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Pink Floyd's Gilmour Recalls Jamming to the Moon Landing

July 21, 2009 4:35 PM ET

Yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11's landing on the moon. If you were alive on July 20, 1969, you were likely doing one of two things: Watching astronaut Neil Armstrong's historic giant leap for mankind, or packing for Woodstock. Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour also watched the lunar landing on July 20th, but recently wrote in The Guardian that he and his bandmates were live-soundtracking the event for the BBC. The resulting jam was called "Moonhead," a song that has frequently popped up on Floyd bootlegs throughout the years but never officially released.

"[Pink Floyd] were in a BBC TV studio jamming to the landing. It was a live broadcast, and there was a panel of scientists on one side of the studio, with us on the other. I was 23," Gilmour writes in the Guardian. "The programming was a little looser in those days, and if a producer of a late-night programme felt like it, they would do something a bit off the wall. Funnily enough I've never really heard it since, but it is on YouTube." (It is in fact on YouTube, as evidenced by the above video, provided by Gilmour's own blog.)

"It was fantastic to be thinking that we were in there making up a piece of music, while the astronauts were standing on the moon. It doesn't seem conceivable that that would happen on the BBC nowadays," Gilmour says in his Guardian piece. "We didn't make any songs out of the jam session. We did, on occasions, do music live that would be a jam session of some sort... And I've heard documentaries where I recognize my music. It's very odd to be watching a documentary and to hear something that you know is yourself, but you have no recognition of when you did it or how. I've never forgotten Moonhead, though. After all, it's not hard to remember exactly where I was."

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