Roger Waters: Wikis


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Roger Waters

Roger Waters in Brazil, 2007.
Background information
Birth name George Roger Waters
Born 6 September 1943 (1943-09-06) (age 66)
Great Bookham, Leatherhead, Surrey, UK
Genres Progressive rock, psychedelic rock, art rock, opera
Occupations Musician, songwriter, composer, record producer
Instruments Vocals, bass guitar, guitar,synthesiser.
Years active 1964–present
Labels Capitol, Columbia, Sony, Harvest
Associated acts Pink Floyd, Sigma 6, The Bleeding Heart Band
Notable instruments
Fender Precision Bass

Rickenbacker 4001

George Roger Waters (born 6 September 1943 in Great Bookham, Surrey) is an English rock musician and composer. He is best known as the bass player, co-lead vocalist, lyricist and principal songwriter in the rock band Pink Floyd. Waters became the primary lyrical contributor in Pink Floyd after the departure of fellow founding member Syd Barrett in January 1968, and sang lead vocals on at least 55 Pink Floyd tracks during his tenure with the band.[1][2][3][4]

Following his depature from Pink Floyd in 1984 Waters began a solo career, releasing three studio albums The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking (1984), Radio K.A.O.S. (1987), and 1992's Amused to Death. In 1990 Waters staged one of the largest rock concerts ever, a performance of Pink Floyd's album The Wall on the vacant terrain between Potsdamer Platz and the Brandenburg Gate.[5]

In 2005 he released Ça Ira, an opera in three acts to a French libretto based on the historical subject of the French Revolution written by Etienne Roda-Gil and his wife Nadine Roda-Gil. Ça Ira topped the classical charts in America[6] and Britain. Waters reunited with Nick Mason, Richard Wright, and David Gilmour for what would be a final, one-off performance at the 2 July 2005 Live 8 concert in London's Hyde Park, Pink Floyd's first public performance with Waters in 24 years.

He has toured extensively as a solo act since 1999, and played The Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety for his world tours of 2006-2008. Waters recently confirmed to David Frost that he is hoping to tour The Wall in late 2010. Waters told Frost he is "crunching all the numbers at the moment".[7][5]



Early years (1943–64)

Born in Great Bookham, near Leatherhead, Surrey, Waters grew up in Cambridge. His father Eric Fletcher Waters fought with the British army in World War II as a member of The Royal Fusiliers Company C. He died in combat in Anzio Italy in February 1944 when Waters was five months old.[8] Waters referred to or alluded to the loss of his father throughout his work, from "Corporal Clegg" (A Saucerful Of Secrets, 1968) and "Free Four" (Obscured By Clouds, 1972) to "When the Tigers Broke Free", first used in the movie version of The Wall (1982), later included on The Final Cut as a bonus track, and "The Fletcher Memorial Home" also from The Final Cut, 1983. The loss of his father, and his early upbringing plays a heavy role in the overall theme and composition of The Wall.[9]

Waters and Syd Barrett attended the Morley Memorial Junior School on Blinco Grove, Cambridge, and later both attended the Cambridgeshire High School for Boys (now Hills Road Sixth Form College), while future band member David Gilmour attended The Perse School on the same road.[10] He met Nick Mason and Richard Wright while attending the Regent Street Polytechnic school of architecture. He was a keen sportsman and was fond of swimming in the River Cam at Grantchester Meadows. At 15 he was chairman of the youth section of the Cambridge YCND[11], having designed it's publicity poster and participated in it's organization.[12]

Pink Floyd years (1965–85)

Roger Waters performing with Pink Floyd, at Leeds University in 1970

In 1965 Roger Waters co-founded Pink Floyd with Syd Barrett, Richard Wright and Nick Mason. According to Mason, they first entered a recording studio in December 1964. The band, which still included Bob Klose, was calling itself the Tea Set, and had managed to secure some recording time through a friend of Wright's who worked at a studio in West Hampstead, and let them use some "down time" for free. The four-song recording session would become the Tea Set's first demo and included the 1957 Slim Harpo song "I'm a King Bee", two Syd Barret originals "Butterfly" and "Lucy Leave" and "Double O Bo", a group composition which according to Mason was "Bo Diddley meets the 007 theme."[13][14][15]

Through 1966 and 1967 Barrett was Pink Floyd's lead guitarist, singer, and primary songwriter. He wrote all but one track of their debut LP The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Waters contributed the song "Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk" (his first writing credit) to the album, which was a critical success that positioned the band for stardom.

However, by late 1967 Barrett's deteriorating mental health and increasingly erratic behaviour rendered him unable to continue in his capacity as Pink Floyd's lead singer and guitarist.[16][17] Waters attempted to coerce his friend into psychiatric treatment; this proved unhelpful, and in December 1967 the band added David Gilmour[18][19], initially not to replace Barrett, but to join as the 5th member of Pink Floyd, intending to keep Barrett in the group as a non-performing songwriter.[20][21][22][23]

This arrangement did not work out[22] and in early March 1968 Pink Floyd met with then business partners Peter Jenner and Andrew King of Blackhill Enterprises to discuss the band's future. Barrett agreed to leave Pink Floyd and Pink Floyd "agreed to Blackhill's entitlement in perpetuity" in regards to "past activities."[24] The band's new manager Steve O'Rourke made a formal announcement about the departure of Barrett and the arrival of Gilmour in April 1968.[25][26][22][27] Jenner and King, who regarded Barrett as the creative genious of the band, decided to represent him and end their relationship with Pink Floyd.[28][29][22][24] Filling the void left by Barrett's departure, Waters began to chart Pink Floyd's new artistic direction. The lineup of Waters, Gilmour, Wright and Mason eventually brought Pink Floyd to world prominence, producing some of the most critically acclaimed and commercially succsessful albums of the 1970s.

In 1970 Waters released a collaboration with Pink Floyd friend [30]Ron Geesin, Music from the Body, a soundtrack album to Roy Battersby's 1970 documentary film The Body, about human biology, narrated by Vanessa Redgrave and Frank Finlay.

Waters became the main lyrical contributor and primary songwriter in Pink Floyd after Barrett's departure. He wrote all the lyrics to the five Pink Floyd albums preceding his own departure, starting with The Dark Side of the Moon and ending with The Final Cut, while exerting progressively more creative control over the band and its music. He produced thematic ideas that became the impetus for concept albums such as The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall, which was written largely by Waters[31][32], and The Final Cut, which was written entirely by Waters.[33] Initially, Waters' bandmates were happy to allow him to write the band's lyrics and guide its conceptual direction while they shared the opportunity to contribute musical ideas.[34][35] However, this give-and-take relationship began to dissolve.

