From what little I know of recording studios, things like acoustics and sound-proofing are primary considerations for obvious reasons. These requirements can present challenges for just about any studio, but just imagine the challenge of making something like that work on a houseboat.
Pink Floyd legend David Gilmour discovered quite by accident that recording while floating on the Thames river was an idea that might sound a bit out of the ordinary, but certainly works well for him.
The houseboat, a 100-year-old classic called the Astoria was a discovery Gilmour made while being driven by the Thames one day after having lost his license for drinking and driving. Apparently something he acknowledges as one of the events in his life that he’s not particularly proud of, referring to it as “being silly.”
While gazing out the window of the car, Gilmour noticed something in the river which prompted him to have the driver stop for a closer look. When he spied the Astoria, it obviously made an impression on him, and set in motion a series of events that led to his purchase of the boat a short time later when he saw an advertisement offering the vessel for sale while perusing magazines in a dentist’s office.
Gilmour has certainly made good use of his purchase by building a recording studio on the boat and recording some well-known Pink Floyd albums onboard, including The Division Bell and A Momentary Lapse of Reason, as well as his solo album, On An Island, which seems a fitting name considering the location where it was recorded.
For the full story, you can visit New Zealand’s 3News, which also offers video of an interview with Gilmour on the subject of the Astoria as well as some concert footage from the last show of his 2006 On An Island tour in Gdansk, Poland. The live DVD and CD sets from that performance were released yesterday.