How Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour Discovered Kate Bush

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Kate Bush is the ultimate integral musician who gives us the roar of female rawness. Back in the day, it was not easy to break into mainstream music as a female artist. But with Kate, the bubble was broken and the gates were open for female empowerment. In the world of a male-dominated industry, she was the first female to achieve a number-one self-written hit with her song, ‘Wuthering Heights.’

Kate was an exceptional singer at an incredibly young age. She had talent which was bound to make her successful, and it was way ahead of her time. Bush is one artist who made a breakthrough with her literary-influenced songs. In the world of mainstream, she remained mostly independent and has always experimented with her sound and talent. Also, behind her discovery is an interesting story that involved everyone’s beloved David Gilmour.

David Gilmour in an interview for BBC Radio 6 Music with Matt Everitt explained, “A guy I know called Ricky Hopper was a friend of Kate’s brother, and he came to me one day and said, ‘I’ve got this tape of this 15-year-old girl singing, and I think she’s talented.’ He played it to me, and I agreed that I did think she was very talented.”

Back then, Gilmour was working on Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here but had to drop it for a while as he wanted to sign Bush. And with his guidance, she was able to reach heights she could only imagine. Kate was only 16 years old and it occurred to him that Bush possessed a unique sensibility and creative mind.

He also went on to say, “When we started her off, I put her together with an engineer and a producer and an arranger in a top studio, and I chose the songs. She had about 40 or 50 songs and I picked three. And I have a friend of mine who’s an arranger and producer and I gave him the songs and said ‘listen, get this all fixed up, take her in the studio and do these songs as masters, not as demos. I said, ‘I already got demos.”

David Gilmour Discovered Kate Bush

Gilmour was very determined to help her. He was also working on Floyd’s The Dark Side of The Moon. But still, he worked with Busy to get songs of hers to get mastered with a producer that Gilmour chose. He said, “So I just spent some time listening to the tapes and doing some demo tapes with her, picked out songs and sent her into a studio, made three masters, which I then took to EMI studios and said, ‘do you want this?’ And they said, yes, we’ll have it, please.'”

“I was kind of busy at the time doing other things, I didn’t really have the time to get deeply involved with it.”

Bush also had things to say about Gilmour and she did in 1985. She recalled, “I was not really aware of much contemporary rock music at that age, I had heard of them, but hadn’t actually heard their music. It wasn’t until later that I got to hear stuff like Dark Side of the Moon. And I just thought that was superb–I mean they really did do some pretty profound stuff.”

Gilmour was also impressed as at her age, she had so many songs in her canon. He knew she would make it big with a little bit of push so did many of the things he could. He recruited Andrew Powell and Beatles collaborator Geoff Emerick to help out on the sessions with Kate.

David said, “I think we had the [EMI] record-company people down at Abbey Road in No. 3, And I said to them ‘Do you want to hear something I’ve got?’ They said sure, so we found another room and I played them ‘The Man with a Child in his Eyes.’ And they said, ‘Yep, thank you — we’ll have it.’ [Laughs.] It’s absolutely beautiful, isn’t it? That’s her singing at the age of 16, and having written those extraordinary lyrics.”

This was extremely fruitful for Kate and everyone involved. And it wasn’t the end of Gilmour’s involvement with Kate too. Gilmour performed the backing vocals on ‘Pull Out the Pin’ and played the guitar on ‘Love and Anger’ and ‘Rocker’s Tail’. They had a great friendship and were one of the unique relationships to exist in the world of rock. Also, their live performance of ‘Running Up That Hill’ at Secret Policeman’s Third Ball was a special reflection on their friendship.
The way David helped Kate is a prime example of looking out for one another cause who knows Kate might not have made it this big without him.

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