During the recording of The Wall, Waters[36], Gilmour[36], and Mason[37] became increasingly unhappy with Wright's lack of contribution to the making of the album. Gilmour said that "...he (Rick) hadn't contributed anything of any value whatsoever to the album..."[38][39][36] Mason had this to say about Wright's contributions during The Wall sessions: "Alas, Rick's contribution was to turn up and sit in on the sessions without doing anything, just 'being a producer'.[40] Studio Engineer Nick Griffiths said that "by the time of The Wall, Rick Wright had lost interest in the idea of the Floyd. He was more interested in his leisure time-sailing around the Greek islands and enjoying the life of a rich rock 'n' roll star."[41] Gilmour would later say Wright "wasn't doing the job he was paid to do" and "he got the boot because he wasn't contributing in any way to anything."[41] Waters added, "he was not prepared to cooperate in making the record." and " was agreed by everybody. I made the suggestion that O'Rourke gave to Rick: either you can have a long battle or you can agree to this, and the 'this' was you finish making the album, keep your full share of the album, but at the end of it you leave quietly. Rick agreed."[36] Waters threatened to take The Wall tapes and not allow them to be used as a Pink Floyd album[40][42][41] at a time when they were nearly bankrupt from bad investments[43][44][36] and so Wright, under much duress, decided to leave Pink Floyd.[42][40][41]

In 1996 Wright said "I made a decision and left, and then he (Roger) left, and I came back."[45] Wright stayed with the band as a paid session musician while Waters led the band through a complete performance of the album on every night of the brief tour that followed, for which Gilmour acted as musical director. Ironically, Wright's firing and position as a paid session musician meant he was the only one of the band to realize a profit from the "Wall" tour - since the financial loses of the expensive shows were paid by the three remaining 'members'.[40][46]

In 1983 the last Waters–Gilmour–Mason collaboration, The Final Cut, was released. The sleeve notes describe it as "The Final Cut: A requiem for the post-war dream by Roger Waters, music performed by Pink Floyd". The Final Cut is the only Pink Floyd album on which Waters is credited with writing all the lyrics as well as all the music. Rolling Stone rated the album 5 stars and called it "a superlative achievment" and "rock art's crowing masterpiece."[47]

In November 1986 Waters began High Court proceedings to formally dissolve Pink Floyd's partnership, saying Pink Floyd was "a spent force creatively."[48][49] Gilmour and Mason opposed the application and announced their intention to continue as Pink Floyd. The ensuing battle between Waters and Gilmour over the latter's intention to continue to use the name Pink Floyd descended into threatened lawsuits and public bickering in the press. Waters' position was that since the original band consisted of himself, Syd Barrett, Nick Mason and Richard Wright, that Gilmour and Mason should not be allowed to use the name Pink Floyd now that it was without three of its four founding members. Another of Waters' arguments was that because he had written almost all of the band's lyrics, and a great part of the music after Barrett's departure (Waters has sole credit on 59 Pink Floyd tracks), Nick Mason and David Gilmour should not be allowed to continue as Pink Floyd or legally perform the band's music.[50] Eventually Waters conceded and much like Wright some years earlier, decided to leave Pink Floyd based on financial considerations, stating "...if I hadn't, the financial repercussions would haved wiped me out completely."[50]

According to Mason "We eventually formalised a settlement with Roger."[51] "On Christmas Eve 1987...David and Roger convened for a summit meeting on the houseboat, (Gilmour's studio/houseboat the 'Astoria', moored on the north bank of the River Thames at Hurst Park, Hampton).[52] with Jerome Walton, David's accountant. Mince pies, noggin and festive hats were placed on hold, as Jerome painstakingly typed out the bones of a settlement. Essentially-although there was far more complex detail-the arrangement allowed Roger to be freed from his arrangement with Steve (O'Rourke) (Pink Floyd's manager at the time), and David and me to continue working under the name Pink Floyd." " the end the court accepted Jerome's version as the final and binding document and duly stamped it." [51] The new David Gilmour-led Pink Floyd went on to release two more albums, A Momentary Lapse of Reason in 1987 and The Division Bell in 1994.

Gilmour relied heavily on outside songwriters and lyricists to complete both albums. Only 5 tracks on the last two Pink Floyd albums were written by Gilmour using entirely his own lyrics and music, and no credits at all are given to Mason on either album, four tracks have music credited to Gilmour/Wright.

Early solo years (1984–2005)

Following the release of The Final Cut, Waters embarked on a solo career producing three concept albums and a movie soundtrack. His solo work has managed critical acclaim and even some comparison to previous work with Pink Floyd.[53]

His second solo album, 1984's The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking, was a project about a man's dreams across one night. Musicians who worked with Waters during recording included guitarist Eric Clapton and jazz saxophonist David Sanborn. Conceived around the same time as The Wall, the concept was shown and demos played to the Pink Floyd members, but they chose to proceed with The Wall over The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking, rejecting the latter as "too personal". Gilmour was later to claim that this was not as obvious a task as might first seem, and according to Gilmour, both demos were "unlistenable" and "sounded exactly alike."[54] However, longtime Pink Floyd engineer Nick Griffiths said otherwise: "I heard the Wall demos. They were seriously rough, but the songs were there.[55]

The album, accompanied by Gerald Scarfe artwork that some claimed was sexist, received mixed reviews, with Kurt Loder describing Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking in Rolling Stone as a "strangely static, faintly hideous record."[56] On the other end of the spectrum Mike DeGagne of Allmusic praised the album for its "ingenious symbolism and his brilliant use of stream of consciousness within a subconscious realm", rating it four out of five stars.[57] Waters began touring the new album, aided by guitarist Eric Clapton,[58] and featuring a set design by Mark Fisher of Fisher Park and lighting design by Mark Brickman.[59] With a new band, new material, and a selection of Pink Floyd favourites, Waters débuted his tour in Stockholm on 16 June 1984. Poor ticket sales plagued the tour however, and some venues were cancelled. Waters was at times irritated by the audiences, who would often react more positively to Clapton than he wished. The Clapton collaboration cost Waters an estimated $400,000, but despite the lukewarm reception to his new album Waters went to the US in 1985 with the Pros and Cons Plus Some Old Pink Floyd Stuff — North America Tour 1985.[58]

In 1986, Waters contributed songs and a score to the soundtrack of the movie When the Wind Blows, based on the Raymond Briggs book of the same name. His backing band, featuring Paul Carrack, was credited as The Bleeding Heart Band. Waters' then legal wranglings with Gilmour over the Pink Floyd brand are alluded to on the soundtrack album's "Towers of Faith", where the vocal transforms from "This land is my land", to "This sand is my sand", to "This band is my band". In 1987 he released Radio K.A.O.S., a concept album based around a mute man named Billy who can hear radio waves in his head. Billy learns to communicate with a radio DJ and angry at the state of the world simulates a fake nuclear attack.[60] Waters followed the release with a supporting tour, also in 1987. The album did not garner the sales he had achieved in Pink Floyd, and years later Waters would express dissatisfaction at the album, expressing distaste for the production and particularly regretting his decision to trim it from a double to a single disk.

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1990-0722-402, Berlin, Aufführung der Rockoper "The Wall".jpg
The wall 1990 schoolmaster puppet.jpg
'The Schoolmaster' looms above the wall

On 9 November 1989 the Berlin Wall fell, and on 21 July 1990 Waters staged The Wall - Live in Berlin, a benefit concert at Potsdamer Platz. An invited group of musicians included Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Cyndi Lauper, and Sinéad O'Connor. Waters also used an East German symphony orchestra and choir, a Soviet marching band, and a pair of helicopters from the US 7th Airborne Command and Control Squadron. Designed by Mark Fisher of Fisher Park, an 82 feet (25 m) 550-foot (170 m) wall was built across the set and Scarfe's inflatable puppets were recreated on an enlarged scale. Gilmour, Mason, and Wright, were not invited.[61] Leonard Cheshire asked Waters to do the concert to raise funds for charity.[5]

In 1990 Waters hired Mark Fenwick as his new manager and left EMI, signing instead a worldwide deal with Columbia. He divorced his second wife Carolyne Christie, and released his fourth solo album, Amused to Death in 1992. Although some of the ideas on the album date back to the late 1980s, Amused to Death is heavily influenced by the events of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 and the Gulf War. The album is a critique of the notion of war becoming the subject of entertainment, particularly on television. Pat Leonard, who had also worked on A Momentary Lapse, co-produced the album. Ezrin was also referenced, with the line "Each man has his price, Bob, and yours was pretty low" on "Too Much Rope".[62]

The title was derived from the book Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman. It is Waters' most critically acclaimed solo recording with music critics comparing it to later Pink Floyd works such as The Wall. Waters himself describes the record as the third in a thematically-linked trilogy, after Dark Side Of The Moon and The Wall. The album had one hit, "What God Wants, Pt. 1" which hit #4 on Mainstream Rock charts. Jeff Beck played lead guitar on many of the album's tracks, which were recorded with a rotating cast of backup musicians. There was no tour in support of this record, although Waters would later perform several songs from this record nearly eight years later on his In the Flesh tours.

