Pink Floyd moon landing space jam, 1969: "Moonhead"

[Video Link]

A few weeks ago, I blogged about my new obsession with early to mid-era Pink Floyd oddities. Following the death of astronaut Neil Armstrong this weekend, the NYT Lede blog points to a special rarity: a moon landing jam session the band recorded at a BBC TV studio during the descent of Apollo 11, the first time human beings ever set foot on another world. David Gilmour in the Guardian:

It was a live broadcast, and there was a panel of scientists on one side of the studio, with us on the other. I was 23. The programming was a little looser in those days, and if a producer of a late-night programme felt like it, they would do something a bit off the wall. Funnily enough I’ve never really heard it since, but it is on YouTube. They were broadcasting the moon landing and they thought that to provide a bit of a break they would show us jamming. It was only about five minutes long. The song was called Moonhead — it’s a nice, atmospheric, spacey 12-bar blues.

More at the Lede. From the video upload description by "Psych Prog Folk Blues Garage":

A instrumental piece used for a tv-programme on the evening of the first moonlanding July 20, 1969. The programme was a used by the BBC in between the coverage of the actual moonlanding -and was called 'But what if it's made of green cheese'. The theme was the first verse and the coda, with various actors reading quotes and poetry about the moon over. The rest of the programme was information, discussions and sketches. Later in the show, Moonhead was performed uninterrupted. The music can be heard on the bootlegs 'With/Without' and 'Wavelenghts'. The song has also been known as 'Trip On Mars'.

Two thoughts: First, I really want a copy of those bootlegs. Second, holy crap, what if NASA events were accompanied by this kind of free-form live art happening today? How awesome would that be?

* The footage in this fan-made video appears to be from the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, not from Apollo 11.



  1. The live jam would be cool but unless it’s someone like Scuba, Autechre or Radiohead it would probably suck and be Maroon 5 or Nikki Minaj.

    Unless it’s Tom Jones then it’s fucking rad.

  2. So Xeni, if you are hankering for your fix of  “early to mid-era Pink Floyd oddities” then I recommend the soundtrack to Adrian Maben’s short documentary on Rene Magritte which features tons of odd sounds Roger Waters would later use in major works by Pink Floyd. It sounds as if he is just mucking about, learning how to use his VC3 synth. It is wonderful!

      1. I also recommend this concert:
        Live October 17th, 1971 Sand Diego California.

        Out of the hundreds of concerts of Floyd that I have this one, for sure, hands down is the best. Sound is really good too as someone just found the original reel to reel of the show, if you can’t find it, give me a holler.

  3. In the same vein, Hot Tuna did a live radio performance during the splashdown of an Apollo/Soyuz mission in the 1970s, which was released on vinyl in 1984. One song is cut with Mission Control communications from the event.

    No YouTube love that I can find, unfortunately. The record was released on clear vinyl; my copy got lost along the way. I wonder if there are any other cannabis-soaked space mission recordings out there? The tiniest of sub-genres, perhaps.

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