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Pigs Might Fly: The Inside Story of "Pink Floyd" [Paperback]

Mark Blake
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
Price: 9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

25 Oct 2008

Interest in Pink Floyd remains as intense as ever even 40 years after the release of Dark Side of the Moon, with lavish box-sets collecting demos and out-takes, and Roger Waters’ world tours of The Wall playing to packed stadiums.
Now, Mark Blake’s superbly comprehensive and engrossing history of the group, rightly acclaimed as the definitive book on the band, has been fully revised and extended with new interviews to bring the story up to date with the recent appearances of David Gilmour and Nick Mason with Roger Waters at a London date on his The Wall tour.

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Pigs Might Fly: The Inside Story of  "Pink Floyd" + Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd + Pink Floyd - Live at Pompeii [DVD] [2003]
Price For All Three: 25.33

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd (25 Oct 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845133668
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845133665
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 195,128 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mark Blake has been writing about popular music and culture since 1989.
A former Assistant Editor of Q magazine and regular contributor to Mojo, he is the author of Pigs Might Fly: The Inside Story Of Pink Floyd, Stone Me: The Wit & Wisdom Of Keith Richards and the editor of Dylan: Visions, Portraits & Back Pages. His latest book, Is This The Real Life: The Untold Story Of Queen, was published in 2010.
More info at www.markrblake.com

Product Description


‘Mark Blake brings Floydology into the 21st Century with this handsomely produced volume...’

(The Sunday Telegraph)

‘A detailed, orderly, first-rate read...’


‘Thorough and well-researched... Lots of new material...’


'The most complete and extensive work on the history of Pink Floyd yet' - Book of the Year

(Record Collector)

'This is, in short, an easy and enthralling read...what really makes Blake's book one of the finest on Floyd there is, is the minutiae of the detail it offers...tasty morsels for Pink Floyd fans to feed on.’

(Classic Rock)

‘A superb, incredibly detailed, and essential look at the band’s history - an indispensable addition to your bookshelves.’

(Brain Damage - Pink Floyd news)

'No fan will feel short-changed by the welter of detail.'


'The definitive account of one of Britain's best-loved bands.'


  • 'Dutiful and thorough... paints a picture of a generation, helps us in some way towards understanding the decline and enigma of Syd Barrett, and gives us a picture of a band which, although trapped by their own devices into becoming the most lumbering of rock behemoths, at least were one of the few of their vintage who carried on giving a s***. We also get a portrait of one of rock’s great Difficult Characters (Waters) - as well as one of its most decent and generous (Gilmour). And a kid of happy ending.’

(Nicholas Lezard Guardian)

‘Such is Blake’s achievement in leaving no band affiliate’s tale untold the author virtually redefines the term ‘definitive biography.’


'Blake’s account, newly updated, may well be definitive.... It’s a fascinating tale of destructive egos.’


‘A biography rich in anecdotal detail’

(Classic Rock)

About the Author

MARK BLAKE has been writing about popular music and culture since 1989. A former Assistant Editor of Q magazine and regular contributor to Mojo, he is also the author of Is This The Real Life: The Untold Story Of Queen, Stone Me: The Wit & Wisdom Of Keith Richards and the editor of Dylan: Visions, Portraits & Back Pages. More info at www.markrblake.com

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stars can frighten 15 July 2009
Some acts, such as the Beatles, Dylan and the Floyd, have had so many books written about them that it is hard to come up with anything new. This book succeeds in describing two aspects of the Pink Floyd story to a level of detail I haven't found elsewhere:
-The size and diversity of the Cambridge scene; there were many other creative people, e.g. Aubrey Powell of Hipgnosis, and the friendships lasted a long time; the Floyd have a long history of supporting old mates on hard times. Syd Barrett was of course the classic instance of this. Blake makes the point that many of the people involved had missing fathers, e.g. Waters and later Barrett, and implies that they may have thus lacked role models and conventional direction; he argues that Barrett was not the only one from the Cambridge scene whose talent failed to fulfil all its promise.
-The power struggles of the post-Barrett group, with Waters and Gilmour as the strong antagonists, Mason as the diplomat, and Wright as the nice guy who would rather avoid all this aggro. This makes one wonder how the group politics would have evolved if Barrett had stayed in the band (like many "what ifs", fascinating but frustrating).
Chronologically, the book was published soon after Barrett's death, so the penultimate event is the "hell freezes over" reunion at Live8. Blake justifiably spends a long time on this, and (bearing in mind that Wright was to die not long after Barrett) Blake's view could be summed up in another well-known song lyric: "It's too late when we die to admit we don't see eye to eye".
Perhaps not the perfect Floyd biography, but probably the best to date, complementing Julian Palacios' excellent Barrett biography "Lost in the Woods". Blake is an ideal biographer, on the one hand being a devotee of his subjects (his website tells us that the first concert he saw was the Floyd performing The Wall in 1980) but on the other able to exercise analytical detachment.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most enjoyable read 15 Jan 2008
I have read a fair few Floyd books now including Nick Masons and i have to say this is by far and away the best and most comprehensive. It starts right back at the begining in the mid 60's right through to 2007, covering literally everything. It also covers their solo ventures during and after Floyd and also gives great info on how all the albums faired in the US and the UK (Solo's included). He must have been working on this book for years. I was very impressed that he mentioned Dave Gilmour turned up on Parkinsons show in 1999 as a session guitarist for Paul McCartney who was having a full show dedicated to him. Dave Gilmour was never mentioned on the show and i only noticed myself that he was there playing. Very impressive research. I learn't a lot about the band and its members that i never knew and will have to read it again as its hard to remember everything. Its a great story and also quite sad (Syd's decline). Roger Waters comes out of it the worst, looks like he gave Gilmour a very hard time and the rest of the band also. His ego and tempermant being his main problem. And considering the abuse he has taken, Dave Gilmour comes out of it with dignity in tact.

