moon – Breathe