Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason Has Some Inspiring Drumming Heroes

Some way-out talents...

Nick Mason is perhaps the most underrated aspect of Pink Floyd. During the band’s opening psychedelic phase, he was the time-keeper tasked with making sense of noise enveloping him, developing a new style and approach in the process. As the band evolved, his near-operatic sense of nuance allowed him to propel them to stadium heights, remaining an ever-present in their line-up.

An influential drummer in his own right, Nick Mason has revealed a few of his heroes along the way. Curiously, for someone with an under-stated, non-flashy approach, the genial drummer names wild-child Ginger Baker as a key influence, particularly for his work in Cream.

In his 2004 autobiography, Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd, Nick Mason revealed the transformative effect impact catching an early show by the power trio had on him: “I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for Ginger Baker.”

“When the curtain opened at the Regent Street Polytechnic in 1966 and there were Ginger, Eric and Jack — I thought, that’s what I’d like to be, and that was it.”

There’s another free-wheeling talent who lit up Nick Mason’s imagination – Mitch Mitchell. Best known for his role in the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the drummer blended jazz virtuosity with a thirst for rock at its most malleable.

When speaking to Music Radar in 2010, Mason revealed his favourite drummers, saying of Mitch Mitchell: “there’s no else like him”.

“In terms of style and rock drummers I like, it was Mitch Mitchell. Whether it’s behind the beat or not, it’s so lazy, but it worked perfectly under Jimi and that slightly jazzy thing. There’s no one else like him.”

Still performing with Nick Mason’s Saucerful Of Secrets, the prog hero remains a drumming legend. CLASH spoke to him about the longevity of his career, and he commented: “

I’m quite fond of saying that if you haven’t grown out of showing off by the time you’re 70 you’re probably never going to grow out of it. Most people are in rock ‘n’ roll because they’re performers, or they love performing. If you really want to make money you’re better off becoming a hedge fund manager.”

Related: Rock & Rules – Nick Mason Interviewed

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