Writer: Roger Waters
Producer: Pink Floyd
Recorded: January-July 1975 at Abbey Road Studios in London, England
Released: September 1975
|Players:||David Gilmour — guitar
Roger Waters — bass
Rick Wright — keyboards
Nick Mason — drums
Roy Harper — vocals
Venetta Fields, Carlena Williams — backing vocals
|Album:||Wish You Were Here (Columbia)|
“Have a Cigar” is a cynical take on record company executives who court and cajole bands to sign with their label.
Ironically, Pink Floyd had just gone through that process with Columbia records, which lured it away from the EMI conglomerate after The Dark Side Of The Moon album. Columbia paid the band a then-unheard of $1 million to sign.
Many people's favorite line in the song comes when the singer asks “By the way, which one's Pink?”
The lead vocal on “Have a Cigar” was performed by Roy Harper, an eccentric British folk singer whose cult following included musicians such as the members of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.
Of the lyrics to “Have a Cigar,” Roger Waters told an interviewer that he wanted “to write something to do with a person succumbing to the pressures of life in general and rock 'n' roll in particular.”
During the recording of the Wish You Were Here album, Syd Barrett — Pink Floyd's founder, who was booted from the band in 1968 due to drug-induced emotional problems — showed up unannounced. The band hadn't seen him in seven years, and they didn't immediately recognize him. Ironically, the group was recording the song “Shine On You Crazy Diamond, which paid homage to Barrett.
Wish You Were Here went to Number One on the album charts in both the U.S. and the U.K.
Wish You Were Here has sold more than five million copies since its release.
Shortly after Pink Floyd finished recording the album, it headlined the Knebworth Festival in England, using quadraphonic sound and a replica of a Spitfire airplane that crashed into the stage during the show.