Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters visits Howard Stern
January 23, 2012 4 Comments
Roger Waters rarely sits down for interviews, so at first glance it’s surprising that he went on Howard Stern’s radio show last week. Waters is on tour with The Wall Live, but certainly isn’t in need of additional fame or money to sell tickets, and seems quite convincing when he informs Stern that he wouldn’t do a Pink Floyd reunion tour even for hundreds of millions of dollars. Of course, Waters has already proven himself to be a man of conviction over currency with his split from Pink Floyd. Still, he says that the anger surrounding those issues has ebbed and that he now gets along with both surviving bandmates, David Gilmour and Nick Mason, and has even become close friends again with Mason.
The reason for Waters’ radio appearance appears to be that he and Stern are neighbors in the Hamptons. Stern describes Waters running by his property and threatening to come inside but never delivering.
For me, the biggest payoff of the interview was getting a better sense of Waters’ demeanor, which was mostly slow and deliberate, with the exception of when Stern asked about the legendary moment when Waters spit on an audience member, prompting the idea of building a wall between himself and the audience. Stern asked why Waters spit.
“Because he was climbing up the front of the stage!!!” bellows Waters, in a faux (yet obviously practiced) anger.
The interview was intriguing because of its rarity, but Waters was right to poke at Stern for interrupting too often, a technique which Stern sometimes uses to keep the guest on target and to up the entertainment quotient, but which prevents Waters from finishing some stories, such as the time he and some friends bought an ambulance and drove to Beirut.
Besides the benefit of just getting a better sense of the man Waters, there were two details that stuck out to me.
1. Waters feels that the fracturing in Pink Floyd came immediately after Dark Side of the Moon, because with that they had accomplished everything that they had set out to do.
2. As with Chris Martin, Stern elicits a little bit of background on song composition. Waters describes Gilmour coming up with the hook for “Wish You Were Here” and Waters then going off into a different room to finish the rest of the song. It was no dig on Gilmour that he “just” came up with the hook, as Waters is adamant about the centrality of the hook to the song.
The entire interview is in the following YouTube clip, but if you are a Pink Floyd fan and have access to Howard TV, the visual element adds an extra layer to the interview.