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interviews

Marc Brickman 12/5/95

phonecall on the Enigma
by Sean Heisler (short version)

 
 
tdb bullet 1
Guitar World
januari 1995
tdb bullet 2 NY Times
februari 1995

Introduction

The following is a conversation between Sean Heisler and Marc Brickman. Marc was employed by Pink Floyd as a designer/director of the concert productions during their last tour. The conversation was done on December 5,1995. Sean reached Marc through Email, where Marc asked him to call him to discuss the enigma. Thanks to Marc for his understanding and his time and help.

The interview

MB=Marc Brickman
SM=Sean Heisler

MB: "Sean Heisler".

SH: "Yes"

MB: "How are you?"

SH: "Not too bad is this Marc?"

MB: "Yes it is."

SH: "Nice to meet you"

MB: "Nice to meet you too, you met me, you met me about a year ago on the BBS, I used to go up it was right around- well actually the idea of doing something on the internet, and the whole idea of doing something on the internet was my idea."

SH: "Really, it was your idea?"

MB: "They took the idea, and they gave it to someone else. To be honest with you I was the one who sent those messages out, but I was told to do it."

SH: "The signals at the concerts, in the lights?"

MB: "Yes, but I started coming up on the board (BBS) about that time to say to somebody, what do you think, what, you know- that that much massive amount of stage equipment suddenly programmed itself to say PUBLIUS ENIGMA. And I said this, to that guy Brown, I said that I went up on the board and said that I designed the whole thing. You know I know exactly what was going on. This came out of, you know I have a feeling where it came out of, was ah, it was just a game. "

SH: "That Floyd was playing?"

MB: "Yeah. I think Douglas Adams...I think it really came and out of though- it came out of some guy of Washington DC, that used to be with the CIA or FBI or something that was in the encryption game. He decided he wanted to do some kind of album cover, and he started talking to Steve O'Rourke, and I think what happend was Steve O'Rourke had in his brilliant mind that he was going to try something on the internet because he had been listening to me. And he got this guy, cause if you notice a lot of this stuff can't be traced where it comes from. And I know that Dave for one thing didn't even know how to sign on."

SH: "Gilmour?"

MB: "Yes. He is an immense... member, and his father he is major researcher. But, um you know I found the whole thing to be childish toward the end. I had questioned programming the last message in the video, I wasn't going to do it. (laughing). I had to program it. No one else could do it.

SH: "Really."

MB: "I was forced each time, by O'Rourke. Really."

SH: "So really it seems there is no enigma. Gilmour didn't put anything into the music..."

MB: "I don't know what they mean by enigma anyway, it sounds like you know- Gilmour..., whats an enigma? I mean, I don't know what they mean.

SH: "Well supposedly, beyond multiple interpretations of TDB there is a designed solution of some kind, and a prize to be had."

MB: "Well Storm. Did you talk to him live?"

SH: "Yes, I did about a month ago."

MB: "There is a personality of people that may like to puzzle others and I see no rhyme or reason for it in my mind except for probably Steve O. They were being tricky. Honestly I don't that much goes into- I work for a lot of major stars, Paul McCatrney, Genesis, and I really don't think on laments terms, I really don't find that type of diversion in terms of looking for symbols when they are writing this music. I think that a lot of people write this stuff and it just comes out. It is not really a conscious effort, and when you start making it a conscious effort, it becomes really trite. But they love these people hanging on looking into their different trivia. Now Nick Mason, I would say is the only one."

SH: "That what?"

MB: "Nick is a genius, and I love him and is very intelligent. He would probably, probably be the biggest prankster. I think he could be behind the whole thing. I set him up on the internet, I set him up on the computer and he is best friends with Douglas Adams. I personally think Nicks behind the whole thing. "

SH: "Really?"

MB: "Yeah. I think then he lost interest."

