Roger Waters

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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.
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?

George Roger Waters (born 6 September 1943) is a British musician who was for a long period the bass player, primary songwriter and one of the primary vocalists (along with David Gilmour) for the rock band Pink Floyd.

Quotes[edit]

Philosophy[edit]

  • 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."
  • I’m not a huge practicing Christian myself, but it just staggers me that people who claim to be can stand up and spout – like your president George [H.W.] Bush – can stand up and spout this bullshit about God supporting one side over another in war, which is why I wrote the lyrics of the song "What God Wants": "God wants crusade/God wants Jihad." Well it may well be that God doesn’t want either of those things. They’re manifestations of the insecurities of the Muslim and Christian communities. I hate when someone uses religion to bolster war in the world: it's extremely disgusting and offensive for me, and for all christians, because that was not what Christ was trying to teach."
  • 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.
  • 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."

Music[edit]

  • 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).
  • 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 (1972).
  • 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 (1972).
  • 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) [can be heard on [1]]
  • 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.
  • 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 (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."
    • Q (British magazine, November 1992).
  • 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.
    • Q magazine (November 1992).
  • "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."
    • Q magazine (November 1992).
  • 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 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 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[edit]

  • 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).
  • 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 by Julian Palacios Lost In The Woods (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 by Julian Palacios Lost In The Woods (1997).

Song Lyrics[edit]

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
You are only coming through in waves,
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying…
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 motivate 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)
  • Who is the strongest, who is the best
    Who holds the aces, the East or the West
    This is the crap that our children are learning

    But ooh, the tide is turning.

  • I'm not saying the battle is won
    But on Saturday night all those kids in the sun
    Wrested technology's sword from the hands of the warlords
    Ooh, the tide is turning
    Ooh, the tide is turning.
  • 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
    And is it any wonder
    That the monkey's confused
    He said Mama Mama
    The President's a fool
    Why do I have to keep reading
    These technical manuals?"
    • "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?
    • "Hello (I Love You)" was a created as a musical collaboration between Howard Shore and Waters for the film The Last Mimzy (2007). At PR-inside, Waters is quoted as saying: "I think together we've come up with 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." Video and full lyrics online
  • 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)"

Miscellaneous[edit]

  • [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.
  • I like to think oysters transcend national barriers, Adrian. - Pink Floyd: Live At Pompeii video, in an interview with director Adrian Maben.
  • 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 once more) This is for you, it's called Run Like Hell! (the song starts)"
  • Who's got my pig?
    • During Water's Dark Side Of The Moon Tour at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Noblesville, Indiana when the pig was cut from the line and released into the sky.[specific citation needed]
  • My mother told me I said to her, at age three, 'I'm going to go to Italy and get my father in a tractor.' 'You've never seen quite so fierce a little boy as you were,' she told me. She tried to explain that I couldn't get my father in a tractor. Apparently I looked at her and narrowed my eyes and said 'In that case, I'm going in a double-decker bus,' and stomped off. Which is kind of funny, but it's very sad, as well."
    • In an interview in Rolling Stone magazine talking about his father who was killed in WWII (30 September 2010).

Comments About Waters[edit]

  • [Bob Ezrin about Waters] I hate the word "artist," but I would definitely concede that Roger is a great artist...as well as a total obsessive and psychiatrist's dream.

External links[edit]

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