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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 (50 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 + Mind Over Matter: The Images of "Pink Floyd": The Images of "Pink Floyd"
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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 (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 245,527 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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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pigs Might Fly: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd 26 May 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase

It is extremely well written by Mark Blake who has gone in to great detail about each band member's background. He has explained to the reader where they came from, who their families and friends were and the schools they went to.
Mark Blake writes intelligently and with great fluency. It is a pleasure for a Pink Floyd fan, who has grown up with their music, to read through.

I highly recommend this book to everyone who would like more of an insight and understanding of the band, it's members and music.

I will not easily lend this book!

Shine on......
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's the detail which makes this book 29 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
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. I started at the beginning, and it's a testament to the writing that I read it through to the end (over several weeks). I still feel I could have done with less information about each of the hundreds of musicians, friends, artists, managers, roadies, etc who all contributed to the Pink Floyd story, but I do recognise that the way MB carefully lays out this extensive network does end up giving an excellent insight into the shape of the music industry in general and the Pink Floyd operation in particular.

If you're interested in the who, the when, the where, this is a fantastic reference book for you. This is also good if you want to explore the personalities of the five main protagonists; MB is not judgemental but by the end of the book you feel you know all their strengths and weaknesses. That includes their musicianship and song-writing skills. There is brief analysis of most of the songs along the way, but that is not a major feature of this book and of course MB's evaluation of their relative merits is a bit subjective.

If you are a committed (I had better not say obsessive) Pink Floyd fan, this is obviously a must-read. If you are simply someone who has always admired them and bought a couple of their albums in the past, you may still find this a satisfying read (if something of an endurance test) and it will send you back to listen afresh to the music.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easily the best Pink Floyd biography 6 Oct 2008
Having read most of the Pink Floyd biographies over the years i was prepared for the worst ie a rehashing of the same old (often apocryphal)stories. But no this uses interviews from just about everyone still around and retains the same comprehensiveness and thoroughness from beginning to end. And refreshingly my unfortunate tendency for retaining ridiculous amounts of knowledge about music in my brain did not lead me to (as it usually does)feel let down by finding factual inaccuracies in the text as I usually do at least somewhere with most books I read ie this is pretty unbeatable accuracy wise. And for a writer rooted firmly in a rock background he even knows that Pink Floyd were one of the few guitar orientated acts influential and played on the Acid House/rave scene...very impressive..
Top book and what Pink Floyd have merited for some time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As good as you're going to get. 24 April 2008
If before the only two genuinely essential Pink Floyd books were Nicholas Shaffner's Saucerful Of Secrets and Nick Mason's Inside Out then this is most definitely the best,as
1)it doesn't skimp on scurrilous details (such as Roger Waters' bizarre falling out with Ron Geesin) like Mason's book does.
2)It gives a far more balanced account of Roger Waters then Shaffner's book,which I think was tainted by his eagerness to please those he interviewed (Mason & Gilmour) by praising the frankly poor Momentary Lapse Of Reason album and criticising Waters at every opportunity.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A detailed history of the band
This is a thorough and detailed history of the band, which made for a slow start through the Syd Barrett era (of which I'm quite fond, but not a big fan), but made for compelling... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Stuart S
4.0 out of 5 stars A cautionary tale of the music business
Nick Mason's personal biography of Pink Floyd is something of a sanitised account. Blake offers a more no-holds-barred history and it's certainly comprehensive, charting the life... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ian Barker
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
a very good read i enjoyed it
Published 1 month ago by ken garfield
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended
Very enjoyable read about one of my favourite bands
Published 1 month ago by Cumbrianblue11
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
Really good in depth information. Would suit any pink Floyd fan. Recommend,definitely a good read and full of great facts.
Published 2 months ago by Loz
4.0 out of 5 stars A very detailed story.....
Like them or hate them, Pink Floyd have been a massive influence on popular music for more than four decades. Read more
Published 2 months ago by E Griffith
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive Floyd story
A very informative, interesting and enjoyable read. Very detailed but never boring, a real treat for both new and long standing floyd fans.
Published 2 months ago by Mike Palmer
5.0 out of 5 stars big fan
very interesting good reading thank you for prompt del will order from you again keep up the good work thanks
Published 3 months ago by dave
3.0 out of 5 stars Detailed to the extreme
If you are a Pink Floyd anorak or you are doing a degree in Floyd then this work is for you. It is interesting and informative but heavy going at times.
Published 3 months ago by Graham Kendall
5.0 out of 5 stars Very illuminating and enjoyable
Coming from the perspective of someone who has not paid much attention to Floyd since Wish You Were Here, and in the past generally avoided Rockographies of any kind (stories of... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Time Traveller
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