Friday, September 6, 8943
Roger Waters (b. 1943) - Pink Floyd
[Pink Floyd - Nick Mason, David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Rick Wright]
[George] Roger Waters (September 6, 1943, Great Bookham, Surrey near Leatherhead, UK) is an English rock musician; singer, bassist, guitarist, songwriter, and composer. He is best known for his 1965–1985 career with the band Pink Floyd; he was credited as their main songwriter (after the departure of Syd Barrett), bass player and one of their lead vocalists (along with David Gilmour and, to a lesser extent, Richard "Rick" Wright). He was also the lyrical mastermind behind many of the band's concept albums, especially The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall, and The Final Cut, as well as being the originator of much of the band's well-known symbolism, such as the Pink Floyd pigs.
Waters grew up in Cambridge. Although his father Eric Fletcher Waters had been a Communist and ardent pacifist, he fought in World War II and died in action at Anzio in 1944, when Waters was only five months old. Waters would refer or allude to the loss of his father throughout his work,
Distrust of authority, particularly government, educational, religious and military institutions, is a recurring theme in Waters' writing
Syd Barrett and Waters attended the Morley Memorial Junior School on Hills Road, Cambridge, and later the Cambridge County School for Boys (now Hills Road Sixth Form College), while fellow band member David Gilmour attended The Perse School on the same road.
He met Nick Mason and Rick Wright while attending the Regent Street Polytechnic school of architecture.
In 1965, Roger Waters co-founded Pink Floyd (after many different incarnations) along with Syd Barrett, Richard Wright, and Nick Mason. Although Barrett initially did most of the songwriting for the band, Waters wrote the song Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk on their debut album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967) a critical success.
Barrett's deteriorating mental health led to increasingly erratic behaviour, rendering him unable to continue in his capacity as Pink Floyd's lead singer and guitarist. Waters attempted to coerce his friend into psychiatric treatment; this proved unhelpful, and the band approached David Gilmour to replace Barrett at the end of 1967. Even the band's former managers felt that Pink Floyd would not be able to sustain its initial success without the talented Barrett. Filling the void left by Barrett's departure, Waters began to chart Pink Floyd's new artistic direction.
A Saucerful of Secrets (1968)
Let There Be More Light
Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun
Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict
Atom Heart Mother (1970)
Obscured by Clouds (1972)
Dark Side of the Moon (1973)
On the Run
Time (David Gilmour, lyrics by Waters)
Great Gig in the Sky
Us and Them (Rick Wright, David Gilmour, lyrics by Waters)
Any Color You Like
[Harmonically, D: I IV7 I V II2 (V of V) V7 I VI bVII]
Wish You Were Here (1975)
Shine on You Crazy Diamond I-V (David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Rick Wright)
Have a Cigar
Welcome to the Machine
Wish You Were Here (David Gilmour, lyrics by Waters)
Shine on You Crazy Diamond VI-IX
Shine On You Crazy Diamond is a nine-part Pink Floyd composition with lyrics written by Roger Waters, in tribute to former band member Syd Barrett, and music written by Waters, Richard Wright, and David Gilmour. It was first performed on their 1974 French tour. It was recorded for the 1975 concept album Wish You Were Here. The piece was intended to be a side-long composition like Atom Heart Mother and Echoes but the music grew longer than a single side of vinyl would allow. It was split into two parts and used to bookend the album.
According to David Gilmour and Nick Mason of Pink Floyd, on the Wish You Were Here episode of In the Studio with Redbeard, the band recorded a satisfactory take of Shine On You Crazy Diamond, but because of a new mixing console which was installed at Abbey Road, excessive echo from the other instruments all over the drums caused the band to re-record it.
"We originally did the backing track over the course of several days, but we came to the conclusion that it just wasn't good enough. So we did it again in one day flat and got it a lot better. Unfortunately nobody understood the desk properly and when we played it back we found that someone had switched the echo returns from monitors to tracks one and two. That affected the tom-toms and guitars and keyboards which were playing along at the time. There was no way of saving it, so we just had to do it yet again."
—David Gilmour, An Interview with David Gilmour by Gary Cooper
"With the invention of 16-track and 2-inch tape there was the belief for quite a while that there would be something wrong with editing tape that big. Consequently whenever we played these pieces, they had to be played from beginning to end. Particularly for Roger (Waters) and myself being the rhythm section, which would be laid down first, this was [chuckling] a fairly tough business because the whole thing had to be sort of right."
