Speculation has been growing over the summer that Pink Floyd, one of the bestselling bands in rock history, is set to sell its lucrative music catalog for more than $600 million.
It would be a record-setting amount for any music artist, topping the estimated $500 million Bruce Springsteen received in December and the reported $300 million Bob Dylan received in late 2020 for the sale of ownership of their songs and music publishing rights.
Major outlets have reported that Pink Floyd will be the next act to rake in a fortune by selling its music — with payday estimates ranging between $600 million and $750 million.
The long-defunct band’s catalog, which includes such landmark albums as “Dark Side of the Moon” and “The Wall,” has kept Pink Floyd popular decades after the band’s final tour in 1994. The group’s worldwide album sales top 250 million.
The three surviving former members of the pioneering English band — guitarist-singer David Gilmour, drummer Nick Mason and bassist-singer Roger Waters — have remained comfortably mum about the possibility of a sale.
Asked in a Sept. 14 interview if Pink Floyd was set to sell the rights to its music, Mason told the San Diego Union-Tribune: “It’s been talked about, but I don’t think it will happen.”
“I’m not sure we really want to do that,” said the drummer. “Even though we all argue amongst ourselves, to relinquish control — at any level — is dubious.
“And from a practical point of view, I’m not sure it makes good business sense.”
Practical points of view have been difficult to come by in Pink Floyd, especially given the long fractious relationship between Waters and the band’s other members.
The genial Mason has for years wisely avoided becoming involved in the contentious interactions between Waters and Gilmour.
The most recent instance of Waters and Gilmour bumping heads resulted in a four-year release delay of the remixed version of Pink Floyd’s 1977 album, “Animals.” Originally scheduled to come out in 2018, it was only released last week.
“I think (that was) because of musical differences between Roger and David. They argued about the (album) sleeve notes for two years,” said Mason.
Asked if serving as a neutral peacemaker between Waters and Gilmour made him feel like he was fulfilling the role of the United Nations, Mason laughed.
“No,” he replied. “I feel like (former British Prime Minster and Nazi appeaser) Neville Chamberlain in 1939, (declaring) ‘Peace in our time’ and waving a white flag!”