Guitarist Tom Quinn says he was inspired to form a Pink Floyd tribute band after seeing the real Floyd (or at least Dave Gilmour’s version of it) at Jack Murphy Stadium in April of 1994. “Pink Froyd played its first show in 1995,” he says of his group’s earliest incarnation, which won San Diego Music Awards in 1999 and 2000.
The project grew from merely ambitious to epically elaborate, thanks to an infusion of production capital. “In February 2003, Annerin Productions, based in Calgary, Alberta, flew down to see us at Winstons in Ocean Beach, in the middle of a torrential downpour,” says Quinn. “They auditioned us that night to be the featured band in a world-class theatrical production they had in mind at the time. We signed on shortly thereafter and had our world premiere up in Calgary on October 15, 2003, and since then we’ve been touring North America every year.”
The Pink Floyd Experience stage show includes $2.5 million worth of production equipment, mirror balls, a circular movie screen, animated projections (marching hammers, tortuous teachers, fornicating flowers, etc.), and even a 12-foot-long inflatable pig, with everything scaled down from, though directly based on, Pink Floyd’s stage setups.
“We’re usually on the road, though we occasionally play in San Diego,” says Quinn, who graduated SDSU in 1988 with degrees in Finance and Electrical Engineering (“Never worked a day in either field”). They’ll give locals a sneak peek of their 2013 show at Winstons on January 19. “It will feature the actual PFX touring troupe and all the band members,” reveals Quinn, “as well as the actual program planned for the North American tour.”
WHAT’S IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?
- Traffic, John Barleycorn Must Die. “My favorite Steve Winwood album, start to finish. Sounds as great and compelling today as it did the day it came out.”
- Supertramp, Crisis? What Crisis? “The most truly underrated and criminally underappreciated album in their catalog.”
- Switchfoot, Hello Hurricane. “Probably my favorite band to come out of the past ten years.”
- Genesis, Seconds Out. “My favorite desert-island concert disc of all-time.”
- Spock’s Beard, The Kindness of Strangers. “This band is what you get when you throw the Beatles, Yes, Gentle Giant, and Genesis into a blender. Amazingly creative prog-pop that has stood the test of time.”
ANY UNUSUAL SONGS ON YOUR PLAYLIST?
“‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow,’ sung by Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz, takes me to a wonderful place. Beautiful to my ears, but certainly uncool.”
MOST DIFFICULT PINK FLOYD SONG?
“‘Dogs,’ from the Animals album. My favorite to play, but the most challenging to get it right over the entire 17 and a half minutes with the proper attitude and inflections.”
FAVORITE FLOYDIAN TRIVIA?
“That’s Steve Marriott’s dog howling on the recording of ‘Seamus,’ the last song on side one of the Meddle LP. David Gilmour was dog-sitting Steve’s pooch while Steve was on tour with Humble Pie, so he just brought him into the studio.”
FAVORITE NON-FLOYD CONCERT?
“August 15, 1976, at Hawthorne Racetrack in Chicago. In order of appearance, I saw the Raspberries, Gary Wright, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Peter Frampton, and then Yes. A full day of mostly great artists for that time, who summed up all that was great about the 1970s. All for $7.50 general admission.”
FIRST TIME DRUNK?
“I was 16 years old and didn’t get invited to the annual Sadie Hawkins dance, where the girls ask the guys out, so I went to John Glesne’s house. He was a popular guy on the high school football team. I drank a lot of beer, passed out, then woke up in a closet the next morning, curled up next to a vacuum cleaner.”
IF YOU COULD TIME TRAVEL?
“I’d go to 1969, two years after the Summer of Love, just to see Jimi Hendrix blowing everyone’s minds for an entire year, including my own. So much great music that I cherish from that time.”
BEST TRIBUTE-BAND NAME?
“Petty Theft, a Tom Petty tribute from Reno.”
“My 1974 Guild FG 412 BLD 12-string guitar. I was in financial straits and needed to sell it back in the mid-1980s. The best-playing and best-sounding acoustic 12-string ever.”
EVER BEEN FIRED?
“Yes, from Addax Construction, a non-union asphalt company out of El Cajon. One Friday back in summer 1984, they handed me a check and said, ‘Goodbye, college boy, you don’t belong here.’ I couldn’t argue with them.”
WORST LIE YOU EVER TOLD?
“I’m gonna be an electrical engineer someday.” ■