The Guitarist Pink Floyd Wanted To Hire Before David Gilmour

The inner turmoil between the members of Pink Floyd has caused troubles since day one. The band’s debut studio album, ‘The Pipers at the Gates of Dawn,’ was a commercial success that eventually paved the way for Pink Floyd to attract the spotlight. The record caught the attention of its early audience and U.K. critics with its whimsical psychedelic tunes, which would eventually be considered the defining sound of Pink Floyd.

As the band achieved commercial success, one particular member seemed to be fronting Pink Floyd’s creative process. It was Syd Barrett, who was one of the founding members and the person who came up with the band’s name. Syd was considered the mastermind of Pink Floyd as he was a vocalist and one of the primary songwriters. He had a unique outlook on life which he would reflect in his work with the band.

However, Barrett struggled with mental health issues that worsened during his battle against addiction. The problems he faced affected his performance as a musician, and the tense dynamics within the band led to his departure in 1968. Barrett then went on to have a solo career, but Pink Floyd needed a new member to establish the direction the band was taking without Syd.

Who Was The Musician Pink Floyd Invited To The Band?

It is known that David Gilmour was recruited shortly before Syd Barrett’s departure. Yet, before considering Gilmour, it seemed like Pink Floyd’s members had someone else in mind: Jeff Beck. The guitarist had achieved commercial success with his previous band, The Yardbirds.

His former band had recruited Jeff to succeed Eric Clapton, and his guitar riffs quickly received critical acclaim for their uniqueness. The guitarist, however, was eventually fired from the Yardbirds due to his perfectionism and temper, and he went on to form the Jeff Beck Group in 1967.

As it was revealed by Pink Floyd member Richard Wright to Brazil’s Showbizz magazine, the guitarist was approached by the band shortly after Syd Barrett’s departure. Beck showed no interest in joining Pink Floyd and rejected the offer. Wright recalled the moment as he laughed and stated that Jeff, unfortunately, didn’t want to be recruited.

Richard Wright stated:

”I called him but he couldn’t. When Syd Barrett left we called him to join the band too but unfortunately he didn’t want to.”

He was then asked how different rock history would be if Beck had been recruited as a Pink Floyd member. Richard explained that he hadn’t thought about that during the period Beck was invited. For Wright, David Gilmour’s style was quite similar to his, and the two musicians reflected one another, in a sense.

Wright explained:

”I never thought how rock history would alter! It’s true, but Jeff’s style is not so different than David’s style, at least his style that time.”

It was revealed by Richard Wright that the band had contacted Beck two times in total, and both invitations were met with rejections. When the keyboardist was asked if he perceived the rejections in a harsh way, Wright stated that he didn’t know Beck personally and that the contacts were made through the guitarist’s manager. Richard, then praised Beck as he still appreciated his music.

The musician said:

“I don’t know him personally, the contacts were made by his manager, but I think if I had to call him again, I will call this guy is simply fantastic!”

It is also known that Jeff Beck was invited to join another major band, the Rolling Stones. The British rockers wanted to recruit Beck after Brian Jones’ departure in 1969. The guitarist refused to join the Stones as well. Perhaps, it could be said that Jeff Beck’s musical talents are such rare assets that many other gifted figures of the rock scene wanted to collaborate with the guitarist.