Pink Floyd retrospective exhibition features cane used to beat band members

A cane used to beat Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters when he was a schoolboy is among more than 350 items appearing at an exhibition documenting the band’s 50-year story.

Waters, 73, said he was eager to see the wooden cane, which was also used on late band mate Syd Barrett and Floyd collaborator Storm Thorgerson.

The punishment was used by the headmaster at Cambridge and County High School for Boys on his pupils and inspired the cane-wielding school teacher character from the band’s The Wall tour.

It comes with a book detailing the dates and reasons for the beatings, with Waters admitting he felt “inordinately proud” of his own entry for fighting.

The veteran musician was speaking alongside the band’s drummer Nick Mason at a preview of the upcoming Pink Floyd retrospective exhibition at the V&A in London.

He said: “I have to say it looks stunning, I look forward to going. There’s a lot of good stuff. I particularly want to see the cane which was used to beat me.”

Asked what the beatings were like, Waters said: “It was flimsy”, adding that the headmaster “didn’t really have his heart in capital punishment or corporate (sic) punishment”.

“There’s a log of punishment that they got … six strokes for fighting is my entry which I’m inordinately proud of.

“It’s so archaic now, the idea of hitting people with sticks to make them do things. It’s normally now confined to foreign policy … but that’s another subject.”

Mason revealed that Thorgeson, who died in 2013, had been the school’s most punished pupil, according to the log book.

He said: “When Storm died, one of his friends said the most brilliant thing about him. They described him as a man who wouldn’t take yes for an answer.”

The show’s entry point will be a giant replica of the Bedford van the band used as their touring vehicle in the 1960s, while instruments including David Gilmour’s famous Stratocaster guitar, nicknamed the black strat, will also be on show.

Every chapter of the band’s story is covered, including inspirations, collaborators and even a letter penned by Gilmour to his mother.

Mason said the note reads: “I’ve joined a band called Pink Floyd, don’t worry about it.”

The exhibition marks 50 years since the release of the band’s first album The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn and their debut single Arnold Layne.

It has been created by the band’s creative director Aubrey Powell alongside Paula Webb Stainton and Stufish, who are the architects behind Pink Floyd’s iconic stage designs.

The V&A is hoping for a repeat of the huge success it enjoyed with David Bowie Is exhibition and Mason floated the possibility the show could later go on a tour.

The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains runs from May 13 to October 1 2017.

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