—Nick Mason, In the Studio with Redbeard
In another incident, a heavyset man with a completely shaved head and eyebrows wandered into the studio while the band was recording Shine On You Crazy Diamond, although Nick Mason has since stated that he's not entirely certain whether this was the particular song being recorded when the man was in the studio. The band could not recognize him for some time, when suddenly one of them realised it was Syd Barrett. At that time, Barrett had gained a lot of weight and had shaved off all of his hair, including his eyebrows, and the five-year gap meant that it took some time for his ex-band mates to identify him.
When they eventually recognized Barrett, Waters was so distressed he was reduced to tears.
Someone asked to play the song again and Barrett said a second playback wasn't needed when they'd just heard it. Apparently, when Wish You Were Here was played, "[Barrett] stood up and said, 'Right, when do I put my guitar on?'" keyboardist Rick Wright recalled. "And of course, he didn't have a guitar with him. And we said, 'Sorry, Syd, the guitar's all done.'"
When asked what he thought of Wish You Were Here, Barrett said it sounded a "bit old." He subsequently slipped away during the party for Gilmour's wedding (which was, coincidentally, also on that day.)
It was the last time any of the other band members saw him.
Gilmour confirmed this story, although he could not recall which song they were working on when Syd showed up.[
Part I (Wright, Waters, Gilmour; from :00 – 2:09) begins with the fading-in of a dense G-minor synthesizer pad created with EMS VCS 3, an ARP Solina, a Hammond organ and the sound of wet fingers running around the rims of wine glasses filled with various amounts of water (recycled from an earlier project known as Household Objects). This is followed by plaintive Minimoog passages.
Part II (Gilmour, Waters, Wright; from 2:10 – 3:54) begins a lengthy guitar solo played by David Gilmour on a Fender Stratocaster (neck pickup) using a heavily compressed sound and reverb. The harmony changes from G minor to D minor at 2:29, then to C minor, and back to G minor. This is repeated again, and the part ends with the synth pad fading into the background.
Part III (Waters, Gilmour, Wright; from 3:55 – 6:27) begins with a four-note motive (B-flat, F, G (a minor third below the B-flat), E) repeated throughout much of the entire section. This theme leads the harmony to C major (in comparison to the use of C minor in Parts I and II), and this is because the last note is E (and not E-flat). This part includes a second solo by Gilmour. Nick Mason starts his drumming after the fourth run-through of the four-note motive (sometimes referred to as Syd's Theme), which is the point where strong rhythms are established.
The Syd motive can be solfeged as
G: Me Te Do La, a poignant, striking motive ending on the sensitive Dorian 6th degree, after minutes of an ambiguous hexatonic dorian/minor opening (the pitch collection being do re me fa sol te do)
Harmonically, the opening 11 12/8 bars (n.b. the published sheet music gives each measure as four bars of 3/4) are --
G: Gm7 Edim/G C F Gm Gm7 Edim/G Gm7 Eb D
i vio6 IV bVII i i7 vio6 i7 bVI V
-- with evocations of G dorian, and G natural- and harmonic- minor.
The Gm7 to C could be re-perceived as C: v7 I, and the return to Gm is via a dorian major plagal cadence IV I, interrupted by the dominant substitution of bVII I.
Part IV (Gilmour, Wright, Waters; from 6:28 – 8:42) begins with a Minimoog synthesizer solo by Richard Wright. This part includes a third Gilmour guitar solo which is bluesy in tone.
Part V (Waters, from 8:43 – 13:30) Roger Waters is on lead vocals, with David Gilmour, Richard Wright and female backing vocalists on harmonies. This is followed by two guitars repeating a riff for about a minute. A baritone saxophone overlays the sounds, played by Dick Parry. It ends as the saxophone changes from a baritone saxophone to a tenor saxophone. After, a time signature switch from 12/8 to 4/4 (with a swing feel) gives the appearance that the tempo speeds up and eventually drops the guitar and opens to a tenor saxophone solo accompanied by an ARP string synthesizer keyboard sound and an arpeggio guitar riff that fades into the background. A machine-like hum fades in and segues into Welcome to the Machine.
Part VI (Wright, Waters, Gilmour; from :00 – 4:55) begins with a howling wind from the preceding song Wish You Were Here. As the wind fades away, David Gilmour comes in on the bass guitar. Roger Waters adds another bass guitar with a continuing riff pattern. Then Rick Wright comes in playing an ARP String Ensemble Synthesizer and after a few measures, several rhythm guitar parts. At the two-minute mark, Wright's Mini-Moog and Gilmour's lap steel guitar play notes in unison before Gilmour does a lap steel guitar solo (the lap steel had open E minor tuning) with some counterpointing from Wright's synthesizers. It lasts for about 3 minutes and Gilmour in each section played an octave higher than the previous. The highest note he hit on the lap steel/slide solo was a B flat almost three octaves above middle C followed by a reprise of the guitar solo from part IV (which was played by Snowy White in live performances on Pink Floyd's 1977 tour so David Gilmour could switch from lap steel guitar back to his Fender Stratocaster). The song then switches from 12/8 back to the 6/4 time signature found in parts II-V, giving the appearance of a slowed tempo and the vocals return.
Part VII (Waters, Gilmour, Wright; from 4:56 - 5:59) contains the vocal sections, almost identical to part IV (though half the length) before beginning the segue into part VIII.
Part VIII (Gilmour, Wright, Waters; from 6:00 – 8:59) brings in Roger Waters to play a second electric guitar for a high noted sound riff while Gilmour plays the arpeggio riff that bridges parts 7 to 8. A solid progression of beats in 4/4 plays for about 2 minutes before very slowly fading into the background as a continuous single keyboard note fades in around the 9 minute mark.
Part IX (Wright, from 9:00 – 12:22) is played in 4/4 time. David Gilmour in an interview described Part IX as "a slow 4/4 funeral march... the parting musical eulogy to Syd." The drums play for half of this part, and the keyboard plays for the final minute of the song before fading out. On the fade out, a short part of the melody of See Emily Play (at 12:07), one of Syd Barrett's signature Pink Floyd songs, can be heard. Part IX ends on a Picardy third.
Music — David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Rick Wright
Lyrics — Roger Waters
Roger Waters — bass, lead vocals, additional electric guitar on Part 8
David Gilmour — Fender Stratocaster, backing vocals, lap steel guitar on Part 6, EMS Synthi AKS
Richard Wright — Hammond organ, ARP String Ensemble, Mini-Moog Synthesizers, clavinet on Part 8, Fender Rhodes on Part 8, Steinway piano on Part 3 and 9, backing vocals
Nick Mason — drums, percussion
Dick Parry — baritone and tenor saxophones
Carlena Williams — backing vocals
Venetta Fields — backing vocals
Recorded January to July 1975 at Abbey Road Studios, London.
All tracks except track 2 (1977).
The Wall (1979)
All tracks except tracks 9, 19, 22 and 25 (1979)
The Final Cut (1983)(dedicated to his father's memory)
The lineup with Gilmour and Waters eventually brought Pink Floyd to prominence, producing a series of albums in the 1970's that remain critically acclaimed and among best-selling records of all time.
Within Pink Floyd, Waters became the main lyrical contributor, exerting progressively more creative control over the band: he produced thematic ideas that became the impetus for concept albums such as The Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here, for which he wrote all of the lyrics and some of the music. After this, Waters became the primary songwriter, composing Animals and The Wall largely by himself (though continuing to collaborate with Gilmour on a few tracks).
Waters' band-mates 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 (Gilmour described Waters as "a very good motivator and obviously a great lyricist," even at the height of the acrimony between them in 1995). Some of the band's most popular and beloved songs feature the strong synergy of Waters' sharp lyrical instincts combined with the melodic talent of Gilmour, the soft, precise drumming of Nick Mason, and atmospheric patterns of keyboardist Richard Wright (Us and Them, for instance, began as a sweetly melodic Wright keyboard instrumental and gained poignancy when Waters added plaintive antiwar lyrics).
The give-and-take relationship began to dissolve: a consequence of the band's collective ennui, according to Waters. Song-writing credits were a source of contention in these difficult years; Gilmour has noted that his contributions to tracks like Another Brick in the Wall, Part II, with its blistering guitar solo, were not always noted in the album credits. Nick Mason addresses the band in-fighting in his memoir, Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd, characterizing Waters as being egomaniacal at times. It was while recording The Wall that Waters decided to fire Wright, after Wright's personal problems began to affect the album production. Wright stayed with the band as a paid session musician while Waters led the band through a complete performance of his opus on every night of the brief tour that followed (for which Gilmour acted as musical director).
In 1983, the last Waters-Gilmour-Mason collaboration, The Final Cut, was released. The sleeve notes describe it as being a piece "by Roger Waters" that was "performed by Pink Floyd" (rather than an actual Pink Floyd record). So, to many the album came across more like a Roger Waters solo album than Pink Floyd (similar to A Momentary Lapse of Reason and, to a smaller extent, The Division Bell being tagged as Gilmour solo albums). It was the lowest selling Pink Floyd album in a decade without a hit single.
Gilmour unsuccessfully tried to delay production on the album until he could author more material; Waters refused, and in 1985, he proclaimed that the band had dissolved due to irreconcilable differences. 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 claimed that, as the original band consisted of himself, Syd Barrett, Nick Mason and Richard Wright, Gilmour could not reasonably use the name Pink Floyd now that it was without three of its founding members.
Another of Waters' arguments was that he had written almost all of the band's lyrics and a great part of the music after Barrett's departure. However, through agreement, Gilmour and Mason won the right to use the name and a majority of the band's songs, though Waters did retain the rights to the albums The Wall (save for three of the songs that Gilmour co-wrote), Animals, and The Final Cut, as well as claiming ownership of the Pink Floyd pigs (although Gilmour neatly circumvented the latter by equipping the 1987 version of the band's pig with genitalia).
For many fans and casual listeners, the collaborative years of 1971–1979 remain the "classic" Pink Floyd years due to the albums released.
After the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, Waters staged a gigantic charity concert of The Wall in Berlin on July 21, 1990 to commemorate the end of the division between East and West Germany. The concert took place on Potsdamer Platz (a location which was part of the former "no-man's land" of the Berlin Wall), and featured many guests: The Band, Bryan Adams, Cyndi Lauper, Van Morrison,Sinéad O'Connor, The Hooters, The Scorpions, Marianne Faithfull, and Joni Mitchell. It was one of the biggest concerts ever staged with an attendance of over 300,000 and was watched live by over five million people worldwide. However, the initial funds raised from the concert barely covered expenses, although syndication and home-video sales allowed Waters to present his chosen charity to benefit from the event, The Leonard Cheshire Foundation, with a sizeable donation.
1992's Amused to Death, about the corrupting, desensitizing nature of television, is perhaps Waters' most critically acclaimed solo recording, with music critics comparing it to later Pink Floyd work, such as The Wall (Waters describes the record as the third in a thematically-linked trilogy, after Dark Side Of The Moon and The Wall).
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. Tickets were at such high demand, that the tour had to be spanned over three years. Almost every show was sold out with some venues garnering more sales than Pink Floyd shows of early touring years.
In February of 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 September 27, 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 optimistic days of the early French Revolution. From 1997 Waters rewrote the libretto in English.
Also in 2005, Waters agreed to rejoin Pink Floyd on stage for Live 8, and on July 2, 2005, Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Nick Mason, and Rick Wright performed together on-stage for the first time since the June 1981 Wall concerts at Earl's Court in London. They played a six-song, 23-minute set, including Speak to Me/Breathe/Breathe (Reprise), Money, Wish You Were Here, and Comfortably Numb. Before going into Wish You Were Here, Waters said:
“ 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, but particularly, of course, for Syd. ”
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.
He has since stated on a radio interview that he would be interested in the possibility of recording a new album with the rest of Pink Floyd as long as he had creative control. However, David Gilmour has said on several occasions that he is retired from extensive touring, shedding more doubt on the possibility of a bona fide Pink Floyd reunion tour.
On May 20, 2006 he performed with a set band consisting of Roger Taylor and Eric Clapton and former band-member Nick Mason performing two songs, Wish You Were Here, and Comfortably Numb.
Roger Waters continued his The Dark Side of the Moon Live tour in 2008.
[Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here:
Shine On You Crazy Diamond III -
Excerpt with analysis and figured bass symbols]
[8943 Morrison / 8943 Waters / 8943 Jagger]