David Gilmour And Paul McCartney’s Dispute Over Being The Headliner

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Music festivals are great opportunities for various bands and artists’ dedicated fans who want to connect with their icons more. Thanks to these events, not only the followers but also the musicians themselves can meet them and learn what they think about the performance. Especially before social media’s rise and ruling the whole world, it was essential to understand the fans’ ideas and reactions during these organizations.

However, despite its countless benefits, these events could cause tragic situations such as attacks, deaths, murdering musicians, and verbal and physical fights between iconic bands that were supposed to play on them. They ended up as scandals and headlines worldwide. One of these issues occurred between Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour and The Beatles’ Paul McCartney.

The Disagreement Between David Gilmour And Paul McCartney

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1990’s Knebworth Festival’s stage belonged to The Silver Clef Award Winners; Cliff Richard & The Shadows, Dire Straits, Status Quo, Tears for Fears, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins with Genesis, Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd, and Robert Plant & Jimmy Page. It took place on June 30, 1990, and these legendary artists and bands drew thousands of people to the concerts, becoming an unforgettable moment of their lives.

In an episode of his The Lost Art of Conversation podcast series, Gilmour revealed his experiences with that famous Knebworth concert, saying that he had a condition about his appearance. He told his manager Steve O’Rourke that Pink Floyd wanted to perform at night, which meant they would close the festival. It was summertime, and darkness came in the late hours of the Knebworth Festival.

The guitarist admitted that some people, probably including McCartney, didn’t like this offer, but Pink Floyd won. Also, Gilmour remembered the weather conditions during the band’s concert, rain and winds adding that it was dangerous to use electronic equipment. Hence, he used a radio mic on the guitar. However, the disagreements between Gilmour and McCartney didn’t end because of a move from the Beatles’ legend.

Then, famous graphic and album designer Aubrey Powell recalled a verbal fight between Paul McCartney’s manager Richard Ogden and Gilmour’s Steve O’Rourke. The dispute started when The Beatles icon didn’t finish his concert, shortening Pink Floyd’s time on the stage. Powell heard them shouting at each other about getting McCartney off the stage because the band couldn’t begin their show otherwise.

In Gilmour’s words, he said:

“I remember saying to Steve, ‘Tell them we want an hour of darkness.’ That was our only prerequisite. It’s in the summer, so darkness happens quite late, so I think it meant that we closed the show, which some people were slightly grumpy about. But we got our hour of darkness and half an hour of rain! It was wet. Those huge winds, slashing rain coming straight on to us. I must have been using a radio mic on the guitar because it would have been too dangerous to be wet with all that electronic equipment.”

Aubrey Powell added:

“There had been a great debate about who would finish the show. One of my better memories was the two managers of Paul McCartney and Pink Floyd arguing by the side of the stage at the closing moments of Paul McCartney’s set, which was running over, probably quite deliberately. Steve O’Rourke saying, ‘Get Paul McCartney off the stage right now!’ Richard Ogden, Paul McCartney’s manager, said, ‘Well, you go and drag him off then!’ They were nearly at blows with each other.”

You can check out a video from the concert below.