Pink Floyd fans can set the controls for the heart of Hollywood Boulevard, now that a touring version of an exhibition devoted to the group’s 55-year history has touched down in the US, following a celebrated run across Europe.
The group remains truly in vogue, and in Hollywood’s former Vogue Theatre, in an installation of ‘The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains’ that encompasses more than 400 artifacts dating back to the late ’60s, from handbills for the nascent band’s first psychedelic club shows in London with Syd Barrett to the days of pigs on the wing and other sinister inflatables that have been inflated for meditative, museum-style gawking.
“I know just about everything there is to know about Pink Floyd,” said Aubrey Powell, co-curator of the exhibition, offering Variety a tour on the eve of its opening. He wasn’t being immodest: Besides co-designing famous cover artwork for albums like ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ and ‘Animals’, Powell was a roommate of Barrett’s in the ’60s and saw it all go down. “But,” he said, “the joy of it was actually discovering in various individuals’ archives pieces that I had never seen.”
Aubrey Powell added, “He walked over to a room devoted to imagery from ‘The Wall’. Below a menacing inflatable of a teacher was an instrument of torture used by an actual teacher, dating back farther even than the ’60s. “That’s the original cane used to beat Roger Waters and Syd Barrett at school and Storm Thorgerson, my partner which prompted Roger to write ‘Teacher, leave those kids alone’.”
Of the three surviving members, drummer Nick Mason had the most substantial involvement in the exhibition and gets an official “exhibition consultant” credit. “Nick, of all the Pink Floyd, kept his own archive, and he didn’t throw a thing away,” says Powell, who goes by the nickname ‘Po’. “I mean, even his shirts from 1968,”
“His archive is phenomenal, and that was helpful.” But Waters and David Gilmour provided substantial access, as well, even if their archives weren’t quite as museum-ready as Mason’s, according to Variety.com.