Roger Waters Tells Howard Stern He Was ‘Wrong’ to Be Mad About Pink Floyd Continuing Without Him
On the matter of leaving Pink Floyd, Howard asked, “Don’t you think the bravest thing you ever did was getting out of that band and going off on your own? Cause you could’ve stayed in the security of that band if you put up with their bulls—.” To which Waters replied, “Yeah I could have done that… but no, no, I had to leave.”
In fact, Waters was very open about this part of the Floyd story. When asked about the band carrying on very successfully without him while he played much smaller venues on his own, he said frankly, “it was character forming.” “Were they wrong to play those songs without you?” Stern continued. “No I don’t think so,” replied Waters, “I think I was wrong to think they were wrong.”
When the radio host asked what portion of ‘the Wall’ Waters wrote, his guest was quick to take credit where it was due, but equally fast to give his bandmates their due on other projects: “Well all the ideas generated (on ‘the Wall’)…I think 96% of it is officially down to me,” Waters said. Stern continued, “So would you say most of the Floyd stuff is just you, do you ever just wish you’d done it solo?” “Oh absolutely not, no!,” Waters shot back. “We were a cracking team when we were younger. From ’68 to ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ we were a pretty tightly knit group.”
Labeling ‘the Wall’ “one of the angriest records ever,” Stern went on to ask about the much-discussed concert incident that inspired it: “I love that story about how one night you got so angry on stage that you spit on somebody in the audience and that’s where the idea came that you wanted to build a wall between yourself and the audience. Is that correct?” Waters humbly replied, “It is…to my eternal shame.” So why did he spit on a member of the audience? “Cause he was climbing up the front of the f—ing stage!!!”, yelled Mr. Waters (humorously).
Talk turned to money, the physical entity, not the song, as Stern asked when the band first started to make real bank, and how that affected band relations negatively. The answer? “1973, ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ was the first time we made any cash,” replied Waters, “we were reasonably generous with one another at that time. I think once you’ve achieved that measure of success, you’ve really done what it was that you set out to do together. From then on it was really about clinging to the trademark in a kind of frightened way, not wanting to lose the umbrella with the words Pink and Floyd together.”