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Nick Mason was a founding member and drummer of the British psychedelic rock band Pink Floyd.
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Nick Mason was born in Birmingham, England in 1944. While in college, he founded the British rock band Pink Floyd along with Roger Waters, Richard Wright and Syd Barrett. As the band's drummer, Mason is the only constant member in Pink Floyd's 40-year history, and he played on every album. He now spends his time racing and collecting classic cars.
Nicholas Berkeley Mason, better known as Nick Mason, was born on January 27, 1944 in Birmingham, England. His father, Bill Mason, was a well-off documentary filmmaker and an avid fan of auto-racing. He introduced his son to motoring at an early age, and gave him an Aston Martin as a teenager.
After high school, Mason went to college at Regent Street Polytechnic (now the University of Westminster) in London, where he met Roger Waters. In 1963, Mason, Waters, Richard Wright and three other musicians formed a sextet, The Sigma Six. Over the next few years, the band went by numerous different names, including The Meggadeaths, The Screaming Abdabs, Leonard's Lodgers and The Spectrum Five, before arriving at The Tea Set. In 1965, the band spontaneously changed their name to Pink Floyd—a homage to two American blues musicians, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council—when they learned that another band called The Tea Set would be playing at one of their shows.
Pink Floyd released their first album in 1967, and went on to release a total of 14 studio recordings, including the multi-platinum hits "The Dark Side of the Moon," "Wish You Were Here" and "The Wall." Mason has been the only constant member since Pink Floyd's inception, and played on every one of their albums. He is credited as the sole writer on two of Pink Floyd's songs: "The Grand Vizier's Garden Party Parts 1-3" and "Speak to Me." Though he rarely played other instruments besides the drums, Mason created sound effects for the band's famous Dark Side of the Moon album.
In addition to typical inter-band squabbles and conflicts, Mason became involved in a legal scuffle when Waters left the group in 1985, and, subsequently, attempted to formally dissolve the band and prevent them from using the name Pink Floyd. After a contentious battle, Mason and Gilmour managed to retain the rights to the band's name, and Waters was released from his contractual obligations. Even after the case was settled, tensions remained. Mason and Waters are now on good terms, however.
In the 1980s, Mason fronted the project Fictitious Sports with other jazz musicians, most notably Carla Bley, who wrote songs for and co-produced their single album, Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports. It was recorded in 1979, but wasn't released until 1981. Mason also released the album Profiles with Rick Fenn in 1985, and continued to produce and play thereafter with other musicians.
Mason is married and has four children; he had two daughters with his first wife, and two sons with his second and current wife, Annette Lynton. He participates in auto-racing events such as 24 Hours of Le Mans, and collects classic cars.
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The 1960s were a time of significant cultural and social change in London. The post-World War II era, coined "Swinging London," saw a youth-driven shift in culture, from old to new. Symbolized by famous faces like English supermodels Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy to "British Invasion" rock bands like the Beatles and Cream, the era created a fresh and modern approach to everything from fashion to music to cultural attitudes. Biography.com looks at the inspirational forces behind the "Swinging London" revolution.
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