4 Musicians That Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters Wasn’t Fond Of

Famed Pink Floyd bass guitarist and vocalist Roger Waters has never been shy about giving his opinion, many times completely unprompted. He’s been called cynical by haters and fans alike, but oftentimes, his opinions are rooted in truth. And sometimes, his not-so-nice opinions about fellow musicians are pretty spot-on. Let’s look at a few musicians that Roger Waters wasn’t (and probably still isn’t) fond of, either for good reason or lack thereof.

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1. The Sex Pistols

According to years-old rumors, John Lydon was signed up to join The Sex Pistols after being seen wearing a ragged t-shirt with the words “I Hate Pink Floyd” scrawled on it. It is therefore maybe not surprising that Waters didn’t think much of The Sex Pistols. Egos can be big in the music world.

“The Sex Pistols were just trying to make noise,” Waters said in a Rolling Stone interview. “It was so clearly contrived. You know, they were managed by a bloke who ran a shop selling silly clothes!”

He went on to disparage the band by bringing up the death of Sid Vicious.

“And then one of them died, so you got that iconic thing that lives on,” he continued. “If somebody dies, that’s always good. Except for him, obviously, and his mom and dad, and Nancy; but for everybody else, it’s brilliant.”

2. U2

Waters’ distaste of U2 stems from a public spat with the band, much like his public beef with The Sex Pistols. Waters himself said that U2 completely dismissed The Wall, and he wasn’t happy with the disrespect.

“I remember when we did The Wall, being criticized by Bono,” Waters told Rolling Stone. “U2 are a very young band, and they’re going [in a mock Irish accent], ‘Oh, we can’t stand all that theatrical nonsense that Pink Floyd do. We just play our music and the songs unto themselves and blah, blah, blah.’”

Waters couldn’t respect the band and noted that the theatrics at their live concerts were inspired by Pink Floyd. He also believed that they went commercial the second they had the opportunity to.

“All they did for the rest of their f*cking career was copy what I’d been doing and continue to do,” Rogers said. “So good luck to them, but what a load of bullsh*t. If you lead them, people will follow.”

3. The Weeknd

Just a couple of years ago, Roger Waters admitted in a Vanity Fair interview that he doesn’t like to pay attention to big-name musicians nowadays. He said that he had no idea who The Weeknd was, even though he seemed to know at least a little bit about the “Blinding Lights” singer. But again, egos in the music world are big. And Waters wanted to set the record straight about his own musical legacy, or at least his own beliefs about his musical legacy.

“With all due respect to the Weeknd or Drake or any of them,” he said in the Vanity Fair interview. “I am far, far, far more important than any of them will ever be, however many billions of streams they’ve got.”

4. Pink Floyd

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Well, this was inevitable. Roger Waters’ breakup with Pink Floyd was the pinnacle of messy. Waters originally loved the band he founded, but after he quit in 1985, his relationship with Pink Floyd became nothing short of hateful.

According to Waters, he believed that Pink Floyd would disband after he left, which they did not. He took the remaining band members to court for using the name he coined. The case was settled out of court. Regardless, he continued to voice his displeasure with the band’s guitarist and vocalist, David Gilmour.

“I think he [David Gilmour] thinks that because I left the band in 1985, that he owns Pink Floyd, that he is Pink Floyd and I’m irrelevant, and I should just keep my mouth shut,” Waters said.

All good things must come to an end, sometimes in a not-so-pleasant way.

Photo by Jeff Fusco

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