In 1999 Waters embarked on the In the Flesh tour, performing both solo and Pink Floyd material. The tour was a financial success in the US, and after Waters had booked mostly smaller venues (after the let-down in attendance from his 1987 tour), tickets sold so well that most of the concerts had to be upgraded to larger venues. With Gilmour's Pink Floyd retiring after 1994 and many Floyd albums selling at the pace of Beatles records, Waters was in great demand. The tour eventually stretched across the world and would span three years. One concert was released on CD and DVD, named In the Flesh Live. During the tour he played two new songs "Flickering Flame" and "Each Small Candle" as the final encore to the show. In June 2002 Waters played the Glastonbury Festival performing many classic Pink Floyd songs.

Waters performing live in 2006

Waters left the UK shortly after the passing of the Hunting Act 2004, denouncing it as "one of the most divisive pieces of legislation we've ever had in Great Britain".[63] Though in October 2005 he clarified: "I come back to the UK quite often. I didn't leave as a protest against the hunting ban; I was following a child in the wake of a divorce."[64]

He moved to Long Island in New York with his new girlfriend Laurie Durning.[65] Miramax announced in mid-2004 that a production of The Wall was to appear on Broadway with Waters playing a prominent part in its production. Reports stated that the musical contained not only the original tracks from "The Wall", but also songs from Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and other Pink Floyd albums, as well as new material.[66] On the night of 1 May 2004 the overture for Ça Ira was pre-premièred on occasion of the Welcome Europe celebrations in the accession country of Malta, performed over Grand Harbour in Valletta and illuminated by light artist Gert Hof.

In September 2004 Waters released two new tracks on the internet: "To Kill The Child" and "Leaving Beirut." Both of these tracks were inspired by the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Waters, who currently resides in the U.S., has said that the songs were written immediately after the start of the war, but he delayed releasing them until just before the 2004 presidential election. The lyrics to "Leaving Beirut" contain strong attacks on former US President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair. After the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake and subsequent tsunami disaster, Waters performed "Wish You Were Here" with Eric Clapton during a benefit concert on the American network NBC.

Later solo years (since 2005)

Roger Waters performing on his Dark Side Of The Moon Live tour at the Members Equity Stadium in Perth, Australia in 2007

In February 2005, it was announced on Roger Waters' website that his opera, Ça Ira, had been completed after 16 years of work. It was released as a CD/DVD set by Sony Classical on 27 September 2005 with Baritone Bryn Terfel, soprano Ying Huang and tenor Paul Groves. The original libretto was written in French by the late Étienne Roda-Gil, who set the opera during the early French Revolution. From 1997 Waters rewrote the libretto in English.

I've always been a big fan of Beethoven's choral music, Berlioz and Borodin … This is unashamedly romantic and resides in that early nineteenth-century tradition, because that's where my tastes lie in classical and choral music.[67]

Ça Ira went to the top of the classical music charts, and Waters appeared on television to discuss the album, but the interviews were mostly taken up by conversation about his relationship with Pink Floyd. Waters however was nonplussed about this, a sign that Mark Blake believes to be "a testament to his mellower old age or twenty years of dedicated psychotherapy.[67] In 2007 the New York Daily News printed a story claiming that the band would reunite at one of the planned Live Earth concerts that year. Gilmour denied that Pink Floyd would appear, but Waters agreed to perform at the US concert in New Jersey.[68]

On 2 July 2005 Waters and Pink Floyd reunited for a performance at the Live 8 concert in London's Hyde Park. They played a four-song, 23-minute set, including "Speak to Me/Breathe"/"Breathe (Reprise)", "Money", "Wish You Were Here", and "Comfortably Numb". Waters remarked shortly after Live 8 to the Associated Press that, while the experience of playing as Pink Floyd again was positive, the chances of a bona fide reunion would be "slight", considering his and Gilmour's continuing musical and ideological differences. During an interview with Rolling Stone, Waters further denied the possibility of a future Pink Floyd tour, saying: "I didn't mind rolling over for one day, but I couldn't roll over for a whole fucking tour." [69]

In 2005 Gilmour told the Associated Press, “The rehearsals were less enjoyable. The rehearsals convinced me it wasn’t something I wanted to be doing a lot of. There have been all sorts of farewell moments in people’s lives and careers which they have then rescinded, but I think I can fairly categorically say that there won’t be a tour or an album again that I take part in.”[70] In the 2009 BBC documentary Which One's Pink Waters appeared open to the idea of a Pink Floyd reunion tour stating, "It was really cool (Live 8), I'd like to do more of it...I don't think it will happen but I'd like...well, you can ask David when you speak to him."

Waters has confirmed the possibility of a new solo album which "might be called" Heartland.[71] He released a download-only single in March 2007, "Hello (I Love You)" from the soundtrack to the film The Last Mimzy. Two other songs that may possibly appear on this album have been released on Flickering Flame: The Solo Years Vol. 1: "Each Small Candle" and "Flickering Flame". A work-in-progress, which may appear on this album and was dubbed "Woman" by bootleggers, was heard during the sound checks during the In the Flesh tour. In recent interviews Waters has stated that he has numerous songs written that he intends to release when they are a complete album.[71][69]

Solid state laser system designed by Marc Brickman that depicted Dark Side of the Moon album art, used on Waters' latest tour

Roger Waters toured Europe and North America during 2006 for his The Dark Side of the Moon Live Tour. As the second half of the show, he played a complete run-through of the 1973 Pink Floyd classic, The Dark Side of the Moon. The first half was a mix of Floyd classics and Waters' solo material. Elaborate staging designed by Marc Brickman, complete with projections, and a full, 360 degree quadrophonic sound system were used. His The Dark Side of the Moon tour was even more successful then his previous In the Flesh tour. His former Pink Floyd bandmate, Nick Mason, joined Waters on some of the tour dates. Richard Wright was invited to participate on the tour as well but he declined the offer in order to work on solo projects. Waters continued touring in 2007, starting in January in Australia, followed by New Zealand then going through Asia, Europe, South America, and finally North America in June. He finished the world tour with several shows in Europe and the U.S. in 2008.[72]

Syd Barrett, who died on 7 July 2006, remained an emotional subject for most of his friends and former colleagues. Waters said this shortly after his passing, "...this is very sad...Syd Barrett was one of the most significant artists of the 20th century. He left us long long ago and although he only died just a few days ago fans have mourned him for decades."[73]

Mason began patching Pink Floyd's relationship in 2002. After speaking to Mason and Bob Geldof about a possible Pink Floyd reunion at Live 8, Waters contacted Gilmour by phone and e-mail, and it appears that they have buried the hatchet since the concert and now communicate on a friendly basis. Waters had made overtures to Wright as well, before Wright's death on 15 September 2008, following which Waters stated on his website: "Rick's ear for harmonic progression was our bedrock. I am very grateful for the opportunity that Live 8 afforded me to engage with him, and David and Nick that one last time. I wish there had been more."[74][75]

Roger Waters Performing at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa June 6, 2007

In March 2007 the science fiction film The Last Mimzy was released featuring a new exclusive song, "Hello (I love you)", which played over the end credits. Waters described it as "...a song that captures the themes of the movie, the clash between humanity's best and worst instincts, and how a child's innocence can win the day."[76]

