Nick Mason’s favorite Pink Floyd song might surprise you: ‘It’s beautiful, and so different’

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Nick Mason, as the only one to have appeared on every single Pink Floyd album, has a broader perspective than most on the band. Perhaps that’s why his favorite Pink Floyd song isn’t one of the better-known radio favorites, like “Another Brick in the Wall,” “Money” or “Wish You Were Here.”

“I usually cite ‘Set The Controls for the Heart of the Sun’ as my favorite Pink Floyd song,” Mason tells the UK edition of GQ Magazine, referring to a deep-cut from Side One of 1968’s Saucerful of Secrets. “It’s fun to play, and has interesting dynamics.”

Nick Mason adds that his darkly mysterious contributions on the mallets on this Roger Waters original were inspired by an earlier jazz, rather than rock music, source.

“I know exactly where it came from in terms of the drum part, which was Chico Hamilton playing in a film called Jazz On A Summer’s Day,” Mason says. “He does a drum solo played with mallets. It’s beautiful, and so different to any other drum solo.”

Not that Nick Mason considered Pink Floyd a jazz-influenced band, just one interested in the use of musical space. “No, we weren’t,” he confirms. Late keyboardist “Rick [Wright] was, and I went through a period of being interested in jazz. But then I realized you need to have far too much technique, so I moved on. When I watch very technical drummers, I still find myself thinking, ‘I wish I could do that.’ And I probably could if I put my mind to it, and stopped messing around with cars.”

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