That summer Adrian Maben, holidaying in Italy, took a sightseeing trip to the 2,000-year-old amphitheatre in Pompeii, at the foot of Mount Vesuvius. After losing his passport during the visit, Maben persuaded the security guards to let him back into the amphitheatre to look for it. Alone in the deserted arena in the dwindling light, he was struck by the ghostliness of the setting, and the fabulous natural acoustics  amplifying the sound of buzzing insects and flying bats flitting among the ruins.
Maben wanted Pink Floyd playing an empty amphitheatre to a film crew and a handful of roadies.  One of Floyd’s stipulations was that Maben had to film and record them playing live. 
Performing beneath the baking Mediterranean sun, and to an audience of cameramen, assorted roadies and a few local kids that had talked their way in, the footage offers a revealing glimpse of the post-Syd, pre-superstar Pink Floyd. The newborn ‘Echoes’ matches its surroundings perfectly: a languid, unhurried performance intercut with  snaps of the surrounding sculptures and gargoyles for added drama. Later, as the song rumbles on, the band are shot loping across the bubbling lava pools and steaming, sulphurous rocks on Mount Vesuvius - all tie-dyed T-shirts and stovepipe hats - like four Kings Road hippies transplanted to a prehistoric landscape.




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