What do you know about Nick Mason, the drummer for Pink Floyd? Even if you’re a fan of the band’s music, you may not know much more about him other than the fact that he can really play a set of drums. If you want to know more about the man behind the music, consider reading through the 10 things that are listed below. Some of them might surprise you.
1. He’s been playing since 1964
He’s been actively playing in front of an audience since the early 1960s, when he first started playing in a band that he started while still in college. Later on that same year, he went on to found Pink Floyd and the rest, as they say, is music history.
2. He’s the only member of Pink Floyd to be on every album
It’s not necessarily uncommon for members of a large band like Pink Floyd to come and go. In fact, it’s far more uncommon to have a band where the same members continue to play together throughout a number of decades. In the case of Pink Floyd, Nick Mason is the only individual to play on every album that has ever been released. Other band members have come and gone, some have passed away and some have been replaced. Still others have left for a time, only to return years later. However, it is Nick Mason that has been there through it all.
3. Being a musician wasn’t his first career choice
While many people dream about the possibilities of being a professional musician, this was not actually his first choice. In fact, when he went to college he was studying to become an architect. During his time there, he decided to form a band in order to play gigs and make some extra money. As it turns out, he really enjoyed playing. Moreover, he was so good that he became one of the more sought-after percussion players of his time. It didn’t take long for Pink Floyd to take off. From that point on, his goals of becoming an architect took a back seat.
4. He loves 1940s era big band music
Many people have asked Mason how he was influenced as a drummer. He has repeatedly stated that the big band music from the 1940s served as one of his first loves (in music, that is). It’s something that he has taken and then reimagined in order to make it his own. If you listen closely, you can hear some of that big band influence in much of the music that he plays. Of course, it’s all done with a bit of the traditional Nick Mason personality.
5. He’s also a big fan of jazz
Perhaps the only other genre of music that rivals his love for the big band era is jazz. According to him, there is just something about the sound of jazz music that is both soulful and relaxing, telling a story through music that may or may not involve lyrics. He was always impressed with how even the drums could tell their own story and that has stuck with him throughout his lifetime. Just like the big band music, you can definitely hear a bit of jazz in many of the pieces he performs.
6. He really loves fast cars
Of course, music isn’t the only thing that Mason is interested in. He also has a genuine love for fast cars. As such, he collects a number of these types of cars himself. At any one given time, you might find at least five or six classic sports cars in his collection. He does change the collection fairly regularly, so the exact number and types of cars involved also change from time to time. It’s worth noting that he even includes one or two race cars, depending on the moment. If the car in question is fast and it looks good, it might eventually end up in his collection.
7. He’s even competed in a few races
He was active in the 24 Hours of LeMans from 1979 to 1980, and again from 1982 until 1984. He wasn’t immensely successful in his endeavors, with his best finish being 18th. That occurred in 1979. Despite that fact, he often comments that he thoroughly enjoyed the experience and welcomed every opportunity to give it another go.
8. He loves football
He loves football so much that he has gotten involved with the two football clubs in the past. Like many individuals who are born and raised in the London area, he has a great deal of love for the sport. As such, he can routinely be found cheering on his favorite team, especially when he isn’t otherwise engaged with his other hobbies or his musical endeavors.
9. He’s a licensed pilot
Perhaps the thing that surprises people the most is that he’s a licensed pilot. In fact, he owns his own aircraft and can routinely be seen at the local airport as he gets ready to go flying. He’s been flying for a number of years and says that other than competing in a race, it’s one of the most exciting and challenging things that he has ever done. He also says that that is precisely what he loves so much about it.
10. He’s received special honors for his music
He has received special honors for his music, eventually being named Commander of the British Empire (CBE), for his contributions to music. This is an honor that he truly cherishes, one that he says brings home everything that he loves about his English roots while also being honored for his achievements in music, something that he holds very close to his heart. He received these honors in May of 2019 from the Duke of Cambridge himself, Prince William. In addition, the university that he had originally attended for architecture, the University of Westminster (previously Regent Street Polytechnic), recognized him by giving him an honorary Doctor of Letters in November of 2012.