On 7 July 2007, Waters played at the American leg of the Live Earth concert, an international multi-venue concert aimed to raise awareness about global climate change, featuring the Trenton Youth Choir and his trademark inflatable pig. Waters has also recently become a spokesperson for Millennium Promise, a non-profit organisation that helps fight extreme poverty and malaria, and wrote a commentary for CNN's website on 11 June 2007 about the topic.[77] After wrapping up a performance at the Coachella Festival in April, Waters continued his The Dark Side of the Moon Live tour in 2008.[78]

Waters was to be among the headlining artists performing at Live Earth 2008 in Mumbai, India on 7 December 2008. This concert was cancelled in light of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai throughout November 2008.[79]

Waters recently confirmed to David Frost that he is hoping to tour The Wall in late 2010. Waters told Frost he is "crunching all the numbers at the moment."[7][5]

Views and advocacy

Waters is a supporter of the Countryside Alliance and has played concerts to raise funds for the organisation.[80]

A strong supporter of fox hunting, Waters claimed he left Britain due to the Hunting Act 2004:

“I’ve become disenchanted with the political and philosophical atmosphere in England. It’s so mealy-mouthed. I’m lucky enough to have the freedom to live where I want because I’ve made a few quid. The anti-hunting bill was enough for me to leave England. I did what I could, I did a concert and one or two articles, but it made me feel ashamed to be English. I was in Hyde Park for both the Countryside Alliance marches. There were hundreds of thousands of us there. Good, honest English people. That’s one of the most divisive pieces of legislation we’ve ever had in Great Britain. It was disgusting.”[81]

Waters opposes the barrier being built by Israel between Israeli and Palestinian Territories, calling it an "obscenity" that should be torn down.[82] In December 2009 he pledged his support to the Gaza Freedom March.[83][84]

Waters has voiced his opposition to Operation Iraqi Freedom and the War in Afghanistan (2001–present):

“The loss of a father is the central prop upon which (The Wall) stands. As the years go by, children lose their fathers again and again, for nothing. You see it now with all of these fathers, good men and true, who lost their lives and limbs in Iraq for no reason at all. I’ve done Bring the Boys Back Home in my encores on recent tours. It feels more relevant and poignant to be singing that song now than it did in 1979.” [85]

Hits and awards

Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon (1973) "is one of the most acclaimed albums of all time. A stunning exploration of madness, death, anxiety, and alienation", it stayed on the Billboard 200 chart for 724 weeks—the longest ever consecutive run for an LP—and has sold over 30 million copies worldwide. It still sells around 5,000 units every week.[86] RIAA ranks The Dark Side of the Moon number 22 on its "Top 100 Albums" list, with 15 million certified units sold in the US.[87]

Pink Floyd's album The Wall is largely based on Waters life story[44][31][88] and has sold 23 million RIAA certified units in the US. It is one of the top three selling albums of all time in America.[87]

The RIAA and the National Endowment for the Arts named the Waters composition "Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)" one of the "365 Top Selling Songs of the 20th Century".[89] "Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)" was also ranked #375 on Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list.[90]

Pink Floyd has sold over 200 million albums worldwide[91][92] including 74.5 million certified units in the United States.[93]

"What God Wants, Pt. 1" from Amused to Death, reached No.35 in the UK in September 1992.[94]

His first major solo album, The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking, has been certified Gold by the RIAA, and his opera Ça Ira reached No.1 on both the UK and US Classical Charts. Waters has been inducted into the US and UK Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Pink Floyd; he has also received a "Media Event of the Year" award for staging The Wall Live in Berlin. In February 2009 he received a "Cinema for Peace" award for The Wall.[95]

Equipment and instruments

During Waters early days with Pink Floyd he used a Höfner bass, quickly replacing that with a Rickenbacker 4001S bass guitar. In the early 1970s, he switched to a Fender Precision Bass. He often plays with a pick, but is also known to play fingerstyle occasionally. Waters uses RotoSound Jazz Bass 77 bass guitar strings. Throughout his career, he has used WEM, Hiwatt and Ashdown amplifiers. He is known to use delay, tremolo, chorus effect and phaser effects in his music.

While usually credited only as a bass guitarist and vocalist, Waters is also known to play electric guitar (as he did on Wish You Were Here and Animals, where he played rhythm guitar on tracks "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" part 9 and "Sheep") as well as synthesizer and tape effects, both to Pink Floyd and his solo works. He also plays acoustic guitar frequently during his live tours, mostly on tracks from The Final Cut and on the track "Mother".

The following is a list of equipment Waters has used on his solo or Pink Floyd recordings, as well as on tours. [96][2][97]

Bass guitars

  • Höfner bass guitar. His first bass.
  • Rickenbacker RM-1999 (also known as 4001S). Fireglo with rosewood fretboard. Used between 1966-1969. Lost in 1970 after equipment van was stolen in New Orleans, and everything was subsequently recovered except the guitars and basses.
  • Fender Precision Bass. Waters was first seen in 1968 with a Precision. After 1970 he has rarely used any other bass guitars.
    • Sunburst with rosewood fretboard and brown tortoise pickguard. First seen in September 1968. Also used in the early 70's. Pickup cover and thumbrest (below pickups) attached.
    • White with brown tortoise pickguard and rosewood fretboard. Appears on back cover of Ummagumma 1969. Seen used at the KQED TV recording April 1970 as well as several photographs from 1969. Stolen along with Rickenbacker after equipment van heist in 1970
    • Multi-coloured jazz bass with rosewood fretboard. Actual colours of bass are unknown since only black and white footage/photos exist. This is a WWII German camouflage pattern. Used extremely rarely in 1969.
    • Black with rosewood fretboard. Seen in some early performances.
    • Black with white pickguard, maple fretboard. First seen at a concert in Hyde park in July 1970, this guitar was used on very few occasions before April 1972 when it became his de facto only guitar on stage. Circa 1976 Phil Taylor (David Gilmour's guitar technician) replaced the white pickguard with a black, something clearly visible on In the Flesh and The Wall tours. During the Wall sessions and tour Waters had three of them.
    • Sunburst with maple fretboard and gold anodized pickguard. Used during the Dark Side of the Moon recordings.
    • Black with maple fretboard and black pickguard. His main bass guitars during the 1980s solo album and tours.

Waters currently uses Samson wireless systems with his basses.

  • Black with maple fretboard "Charvel" Precision style - currently used on Live 8, The Dark Side Of The Moon Live 2006-2008


  • CBS Fender Stratocaster. Black with white pickguard, maple fretboard.
  • CBS Fender Stratocaster. Black with maple fretboard. Used on the 1977 tour.
  • Fender Stratocaster. Black with white pickguard and maple fretboard. Used on The Wall recording sessions.
  • Ovation Legend acoustic/electric guitar. Used on the 1977 tour.
  • Ovation Legend 1619-4 acoustic guitar. Used on The Wall recording sessions and tour. Also used on The Pros & Cons of Hitch Hiking Tour.
  • Ovation Classical 1613 acoustic guitar. Used on The Wall tour.
  • Washburn electric-acoustic guitar. Blue. Roger's main acoustic during the KAOS/Wall in Berlin era. Also used on 2000 In the Flesh tour by Andy Fairweather-Low.
  • Gibson Les Paul guitar. Black. Used on Radio K.A.O.S. tour.
  • Unknown Fender Telecaster copy. Black, with three control knobs. Used exclusively at The Wall Live in Berlin, on "Hey You".
  • Martin 000-28EC acoustic guitar. Used on In the Flesh tour.
  • Martin 000-28ECHF Bellezza Nera acoustic guitar. Used on Dark Side of the Moon Live tour.
  • Washburn RR300 electric guitar (hi-strung). Sunburst. Used on In the Flesh tour.
  • Fender Eric Clapton Signature Stratocaster. Torino Red with white pickguard. Used on In the Flesh tour.
  • Fender Stratocaster. All black. Used on 2002 In the Flesh tour.

