PINK FLOYD drummer Nick Mason freely admitted that ‘music made it happen’ as he spoke about his career and love of fast cars at two charity open days for his gardens at Middlewick House in Corsham last weekend.

The Birmingham-born musician, now aged 75, is best known as a founder member of the progressive English rock band Pink Floyd formed in London in 1965.

In its early days, Pink Floyd consisted of Syd Barrett on guitar and lead vocals, Nick Mason on drums, Roger Waters on bass and vocals, and Richard Wright on keyboards and vocals. They were later joined by David Gilmour in 1967 and Syd Barrett left.

He’s now happily playing drums with a new band, Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets which, he stresses, is not a Pink Floyd tribute band but a group formed to play songs from Pink Floyd’s embryonic years from 1967-1972.

The English psychedelic rock band was formed in April 2018 by drummer Mr Mason and Blockheads guitarist Lee Harris. The band also includes long-time Pink Floyd and David Gilmour bass player Guy Pratt, Spandau Ballet’s Gary Kemp on guitar and vocals, and producer/composer Dom Beken on keyboards.

“Our aim is to ‘capture the spirit’ of the era”, said Mr Mason, who first met Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters while both were studying architecture at the London Polytechnic in Regent Street.

“We formed it about a year ago and have already been on two European tours, a short UK tour and have just come back from a tour of North America,” he said.

The new five-piece band made their live debut in May 2018 in front of an invited audience at Dingwalls in London, playing a selection of Pink Floyd material released before their 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon. This was followed by three small shows at The Half Moon, Putney, and European tour in September 2018.

Earlier this year, the group embarked on a tour of North America, and on April 18, Roger Waters surprised the audience at the Beacon Theatre in New York by joining the band onstage to sing the lead vocals for “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun”, one of Pink Floyd’s early classics.

Mr Mason’s teenage years were influenced by US performers such as Bill Haley and Elvis Presley. “The first record I ever bought was by Bill Haley and the Comets and my first LP was an Elvis Presley album.”

He left the architectural course after four years and admits that “music makes everything else happen” as Pink Floyd’s increasing musical success took his career in a different direction.

Pink Floyd had gained popularity performing in London’s underground music scene during the late 1960s, and under Syd Barrett’s leadership released two charting singles and a successful debut album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967).

By the 1970s, they had achieved international acclaim with their progressive and psychedelic music, most notably their famous albums Dark Side of the Moon (1973) and The Wall (1979).

Mr Mason is the only Pink Floyd member to have been featured on all of their studio albums, and the only constant member of the band since its formation in 1965.

Distinguished by their philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, extended compositions, and elaborate live shows, Pink Floyd are one of the most commercially successful and influential groups in popular music history.

Mr Mason co-wrote Pink Floyd compositions such as Echoes, Time, Careful With That Axe, Eugene and One of These Days.

It is estimated that as of 2010, the group had sold over 250 million records worldwide, and Mr Mason became incredibly wealthy - he’s worth an estimated £80 million according to the 2017 Rich List.

His wealth enabled him to indulge his passion for racing and fast cars - he owns one of the world’s finest collection of high performance cars.

Mr Mason’s collection of McLaren’s and Ferrari’s includes a rare Ferrari 250 GTO -one of only 39 to be built - worth a cool £30 million.

“It was never meant to be a car collection, I just wanted to go racing,” said Mr Mason, who is also a qualified helicopter pilot.

Mr Mason raced cars in the Le Mans 24-hour races in the 70s and 80s, finishing second in class in 1979 and third in class in 1980 for Group 6 two-litre cars.

He and his wife, Annette Lynton Mason, have also raced at the Goodwood Revival and the Goodwood Festival of Speed, an annual hill climb event.