Many regular readers will know of my connection with Pink Floyd, as my dad Ron Geesin was heavily involved with the Atom Heart Mother album.
The connection started in 1969 when my dad was asked to compose the soundtrack to the film The Body, and he enlisted the help of Roger Waters. This led to being asked to finish off the track Atom Heart Mother; the band were under pressure to go on tour (label and management) and had some unconnected segments to go over a backing track and my dad was asked to weave them together with orchestration.
The whole thing turned out to be an albatross around my dad’s neck as it dug the band out of a hole but they were the first to give it a bad press, despite it being the band’s first big seller. For a long time my dad was never given due credit, in fact only a songwriting credit, when there was so much more involved (arrangement, production et al). In 2008 my dad was asked to recreate the track for a performance in Chelsea, London, with Italian tribute band Mun Floyd, renowned cellist Caroline Dale, 40 piece choir and 10 piece brass. Many rehearsals but with a different line-up of brass every night. Further rehearsals took place in a church in Chelsea with David Gilmour, who played one of the two nights and it was the best I have ever seen David Gilmour play.
Many more performances of Atom Heart Mother have followed, in Italy and France, often my dad was approached as he owns the original score.
That year I wrote a feature on the album for Record Collector magazine, which can be found here:-
Random fact: Atom Heart Mother was recorded at the same studios at the same time as Quatermass recorded their album.
Going back to 1969/1970; I was only 6 months old when Music From The Body was recorded and my dad sampled my laugh for use on the opening track on the album. The final track features the whole band, uncredited. It was the only track from the album ever released as a single, and that was only in the Philippines, and it now fetches £1000+. The music used in the film is different to the LP, and the full soundtrack can be heard on a 3 sided acetate (how many of those exist is unknown but one known copy no longer exists).
During the 1970s my brother and I were often taken to different members of Pink Floyd’s houses (prob David Gilmour or Roger Waters), kids birthdays and stuff, and when I was 11(ish) we got to see Pink Floyd live with The Wall at Earl’s Court in London. I met the band backstage, Gerald Scarf too. James Hunt was sat in front of us, and ABBA were there too.
In the late 1980s we (aka Clan Geesin) became friends with Herve Denoyelle who had one of the largest Pink Floyd collections, 600+ 45s and 800+ LPs. With his help I have written various features on world-wide collectables; this includes an interview with Nick Mason on some pre Columbia acetates.
What the band has said about Atom Heart Mother over the years has often been inconsistent, and my dad wrote his side of the track’s recording in a book “The Holy Cow”. He has since written a book on Spanners.
When I first started writing in the music industry, it was mentioned as a connection, but I never played on it, never used it (well, the Nick Mason interview maybe an exception); if anything it worked the other way around, as I’ve been able to provide PR and contacts for my dad, who has continued to record and perform.
Joe Geesin | Now Spinning Magazine