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Leonard's Lodgers

The dawn of the Pink Floyd light show

Roger Waters: ...By the time [Syd] arrived [in London] I was already playing with a few other people, so he kind of joined in. In fact, Nick and Rick were the sort of permanent ones. There were a bunch of other people who were all at the Regent Street Poly; one guy who was a tutor there, called Mike Leonard.

Mike Leonard: There was a group of students who were in the first year, which was the large body of The Pink Floyd. I said, "Well would you like to occupy ground floor flat?" which suited them ideally, and they moved in.

Nick Mason: It was one of those flats where there always seemed to be those pint bottles of milk, half empty, with the milk going sour.

Mike Leonard, seen here in a mid-60s documentary film, demonstrating his projector. Leonard occasionally played organ with the Floyd when they called themselves "Leonard's Lodgers".

Documentary Narrator: The light techniques they're using now are the result of five years' research by an architect, Mike Leonard, at work here on his new light projector.

At left, an example of the raw materials Leonard used to create his light shows. This cut-out was fastened to a rotating drum, and light was projected through the moving cellophane. At right, the end result as projected on a screen.

Roger Waters: He wanted some improvised music around experiments he was doing with light. He had projectors and things, and he would wrap up tubes of shiny Smelinex and shine light through it, and crinkle it, and see what it did when it hit the wall. And we would play music to it.

Documentary Narrator: Providing the music, a group which features a range of unusual sound effects: The Pink Floyd.

An assistant films Leonard's kaleidoscopic creations through the screen at left, while the Floyds improvise a musical accompaniment.

Images and quotes from the BBC's recent Omnibus documentary on Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd.