20 Things You Might Not Know About Birthday Boy David Gilmour

posted by Dave Basner -

On March 6th, 1946, David Gilmour was born. To celebrate the Pink Floyd rocker’s birthday, here are 20 things you might not know about him:

1. David's father, Douglas, was a lecturer in zoology at Cambridge, while his mother, Sylvia, was trained as a teacher but later became a film editor for the BBC. They encouraged David to pursue music.

2. David bought his first single in 1954. It was Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock." 

3. Gilmour started playing guitar in the 50s. He borrowed one from a neighbor but never gave it back. He used the instrument to teach himself to play with the help of a book and Pete Seeger records. 

4. As an 11-year-old, David went to the Perse School. While he didn't like the school, it was there where he met his future bandmates, Syd Barrett and Roger Waters, who were at a neighboring high school.

5. As a teen, David learned fluent French. 

6. David joined his first band in 1962. It was a blues-rock group called Jokers Wild. They recorded a one-sided album but only 50 copies of it were made. 

7. The mid-60s were rough for Gilmour. He spent them busking in Spain and France with Syd, playing Beatles songs. They didn't do well, didn't have money to pay for food and were even arrested at one point. It got so bad that David had to spend time in a hospital for malnutrition. 

8. David spent time in Paris working odd jobs, including being the driver and assistant for fashion designer Ossie Clark

9. Gilmour also spent time in France with two of his former Joker's Wild bandmates. They played under the name Flowers, then Bullitt, but couldn't book gigs because club owners weren't impressed with their covers. Then thieves stole their equipment. As the band went back to England, they ran out of gas and had to push their tour bus from the ferry. 

10. David worked as a session musician for the soundtrack to the Brigitte Bardot film Two Weeks in September. He also lent his vocals to two songs on the record. 

11. In late 1967, drummer Nick Mason invited Gilmour to join Pink Floyd to help counter some of Syd's eccentricities. By 1978, David felt the band wasn't using his musical abilities to their full potential so he made his self-titled solo album. 

12. When David did his second solo album, 1984's About Face, things were very tense with Roger Waters. He later admitted that he used the album to distance himself from Pink Floyd. 

13. David has also spent time as a producer, sideman and concert sound engineer, working with the likes of Paul McCartney, Elton John, The Who, B.B. King, Bob Dylan, Peter Cetera and many others. 

14. David can be heard on Bryan Ferry's sixth album, 1985's Boys and Girls. He was part of Ferry's backing band at the time. 

15. Gilmour has helped various charities, including donating millions in aid to the homeless. He's also lent support to Oxfam, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, PETA and many other groups. 

16. David has been married twice, first to model Virginia "Ginger" Hasenbein, and then to journalist Polly Samson, who remains his wife. His best man was his childhood friend, Strom Thorgerson, who is known for doing Pink Floyd's album artwork.

17. David has eight kids ranging in age from 15 to 41. 

18. Actress Naomi Watts is David's goddaughter. Her dad was a roadie for Pink Floyd in the '70s. 

19. David is an experienced pilot. He used to own a collection of historical aircraft but sold them off, except for an old biplane he flies. 

20. David's net worth is an estimated 122 million dollars. 

Happy birthday David! Hope it's a fun one!

Photo Credit: Getty