SH: "All those names have been brought up in the discussions in the newsgroup as possibly involved. Even you have been suspected"

MB: "Well yeah. Um, I think it's Steve O'Rourke, I think it was Steve and Nick, they put it together. Storm, he really wasn't, you know wasn't really persona engrata to be perfectly honest with you in the first part of the tour. (describes personal relationship to Floyd). So he wasn't really around until the Yankee Stadium show, I think it was in June- when he showed up again. All of this then started happening shortly after that. But really he was just on the perimeter. He was on the perimeter of the whole tour, really. Then when they finished the tour, you know had done the live album, it was well under way and all that stuff he kind of got back into it- and I really wasn't around much anymore." (AMLOR minidisc was released around this time with the artwork containing Publius and Enigma in type). "I was pretty much there from January of 1993 til November of '94. So, I had a pretty long run with them, and I have pretty much worked with them since The Wall. Now Fisher, he wasn't really there in the beginning too, he associated much with Roger and I talked with him and got him interested- back into the groove to help construct the set with me."

SH: "So you don't know exactly who Publius is then?"

MB: "I don't think, to be honest with you I don't even understand it anymore. I mean I know there are all these clues and you are trying to look for something, but I think it has to do with- well frankly the "end of the day". So it must be the fans right, it must be Syd- right?"

SH: "Syd? Publius? (laughing) yeah right...Really it has to be ah, Nick or- well back to Storm could he be involved in this way?"

MB: "I really don't think so. Some of the posts that I read were very eloquent- they knew what they were doing, they had to get the stuff coded. I mean, are you still seeing posts from Dave or Nick, or anybody?"

SH: ""No. Publius has only posted twice the entire year to the newsgroup- in January and August. Compared to a year ago they were posting very often."

MB: "Yes, they were bored and on the road. They were on the road until Nov.1 of '94. I set Nick up with a computer. Dave had a computer in his hotel room."

SH: "So were they watching the PF newsgroup?"

MB: "I think Nick was, I was the one that was showing it to him- I was the one that showed Nick the newsgroup in, um, right before we went to rehearsals- in March of '94. I showed it to him then."

SH: "I see."

MB: (expresses personal disagreement of way this was all conducted and acknowledges the lengthy search we have been through)

SH: "I have been following this for well over a year now, and we want an explanation"

MB: "What do you do?"

SH: "I am a graphic designer."

MB: "What do you draw? Characters?"

SH: "No, I work with Typography a lot and photographs. I am a fair illustrator. This reminds me, I was going to ask you. In the A Momentary Lapse of Reason minidisc released about a year or so ago, has the words in clear view readable type on separate pages: Publius and Enigma. Did you know that?"

MB: "Oh...it's like 'Paul is dead'. (laughter) No I don't know. But did I tell you, it was then, it's the guy who's into this ecrytption business, maybe he did that album cover. Did Storm do it, or maybe they took some of his ideas- they probably stole some of his ideas. You know the guy, I don't know much about him, and it has been a year so I have kind of forgotten- but um, here's a guy wired in- he was I guess one of the originators of the net. This is the way Steve puts it right. He was a researcher. And he was into doing something with a major rock band, I forget what it was- they have some ties to NASA, Pink Floyd does. Because of their popularity they are able to do things like this, go to NASA, see launches all over the world. They are into fast cars and rocket ships. But, I definitely think this guy in Washington was definitely trying to cash in on something. He was trying to- they had this idea of having an album cover where they would hide or have a puzzle. This was his idea to encrypt it. And the encryption- well see Steve would have to run everything by Nick and Dave. Usually they will sit and room, and Dave will say how he feels about it, if he wants to do it or he doesn't. Then Steve and Nick- I could see Dave saying you know it is fine with me, and maybe that he didn't want to be involved. Then Steve and Nick pursued this. They probably stole this guys idea, they probably enlisted Storm to do some of this stuff or whatever- from the history. Nick probably fed it. And then Adams probably got involved- and well... it was probably just f***ing around to see where they could go with it- maybe because they were bored."

SH: "I see."

