Member Exclusive: Inside Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” | A Cover Song By PFC
Take an exclusive look, only for members, inside our most recent production “Wish You Were Here,” a special Live Outside version of the Pink Floyd 1975 hit, featuring Afro Fiesta ft. Twanguero & I-Taweh.
Wish You Were Here | Afro Fiesta ft. Twanguero & I-Taweh | Live Outside | Playing For Change
One of Pink Floyd’s most important albums “Wish You Were Here”
On September 12, 1975, one of the most important albums in the career of Pink Floyd and progressive rock history was released.
Storm Thorgerson was tasked with the creation of the album cover, the image was inspired by the idea that people tend to conceal their true feelings, for fear of “getting burned”, and thus two businessmen were pictured shaking hands, one man on fire.
Wish You Were Here was mostly written by David Gilmour as an ode to friendship. The lyrics of the song are a mixture of feelings, longing and nostalgia for the absence of a friend and dedicated former member of Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett. Syd abandoned Pink Floyd in 1968 for mental issues related to his drug addiction, however, his essence was so strong among the band that the next seven discs would have his influence.
One of the examples of his influence in the band is “Shine on You Crazy Diamond,” a hidden tribute to Syd– the first letters of the words Shine, You and Diamond represent his name. Throughout its 26 minutes you can listen to blues, synthesizers and a slow rhythm that makes this one of the best progressive rock songs. The full album consists of nine parts, although it is divided into two, the first opens the album and the second closes it.
Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts Vi-Ix)
Other songs on the album critique the music industry, which put pressure on Pink Floyd since their success in the early 1970s. Songs like “Welcome to the Machine” and “Have a Cigar” make this very clear; “Have a Cigar” includes the phrase “Oh by the way, which one’s Pink?” a question made by one of the record label executives that thought Pink Floyd was the name of one of the band’s singers.
The principal and most impressive song on the album was no doubt “Wish You Were Here.” The song starts with the sound of a radio fading from “Have a Cigar” through Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony and introducing David Gilmour’s acoustic guitar.
“It’s one of those strange songs that came to me very easily because David Gilmour had been playing the riff [goes on humming the intro riff], and I’d been listening to it, and going ‘what’s that?’ I said ‘play that again,’ so I learned it. And I said ‘and then what happens?’ He said, ‘no that’s it.’ And I went ‘I like it,’ and said ‘do you mind if I see what happens next?’ And so I played a few chords and wrote the song very, very quickly, as I recall. Probably in an hour. It was one of those happy times when a stream of consciousness works, and words come out.“ - Roger Waters for Progsphere
From there the concept of the album was clear; to remember old Syd and critique the voracity of the music industry that leads several artists to madness, depression or existential emptiness.
Wish You Were Here was the following album after The Darkside Of The Moon and it definitely takes a special place in the hearts of Pink Floyd fans. This album is for anyone who at least felt empty and nostalgic once in their life.
Meet the artists behind our Live Outside!
Afro Fiesta members Mermans Mosengo and Jason Tamba both left the Democratic Republic of the Congo more than 15 years ago in search of a better life. Mosengo moved to South Africa in 1998, spending a year as a drummer and bassist with the Young Bakuba Band before going solo. Jason Tamba, a self-taught musician who later earned a degree in classical guitar, also traveled to South Africa in search of greater opportunity, where he soon met Mosengo and formed Afro Fiesta.
Knockin' on Heaven's Door | Afro Fiesta w/Twanguero & I-Taweh | Playing For Change
Read the full bio here.
Did you know? Jason Tamba sings a part of the song in Lingala, a Bantu language spoken in the northwest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Lingala lyrics by Jason Tamba
Oh soki ozalaki awa
Miniololo na kingo ba kanga ba cracas
Oh mbula na mbula
Bana tango ya ba n’koko
Sé se yoko
Oh soki ozalaki awa
Oh I wish you were here
Year after year, since the time of our cuffed ancestors, not much has changed.
The world stayed the same as you left it
Oh I wish you were here
Donavan I-Taweh Cunningham was born in the hills of St. Ann, the same parish in Jamaica where the great Marcus Garvey, Burning Spear, and Bob Marley all rise from. Like most successful artists, he comes from humble beginnings.
Raised in the farming community of Prickly Pole, just a few miles from the home where Bob Marley grew up in Nine Mile, he spent most of his childhood farming alongside his father and four siblings. As a young child, he played music on handmade instruments crafted together from bamboo and sardine tins. It was the move to Kingston in 1992 that jump-started his musical career.
Read the full bio here.
Mr. Bobby | Afro Fiesta featuring I-Taweh | Playing For Change | Live Outside
I-Taweh produced and composed his first solo album, Overload, which he released in 2011. He has since gone on to self produce two more albums, Judgement, which was released in February 2017, and his latest project, Reload, released in January 2020. Since then, he has also been featured in our Mark’s Park and Live Outside series.
Spanish Latin Grammy winner, songwriter/guitar bender Diego Garcia, aka TWANGUERO, is one of the most active artists in the Hispanic scene. He is internationally renowned for his unique Latino-Twang sound, that goes from Spanish guitar, American folk, flamenco and tango, and for his impeccable fingerpicking style.
Minor Rag - Spanish Rag Medley | Twanguero | Playing For Change | Live Outside
Diego has played and recorded with many popular artists such as Andrés Calamaro, Mercedes Sosa, Juan Perro, Diego El Cigala, Fito Paez, Bunbury, Wycleaf Jean, Juanes, Jaime Urrutia, Ely Guerra, Raphael, Camilo Sesto, Ana Torroja, José María Cano, Yerbabuena, Adriana Varela and Diego Torres, and has been an active participant in a number of television, original movie soundtracks and radio recordings for Spain, Argentina, United States and Mexico.
Watch his exclusive Live Outside “Jaguar”, a rhythmic song inspired by an Ayahuasca ceremony and evokes the impression of “big cats prancing in the jungle.”
In case you haven’t yet, we also recommend you to watch our member's exclusive Live Outside performance of the Bob Dylan classic “I Shall Be Released,” with powerhouse vocalist Clarence Bekker and the incredibly talented Roberto Luti, filmed on the streets of Barcelona, Spain.
Which other Pink Floyd songs would you like to hear covered by PFC?
Get in touch with us through social media!
Tik Tok: https://www.tiktok.com/@playing4change?_t=8XHNmPDZwX8&_r=1