Let’s be honest: I love Pink Floyd‘s old music (Dark Side Of The Moon, The Wall etc) & I had the amazing privilege of having floor seats to his performance at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday Sept 12th!

To hear Roger Waters play his old Pink Floyd music is a dream come true for a fan like me. Knowing that he has recently released new music, my sole hope for this concert was that he’d play old music and none of his new music.

I was relieved to read in the pamphlet (which was placed on my seat) that the line-up for the night was 2 sets – the first set being a random assortment of old Pink Floyd music and the second being Dark Side Of The Moon in it’s entirety with the original Pink Floyd drummer, Nick Mason!

The show started off amazingly, the music was amazing, the crowd was amazing and the song selection was amazing. Then Roger decided to let us know he’d be playing a new song“leaving Beirut” [the song was literally just a musical version of a comic strip he wrote]… ok…. the words are obviously political and slanted… then comes “Oh George! Oh George! That Texas education must have f***d you up when you were very small” WHAT?

At that point I was furious… the song ended with half of Madison Square Garden booing Roger Waters. Politics aside, no one is paying to hear Roger Waters’ political views or propaganda – everyone at MSG was there to hear his old Pink Floyd music, period.

The show progresses and during a lot of negative words/parts of songs, (“All that you hate”… “All that you distrust” etc) big pictures of President Bush were shown. Once again, politics aside, no one purchased Roger Waters tickets to hear his political views.

There is a reason that these people are musicians and not politicians. Musicians like him are simply abusing the fact that people like their music to portray their agendas and views.

I still love Roger Waters’ old work & the Pink Floyd music, but boy do I hate the fact that he thinks he can use it to push a political agenda.

The story goes that the concept for “The Wall” came to Roger after he spit in the face of an unruly fan… perhaps it’s time that the fans start spitting back.

19 Responses to “Roger Waters (Pink Floyd)… amazing music + terrible politics?”

  1. scott2185 says:

    Roger has been writing political songs since ’85, with The Final Cut. To go to a RW concert hoping that he wouldn’t play anything political is like going to a Toby Keith concert and hoping he’s not going to play anything country.

  2. Jim King says:

    I just saw the same show at nissan pavillion in Virginia and feel exactly the same. Also when he did When Pigs Fly they had the American flag on both sides of the pigs rear with impeach Bush on the tail. I can only hope that due to the fact that you could barely make out his vocals at this point that that was why I heard people cheering. But then again I guess for some the trip never ends. I recently saw the Blues Travelers and once again the political statements flew. I enjoy music and pay the asking price but if the industry thinks this is their forum for spewing there ignorance they have recieved the last dollar from me. Thanks for letting me vent.

  3. Bobby Blume says:

    Leaving For The Bathroom
    (Based on the crappy live version of “Leaving Beirut”)

    Cartoon images show a rock star on stage, singing a meandering, plodding new song. Dialogue bubbles show the audience saying: “Oh no. Not this garbage.” “I’m going out for a smoke.” “Yeah, I’m going to the bathroom. Holy crap, look at the line out there!”

    When I was 17 and I first heard “The Wall,” I had to go and get
    Every Pink Floyd album at the mall
    Now on your latest tour, you did “Dark Side of the Moon”
    The glory of when you were the tops
    And really had your writing chops
    But first we had to sit through the new song “Leaving Beirut,”
    I’d have to say it was a bigger bomb
    Than the one we dropped on Hiroshima
    You were an Englishman abroad ignoring all our boos
    The horseshit had us running like we smelled the stink of old refuse

    It was kind of sad to watch you bomb
    I’ve been a fan so very long
    I agreed when you sued your former band,
    I’ve ignored lip-synching, and opera that was pretty bland
    But this song was bad, bad and long
    I hope you hear our plea
    This crap should never be put on CDs
    Oh Roj! Oh Roj!
    Your ideology won’t let you see you’re still spitting on some of your fans

    Is common sense too much for you?
    Not once in your whole song
    You dare criticize
    The killers that are Hezbollah
    Every time a suicide bomb does its job to kill innocents
    You think it’s someone else’s fault and logic in your lyrics falls
    Al Qaeda, Jihadists, they want to rule us all
    They kill artists and poets, young boys and girls,
    They killed Todd Beamer
    They killed Daniel Pearl
    They killed Theo van Gogh
    They kill all races, all religions, they kill all
    You know it’s the right of the Allied might to keep us safe
    From extremists all over the world

    Blame America First, you wealthy rock star you,
    Your bullshit is still bullshit even when it has a catchy tune
    You’ve lost the art of writing with subtle metaphor
    Now you are Noam Chomsky, Oliver Stone, and Michael Moore
    Back in ’61, an Arab family fed you food
    You had to think back that far to remember
    Arabs who were nice to you?
    As I think back in time, from now until then
    When did your talent end?

