Roger Waters Regrets Pink Floyd Legal Battle - Rolling Stone
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Roger Waters Regrets Pink Floyd Legal Battle

‘I was wrong’ to sue bandmates, singer and bassist says

Roger Waters performs in Arnhem, Netherlands.Roger Waters performs in Arnhem, Netherlands.

Roger Waters performs in Arnhem, Netherlands.

Paul Bergen/Redferns via Getty Images

Roger Waters regrets suing his former Pink Floyd bandmates in the mid-Eighties over use of the group’s name. Calling the group a “spent force creatively,” Waters took guitarist David Gilmour and drummer Nick Mason to court in 1986 to prevent them from performing or recording as Pink Floyd, which prompted an ugly back-and-forth in the press.

“I was wrong,” the singer, songwriter and bassist told the BBC. “Of course I was. Who cares?”

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Waters had left Pink Floyd to establish a solo career following the group’s 1983 album The Final Cut, and considered his departure in 1985 to mark the end of the band. Gilmour and Mason disagreed, resulting in the final break in a badly frayed relationship. After Gilmour released a solo LP of his own in 1984, he re-teamed with Mason as Floyd to record the 1987 album A Momentary Lapse of Reason. The sides later reached an out-of-court agreement, finalized on Gilmour’s houseboat on Christmas Eve in 1987.

“It’s one of the few times that the legal profession has taught me something,” Waters said. “Because when I went to these chaps and said, ‘Listen we’re broke, this isn’t Pink Floyd anymore,’ they went, ‘What do you mean? That’s irrelevant, it is a label and it has commercial value. You can’t say it’s going to cease to exist . . . you obviously don’t understand English jurisprudence.'”

Waters, Gilmour and Mason later reconciled, reuniting for a performance at Live 8 in 2005. The guitarist and drummer also made cameos onstage at one of Waters’ London performances of The Wall in 2011, though neither Gilmour nor Mason were interested in a full-scale Pink Floyd reunion.

Waters also said he’s currently working on a new album, which would be his first since his 2005 opera, Ça Ira. “I’ve had a very, very strong idea and I shall pursue it,” he said. “I will make at least one more record and I am really looking forward to getting my teeth stuck into it.”

The singer told Rolling Stone last year that he had finished a song for an album he was tentatively calling Heartland. Waters’ last studio rock release was the 1992 LP Amused to Death.


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