Paul McCartney and David Gilmour’s Dispute Over Being The Headliner

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The Knebworth Festival of 1990, a legendary music gathering that featured some of the biggest names in rock and roll, took place in the UK. The festival, which took place in 1990 at Knebworth House in Hertfordshire and was on June 30, featured acts including Status Quo, Dire Straits, Pink Floyd, Paul McCartney, and many more.

Around 250,000 spectators per day attended the event to hear some of the greatest music of the time, which attracted a sizable crowd. One of the best festivals of its era, the event was hailed as a big success and had an electrifying atmosphere. However, that was not the only thing that happened there. There was also a disagreement between David Gilmour and Paul McCartney.

Music festivals can be fun and exciting for attendees, but unfortunately, in some cases, things can turn tragic if proper safety measures are not taken. While this was not the case at this festival, the dramatic feud between David and Paul was surprising.

It was Pink Floyd’s guitarist who broke his silence. In an episode of his The Lost Art of Conversation podcast, Gimour talked about his experiences of the concert. He revealed that back then he wanted Pink Floyd to close the festival and told his manager about it. And that’s when he revealed that Paul didn’t like that idea. Despite everything Pink Floyd went on to close the concert. Gilmour recalled the rain and gusts that accompanied the band’s performance and added that using electrical equipment was risky. As a result, he equipped the instrument with a radio mic. However, despite a suggestion from the legendary Beatles, the arguments between Gilmour and McCartney continued.

Aubrey Powell had also seen the verbal fight between Richard Ogden, Paul’s manager, and Gilmour’s manager Steve O’Rourke. The argument began when The Beatles Icon didn’t complete his performance, cutting Pink Floyd’s time on stage short. Powell overheard them yelling at each other, arguing that McCartney needed to leave the stage so the band could start performing.

Aubrey said, “I remember saying to Steve,‘Tell them we want an hour of darkness.’ That was our only prerequisite. It’s in the summer, so darkness happens quite late, so I think it meant that we closed the show, which some people were slightly grumpy about. But we got our hour of darkness and half an hour of rain! It was wet. Those huge winds, slashing rain coming straight on to us. I must have been using a radio mic on the guitar because it would have been too dangerous to be wet with all that electronic equipment.”

“There had been a great debate about who would finish the show. One of my better memories was the two managers of Paul McCartney and Pink Floyd arguing by the side of the stage at the closing moments of Paul McCartney’s set, which was running over, probably quite deliberately. Steve O’Rourke saying, ‘Get Paul McCartney off the stage right now!’ Richard Ogden, Paul McCartney’s manager, said, ‘Well, you go and drag him off then!’ They were nearly at blows with each other.”

Listen to Pink Floyd’s performance down below.

1 Comment

  1. Slightly misleading start to your article. The Robbins-Nordoff Silver Clef awards 1990 festival lasted only one day. I was there along with my family. Fantastic day, mega line-up. We came away after MacCartney finished his set. There was a long delay between the end of Macca’s set and the start of Pink Floyd. We saw the start of Floyd but left early and listened to the rest of the set on the car radio as we travelled home. Great day and possibly the greatest line-up ever to feature on British turf.

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