‘It’s complete nonsense’: Nick Mason on the secret message in Pink Floyd’s ‘Empty Spaces’

Careful listeners have long noticed a bit of gibberish, just before the lyrics begin, on Pink Floyd’s “Empty Spaces” from The Wall — later revealed to be a backwards-masked message for all of those over-enthusiastic fans intent on finding such things.

Nick Mason reveals the utterly rudimentary reasoning behind this in-studio goof: “At the time, people were always looking for messages in albums,” he tells Sonic Reality. “So we thought: ‘Oh, well. We better do one.’”

And anyone looking for a deeper theme is on a fool’s errand, the long-time Pink Floyd drummer says. “It’s complete nonsense.”

“Empty Spaces” wasn’t actually the first Floyd song to include a backmasked message — that would be Syd Barrett’s “Bike,” from the band’s 1967 debut Piper at the Gates of Dawn — but it’s easily the funniest. Pink Floyd’s message, heard at roughly 1:13 minutes in: “Congratulations. You have just discovered the secret message.”

Something Else!

The Something Else! webzine, an accredited Google News affiliate, has been featured in The New York Times and NPR.com's A Blog Supreme, while our writers have also been published by USA Today, Jazz.com and UltimateClassicRock.com, among others. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.