Pink Floyd - A Momentary Lapse of Reason (Album Cover) © Pink Floyd, EMI, 1987.
20.01.13: making of cover
Storm Thorgerson came up with a brilliant concept for Pink Floyd's 1987 opus A Momentary Lapse of Reason. The idea emerged, as do many cover concepts, after listening to the lyrics. He heard the line '...the vision of an empty bed' from a song on the album called 'Yet Another Movie'. It prompted a striking vision of a long line of beds stretching away into infinity like a river, a river of beds, or a riverbed, even. A sea of beds by the bed of the sea.
And just like other Pink Floyd covers such as Animals and Wish You Were Here, the shot was set up for real. No photoshop.
The photoshoot took place on Saunton Sands in Devon on 15 June 1987. Over a period of six hours and using four tractors, flatbed trailers, and thirty willing helpers, seven hundred cast-iron beds (or eight hundred depending on which of StormStorm and photographer Bob Dowling started taing photographs, but the weather turned inclement and soon a light drizzle was falling. The beds in the far distance disappeared from view and the shoot was called off. Two weeks later the whole procedure was carried out again, with the seven/eight hundred beds reassembled and made up. The microlite plane flew overhead and the dogs gathered on the shoreline, the two models took their place and the scene was captured.
So what's it all about? They were all hospital beds, so are they sick beds for the three remaining members of Pink Floyd so they can recover from the departure of Roger Waters? Or did they signify illness or madness? Then again, David Gilmour had talked of a 'vision of an empty bed in an empty room with an empty picture frame on a bedside table.' Or is it all just a weird dream?
Image © Pink Floyd/EMI.
Text © Richard Evans/Chartwell Books.
All Rights Reserved.