Snowy White Recalls Recording Guitar Parts for Pink Floyd, Explains What David Gilmour and Roger Waters Were Like to Work With

In a recently published interview for Guitar World, guitar legend Snowy White recalled working with Pink Floyd back in the late 1970s on their album “Animals.” White, who later became known as a guitar player for Thin Lizzy, joined the sessions and recorded a guitar solo for “Pigs on the Wing” and the version ended up being released on the 8-track version of the album.

Recalling those first moments when he got together with Pink Floyd, White said:

“It was just after they offered me the gig that I recorded the solo for ‘Pigs on the Wing.’ David [Gilmour] and I went back into the control room, and he said to Roger [Waters], ‘Snowy has agreed to take the gig,’ and Roger said, ‘Well, while you’re here, you might as well play something.’”

Pigs On The Wing (Parts 1 & 2) - Pink Floyd (1977) Snowy White Guitar Solo

Looking back at the process, White continued:

“So, Roger swivels around and puts on ‘Pigs on the Wing.’ And then he said, ‘Why don’t you do a solo in the middle? Go ahead and pick up any of those guitars out there and have a go at it.’ So, I picked up this white Strat, plugged it in, fiddled about, and then did the solo in one take. I know one take sounds impressive, but honestly, I got lucky that I did such a nice one right away.”

Knowing that it was very unusual of him to play this on a Stratocaster, a guitar that he wasn’t very fond of back in the day, White added:

“I know, I know… it’s funny that I used a Strat for ‘Pigs on the Wing.’ I was so used to my Les Paul by that point, and I was surprised that I felt as comfortable as I did with that Strat. I still hated it, but I got through it [laughs]. Even though I was using a Strat, I still think that solo turned out quite nice.”

Snowy White Another Brick in the Wall, Part II awesome Guitar Solo

“What’s funny, though, is I remember reading someone comment on that. I remember it clear as day – they said, ‘What’s this? Snowy White doesn’t play Strats; this can’t be Snowy White.’ And I just thought, ‘You know, I’m allowed to pick up another guitar and play it, too.’ But I’m known as the Les Paul man, so what can I say?”

Elsewhere during the interview, Snowy White was asked about how he got involved with the band to which he replied:

“I got a call from someone who said Pink Floyd was looking for an augmenting guitar player for their live work and that they were given my name. I was told that the guys in Floyd had been trying to call me and that I should get in touch. I had ignored the calls at first because, at the time, I was a fairly narrow-minded blues player, and I didn’t know anything about Pink Floyd and didn’t care much to find out.

David Gilmour and Snowy White BRILLIANT Solo 'Another Brick In The Wall' Live 1980

“Honestly, I thought they were drug-crazed hippies [laughs]. They had been messing about with all this funny stuff, and none of it was the sort of thing I was interested in. So, I didn’t call them. But somebody else mentioned it to me again and said, ‘Snowy, why don’t you call them? This would be a good gig for you.’ So, I thought about it, and I did.” 

“I went and contacted their manager [Steve O’Rourke], and he said, ‘Can you come down to the studio, see the guys, hear what they’re recording, and get a feel for what it’s all about?’ I thought about it again and said, ‘Okay, I’ll come down and see about it.’”

When asked to recall the scene when he entered the studio, he said:

“It was quite casual, really. Roger and David were hanging out in the control room. Roger said to Dave, ‘Why don’t you take Snowy into the office and tell him what the gig’s about?'”

Snowy White and Friends - Slabo Day (2012) / official live video

“Next thing I know, I’m sitting across from Dave, who says, ‘Right, okay. So, we’ll need you to play a bit of 12-string, some rhythm, some lead, a bit of harmony, and some bass – you can play bass, can’t you?’ I said, ‘Well, yeah…’ and he said, ‘Great. So, what do you think? Do you want the gig?’ I said, ‘Yeah, okay, but – don’t you want to hear me play?'”

“The truth was that I didn’t know their music. I really didn’t. And I always loathed doing that sort of thing because I’m useless at learning other people’s songs – I’m not a session guy. I don’t know where that came from – because, again, I’m a narrow-minded blues guy.”

“So, I said, ‘Well, maybe we should have a jam, so you can hear me play?’ And he said, ‘Well, you wouldn’t be here if you couldn’t play, would you?’ I said, ‘Well, no.’ He said, ‘Right. You’ve got the job,’ and that was it. That’s how I got the gig with Pink Floyd.”

SNOWY WHITE & THE WHITE FLAMES - Live in Eindhoven @Café Wilhelmina (2006) // Official Concert

This was also the time when the infamous arguments and disagreements between David Gilmour and Roger Waters were taking their full swing. Asked to bring up some of the “observations between Roger and David” back then, White offered:

“Interesting… that’s one way to describe it. I think it’s a lot like living in China – it all depends on where you are – but it was an interesting time. Things would be going on all the time, but I am the sort of guy who lets things go in one ear and out the other. I was learning my songs, playing my parts, and doing my best, so I had my hands full. But there was stuff going on, and it wasn’t very good.

“I could hear the arguments between Roger and Dave occasionally, but I did my best to drown that out and focus on doing my thing. It wasn’t any concern of mine. But I could tell things weren’t going smoothly, and they weren’t getting on well.”

Photos: Adrian Buss (Snowy white), Jimmy Baikovicius (David Gilmour Argentina 2015 (cropped))


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.