  4. Sean says:

    Well. If you think that Dark Side of the Moon or The Wall were something separate from Roger’s “political beliefs”, then you completely missed the point about them in nineteen-seventy-whatever.

    Songs like “Us and Them” and “Money” were almost pure political statements, in a very similar vein to Leaving Beirut (and The Fletcher Memorial Home is almost indistinguishable in sentiment from the new song). They’re about his feelings of empathy with ordinary people (regardless of the political system they live under, or their ethnicity or class status) and the walls and suffering we create when we shut ourselves off from those feelings, as most of us do. His recent lyrics are a reaction to recent events, but the underlying process and motivation are identical, whether in 1973 or 2007.

    The world is full of performers who can’t or don’t express themselves in this way – by all means don’t buy more RW tickets or albums if you don’t want to, but let’s let the man do his thing – it’s what he’s done his whole life and it’s what made him great in the first place. The lyrics of Pink Floyd without him seem to be about how nice it is to take flying lessons.

    Bobby Blume – very nice verse, but I think Roger knows that Al Qaeda wants to kill us all and that would by why Mr. Bin Laden is up there in his concert graphics along with Stalin, Bush, Nixon, and the other “tyrants and kings” he’s been having a go at since the 70s. In this regard, nothing has changed in Roger’s motivation or method in thirty years, the only difference is that in 2007 he’s pointing the finger in some places that make you feel uncomfortable.

  5. Sean says:

    And another thing…

    It strikes me that some of those great old Floyd albums that our first poster waxes so lyrically about contained some considerably less defensible (certainly less mainstream) political statements than his recent ones.

    For example, in The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon, Roger rails against the generals and “Kind Old King George” (the British One) from WW2, with lines like “and the Anzio bridgehead was held for the price of a few hundred ordinary lives”, and in The Final Cut he lambasts Thatcher for her sinking of the Belgrano in the Falklands (“and Maggie, over lunch one day, took a cruiser with all hands, apparently to make him give it back”). Are we to infer from this that he thinks we should not have fought against fascist Germany and Italy in WW2, or that Britain had no right to retaliate against Galtieri’s invasion of its sovereign islands? I’ve always rather assumed (especially as Waters’ father died at Anzio) that these are simply song lyrics which expressed Roger’s feelings of despair, loss, anger, helplessness and so on, and I’ve never seen the need to criticize them as though they were a political manifesto or foreign policy proposal. But if you want to get all serious and literal about them, then it’s hard to argue that Roger suddenly got all fringe-political in the last few years.

    By contrast, the notion that Mr. Bush got something wrong when he invaded Iraq is hardly a fringe political opinion in the world, and his current 30% approval rating in the US must look like unbridled popularity from many other countries.

    • incredible says:

      One of my favourites from him is “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” from Perfect Sense on the Amused To Death album.Isn’t that obvious that that’s having a go at Capitalism, that the drive for more and more money and profit is crazy and doesn’t justify at all the treatment of ordinary people by the super rich or justify their wars for their business reasons or to stay in control.

  6. Dave says:

    I saw Roger Waters at Summer Fest in Milwaukee Wi. last night, and I was in an interesting position…….in that one of my best friends and the person who introduced me to Pink Floyd in the first place and I hold diametricly opposed view points politicly…………I’m the bleading heart and he’s the righty. Now here’s the thing, that was 20 years ago, well befor the current world situation, but I came from Punk and I found PF rather sedate, but then I listened to the lyrics, and I guess it really baffles me that anyone could listen to anything they have put out, more so Waters since The Wall and not tuned into his politcs, there is nothing subtle about it, he’s a lefty through and through….as I said I was a punk, that state of mind was mine…..what I don’t understand is how you can go to see him and not expect exactly what you get, which is an amazeing show, with a unabashed actuly proud slant to the left.

  7. Athena says:

    Waters is a tit, plain and simple. Anyone who can side with Hamas over Israel is living in a parallel universe. Like all “artists”, his personal opinions are not to be taken seriously.

