Imagine Pink Floyd providing the live background music for your nightly news program.
That scenario was a reality for British viewers on this day in 1969 during live coverage of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
As astronaut Neil Armstrong took his “giant leap for mankind,” Pink Floyd were taking a bold step of their own by improvising about five minutes of music to accompany the broadcast.
Titled “Moonhead,” the piece was “a nice, atmospheric, spacey, 12-bar blues,” guitarist David Gilmour told The Guardian.
The track, which is also known as “Corrosion,” was occasionally performed live by the band over the course of the following year.
Pink Floyd had been invited to lay down the track at a BBC TV studio at 10 p.m. as the BBC covered the event.
“The programming was a little looser in those days,” Gilmour recalls, “and if a producer of a late-night program felt like it, they would do something a bit off the wall.”
The video below combines “Moonhead” with footage of Apollo 17, the final mission of the Apollo space program, which took place from December 7 to 19, 1972.