The Pink Floyd Song the Band Stopped Playing Live out of Respect

Pink Floyd is technically still together. And in the years since their inception in 1965, they’ve performed a whole wealth of songs across 15 studio albums during their touring days. However, there’s one song that the band (whose only remaining OG members are Nick Mason and David Gilmour) will never play again.

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The song in question is “Echoes” from the 1971 Pink Floyd album Meddle. And the reason Mason and Gilmour don’t plan on performing the whopping 24-minute-long song again comes down to two things.

To start… it’s almost 24 minutes long. The instrumental passages on this track are notably complex. It was likely hard enough to record, let alone replicate on-stage in front of a live audience without hiccups.

That being said, the more important reason why Pink Floyd will never perform “Echoes” again comes down to respect for the band’s late keyboardist and “Echoes” songwriter Richard Wright.

“Yes, it would be lovely to play ‘Echoes’ here,” Gilmour once told Rolling Stone ahead of a solo performance at the legendary Amphitheatre of Pompeii back in 2016. “But I wouldn’t do that without Rick [Wright]. There’s something that’s specifically so individual about the way that Rick and I play in that, that you can’t get someone to learn it and do it just like that. That’s not what music’s about.”

Wright passed away in 2008 from lung cancer at the age of 65.

There’s No Song Quite Like “Echoes”

“Echoes” was written by Gilmour and Wright, and Roger Waters worked on the lyrics. The song clocks in at 23 minutes and 30 seconds, and tackles themes like communication, empathy, and human connection.

[Get Tickets To See Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour Live In Concert]

The song used to be a staple in Pink Floyd’s set lists from 1971 to 1975. One notable performance of the song took place in 1972 at the Amphitheatre of Pompeii. It’s where Gilmour performed at shortly after telling Rolling Stone that “Echoes” had been put to bed. The former performance by Pink Floyd was recorded live for the film Live At Pompeii.

It’s sad that fans won’t get to hear the song live again. But it’s more than understandable why Gilmour wants to keep it on the shelf indefinitely.

Photo by MJ Kim

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