David Gilmour biography
Born in England in 1946, David Gilmour played in only one band before joining Pink Floyd in 1967. As guitarist and singer for Pink Floyd, he wrote hits like "Comfortably Numb," and produced A Momentary Lapse of Reason. He has also released four solo albums, is an experienced pilot, and is known for his work with charities around the world.
Early Life and Career
David Jon Gilmour, the first child of Douglas and Sylvia Gilmour, was born on March 6, 1946 in Cambridge, England. He went to school with Syd Barrett and knew Roger Waters, who went to a school nearby. As a teenager, Gilmour learned to play the guitar, and from 1962 to '66, he played in a band called Joker's Wild. After he left the band, he traveled around Europe as a busker for a year. He barely made enough to live, however, and was hospitalized for malnutrition.
Late in 1967, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason asked Gilmour to join the band. Founding guitarist Syd Barrett was floundering because of heavy psychedelic drug use and was often unable to play, and the group hired Gilmour as a second guitarist to cover for him. Barrett left the band in early 1968, leaving Gilmour to become the lead guitarist and main singer.
The band achieved enormous commercial success with songs like "Wish You Were Here" and albums like The Dark Side of the Moon, and Waters began to assert greater authority and control. Waters wrote the bulk of Animals and The Wall without first getting input from his bandmates, and tensions mounted. Gilmour felt that his talents weren't being utilized, so began working on his own projects. In 1978, after recording Animals with Pink Floyd, Gilmour released his first solo album. One of the songs written too late to be included on the album became Pink Floyd's famed song, "Comfortably Numb."
The relationship between Gilmour and Waters continued to deteriorate, and Gilmour produced his second solo album, About Face, in 1984. He later said that recording the album was a way to distance himself from Pink Floyd. When Waters left the group in 1986, Gilmour stepped to the helm and produced A Momentary Lapse of Reason. He and Mason also teamed up to fight Waters, who filed a lawsuit with the intent of preventing the remaining band members from using the name Pink Floyd.
Gilmour has released four solo albums over the course of his career. In addition to the two that he recorded while with Pink Floyd, he released a third album, On an Island, on his 60th birthday in 2006, and a fourth album with The Orb, titled Metallic Spheres, in 2010. He also continued to tour, both to promote his albums and participate in charity concerts.
Gilmour has been married twice. He married Ginger Hasenbein in 1974, and they have four children together before divorcing in 1990. In 1994, Gilmour married novelist Polly Samson, and they had four children of their own. He recently confessed that he had a cocaine problem while he was touring with Pink Floyd, but quit after he met Samson.
While not playing music, Gilmour often takes to the skies. He is a pilot and, for a time, collected antique aircraft auspices of his company, Intrepid Aviation. He has since sold the company, but kept a biplane for his personal use.
Gilmour is actively involved in philanthropy and, notably, sold his home in West London and donated the proceeds—more than $5.5 million—to Crisis, a nonprofit organization that works to provide services to the homeless. Gilmour has also been involved with Oxfam, Greenpeace and Amnesty International, among other charitable organizations.