Solo discography

For his work with Pink Floyd, see Pink Floyd discography between 1967 and 1983


Year Album UK Albums Chart
1970 Music from The Body (with Ron Geesin)
1984 The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking 13
1986 When the Wind Blows (various artists soundtrack)
1987 Radio K.A.O.S. 25
1990 The Wall - Live in Berlin 27
1992 Amused to Death 8
2000 In the Flesh - Live 170
2002 Flickering Flame: The Solo Years Volume 1
2005 Ça Ira 1 (UK Classical Chart)
"–" denotes a release that did not chart.


Year Single UK Singles Chart Album
1984 "5:01am (The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking)" 76 The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking
1984 "5:06am (Every Stranger's Eyes)"
1987 "Radio Waves" 75 Radio K.A.O.S.
1987 "The Tide Is Turning (After Live Aid)" 54
1988 "Sunset Strip"
1988 "Who Needs Information"
1990 "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)"(with Cyndi Lauper) 82 The Wall - Live in Berlin
1990 "The Tide Is Turning"(with Joni Mitchell, Cyndi Lauper,
Bryan Adams, Van Morrison and Paul Carrack)
1992 "What God Wants Part One" 35 Amused to Death
1992 "The Bravery Of Being Out of Range"
1993 "Three Wishes"
2004 "To Kill the Child / Leaving Beirut"
2007 "Hello (I Love You)"
"–" denotes a release that did not chart.

non-LP tracks

  • 1987 Going To Live In LA : Radio Waves (single)
  • 1987 Sunset Strip / Money : Sunset Strip (single)
  • 1987 Get Back To Radio (Demo Recording) : The Tide Is Turning (After Live Aid) (single)
  • 1987 The Russian Missile - Towers Of Faith - Hilda's Dream - The American Bomber - The Anderson Shelter - The British Submarine - The Attack - The Fall Out - Hilda's Hair - Folded Flags : When The Wind Blows (OST)
  • 1987 Molly's Song : Who Needs Information (single)
  • 1998 Knockin' on Heaven's Door : The Dybbuk of The Holy Apple Field (OST)
  • 1999 Incarceration Of A Flower Child (Waters composition) : Marianne Faithfull's Vagabond Ways
  • 2000 Each Small Candle [live] : In The Flesh (live)
  • 2001 Flickering Flame [new demo]
  • 2004 To Kill The Child & Leaving Beirut : To Kill The Child & Leaving Beirut (single)
  • 2007 Hello (I Love You) : Hello (I Love You) (single)
  • 2007 Lost Boys Calling : We All Love Ennio Morricone (various)
  • 2007 Another brick in the wall part II (live) : Live Earth The Concerts For A Climate In Crisis


  1. ^ Shaffner 1991.
  2. ^ a b Mason 2005.
  3. ^ Blake 2008.
  4. ^ Povey 2008.
  5. ^ a b c d Roger Waters Interview (Video) - The Wall Tour 2010, 11 December 2009,, retrieved March 2010 
  6. ^ "Roger Waters Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Retrieved March 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Roger Waters - The Wall Tour 2010, 11 December 2009,, retrieved March 2010 
  8. ^ Schaffner, p. 15.
  9. ^ Schaffner, p. 16.
  10. ^ "Pink Floyd in Cambridgeshire:". ECOLN. 30 June 1995. Retrieved March 2010. 
  11. ^ Mason 2005, p. 13.
  12. ^ Povey 2008, p. 12.
  13. ^ Mason 2005, p. 26.
  14. ^ Povey & Russell 1997, p. 19.
  15. ^ Povey 2008, p. 19.
  16. ^ Povey 2008, pp. 43-47.
  17. ^ Blake 2008, pp. 90-113.
  18. ^ Povey 2008, p. 47.
  19. ^ Blake 2008, p. 110.
  20. ^ Mason 2005, p. 102.
  21. ^ Schaffner 1991, p. 105.
  22. ^ a b c d Povey 2008, p. 78.
  23. ^ Blake 2008, p. 111.
  24. ^ a b Mason 2005, p. 105.
  25. ^ Mason 2005, p. 106.
  26. ^ Schaffner 1991, pp. 107-108.
  27. ^ Blake 2008, pp. 113-114.
  28. ^ Schaffner 1991, p. 107.
  29. ^ Blake 2008, p. 113.
  30. ^ Mason 2005, p. 69.
  31. ^ a b Blake 2008, p. 260.
  32. ^ Schaffner 1991, p. 255.
  33. ^ Mason 2005, p. 265.
  34. ^ Povey 2008, p. 230.
  35. ^ "David Gilmour Interview". Pink Floyd Online. Retrieved March 2010. 
  36. ^ a b c d e "Mojo Magazine Issue 73 (December 1999) (Pink Floyd cover) (with Waters, Gilmour, Wright, Mason, Guthrie, Scarffe and Ezrin)", MoJo Magazine, December 1999,, retrieved March 2010 
  37. ^ Mason 2005, pp. 246-247.
  38. ^ Povey 2008, p. 222.
  39. ^ Blake 2008, p. 266.
  40. ^ a b c d Mason 2005, p. 247.
  41. ^ a b c d Schaffner 1991, p. 235.
  42. ^ a b Blake 2008, p. 268.
  43. ^ Mason 2005, pp. 243-246.
  44. ^ a b Povey 2008, p. 220.
  45. ^ An Interview on the Dark Side by M. Kriteman, 1996,, retrieved March 2010 
  46. ^ Schaffner 1991, p. 236.
  47. ^ Schaffner 1991, p. 262.
  48. ^ Povey.
  49. ^ "Pink Floyd 'a spent force creatively'". The Spokesman-Review. 7 November 1986.,4493755&dq=pink+floyd&hl=en. 
  50. ^ a b Povey 2008, p. 240.
  51. ^ a b Mason 2005, pp. 293-294.
  52. ^ The Astoria, Gilmour's Houseboat/Studio,, retrieved 2010-02-27 
  53. ^ "Roger Waters Amused to Death review". Allmusic. Retrieved March 2010. 
  54. ^ "Pink Floyd band interviews: with Brain Damage's Richard Ashton and Glenn Povey.". Brain Damage. September 1987. Retrieved March 2010. 
  55. ^ Schaffner & 1991 p.224.
  56. ^ "The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking review by Kurt Loder". Rolling Stone. 7 June 1984. Retrieved March 2010. 
  57. ^ "The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking review by Mike DeGagne". Allmusic. Retrieved March 2010. 
  58. ^ a b Blake 2008, pp. 302–309.
  59. ^ Rock Sets: the astonishing art of rock concert design: the works of Fisher Park by Sutherland Lyall. London: Thames and Hudson. 1992. Retrieved March 2010. 
  60. ^ Schaffner 1991, pp. 264–266.
  61. ^ Schaffner 1991, pp. 283–285.
  62. ^ Blake 2008, pp. 347–349.
  63. ^ Blake 2008, p. 391.
  64. ^ "Roger Waters: French Revolution", (The Independant),, retrieved 16 March 2010 
  65. ^ Blake 2008, pp. 391–392.
  66. ^ "Pink Floyd's Wall Broadway bound". BBC News. 5 August 2004. Retrieved March 2010. 
  67. ^ a b Blake 2008, p. 392.
  68. ^ Blake 2008, pp. 394–395.
  69. ^ a b "Q&A: Roger Waters Pink Floyd's bass man on the blues and the Floyd reunion at Live 8 by Austin Skaggs". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 2010. 
  70. ^ "5 Bands That Will Never Reunite by Ellen Barnes". Gibson. 24 February 2010. Retrieved March 2010. 
  71. ^ a b "Read the complete Roger Waters interview by Mark Brown". April 2008. Retrieved March 2010. 
  72. ^ "Roger Waters Tours". REG The International Roger Waters Fan Club. Retrieved March 2010. 
  73. ^ "Syd Barrett's death announced after Waters' concert". MaltaMedia News. 11 July 2006. Retrieved March 2010. 
  74. ^ "Tributes paid to Richard Wright from across the world by Matt". Brain Damage-Pink Floyd News Resource. 16 September 2008. Retrieved March 2010. 
  75. ^ "Tributes to Rick". Facebook. 18 February 2009. Retrieved March 2010. 
  76. ^ "Reminder - Pink Floyd Rock Icon Roger Waters Records "Hello (I Love You)," an Original Song for New Line Cinema's "The Last Mimzy"". Market Wire. January 2007. Retrieved March 2010. 
  77. ^ Waters: Something can be done about extreme poverty -
  78. ^ Portishead, Johnson, Waters To Headline Coachella
  79. ^ "Pink Floyd's Roger Waters to join Bon Jovi at Live Earth India". 21 November 2008. 
  80. ^ "Bryan Ferry to play Countryside Alliance Benefit Concert". 
  81. ^ "Roger Waters tells Paul Sexton about his French revolution opera, Ca Ira, the anti-hunting bill and that Pink Floyd reunion". All Pink Floyd Fan Network. 4 September 2005. Retrieved March 2010. 
  82. ^ "Roger Waters to Israel: Tear Down the Wall by Scott Thil". 2 June 2009. Retrieved March 2010. 
  83. ^ "Roger Waters of Pink Floyd has Sent the Gaza Freedom Marchers a Message of Goodwill, post by Yvonne Ridley". Intifada: Voice of Palestine. December 2009. Retrieved March 2010. 
  84. ^ "EXCLUSIVE…Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters Speaks Out in Support of Gaza Freedom March, Blasts Israeli-Egyptian “Siege” of Gaza by Amy Goodman". Democracy Now!. 30 December 2009. Retrieved March 2010. 
  85. ^ "Mojo Music Magazine Issue 193 Roger Waters cover". (Mojo Music Magazine). December 2009. 
  86. ^ "The Dark Side of the Moon, The Making of the Pink Floyd Masterpiece by John Harris". Da Capo Press. 2006. Retrieved March 2010. 
  87. ^ a b "RIAA GOLD & PLATINUM Top 100 Albums". RIAA. Retrieved March 2010. 
  88. ^ Schaffner 1991, p. 225.
  89. ^ "RIAA's 365 TOP SELLING SONGS OF THE 20th CENTURY". Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts. Retrieved March 2010. 
  90. ^ "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. 9 December 2004. Retrieved March 2010. 
  91. ^ "Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett dies at home". Times Online. 11 July 2006. Retrieved 16 March 2010. 
  92. ^ "Floyd 'true to Barrett's legacy'". BBC News. 11 July 2006. Retrieved 16 March 2010. 
  93. ^ "Top Selling Artists". RIAA. Retrieved 16 March 2010. 
  94. ^ "UK Top 40 Hit Database". 
  95. ^ "Roger Waters erhält Auszeichnung in Berlin!". Pulse & Spirit. 2 October 2009. Retrieved March 2010. 
  96. ^ Fitch, Vernon: The Pink Floyd Encyclopedia (3rd Edition) 2005
  97. ^ Fitch, Vernon and Mahon, Richard: Comfortably Numb - The Wall 1978-1981 2006


