Remember when Pink Floyd brought pyschedelia to town?

We don't need no education... Pink Floyd at St Andrews Uni in 1969
We don't need no education... Pink Floyd at St Andrews Uni in 1969

Rewind to the 1960s when a group of talented teenagers – Roger ‘Syd’ Barrett, Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Rick Wright – decided to form a band.

That band was Pink Floyd who grew from psychedelic newbies to an almost mythical standing.

Now, more than 40 years since the band formed Northhampton-based writer Richard Houghton is looking for Fifers to help him compile a new book about the iconic band.

Pink Flyod played their first – and only – gig in the Kingdom way back in 1969.

Billed as “the biggest name that has ever come to St Andrews”, the band were a huge success performing to around 500 fans.

And it also helped the university secure a place in the annals of rock and roll history.

The Pink Floyd gig paved the way for the Union to book other mainstream acts including Hawkwind in 1971 and The Jam in 1978.

Having already written about The Who and the Rolling Stones, Richard’s latest book – Pink Floyd: I Was There – will tell the story of the band from the fans’ perspective.

It will feature their memories of seeing the band live, anecdotes, stories, photographs and memorabilia that have never before been published.

“I’m hoping to tell the band’s story in a slightly different way,” explained Richard, “and to tell the band’s story by using fans’ recollections of attending gigs and sharing their stories and memories.

“I didn’t want to go down the tried and tested route of doing a biography because my starting point would be to read other books written previously.

“The end product would then just be a rehash of what has come before.

“Syd Barrett died a few years ago, David Gilmour has no intrest in resurrecting Pink Floyd and Roger Waters...well, he has fallen out with the rest of the band.

“So there is no-one to really speak to for a new take on the Pink Floyd story.

“But I think the fans will have an interesting take on the band – good and bad.”

Richard’s book is slowly coming together and he has collected hundreds of stories so far.

However, he is keen for Fifers to get in touch with their memories.

“Pink Floyd played St Andrews students’ union in 1969 in February,” he said.

“I believe it was so cold that the band wore huge, thick overcoats to try to 
keep warm.

“I would like fans who saw the band play there to get in touch and share their memories with me.

“I’m also looking for photographs, posters, flyers and ticket stubs – anything from around that era.

“I want to hear all about the night they went and saw Pink Floyd – from getting the tickets to what they wore that night.

“It will be like a scrapbook so hoepfully people reading it will be transported back to the 1960s and 70s.”

Richard came so close to seeing the band in person...

“I had the chance to see Pink Floyd in either 1977 or 1978, around the time that the Animals album was released,” he said.

“I thought that people at the gig would be smoking rather funny things – so I decided not to go.

“I went to see Black Sabbath around the same time because I thought that gig would be much more civilised and their fans would be much better behaved!”

Richard who describes himself as a “frustrated journalist” has turned his love of music into a new career – and it all started with the Rolling Stones.

“I’ve worked in housing associations most of my life but studied English at college and I’ve always been a massive music fan,” he said.

“My first ‘I Was There’ book was on The Rolling Stones.

“I was watching a gig of the band in Stockholm and I thought: Mick is now in his 70s, so there must be fans who remember seeing them way back at the beginning in the 60s and 70s.

“And it really just grew from there.”

Although his main focus at the moment is Pink Floyd, Richard already has plans for the next in the ‘I Was There’ series.

He added: “I’m a huge fan of The Small Faces, so my next book will be about them and Rod Stewart.

“I’ve already started with this great story from a fan who recalled Rod handing him two shillings to buy him a drink at the bar as he was too short to make it through the crowd!”

To share your stories, email Richard at isawpinkfloyd@gmail.com.

Pink Floyd – I Was There, will be published later this year.