Nick Mason, the esteemed drummer of Pink Floyd, has left an indelible mark on the world of music with his rhythmic prowess. Despite his pivotal role in shaping the iconic sound of Pink Floyd, Mason has grappled with feelings of self-doubt throughout his career. In a recent interview, he reflected on his drumming style and revealed a song that he can no longer listen to: the Eagles’ timeless hit, “Hotel California.” In this article, we explore the reasons behind Mason’s aversion to the song and its significance in his musical journey.
A Drummer’s Journey
Like many drummers, Nick Mason has experienced moments of uncertainty and introspection about his own talent. In an interview, Mason candidly admitted to still grappling with feelings of insufficiency as a drummer. However, he acknowledged the importance of developing his own style and the unique contributions it brought to Pink Floyd’s music. Mason’s approach often emphasized the power of simplicity, showcasing how less can sometimes be more.
The Enduring Impact of “Comfortably Numb”
Among Pink Floyd’s vast catalog of hits, Mason highlighted “Comfortably Numb” as a song that he can’t get out of his head. He spoke about the challenge of recreating the sparse drum part in the opening verse while capturing the same weight and intensity. The absence of certain beats in the song adds to its allure and creates a pattern that doesn’t immediately follow through the entire piece. Mason’s continuous exploration of the song’s intricacies is a testament to his dedication as a drummer.
A Song That Reached Saturation Point
During the late 1970s, the Eagles’ chart-topping track, “Hotel California,” became ubiquitous on the airwaves. Mason reminisced about the time when the song’s popularity soared, coinciding with Pink Floyd’s tours in America.
“It’s a great song, let’s make that clear, I’ve actually recorded it for someone, this terrific tribute band called The Illegal Eagles. We recorded it for a friend’s party,” Mason remembered. “But it was so popular when [Pink Floyd] were touring America that every car we got into, every radio station was playing it on repeat more or less. Because we were in the car quite often for some hours, it was one of those things where you thought”
The constant exposure to “Hotel California” through car radios and radio stations left Mason feeling weary of the song. Despite acknowledging its greatness, he candidly admitted, “You thought the world was changing, and the Eagles were gonna run it.”
The Dark Underbelly of the American Dream
“Hotel California” struck a chord with audiences worldwide with its dark portrayal of the opulent Hollywood lifestyle and its exploration of excess. Don Henley, the songwriter, described it as a song about the dark underbelly of the American dream. The track’s enduring relevance is a testament to its powerful storytelling and captivating melodies. Although Mason has recorded the song for a tribute band, the memories of its overplayed ubiquity during his touring days have made it difficult for him to enjoy it personally.
Nick Mason’s journey as a drummer and his contributions to Pink Floyd’s music have solidified his place in rock and roll history. While he continues to grapple with self-doubt, his unique style and ability to capture intensity through simplicity have made him an icon in the world of drumming. The Eagles’ “Hotel California,” a song that achieved tremendous success during the late 1970s, holds a special place in Mason’s memory. The song’s constant presence during Pink Floyd’s tours created a sense of weariness, making it a track that he can no longer listen to with the same enthusiasm. Nonetheless, “Hotel California” remains an enduring testament to the dark allure of the American dream and continues to captivate audiences worldwide.