If your a Floyd fanantic or a casual music listener with a passing interest in the band, its a must buy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I was grateful for once that a Q Magazine journalist could tell us a story rather than indulging in musical matters that we can happily make judgements upon ourselves (not that I've read Q in many years but I'd guess they're still writing in the same self-indulgent way).
Plus it's very gratifying to read what the band members themselves have to say and fortunately the biography is peppered with as much of that as is possible.

Having said that, as another reviewer has said, Blake does tend to stray towards negatives and downward slopes in his writing which, I agree, appears less than kind on the page.
Oddly enough though, while I think Floyd's music is mesmerisingly brilliant, I don't think the musicians themselves are geniuses and I prefer the way Blake's writings are realistic rather than flattering when concerning that area. So while, for instance, I'm reluctant to accept that Barrett's 'Word Song' is 'the verbal outpourings of a sick man' I recognise the fact that it may indeed be true.

The cup is always half empty in Blake's biography of Pink Floyd.
And while that's not to everyone's tastes no one can deny that it's a fact. And that indeed IS VERY Pink Floyd.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Filling the empty spaces 1 Oct 2007
Having enjoyed Nick Mason's insider's view of the Floyd, I found this book to be the perfect companion volume. Blake doesn't suffer from Mason's need to ameliorate the bad feeling and massage the egos of the people with whom he grew up. This means Blake can take a more objective assessment of what happened with Syd Barrett, and just exactly what went on during the recording of "The Wall" to kick off such bad vibes between Roger Waters and the rest of the band. Where Nick Mason, diplomatically following Gilmour's lead, chose to 'forget' details, Blake interviews not just the band members, but others who were involved on the management, production and session aspects. Nobody comes out smelling of roses, and it's clear that there was often more than two sides to many of the conflicts, and more players than those who were officially in the band.

An excellent book for anyone interested in the Floyd story.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars book
adds so well to my collection. well pleased with the item
ive added it to the rest of my floyd books
Published 22 days ago by kevin
4.0 out of 5 stars It's the detail which makes this book
I like most of Pink Floyd's work, but am far from being a Floyd nerd, so when I borrowed this book with its mass of detail I didn't expect to do more than dip into it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by J. Wickens
3.0 out of 5 stars Very detailed with some great anecdotes
This was a very interesting read in certain sections, especially around Syd and Dark Side. However, it does drag in some places where I struggled to stay attentive as endless names... Read more
Published 3 months ago by D.Sun
3.0 out of 5 stars My favourite band
I can't say much about this book as I have not read it yet, but purchased it as it is one of very few biographies, rather than essentially picture books, about the most original... Read more
Published 4 months ago by A Drayton
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
The item was promptly dispatched, it was delivered perfectly on time and the book itself was in perfect condition.
Two thumbs!
Published 6 months ago by Nicola Camoglio
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome.
I had to give it five stars, because I don't see how it could have been any better.
I anticipated a mammoth read, a long slog through 430-ish pages trying to sift through... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Calum
4.0 out of 5 stars Floydies heaven
A great book, well written although it concentrates very heavily on the early part of Floyd and particularly Syd Barrett so although interesting, you might question how relevant... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Tony Glover
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read and very informative without being too detailed (don't...
The right amount of detail a good deal of insight into a very British band. Decent length too. I shall probably have to listen to all those old albums again now.
Published 11 months ago by David C. Eastoe
4.0 out of 5 stars good read second time.
Not a huge floyd fan,however love some of their music,a lot of detail to absorb,however second reading very good,talented induviduals but as with the later Guns and Roses two... Read more
Published 12 months ago by aled eynon
5.0 out of 5 stars PIGS MIGHT FLY - a REALLY GOOD read.
Not much of a title for my review, but it says it all. From just looking at the overall Amazon star rating of 4. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Mr Paul Savory
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