MB: "Yeah I saw the posture in the posts. I really didn't understand the point, I really didn't. What I wanted to do, was, see this was a long time ago- March of '93, was to go out live on the internet from every city. Actually that is where the Stones got the idea because Mark Fisher worked for the Stones. And they heard of all these idea I wanted to do with the net. Nobody believed me about it then. We were going to take our whole server out there and do the whole number. I wanted to bring phone lines out- did you see the show?"

SH: "Yes I did."

MB: "So I sat up there in my little tower you know, I figured we would have a great thing. But, it was not taken that direction. You know as a matter of fact I called Nick this morning, but wasn't in, I haven't talked to him in a while."

SH: "If you do talk to him, could you express the newsgroups concern, and talk to him about our conversation? It is well over a year now, and we want an explanation or acknowledgement. A formal announcement or some kind of contact- something".

MB: "I'll mention it to him."

SH: "To know if there is any kind of an enigma- we want some kind of closure to this if not".

MB: "I will talk to Nick about it. I don't know, I was trying to warn everyone over a year ago."

SH: "How did you warn us?"

MB: "I said, like what do you guys think, you know, you don't think these lights weren't controlled by someone- like me. Wouldn't you think they would have told me to do this?"

SH: "Well yes, many assumed that someone had to have been projecting those signals of course, and you were heavily assumed to be the one- and you were."

MB: "And I said that. I got a couple weird messages, and that is the last time I- actually I quit Delphi then. I was a bit angry really. I was told that I was 'flaming'. I mean, gee. Well, actually what I am doing now is creating an interactive game for the net. Thats why I was talking about graphics, I want some 2-d art that looks very 3-dimensional. Trying to find someone who can really- do you know anyone interested? (laughing)"

SH: "That sounds interesting. I have a few more questions if you don't mind."

MB: "What's that?"

SH: "The Up-Close interview you were supposed to do..."

MB: "What was that?"

SH: "Well there was advertisements on the radio that indicated you were going to do an interview and discuss the enigma- and the signals at the concerts."

MB: "Oh that, you know I never even heard that. What was that like?"

SH: "Well we thought you were going to reveal a lot, talk about the enigma, but they had only a sound byte it seemed with you merely laughing questions off and saying the signals in the lights were of I think- 'some sort of cosmic intervention'."

MB: "Well I was really- they were sitting in the room with me, and I was snickered into doing this thing. I was angry. At the whole thing really."

(The conversation continued with discussion not having to do with the enigma in any way)

SH: "In Brain Damage magazine, there is a section- a question and answer section where a person named 'Uncle Custard' writes responses to the questions. Custard has been giving clues to the enigma. Do you know who Uncle Custard is?"

MB: "I would suspect- I don't know, but I suspect Nick is behind this whole thing. He is one. Dave really wouldn't have the time or ah...interest."

SH: "It has been suspected that Dave may not be too involved, but he did know- that is for sure."

MB: "Yes. I will ask Nick about this stuff."

SH: "We just want an explanation, of some sort. An acknowledgement, something. One thing interesting Marc is certain things in The Division Bell. The communication theme, and other things in the music. Symbolism of sorts, reoccuring references to '3' or '4'. A sense of history within songs, personal writing- High Hopes maybe. And Roger references perhaps-it has been mentioned."

MB: "I don't know maybe...it could mean a lot of things. It could be Storm then. But Storm wasn't around for the recording of the album. I mean...I don't know. I usually come in when they are just about ready to go on the road. Then usually there for a couple years. Then I go away and really have no contact unless I call them. Anyway give me a call next week sometime."

SH: "I will, thanks for your time I appreciate it."

tdb bullet 3 Guitar World
march 1995
tdb bullet 4 Guitarist Mag. june 1995

M. Brickman 12/5/95

M. Brickman 12/15/95
S. O'Rourke 12/19/95
S. O'Rourke 12/19/95
Storm Thorgerson
Storm Thorgerson