David Gilmour changed the face of psychedelic music with Pink Floyd. He joined the band in 1968 and has played a great role in the development of their sound. He has fused elements of experimental, blues, rock, and psychedelic music. He was the important part, Pink Floyd was missing as Syd Barrett was sinking with his mental demons.
For such a talented figure, there was a music artist, who meant everything to him. Also, he really admired a particular song of the artist. The story goes back to the 90s when social networks were not that much of a great way to connect with anyone. During the same time, there was a single that David Gilmour loved very dearly and said was his favorite.
It was by Leonard Cohen and the song was ‘Closing Time‘. He revealed the details when he was a part of the MSN webcast in 2000. He was answering many questions and one of the questions was which was his favorite single from the 90s.
He answered, ‘Closing Time’. Two years later there was another Q&A session but with Dotmusic this time and he said, “That was a great album by Leonard Cohen. I really liked the whole album and that song. I spent a lot of time trying to analyze what the lyrics meant.” The song was on Leonard’s 1992 album ‘The Future’ and the main inspiration for the lyrics was the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Los Angeles riots of 1992.
Leonard was a big person for Gilmour. Gilmour has played a lot of Cohen’s songs and has said he has learned a lot of things from playing his songs. While speaking with Rolling Stone in 2021, he said he only realized that he was a great guitar player after playing his songs. He added, “You tend to think of singer-songwriters as people who are just using the guitar accompaniment to carry the words that they’re doing, but Leonard was an absolutely brilliantly accomplished guitar player in fingerstyle things that I just cannot do. And of course, he’s about the best lyricist that I know of.”
There is also Leonard Cohen’s song, Gilmour couldn’t live without. This was when David was invited onto the BBC interview series Desert Island Discs, where he was asked to reveal eight-track that he couldn’t live without. He named ‘Anthem‘ by Leonard Cohen and it was his fifth track. He revealed that he is one of his ‘favorite artists’. Also how the song came together was explained by Rebecca De Mornay, whom Cohen was dating at the time. She said,
“Leonard was at my house, and I had a synthesizer, He was off in a room, playing a song that I’d heard him play over and over for a couple of years, that he just wasn’t sure what to do with. I went in and said, ‘That’s it! Exactly like that!’ I think he’d moved the lyrics around, because they’d never had that effect on me before. I said, ‘It’s universal, I’m telling you, like ‘Silent Night’, or ‘Auld Lang Syne’, so why don’t we bring in a gospel choir?’ And he turned and looked at me very strangely. And he said, ‘I want you to produce this song.”