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

In the finished article, the only thing that is important is whether it moves you or not. There is nothing else that is important at all.
All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be.
You are young and life is long, and there is time to kill today. And then one day you find, ten years have gone behind you No one told you when to run, You missed the starting gun.

George Roger Waters (born 6 September 1943) is a British musician who was for a long period the lead singer, songwriter, and bass player for the rock band Pink Floyd.

I think that happiness resides somewhere between the extremes of personal, religious, and political. I think happiness resides where we understand someone else's point of view and needs. Happiness resides where we are not lost in the solitary dream.
Will the technologies of communication and culture — and especially popular music, which is a vast and beloved enterprise — help us to understand one another better, or will they deceive us and keep us apart?



  • At Live Earth on global warming "I think what you can do is vote...This problem will not be solved until we the electorates make it quite clear to candidates running for office that we will not vote for them unless they have a clear policy on the environment and global warming in particular. And also we will not vote for them if they have a track record like this current administration does."


  • Asked what his artistic purpose was: "There is no purpose. We do whatever we do. You either blow your brains out or get on with something."
    • June 1987
  • "What it comes down to for me is: Will the technologies of communication and culture — and especially popular music, which is a vast and beloved enterprise — help us to understand one another better, or will they deceive us and keep us apart?"
    • Penthouse Magazine, September, 1988
  • "The very early days of Pink Floyd were magical. We played small auditoriums for entranced audiences, and there was a wonderful sense of communion. We got overpowered by the weight of success and numbers — not just the money but the size of the audience. I became very disenchanted. I had to make the choice of staying on the treadmill or making the braver decision to travel a more difficult path alone."
    • USA Today, 1999
  • "I think that happiness resides somewhere between the extremes of personal, religious, and political. I think happiness resides where we understand someone else's point of view and needs. Happiness resides where we are not lost in the solitary dream."
    • November 2005


  • "For us the most important thing is to be visual, and for the cats watching us to have fun. This is all we want. We get very upset if people get bored when we're only half way through smashing the second set. Then all of a sudden they hear Arnold Layne and they flip all over again."
    • Rave UK Magazine, June 1967
  • "We've got the recording side together and not the playing side."
    • Melody Maker, August 1967
  • "Earlier this year we went skiing and I was in a shop, paying a bill and there was a woman standing there whom I knew slightly. I was waiting for my bill and she was buying something, a tea strainer. Quite suddenly she said to me, 'Where was your Father killed?'. I was very surprised and blurted out 'Oh Anzio'. Now this is a woman of about my age, so she's 40-ish. She said, 'My Father was killed in the war'. Apparently somebody lent her a copy of 'The Final Cut' and she had listened to the whole thing and she had found it very moving. In fact she said it had moved her to tears. She told me this, standing in the shop, with some effort I suspect, and I remember thinking: That's enough really. It doesn't matter if the Americans don't buy it."
    • Karl Dallas Interview, 1984
  • "I have nothing against Dave Gilmour furthering his own goals. It's just the idea of Dave's solo career masquerading as Pink Floyd that offends me!"
    • Penthouse Magazine, September, 1988
  • "Either you write songs or you don't. And if you do write songs like I do, I think there's a natural desire to want to make records. So, when I left Pink Floyd, I guess I had two, no three choices open to me: Not to do it anymore, which is daft as I was writing songs, although I suppose I could have written for other people, but I like making records; so I could either do it as Roger Waters or I could have got together with other people and said hey, why don't we start a band? But my view of bands had been jaundiced slightly by my previous experience, so I think that was something I never considered."
    • Gold, 1992
  • "I had at one point this rather depressing image of some alien culture seeing the death of this planet - coming down in their spaceships and sniffing around; finding all our skeletons sitting around our TV sets and trying to work out why our end came before its time and they come to the conclusion that we amused ourselves to death.."
    • Amused to Death syndicate Radio Premiere, 1992
  • "Well, anyway, I am one of the best five writers to come out of English music since the War."
  • "It was very, very hard work organizing that Wall concert but everyone was fabulous to work with - Bryan Adams, Van Morrison, Cyndi Lauper, bloody brilliant. All brilliant. Except for Sinead O'Connor... She doesn't understand anything. She's just a silly little girl. You can't just lie in the corner and shave your bloody head and stick it up your arse and occasionally pull it out to go (_"brogue"_) 'Oh, I tink this is wrong and dat is wrong' and burst into tears."
  • "Andrew Lloyd Webber sickens me. He's in your face all the time and what he does is nonsense. It has no value. It is shallow, derivative rubbish, all of it, and it makes me very gloomy. Actually, I've never been to one of his shows but having put that slightly savage joke on the record, I thought I'd better listen to some Andrew Lloyd Webber and I was staying in a rented house in America this summer and the people who owned the house had a whole bunch of his rubbish so I thought I'd listen to Phantom Of The Opera and I put the record on and I was slightly apprehensive. I thought, Christ, I hope this isn't good - or even mediocre. I was not disappointed. Phantom Of The Opera is absolutely fucking horrible from start to finish."
  • "Radio One won't play my fucking single (What God Wants) because they know it's no good. They know it's not as good as Erasure or Janet fucking Jackson. They know that the British public shouldn't be listening to it. It makes my blood boil! If you're not 17 with a baseball hat on back to front, they don't want to know."
    • Q magazine, November 1992
  • "I was never a bass player. I've never played anything. I play guitar a bit on the records and would play bass, because I sometimes want to hear the "sound" I make when I hit a string on a bass with a pick or my finger; it makes a different sound than anybody else makes, to me. But I've never been interested in playing the bass. I'm not interested in playing instruments and I never have been."
  • "I was quite happy standing there thundering about, playing whatever I could - that's "fun". And I see young bands occasionally now doing the same thing. I think it's called "thrash" now. It's the same thing: It's just kids who can't play, pissing about. It's terrific. That's all we were doing. I mean, Dave could play a little bit, but none of the rest of us could."
    • Musician, December 1992
  • "It's like saying 'Give a man a Les Paul guitar and he becomes Eric Clapton,' you know. It's not true. And give a man an amplifier and a synthesizer, and he doesn't become whoever, you know. He doesn't become us."
    • Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii
  • "In the finished article, the only thing that is important is whether it moves you or not. There is nothing else that is important at all."
    • Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii
  • "It's actually quite emotional, standing up here with these three guys after all these years, standing to be counted with the rest of you. Anyway, we're doing this for everyone who's not here, and particulary of course for Syd"
    • LIVE 8, Hyde Park, London, July 2005

Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett

  • "On the club scene we rate about two out of ten and 'Must try harder.' "We've had problems with our equipment and we can't get the P.A. to work because we play extremely loudly. It's a pity because Syd (singer Syd Barrett) writes great lyrics and nobody ever hears them."
    • Melody Maker, August, 1967
  • "Well, he's schizophrenic. And has been since 1968."
    • Australian Radio, 1988
  • "Syd was a genius. But I wouldn't want to go back to playing Interstellar Overdrive for hours and hours."
    • Q Magazine, November 1992
  • "Oh, they [the Media] definitely don't want to know the real Barrett story... there are no facts involved in the Barrett story so they can make up any story they like, and they do. There's a vague basis in fact: Syd was in the band and he did write the material on the first album, 80% of it, but that's all. It is only that one album, and that's what people don't realise. That first album, and one track on the second. That's all; nothing else."
    • quoted in Lost In The Woods by Julian Palacios, 1997
  • "I could never aspire to Syd's crazed insights and perceptions. In fact for a long time I wouldn't have dreamt of claiming any insights whatsoever. I'll always credit Syd with the connection he made between his personal unconscious and the collective group unconscious. It's taken me 15 years to get anywhere near there. Even though he was clearly out of control when making his two solo albums, some of the work is staggeringly evocative. It's the humanity of it all that's so impressive. It's about deeply felt values and beliefs. Maybe that's what 'Dark Side of the Moon' was aspiring to. A similar feeling."
    • quoted in Lost In The Woods by Julian Palacios, 1997

Song Lyrics

Set the controls for the heart of the sun.
All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be.
All that's to come, and everything under the sun is in tune, but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.
We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control
Life is long but it goes fast
The kids will have to separate
Their future from our past...
The ghosts are walking by my side
I feel their love I feel their pride
For I have built a bridge or two
Bridges between me and you
Hello I love you.

"Witness the man who raves at the wall

Making the shape of his question to Heaven

Whether the sun will fall in the evening

Will he remember the lesson of giving

Set the controls for the heart of the sun"

  • "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" on A Saucerful of Secrets (Pink Floyd, 1968)

"Music seems to help the pain,

seems to cultivate the brain"

  • "Take up Thy Stethoscope and Walk" on The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (Pink Floyd, 1967)

"And through the window in the wall

Comes streaming in on sunlight wings

A million bright ambassadors of morning."

  • "Echoes" on Meddle (Pink Floyd, 1971)

Strangers passing in the street

By chance two separate glances meet

And I am you and what I see is me.

  • "Echoes" on Meddle (Pink Floyd, 1971)

"The memories of a man in his old age

Are the deeds of a man in his prime.

You shuffle in gloom of the sickroom

And talk to yourself as you die.

Life is a short, warm moment

And death is a long cold rest.

You get your chance to try in the twinkling of an eye:

Eighty years, with luck, or even less."

  • "Free Four" on Obscured by Clouds (Pink Floyd, 1972)

"All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be."

  • "Breathe" on The Dark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd, 1973)

"Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day,

You fritter and waste the hours in an off hand way.

Kicking around on a piece of ground in your hometown,

Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine, Staying home to watch the rain,

You are young and life is long, and there is time to kill today.

And then one day you find, ten years have gone behind you

No one told you when to run, You missed the starting gun."

  • "Time" on The Dark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd, 1973)

"And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking

And racing around to come up behind you again

The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older

Shorter of breath and one day closer to death."

  • "Time" on The Dark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd, 1973)

"Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way."

  • "Time" on The Dark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd, 1973)

"All that is now

All that is gone

All that's to come

and everything under the sun is in tune

but the sun is eclipsed by the moon."

  • "Eclipse" on The Dark Side of the Moon" (Pink Floyd, 1973)

"How I wish you were here,

We're just two lost souls

swimming in a fishbowl

year after year.

Running over the same old ground,

What have we found?

The same old fears,

Wish you were here."

  • "Wish You Were Here" on Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd, 1975)

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want

He makes me down to lie

Through pastures green He leadeth me the silent waters by.

With bright knives He releaseth my soul.

He maketh me to hang on hooks in high places.

He converteth me to lamb cutlets,

For lo, He hath great power, and great hunger.

When cometh the day we lowly ones,

Through quiet reflection, and great dedication

Master the art of karate,

Lo, we shall rise up,

And then we'll make the bugger's eyes water."

  • "Sheep" (paraphrasing Psalm 23) on Animals (Pink Floyd, 1977)

"Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream"

  • "Sheep" on Animals (Pink Floyd, 1977)

"When we grew up and went to school

There were certain teachers who

Would hurt the children in any way they could.

By pouring their derision

upon anything we did

Exposing every weakness

However carefully hidden by the kid.

But in the town it was well known

When they got home at night

Their fat and psychopathic wives

Would thrash them within inches of their lives!"

  • "The Happiest Days of Our Lives" on The Wall (Pink Floyd, 1979)

"We don't need no education

We don't need no thought control

No dark sarcasm in the classroom

Teachers leave them kids alone

Hey! Teacher! Leave them Kids alone!"

  • "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2" on The Wall (Pink Floyd, 1979)

"You are only coming through in waves,

Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying,

When I was a child,

I caught a fleeting glimpse,

out of the corner of my eye,

I turned to look but it was gone,

I cannot put my finger on it now,

The child is grown,

The dream has gone,

And I have become

Comfortably Numb"

  • "Comfortably Numb" on The Wall (Pink Floyd, 1979)

"Through the fish-eyed lens of tear-stained eyes

I can barely define the shape of this moment in time

and far from flying high in clear blue skies

I'm spiralling down to the hole in the ground where I hide."