  8. Erika says:

    Bobby Blume, I love it. Very nice work. The arrogance that so many ppl who watch nothing but the BBC and read nothing but The Guardian have is quite astounding. Frankly, I loathed Geo. W. Bush, but that sure doesn’t make EU members exempt from what they’ve shoved down everyone’s throats and the fact that Jordan exists when it was supposed to be set aside for a nation called Palestine that STILL doesn’t exist. NOT BECAUSE OF ISRAEL mind you, but because the puppeteers that run “Palestine” wouldn’t have a platform if they made peace (among other reasons).

    Athena is completely correct when she says they’re in a parallel universe. A complete reread of history, but hey, they’re Brits and the Brits have it all figured out, including RW.

  9. davman says:

    Like sean has so aptly stated, most of pink Floyd’s material after dark side of the moon has been politically charged. Think about Animals and the scathing critique of capitalism provides.

    All I can add to Sean’s comment is that if you got all mad at what Roger waters said during his concert, and if that made you surprised about his beliefs, you haven’t really learned to appreciate pink Floyd deeply enough. You’ve barely scratched the surface of their music

  10. jake a says:

    I just heard Roger Waters on Rock 101.1 Vancouver as he is playing a show here. He has many good points about the worlds problems. Of course since you’re probably American you may not like to here it at a show you paid for. But honestly the sooner people start to realize what kind of fucked up shit is happening in this world these days, the sooner we can improve life for all. Obviously the guy is a legend, And if you thought it was weird of him to say these things then you went to the wrong concert. I’ll share my favourite quote as he put it out on the radio, “Americans are being dumbed down, there so full of McDonalds and Kardashians they can barely see it” something along those lines. This was the first time I heard him talk politics and man I was following him word for word, He knows what he’s talking about, Take it from a Rich guy when they can admit that the current system in this world is not working, specifically the financial situations and how people are obsessed with the American Dream.

    And by the Way George W Bush was by far the dumbest president ever, I mean Look at the guy’s speeches hilarious, seriously? Theres probably 1000′s of you tube clips for the visual effect. Proof of how easily manipulated and “dumbed” down (more than half) the population was. Also another quote from Mr Waters on the radio, “If the republicans win the next election its going to be insane, they guy straps his dog to the roof of the car and claims to have magical underpants” LOL Good luck

  11. John says:

    Clearly you haven’t understood Animals, The Wall and The Final Cut (and even parts of Dark Side) if you are surprised by Waters and his beliefs.

  12. anti - imperliast says:

    I couldn’t help but laugh when i saw this. I think that that nobody has told you that your demogagy is extremely hilarious you right-wing, reactionary american imperialists. So terrible,ha?? They’re only terrible because they dont suit nor fit your dogmatic narrow minds. Is it terrible to condemn someone in a song who caused the death of 2 million people?

  13. Todd Haney says:

    I absolutely love Mr, Roger Waters, more so – his command of the english language. In all my years of judging, I have never heard before, someone more deserving to know… the chicken and the egg game is always dogmatic when you chose according to your beliefs, according to your emotions. Mr. Waters, with my pajama coat over my head, I hate to say it but you have become the very thing you hated from the beginning. “isn’t this where we… started out?! The Wall cyclical, how ironic. if you chose chicken or egg you are a hypocrite unless you created them. And you know that I’m right. Because you are intelligent enough to know how the truth is mathematical. I’m sad that you feel driven to be an exact reflection of what you protest. Forward, he cried, from the rear and the front ranks died. “Just some information, first.” I just wanted to write that. It sounded good for some reason. Ok Waters: read all the documents that were divided into Christianity and Islamic beliefs: One is about LOVE and that is powerful, and that power has been hyjacked and abused. The other is about Hyjacking and abusing power. You already know which is which. You just cant figure out the chicken and the egg because they were created. Read quantum physics. Any point you make, anything you create is a reflection of what you don’t believe in and is therefore mute. Math proves itself, You are too smart to locked in hypocrisy.

    • Todd Haney says:

      Roger himself has said that he is a hypocrite because he is a socialist who is not giving any of his “capitalistic millions” away. I’m afraid that if you push too hard in one direction, you end up being a reflection of what you oppose.

