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Pink Floyd’s BBC ‘moon-landing jam session’ of 1969: ‘So What If It’s Just Green Cheese?’
11.17.2016
10:31 am

Topics:
History
Music
Television

Tags:
Pink Floyd
Apollo 11


One of the posters that came with copies of ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ LP

The landing of Apollo 11 on the moon easily qualifies as one of the truly epochal moments of the twentieth century. The three American astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin, spent about 21 hours on the moon, during which time countless thousands of people surely looked up and thought, “Wow, there are human beings up there.” In fact, we know for sure that David Gilmour of Pink Floyd was one of those people, as we shall see.

With some assistance from its colleagues in the Netherlands and Germany, the BBC mounted programming to celebrate the great event. One of the shows featured a live jam by Pink Floyd. The program was a one-hour BBC1 TV Omnibus special with the whimsical title of So What If It’s Just Green Cheese?. It was broadcast on July 20, 1969, at 10 p.m. Interestingly, the program featured two actors who would become much more famous about three decades later—Ian McKellan and Judi Dench. Dudley Moore and the Dudley Moore Trio were also on hand.

The Floyd jam session eventually came to be called “Moonhead.” It’s included in Pink Floyd’s massive new box set The Early Years 1965-1972, which was released just last week (its 2,840 minutes makes its $571 price tag seem almost affordable. Almost.).
 

Bootleg cover

David Gilmour reminisced about the appearance in an article he wrote for the Guardian in 2009:

We were in a BBC TV studio jamming to the landing. 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. ... 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.

I also remember at the time being in my flat in London, gazing up at the moon, and thinking, “There are actually people standing up there right now.” It brought it home to me powerfully, that you could be looking up at the moon and there would be people standing on it.

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘IN EVENT OF MOON DISASTER’: The speech Nixon would have given if lunar landing had failed
07.21.2014
10:53 am

Topics:
History

Tags:
NASA
Richard Nixon
Apollo 11


 
Prior to the July 20, 1969 Apollo 11 lunar landing, one of President Richard Nixon’s speechwriters, William Safire, who later became a long-standing political columnist, wrote a speech for Nixon to give in case the mission failed and the astronauts were stranded on the Moon. “In Event of Moon Disaster” was originally sent as a memo, dated July 18, 1969, to Nixon’s chief of staff H.R. Haldeman and is yet another argument against the moon landing being a hoax:

IN EVENT OF MOON DISASTER:

Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.

These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.

These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.

They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by the nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.

In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.

In ancient days, men looked at the stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.

Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.

For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.


PRIOR TO THE PRESIDENT’S STATEMENT:

The President should telephone each of the widows-to-be.


AFTER THE PRESIDENT’S STATEMENT, AT THE POINT WHEN NASA ENDS COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE MEN:

A clergyman should adopt the same procedure as a burial at sea, commending their souls to “the deepest of the deep,” concluding with the Lord’s Prayer.

 
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NASA’s 45th anniversary of moon landing original resource reel:

Posted by Kimberly J. Bright | Leave a comment
Neil Armstrong: The first Man on the Moon has died

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It was the summer holidays and we were visiting my grandparents. It was warm and giddy, and there was a rippling excitement at the thought of a man landing on the Moon.

No one actually doubted it, but then, no one was really sure it would happen. All we knew was that somewhere above our heads a rocket was hurtling its crew towards their fateful destination.

It was to be shown live on TV. The time difference meant it that the landing was set for the wee small hours of our morning. That night we bought cones from the ice cream man, who still claimed the Moon was made of cheese and the mice would see these astronauts off. He meant well, but I was 7, and didn’t believe him.

Later, sleepily awake, we sat huddled on the sofa, a flickering black and white picture, that suddenly burst with the pock-marked surface of the Moon. It was unbelievable. It was fantastic. And as the Lunar Module Eagle landed, I wondered how this would change our lives? For it seemed to me then that we had gone in search of dreams and had only discovered a rock.

But I was wrong. This was only the beginning. 

As the first man on the Moon, Neil Armstrong was a hero. More, his actions had a greater significance: they cut away the hold of superstition and ignorance from controlling our destiny.

The Moon landing changed this, and we were at last able to begin our examination of the Universe.

R.I.P. Neil Alden Armstrong 1930-2012
 

 
Via Spacecraft Films
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment