Former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters has taken to social media to rail against long-ago partner David Gilmour for considering him “irrelevant” and “banning” him from the group’s website and social media, complaining that his solo projects are not allowed to come up for mention while those of Gilmour’s wife are promoted.
In a video message posted to Twitter, Waters went so far as to say that they could “just change the name of the band to Spinal Tap, and then everything will be hunky dory,” before adding, “All right, I’m not gonna get all weird and sarcastic, although as you know, that is a direction in which I am known to sometimes lean temperamentally.”
The video was posted Monday night as “an announcement from me… and when I mention the Pink Floyd website, I also mean the Facebook page and all the rest.”
Waters first gave thanks to fans for positive reception to a new version of Floyd’s “Mother” that he recorded and released with some socially-distanced help from his band during the pandemic, saying, “It warms my heart.” Cutting to the chase, he said, “It does bring up the question of why is this video not available on a website that calls itself the Pink Floyd website? Well, the answer to that is because nothing from me is on the website. I am banned by David Gilmour from the website. About a year ago, I convened a sort of Camp David for the surviving members of Pink Floyd at a hotel at the airport in London, where I proposed all kinds of measures to get past this awful impasse that we have and predicament that we find ourselves in. It bore no fruit, I’m sorry to say.”
— Roger Waters (@rogerwaters) May 19, 2020
Waters had previously alluded in interviews to an uneasy meeting between himself, Gilmour and Nick Mason. Things have not always been so strained in recent times with Mason, at least, as he joined Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets band at a gig in April 2019.
“I suggested that because whoever the 30 million of you are who subscribe to the web page, that you do that because of the body of work that the five of us created. That’s Syd (Barrett), me, (the late) Rick (Wright), Nick and David, over a number of years. And in consequence, it seems to me that it would be fair and correct if we should have equal access to you all and share our projects.”
But, Waters said, “David thinks he owns it. I think he thinks that because I left the band in 1985, that he owns Pink Floyd, that he is Pink Floyd, that I’m irrelevant and I should just keep my mouth shut. We’re all welcome to our opinions. But there have been rumblings and grumblings in the ranks I’m told by friends of mine who follow these things, and some of the questions being asked are: ‘Why do we have to sit and watch Polly Samson (Gilmour’s wife) for year after year, month after month, day after day, and the von Trapps reading us excerpts from their novels to get us to go to sleep at night?’ And that’s a very good question. ‘And yet we don’t get to hear about anything that Roger’s doing or about ‘This is Not a Drill’ [Waters’ postponed tour], or when he makes a piece of work, it’s not shown, and so on and so forth. And none of his work is publicized. The fact that his and Sean Evans’ film ‘Us and Them,’ which has just gone out digitally for streaming everywhere, is not mentioned.”
Waters continued: “This is wrong. We should rise up. Or, just change the name of the band to Spinal Tap, and then everything will be hunky dory.”
Wrapping up his message by referencing the pandemic and also apparently alluding to Donald Trump, Waters said, “Stay safe, all of you. We live in dire, dire, desperate times and we need to find ways to communicate with one another so that we can act cooperatively to stop the man destroying this fragile planet that we all come home. That is the elephant in the room.”
Waters recently stirred up controversy, as he is wont to do, when he slammed not only Trump but the president’s presumptive opponent in the fall election. “(Joe) Biden is such a f—ing slime ball,” he told Rolling Stone in an interview last month. “He’s so weak, and has no appeal to anybody. Trump, at least, is a snake oil salesman, he does tricks… I obviously don’t know where I stand on that lesser of two evils question. I’m not sure the path to a new America that is not ruled by the current ruling class — by money, plutocracy, and a capitalist society — will be made any easier with Biden as president.”
Waters, the co-lead vocalist, bassist and primary songwriter of Pink Floyd, left the band in the ’80s, then sued the remaining three members for continuing on under the name without him. He lost that case, and the group went on to have several successful albums and tours without him. That version of the group has been essentially inactive since 1994, aside from reissues and a leftovers project (“The Endless River”). Gilmour has indicated that Floyd is over and done with but has retained oversight of the group for all intents and purposes. He, Waters and Mason have all undertaken tours playing the Floyd catalog in recent years. The three musicians last reunited to play together as Pink Floyd at Bob Geldof’s Live 8 benefit in 2005. Waters recently told Rolling Stone that any further reunions would be “f—ing awful.”
In the past, Waters has complained that the other group members did not want to use their media to promote his oft-controversial political and social views, although in the April Rolling Stone interview, he said that the loggerheads they found themselves in at their unhappy meeting last year came down to matters as simple as his desire to put out a remastered vinyl edition of “Animals.”