  14. incredible says:

    Incredible how stupid most of you are who slag off Roger Waters after he was “political” at his gig. Also praised “the wall” and “DSOTM” albums.Are you really that thick that you don’t realise the songs on DSOTM were political too and the wall is not just about his alienation or just an anti war album it’s completely anti system IE anti capitalist.There is nothing wrong with him saying his opinions, not his fault you are too stupid to see what the lyrics have almost always meant from him, he’s even from the first days of Floyd had anti system messages behind some of the songs.Let’s face it, we are meant to be a Democracy but obviously aren’t.It’s the richest who we don’t elect to be in control who really are the ones who are in control.They control most of the public like puppets through the media they own and control the politicians too.Anyone even slightly left gets abuse in their media and usually we aren’t allowed to reply, and proper left wing people get abuse in their media and all over the internet usually from people who are just going along with the lies they’ve been fed about the left in the media they own.So if they lie about us and don’t allow us to reply in their media and we have to face horrendous abuse from ignorant sheep every day of our lives then I as a genuine left winger actually go to his gigs to show him support and admire that he is brave enough to tell the truth and stand up for freedom of speech which we are not allowed normally.I go to show that not everyone is so programmed by the super rich that they can’t see through their lies and don’t understand what he is saying.There is a beauty to him standing up to say what he does.I can feel the true humanity and empathy for others in him (IE natural human feelings) before we are programmed to compete so nastily with each other by their education system( what the f did you think “we don’t need no thought control” was about) it was obviously about how the establishment train us to compete and fit in with their system and how they are only really happy with right wing or even dictatorial teachers as they had in 60’s etc as depicted in the wall videos.It lifts my heart and other people who haven’t been programmed to be cold or heartless and who have always seen through their lies it helps to refresh people who are still in touch with natural human emotions when most of the time we only face abuse from the sheep because we make them feel bad for putting up with such shit that they cause

  15. Neil G says:

    Seriously? This blog post is baffling. There is no way that you’ve ever listened to Pink Floyd’s lyrics, including those on The Wall, if you didn’t know that everything, except for some of the stuff about Syd Barrett on Wish You Were Here, are political and very leftist. Waters is VERY vocal about being a Socialist. Always has been. I personally think that his incredibly high ticket prices fly in the face of his politics, but anyone who has listened to the lyrics of just about every Pink Floyd song Waters has written, except for maybe a few tunes off of Wish You Were Here, knows that the lyrics are very political and very liberal. Dark Side of the Moon, Animals, The Wall, and The Final Cut are ESPECIALLY political in nature, the entirety of those albums.

    But, no matter your political persuasion or whether you agree or disagree with Waters, this blog post is so incredibly clueless. And you must have been in a small “booing” section at the show, because I found the video on YouTube from your show and heard no boos.

    I simply can’t fathom how anyone who’s a Pink Floyd fan doesn’t know this. Waters is very “in your face” about his politics. Always has been.

    Just to save you some time and money, you should be aware that the Pink Floyd albums after Waters are equally political. I saw them (Gilmour, Mason, Wright, the musicians they hired for the Division Bell tour) in 1994 or ’95 (forget exactly which year) at the Hoosierdome in Indianapolis, IN. When the lyrics to “Brain Damage” started with, “the lunatic is on the grass” the image of George Bush (the first one) walking on grass was shown on the stage. The audience went crazy. Not boos, but cheers.

    • Neil G says:

      ***Please note: I pointed out the cheers of approval at the Indy Division Bell tour of Pink Floyd that I was at and the (judging from the video) lack of boos from The Wall Roger Waters show you were at not because I’m trying to rub it in or for any other political one-upsmanship, but rather to point out that this is evidence that most fans (1) do indeed know Waters, et al, and their political persuasions and often do agree with them, just as an attendee at an overtly conservative band — for example, Lynyrd Skynyrd — are familiar with and agree with that band’s politics.

  16. Pat Viliors says:

    Went to Roger Waters’ The Wall at Wembley Stadium on Sat (14 Sep 2013). Totally agree that he has abused his power as a great musician to push his anti-establishment (from which he’s done so well) views onto his captive paying audience. He’s added a special tribute song to Jean Charles de Menezes who was shot dead by the police in London in 2005 as a suspected terrorist. It turned out they were mistaken; it was a tragic accident. But Waters bangs on about this being State terrorism, which of course is ludicrous. By the way, he completely ignores the state terrorism by Syria in their use of bombs and chemical weapons on its own citizens, and of any Islamic state’s barbaric human rights violations. Of course his utmost bile is reserved for Israel, who had the audacity to build a wall to stop suicide bombers blowing up their innocents. I wonder, does he have a wall around his mansion to keep out those who would do him harm? I like to think that somewhere deep within him he knows that what he spouts is a load of hogwash, but in truth I don’t think he does!