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Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason Compares Roger Waters Quitting to Stalin’s Death

Pink Floyd
MJ Kim, Getty Images

Pink Floyd continued on for years after Roger Waters quit the band in 1985, still enjoy platinum sales and sold-out tours even without the creative input of the band’s longtime guiding hand. But as drummer Nick Mason admitted in a recent Mojo profile on the band, moving forward wasn’t exactly easy.

“It must have been the same when Stalin died,” Mason mused, comparing Waters’ self-imposed exile to the vacuum left after the Soviet ruler passed away in 1953. “It took quite a while [to recover], it was a three- or four-year period.”

Mason also recalled the 1984 band meeting — held in a sushi restaurant, no less — that presaged Waters’ departure, saying, “Roger thought we were all going to call it day, and David and I thought Roger was going to call it a day and we were going to carry on.” That disagreement led to one of rock’s highest-profile lawsuits, deepening years of animosity that only started to thaw relatively recently, but it’s all water under the bridge now; as Mason sees it, “These slightly unbalanced people make great musicians. If we hadn’t had the mad Syd [Barrett] and the mad Roger, we might have been doing [early ’70s soft rock hit] ‘Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep.'”

Elsewhere in the article, guitarist David Gilmour reaffirms his earlier statement regarding the band’s upcoming album, ‘The Endless River,’ serving as its final collection of new music. “I don’t want this to be seen as our last great hurrah,” he admitted, “But it is the last thing, I’m pretty sure.”

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