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Roger Waters


lzzoso
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I watched the Pink Floyd biography on the Biography channel the other day just before the "old" and then the "new" biography of Led Zeppelin.

To make a semi-long story short, Roger Waters was/(is) an egomaniac Asshole. According to the biography, he kicked out two original members of Pink Floyd. The leader and founder, Syd Barrett and later on Rick Wright because he felt that Rick was not contributing his share to the sound or music of Pink Floyd.

The bio also said that Roger actually seemed to detest the audiences that came to see them. He reportedly pulled a fan onstage and spit in the fans face. If this is actually true (and I believe that it is), then I am sure Roger did alot of other stupid and idiotic things to other fans that came to see them.

The bio also mentioned that this was one reason that Roger had for building a "wall" between himself and the audience. Apparently he could not stand the audiences that paid their money to come see Pink Floyd live in concert.

Can you imagine if Jimmy Page or Robert Plant had this detesting attitude toward Their fans? Imagine how that would make Them and Led Zeppelin look. In My Opinion, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham were a Band with absolute sophistication and Class.

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I expect lzzoso was referring, at least in part, to the manner in which LZ dealt with each other and their fans.

Waters was/is indeed an egomaniacal asshole. What's more, as is often the case with egomaniacal assholes, he is also stupid. With the first manifestation of his megalomania, he kicked out the band's songwriter, and then spent the next three years banging around in the toolshed trying to figure out how to write songs. Then, after Animals, when they'd finally hit on a winning formula after a string of 4 (arguably 5) excellent albums, he thought it would be a cool idea to marginalise the band's two genuine musicians, and effectively go it alone with his atonal, demented ramblings.

When his solo career officially started, he was finally free of any vestiges of influence (read 'quality control') from his former band members, and proceeded to churn out a succession of increasingly pretentious, solipsistic and musically worthless albums, as well as doing his damnedest to stop the others going out as PF.

Well done, Roger!

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In My Opinion, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham were a band with absolute sophistication and class.

Well, I don't know if I'd say that. I do commend Peter Grant for ensuring their tickets remained relatively affordable throughout the 1970s. He could have gouged the fans.

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It wasn't Roger who kicked out Syd Barrett. The whole band decided to kick him out. They were on their way to a gig, and someone in the car asked if they should go pick up Syd, and someone else said "No, let's not bother." They as a group went on without him, and chose to replace him. Roger kicked Rick out, but they all kicked Syd out. As for the charge that Roger is still an asshole, seeing that David and Nick are on friendly terms with him again, and that he and Rick had patched things up before his death, I'd say that's a bit far-fetched. He was most definitely an asshole in the 70s and 80s, but he's mellowed out considerably since then.

BTW, Led Zeppelin is a band of "sophistication and class"? I'm a fan as much as the next person here, but none of their backstage shenanigans comes close to "sophistication and class." They might have comported themselves on stage better than Roger Waters did toward the end of Pink Floyd's run in the 1970s, but that's about where it ends. They were rock stars just like any other group, and behaved the same. Sophistication and class do not go hand in hand with balls-out rock and roll.

Edited by Electrophile
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Those solo discs were pretty brutal. Didn't he actually trick Clapton into playing on "Pros and Cons.." by getting him to play guitar snippets and then put them on the disc? Or was that Beck on "What God Wants". Radio KAOS had a couple good tracks on it, but with Gilmour's "Momentary Lapse.." being released at basically the same time, it was obvious Roger didn't have the musical chops to produce anything remotely as good as what was done with David. He now only tours Floyd music and none of his own material. "The Wall" concert I saw last year was an amazing show though, I do have to give him props on that!

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Syd was kicked out of the band because his drug addiction made him impossible to handle.

Through late 1967 and early 1968, Barrett's behaviour became increasingly erratic and unpredictable, partly as a consequence of his reported heavy use of psychedelic drugs, most prominently LSD. Many report having seen him on stage with the group, strumming on one chord through the entire concert, or not playing at all. At a show at The Fillmore in San Francisco, during a performance of "Interstellar Overdrive", Barrett slowly detuned his guitar. The audience seemed to enjoy such antics, unaware of the rest of the band's consternation. Interviewed on Pat Boone's show during this tour, Syd's reply to Boone's questions was a "blank and totally mute stare"; according to Nick Mason, "Syd wasn't into moving his lips that day". Barrett exhibited similar behaviour during the band's first appearance on Dick Clark's popular TV show American Bandstand. When asked two questions by Clark, Barrett's answers were terse, almost to the point of rudeness (though, as Clark admitted, they had been flying non-stop from London to Los Angeles). Before a performance in late 1967, Barrett reportedly crushed Mandrax tranquilliser tablets and an entire tube of Brylcreem into his hair, which subsequently melted down his face under the heat of the stage lighting, making him look like "a guttered candle". Nick Mason later disputed the Mandrax portion of this story, stating that "Syd would never waste good mandies".

During their UK tour with Jimi Hendrix in November 1967, guitarist David O'List from The Nice was called in to substitute for Barrett on several occasions when he was unable to perform or failed to appear. And sometime around Christmas, David Gilmour (a school friend of Barrett's) was asked to join the band as a second guitarist to cover for Barrett, whose erratic behaviour prevented him from performing. For a handful of shows David played and sang while Barrett wandered around on stage, occasionally deciding to join in playing. The other band members soon grew tired of Barrett's antics and, on January 26, 1968, on the way to a show at Southampton University, the band elected not to pick Barrett up: one person in the car said, "Shall we pick Syd up?" and another said, "Let's not bother"

The spitting accident happened at a concert where Waters got bombarded with fireworks by drunk members in the audience while trying three times to start a quiet song.

Edited by reswati
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It wasn't Roger who kicked out Syd Barrett. The whole band decided to kick him out. They were on their way to a gig, and someone in the car asked if they should go pick up Syd, and someone else said "No, let's not bother." They as a group went on without him, and chose to replace him. Roger kicked Rick out, but they all kicked Syd out.

I believe Waters admitted some time ago that it was 'probably' his idea.

If this is true, which of the other two (or, by then, three) was likely to challenge him, do you think?

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Actually, the spitting incident occurred when a fan was trying to scale the security barrier in front of the stage. Roger spit at him to get him to climb down. In the shows they did in Philadelphia and New York prior to Montreal was when Roger was screaming at audience members to quit setting off fireworks, since they could you know, start a fire and all.

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The Spitting incident does I'd say rather sum up Waters career, it doesnt actually happen during that performace of Pigs On The Wing but rather at the end of Pigs(three different kinds) starting around 6:30 in...

Its assholish but in the context of the material calling a fan over like a sheepdog before doing it was great rock threater.

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It wasn't Roger who kicked out Syd Barrett. The whole band decided to kick him out. They were on their way to a gig, and someone in the car asked if they should go pick up Syd, and someone else said "No, let's not bother." They as a group went on without him, and chose to replace him. Roger kicked Rick out, but they all kicked Syd out. As for the charge that Roger is still an asshole, seeing that David and Nick are on friendly terms with him again, and that he and Rick had patched things up before his death, I'd say that's a bit far-fetched. He was most definitely an asshole in the 70s and 80s, but he's mellowed out considerably since then.

BTW, Led Zeppelin is a band of "sophistication and class"? I'm a fan as much as the next person here, but none of their backstage shenanigans comes close to "sophistication and class." They might have comported themselves on stage better than Roger Waters did toward the end of Pink Floyd's run in the 1970s, but that's about where it ends. They were rock stars just like any other group, and behaved the same. Sophistication and class do not go hand in hand with balls-out rock and roll.

Syd's actions pretty much signed his own fate. (Like when filming a video and he wouldn't sing but just stand there staring into space and the time where he went onstage and just sat on the floor) His mental illness ended his participation.

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Syd's unfortunate problems were thought to be either schizophrenia, depression, or a combination of both. It turned out he most likely suffered from Aspergers Syndrome (autism) which went undiagnosed. His condition was somewhat manageable by Barrett until he began to self-medicate with LSD. The LSD exasberated the Aspergers leading to a complete mental breakdown in 1971. He was institutionalized for a time and then lived at home with his parents until his death in 2006 immersing himself in abstract painting and gardening. Barrett was in effect a Rain-Man of sorts in the musical community, an incredible writer and innovator who was the victim of an un-diagnosed illness.

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You haven't read very much about Zeppelin, have you.

Define class?

I have read every major book about Led Zeppelin more than twice. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable when it comes to Led Zeppelin and their history.

What I meant by "sophistication" and "class" I was referring to Led Zeppelin live onstage. I believe that LZ's music is "sophisticated class". Sure, Robert had to chastise an audience every now and then, however, Robert would never go as low as to spit on a fan. Led Zeppelin knew that is was because of US, their loyal fans, that made them the Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the 1970's and of All-Time. I don't think any of them would ever take that for granted.

Now whatever happened backstage, offstage or wherever, I realize some bad or nasty things may have occurred. Different story altogether.

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Syd's unfortunate problems were thought to be either schizophrenia, depression, or a combination of both. It turned out he most likely suffered from Aspergers Syndrome (autism) which went undiagnosed. His condition was somewhat manageable by Barrett until he began to self-medicate with LSD. The LSD exasberated the Aspergers leading to a complete mental breakdown in 1971. He was institutionalized for a time and then lived at home with his parents until his death in 2006 immersing himself in abstract painting and gardening. Barrett was in effect a Rain-Man of sorts in the musical community, an incredible writer and innovator who was the victim of an un-diagnosed illness.

The schizophrenia angle was one definitely supported by the band, in any event. Just based on what I've read and learned about schizophrenia over the years, I would also believe he fits the profile......but he also carried signs of being autistic as well. I think one thing everyone can agree on was the over-consumption of psychedelics only worsened whatever problems it was he had.

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  • 1 year later...

On August 23, 2012 Roger Waters of Pink Floyd joined G. E. Smith on stage at the local watering hole, The Stephen Talkhouse in Amagasnett, N.Y. for G. E.'s belated 60th. With Abe Fogle on drums, and Jeff Kazee on piano. No one was expecting Waters to take the stage. Edited by luvlz2
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I have watched two biograpies on Pink Floyd and they each told a different story about Syd and Roger. One said that it was Gilmours idea not to pick Syd up for a gig.Why do people blame Roger Waters for everything that went wrong, for fucks sake he did the writing with the other group members. I also saw them on their Dark Side of the Moon tour, disappointed wasn't the word for it.

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  • 1 year later...

In My Opinion, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham were a Band with absolute sophistication and Class.

i love both bands.

it is true that roger was more arrogant than lz. however, according to their own admission, pf never did any of the creepy things that lz did backstage.

i guess it really does depend on what your definition of "sophistication" and "class" are.

imho, pf is infinitely more cerebral and sophisticated than lz, but lz has more heart and soul.... apples and oranges...

Edited by em1165
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  • 2 years later...

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