It is exactly 44 years since Pink Floyd released their Dark Side of the Moon album in the US, on 10th March, 1973 and to honour this momentous occasion we’ve decided to make this month Pink Floyd Month here on the Worn Free blog. We’re going to be taking a closer look at some poignant moments in the band’s history and telling the stories behind some of the Pink Floyd t-shirts in our range, starting with this Pink Floyd David Gilmour Cosmos Tee.
An immediate commercial and critical success, DSOTM was the band’s eighth studio album, recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London. Following it’s release, the album remained on the Billboard chart for 741 weeks from 1973 to 1988, with an estimated 45 million copies sold, making it one of the best selling albums of all time.
Fast forward three years. It is June 15th 1977 and Dave Gilmour is performing hits from the Floyd’s latest album release, ‘Animals’ as part of the second leg of the band’s ‘Pink Floyd - In the Flesh’ tour at Milwaukee County Stadium in Wisconsin. On this balmy summers evening he decided to don this rather fetching Cosmos t-shirt. But who are the Cosmos and why was Dave wearing the tee?
The New York Cosmos (known simply as the Cosmos in 77-78) were a professional team in the North American Soccer League (NASL). The Cosmos were undoubtedly the strongest team in the league with some incredibly famous international stars giving them the competitive edge - including Brazilian forward Pelé and Italian striker Giorgio Chinaglia. Pelé and the other international signings really drew the crowds and gave the Cosmos their reputation as the most glamorous team in world football at that time. Their success contributed to the development of soccer across the US. Unfortunately when Pele decided to retire the team went downhill – and so did the league - which folded in 1985. Happily though, the New York Cosmos have recently reformed and since 2013 have been playing in the newly founded second-tier NASL.
So, why was Dave wearing this shirt and not one supporting an English team? Well, apart from the decidedly funky design, Dave explains that he has fickle tastes when it comes to ‘the beautiful game’ and just follows whoever is up in the league, as Cosmos clearly were at the time:
“I did have season tickets at the [English team] Arsenal for quite a few years. That was around the time they won the double. I'm sort of a really fickle football fan. I watch any team that's doing well and become unfaithful when they're not. But I do have a soft spot for Arsenal.”
So it transpires that the Cosmos shirt was an ideal - and topical – choice of attire for that sultry summers eve. Dave was looking and feeling cool. According to onlookers he even remained unruffled when one of the band’s trademark giant inflatable pigs exploded and caused a small fire onstage.
You can hear the pig explode (and the crowd screaming!) on this fuzzy YouTube bootleg sound recording of the concert at 50:30. Then, like Spinal Tap, the band keep on playing!. A few weeks later on the closing night of the tour in July, things weren’t so calm. The crowd refused to let the band leave the stage and became so rowdy that it prompted Roger Waters to examine the bands changing relationship with their audience. These initial musings inspired the ‘Wall’ project, which subsequently became the band’s next album.
Want to see more? There are some more pictures of Dave rocking the Cosmos t-shirt on the night in question on photographer Rich Zimmerman’s blog [link]. And if you feel inspired to support Gilmour’s ‘team du jour’ - the Pink Floyd Cosmos Tee is available in three colours in our online store.