Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd by Nick Mason, Philip Dodd (Editor)


Where morbid wit meets philosophical rumination meets dead pan humour meets hippie culture and underground music. If this reads like a sadistic mix between a drummer on drugs and an acid tripping saint, then such a conclusion might not be too far off the mark. Firstly lets face the fact – “Inside Out” is without doubt one of the best memoirs ever to have written by a rock protagonist. And that in itself is saying something. The usual staple diet (an irritatingly indigestible one at that) adorning or rather tarnishing a rock biography/autobiography consists of a lunatic loop involving lewd sex, lewder drugs and lewdest profanities. A one size fits all approach that is more closer to nausea than to head banging. But Nick Mason has triggered a putsch to stem this rot and “Inside Out” is a magnificent and telling beginning to what hopefully will be a revolutionary era having the possibility of changing the face of books dealing with Rock Music.

Every rock fan will admit, even if grudgingly so that Pink Floyd is a synonym for endurance. Arguably it is only the Rolling Stones fueled by a manic Mick jagger and the even more maniacal Keith Richards that has enjoyed unheard of longevity that eclipses Pink Floyd’s achievement. Nick Mason as the only constant component of the band in addition to being a founder member possesses all the credentials to pen the inside story of a collaboration that has had all of us in a state of raptures from the past 4 or more decades. This story of the pioneers of Psychedelia does not disappoint one bit.

The most enjoyable component of Nick Mason’s work is the element of humour. Not resorting to slapstick comedy or wit that is the prerogative of “roast” shows, the laughter content in the book is measured, although indispensable. Appearing in the most unexpected situations and unbelievable contexts, it completely cracks up the reader. No wonder then that Alan Parkins in his review of the book stated that he kept on laughing so much that his wife thought that he was suffering from Tourette’s Syndrome. With this work, the Floyd drummer demonstrates a potential for an alternative professional possibility in life, one that gets added to his skill as an accomplished racing veteran having raced in the notorious Le Mans Grand Prix and with some distinction.

The story of the collusion, collisions, confusions and catharsis of one of the best bands in the history regales with insight and reverberates with passion. The extroverted passion of Roger Waters, the serene confidence of David Gilmour, the muted genius of Rick Wright and most importantly the unconstrained and untainted brilliance (albeit short lived) of Syd Barrett have all been brought to mesmerising life by the irrepressible Nick Mason. For this the whole music world owes him a debt of the very highest gratitude!

“Inside Out” – A peek into greatness!

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