The world stood still on July 20, 1969, when Apollo 11 landed on the moon.
The first manned mission to do so was led by astronaut Neil Armstrong, who passed away on Saturday at the age of 82 following complications from heart surgery a few weeks ago.
The 1969 event was televised to an estimated global viewing audience of 600 million, a sixth of the world's population at the time.
In the UK, all three TV channels - BBC1, BBC2 and ITV - ran coverage on and off over the mission’s 8-day period.
Pink Floyd were a part of the BBC broadcast, as guitarist David Gilmour wrote in The Guardian in 2009.
“We [Pink Floyd] were in a BBC TV studio jamming to the landing. It was a live broadcast, and there was a panel of scientists on one side of the studio, with us on the other. I was 23,” wrote Gilmour.
“The programming was a little looser in those days, and if a producer of a late-night programme felt like it, they would do something a bit off the wall,” he explained. “Funnily enough I've never really heard it since, but it is on YouTube. They were broadcasting the moon landing and they thought that to provide a bit of a break they would show us jamming. It was only about five minutes long. The song was called ‘Moonhead’ - it's a nice, atmospheric, spacey, 12-bar blues.”
“It was fantastic to be thinking that we were in there making up a piece of music, while the astronauts were standing on the moon. It doesn't seem conceivable that that would happen on the BBC nowadays,” added Gilmour. “It didn't have a significant impact on our later work. I think at the time Roger [Waters], our lyricist, was looking more into going inwards, going into the inner space of the human mind and condition. And I think that was sort of the end of our exploration into outer space.”
“We didn't make any songs out of the jam session. We did, on occasions, do music live that would be a jam session of some sort; that would have some structure which we would organize ourselves. And I've heard documentaries where I recognize my music. It's very odd to be watching a documentary and to hear something that you know is yourself, but you have no recognition of when you did it or how,” concluded the guitarist. “I've never forgotten ‘Moonhead,’ though. After all, it's not hard to remember exactly where I was.”
“Moonhead” has appeared on various Pink Floyd bootlegs but remains unreleased.
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