Nick Mason has been the only constant through Pink Floyd’s many incarnations since the mid-1960s, drumming behind frontmen from Syd Barrett to Roger Waters to David Gilmour. And yet, even Mason sometimes ponders what might have been, had he not chosen the rock and roll life — had he decided to stay in school.
“I’d have been an architect, I think,” Mason said, during a recent audience Q&A. “That’s what I was training for.”
Mason was a student at the former Regent Street Polytechnic when he met Waters, Rick Wright and Bob Klose, forming a Pink Floyd precursor band called Sigma 6. The rest, to paraphrase what they always say, might have been history — but he did, in fact, return. Mason received an honorary doctor of letters from the University of Westminster, the institution that started out of Mason’s old polytechnic college, during a presentation at the school of architecture in 2012.
“It’s a great training for rock and roll,” Mason says of architecture, illustrating his lingering passion for the subject. “It’s a great training for almost everything. It’s such a great mix of fine art, and technology.”
Besides playing drums on every Pink Floyd album to date, Mason also co-wrote “One of These Days,” “Echoes,” “Speak to Me,” and “Time,” among others.