  • "The Final Cut" on The Final Cut (Pink Floyd, 1983)

"And now from where I stand

Upon this hill I plundered from the pool

I look around, I search the skies

I shade my eyes, so nearly blind

And I see signs of half remembered days

I hear bells that chime in strange familiar ways

I recognise........

The hope you kindle in your eyes"

  • "5.06 AM (Every Strangers Eyes)" on The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking (Roger Waters, 1985)

"They like a bomb-proof Cadillac

Air-conditioned, gold taps

Back-seat gun rack, Platinum hub caps

They pick horses for courses

They're the market forces

They like order, make-up, limelight, power

Game shows, rodeos, Star Wars, TV

They're The Powers That Be

If you see them come, you better run"

  • "The Powers That Be" on Radio KAOS (Roger Waters, 1987)

You wake up in the morning

Find some things for the pot

Wonder why the sun makes the rocks feel hot

Draw on the walls, eat, get laid

Back in the good old days

Then some damn fool invents the wheel

Listen to the white-walls squeal

You spend all day looking for a parking spot

Nothing for the heart, nothing for the pot

  • "Me Or Him" on Radio KAOS (Roger Waters, 1987)

"And when they found our shadows

Grouped around the TV sets

They ran down every lead

They repeated every test

They checked out all the data on their lists

And then the alien anthropologists

Admitted they were still perplexed

But on eliminating every other reason

For our sad demise

They logged the only explanation left

This species has amused itself to death."

  • "Amused to Death" on Amused to Death (Roger Waters, 1992)

"And the Germans killed the Jews

And the Jews killed the Arabs

And the Arabs killed the hostages

And that is the news"

  • "Perfect Sense (part I)" on Amused to Death (Roger Waters, 1992)

"Can't you see

It all makes perfect sense

Expressed in dollars and cents,

Pounds, shillings and pence

Can't you see

It all makes perfect sense"

  • "Perfect Sense" on Amused to Death (Roger Waters, 1992)

"The monkey sat on a pile of stone

And he stared at the broken bone in his hand

Strains of a Viennese quartet rang out across the land

The monkey looked up at the stars

And he thought to himself

Memory is a stranger

History is for fools

And he cleaned his hands in a pool of holy writing

Turned his back on the garden and set out for the nearest town"

  • "Perfect Sense" on Amused to Death (Roger Waters, 1992)

" Oh George! Oh George! That Texas education must have fucked you up when you were very small"

  • "Leaving Beirut" on To Kill the Child/ Leaving Beirut (Roger Waters, 2005), regarding the war in Iraq

America, America, please hear us when we call

You got hip-hop, be-bop, hustle and bustle

You got Atticus Finch

You got Jane Russell

You got freedom of speech

You got great beaches, wildernesses and malls

Don't let the might, the Christian right, fuck it all up

For you and the rest of the world

  • "Leaving Beirut" on To Kill the Child/ Leaving Beirut (Roger Waters, 2005), regarding the war in Iraq
  • Have you heard
    It was on the news
    Your child can read you like a bedtime story
    Like a magazine
    Like a has-been out to grass
    Like afternoon T.V.
    Why is my life going by so fast?
  • Life is long but it goes fast.
    The kids will have to separate
    Their future from our past.
    • "Hello (I Love You)"
  • The ghosts are walking by my side
    I feel their love I feel their pride
    For I have built a bridge or two
    Bridges between me and you.
    Hello I love you.
    • "Hello (I Love You)"


  • Regarding the spate of High School shootings of 1999: "in the Colorado shootings, the media seemed to change their tack a bit. Though they attached ghoulishly to it, covered it 24 hours a day and even gave it a logo like 'Horror in the Rockies', they did address issues of alienation and pain rather than just saying, 'oh, these aberrant teen-agers have to be stamped out.' After denigrating self-help ideas for the last 20 years, the media are beginning to look at the psychology and not just the police work."
    • USA Today, 1999
  • "Oh, for fuck sake stop lighting off fireworks and shouting & screaming I'm trying to sing a song! I mean I don't care. If you don't want to hear it. You know fuck you. I'm sure there are a lot of people here who do want to hear it. So why don't you just be quiet. If you want to light your fireworks off go outside and light them off out there and if you want to shout and scream well then go and do it out there.... but. I am trying to sing a song that some people want to listen to. I want to listen to it."
    • During a concert for the "Animals" tour in Montreal, Quebec, 1977
  • "I like to think oysters transcend national barriers, Adrian." - Pink Floyd: Live At Pompeii video, in an interview with director Adrian Maben.
  • "AHHHHHH!!!! are there any paranoids in the audience tonight? (the crowd cheers) Is there anyone who worries about things? (the crowd cheers again)...Pathetic... This is for all the weak people in the audience!...Is there anyone here who's weak!? (the crowd cheers again)... This is for you it's called Run Like Hell (Song starts) Lets all have a clap! Come on I can't hear you, get your hands together, have a good time, enjoy yourselves!! That's better!"
    • During the Los Angeles performance of "The Wall" at the Los Angeles Arena, California, February 1980
  • "Who's got my pig?"
    • During Roger's Dark Side Of The Moon Tour at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Indianapolis when the pig was cut from the line and released into the sky.

Simple English

George Roger Waters (born 6 September 1943 in Great Bookham, Surrey) is an English rock musician. He is best known as the bass player, co-lead singer, principle lyricist, and founding member of the English rock band Pink Floyd (1964-1986). Roger became the primary lyrical contributor in Pink Floyd after the departure of fellow founding member Syd Barret in January 1968, and sang lead vocals on at least one half of all Pink Floyd tracks during his tenure with the band. Many consider 1973-1979 to be the Golden Age of the Waters era Pink Floyd, during which time they released four studio albums, including two of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed rock albums ever created.

Released in 1973, The Dark Side of the Moon is one of the top selling albums of all time. Pink Floyd followed the epochal success of Dark Side with Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977) and 1979's The Wall, a double album considered by many to be rock's finest. The Wall, based on the life struggles of Roger Waters, is the best selling double disk of all time, and as Pink Floyd's second unequivocally definitive album, it solidified their status amoung the world's elite rock bands. In 1983 Pink Floyd released their tenth studio album, The Final Cut. Written and almost entirely sung by Roger, (Gilmour sang on just one track), it is the only Pink Floyd album on which Waters is credited for the writing and composition of every song. In retrospect, The Final Cut is more fairly considered Roger's first solo album, essentially using David Gilmour and Nick Mason as studio musicians. One of rock music's most critically acclaimed and commercially successful acts, Pink Floyd has sold over 200 million albums worldwide, including 74.5 million in the United States.

Following his legal and philosophical split with Pink Floyd in 1986, Waters began a solo career, releasing three studio albums, The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking (1984), Radio K.A.O.S. (1987), and in 1992, the highly acclaimed Amused to Death. In 1990, Roger staged one of the largest rock concerts ever, The Wall Concert in Berlin, on the vacant terrain between Potsdamer Platz and the Brandenburg Gate. In 2005 he released the critically acclaimed opera, Ça Ira, which would go on to top the classical charts in America and Britain, as well as joining Nick Mason , Richard Wright and David Gilmour, for an historical performance at the 2 July 2005 Live 8 concert in London's Hyde Park, Pink Floyd's first public performance with Roger in 24 years.

Waters has toured extensively as a solo act since 2005, performing Dark Side to sold out audiences and critical acclaim the world over. Roger's manager, Mark Fenwick, has recently confirmed that Roger is "considering" touring The Wall in 2010 and 2011.[1]


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