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Originally compiled by David Schuetz
adopted by Matt Denault
Currently maintained by:
Gerhard den Hollander - editor
Mike McInnis, Rick Karhu
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Section 8 (of 10) : Floyd Gone Solo

  1. : When and Why did Roger Waters leave the band
  2. : The Pro's And Con's of Hitchhiking
  3. : The Pro's And Con's on tour
  4. : Radio KAOS
  5. : The Wall In Berlin
  6. : Amused To Death

01 : When and Why did Roger Waters leave the band

"When and why did Roger leave?"
[Written by Matt Denault for the version 3 of the FAQ]

The following is taken mainly from Schaffner's "Saucerful of Secrets" book, with additional pieces and support from other books, interviews, and articles. -=-

1983 During and after the recording of _The Final Cut_, it was pretty clear that there was no way that Dave and Roger were going to record together again. The artistic and personal differences between the two had just grown too strong. Whether this meant that Pink Floyd was dead or not is an open question -- suffice to say that Floyd was certainly not going to continue with the same membership. But there was never an official statement disbanding the group or stating its future intentions; both Dave and Roger left the door open for future projects.

1984 So following TFC's release, Roger went off and did his "might have been Floyd" album, _The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking_, while Dave worked on his own solo album, _About Face_. Both were released in '84, and both went to about #30 on the Billboard charts. At the time, Dave said "there are three of us in what is laughingly called the Pink Floyd, and none of us have any plans at the moment to work together on any project." [The three being Rog, Dave, and Nick.]

Both Gilmour and Waters embarked on world tours, neither of which were terribly financially successful. Dave stated "I've made this record and done this tour to see if it was possible for me to continue without Pink Floyd."

1985 Roger continued touring in 1985, while Dave devoted his energies to working on projects for and with other musicians.

In mid-85, Waters decided to terminate his personal management deal with Steve O'Rourke, who was pressuring him to make another Floyd album. Since Steve was Pink Floyd's manager, and since Floyd had not been officially disbanded, Roger was still contractually obligated to him. In order to terminate this deal, he needed the assent of Dave and Nick, the other parties to the deal. In return, he offered them the rights to the Pink Floyd name (later saying he did so without making the ethical considerations he should have). At any rate, Dave and Nick would not ratify O'Rourke's termination.

Roger then decided the way to get around this was to simply leave the group officially, as he had unofficially, thinking it was dead -- or at least, that it certainly would be without him. So, in December 1985, Roger wrote to the record companies and announced his departure from Pink Floyd.

Also, in autumn of 1985, Mason said that he'd like to tour again as Pink Floyd, stating that he and Dave were "interested in revitalizing [Pink Floyd]...We definitely haven't agreed it's all over."

1986 So then Roger did the (fairly rare) _When the Wind Blows_ soundtrack, and started work on _Radio KAOS_. Gilmour meanwhile started work on a project he said publicly might either be a Floyd album or a solo album. In mid-1986, Steve O'Rourke sued Waters for holding back commissions. If nothing else, this certainly did nothing to brighten Waters' feelings toward the remaining Floyd members (with whom Steve was still associated).

Gilmour, working with Mason, Wright, Bob Ezrin, and a variety of others had decided by this time that what they were working on was indeed to be a new Floyd album. Learning of this work- in-progress, Roger went to the High Court on Halloween (October 31st) 1986 to have the group partnership, and thus the group, formally disbanded. Several days later, on November 11, 1986, Pink Floyd (that being Gilmour and Mason, "with Rick Wright and producer Bob Ezrin") publicly announced they were working on a new album.

Upon finding out that the group partnership was in fact unofficial (and thus that disbanding it would be meaningless), Roger asked the Court for a ruling that would make the unanimous consent of all members (including Roger) necessary for any decision regarding Pink Floyd Music, including use of the name, concert props (like Mr. Screen), etc.

The court never actually ruled on the issue, and meanwhile _Momentary Lapse of Reason_ was released. Roger raised a lot of public hell, but privately his lawyers told him he didn't really have a case, and so he settled for a compromise: Dave and Pink Floyd agreed to give Roger sole jurisdiction over the _Wall_ theatrical concept, and of course to pay royalties for those songs they played that Roger had been credited on. And while Floyd retained the use of the circular screen and other (non-_Wall_) concert elements, they were forced to give Roger credit for the "original pig concept" used in "One of These Days..."

And I think that's about it... I ignored several issues (Ezrin and Wright's involvement, "the record company meeting," etc.) that I don't think are legally relevant -- info on them can be found in the articles and interviews at ftp.halcyon.com. The degree to which they're morally relevant, and the question of whether reviving Pink Floyd was "good," are matters I leave to your judgment...

02 : The Pro's And Con's of Hitchhiking

The Pro's and Con's of Hitchhiking
 Album versions

Later issues of this album are censored.

There are some differences between the respective lyrics sheets. For one thing, the British version has the characters who say each bit listed, but the CBS version does not. This is from a posting by Dave Cowl:

The most amusing part is that in the music book, the listed lyrics are the British ones, but the words against the music are the CBS lyrics. Weird, huh!

 Who or What was Fassbinder ?

Fassbinder is a German playwright and filmmaker. He's been called "artsy," "grim," and "simplified." The line could refer to the kind of leading lady that he'd use in a movie, or perhaps it means "grim" or "mournful."

 Why is Yoko Ono mentioned ?

Said Roger Waters: Some of the ideas have come from my own dreams and also there are bits and pieces of other people's dreams. In fact, the third verse of the album's title track talks about standing on the wing of an aeroplane, looking down at the Eastern Seaboard of the United States and Yoko Ono being there, and telling me to jump; that everybody's got to die some time and the manly thing to do is to end it all now.

That dream belongs to Andy Newmark, the drummer. He came in one day and over lunch in the pub he told me about this dream and I thought, "That's a good dream, I'll try and fit that in somewhere." So I did.

03 : The Pro's And Con's on tour

The Pro's and Con's tour  "I heard an extra verse to Running Shoes in concert"

Well, it's not on the album, and since RoIOs aren't always all that great, it's hard to be sure exactly what the lyrics were. But here's a pretty close approximation:

Also, during several shows after "Sexual Revolution" they did an additional bit, mainly the line "let's go to the country" repeated several times.

04 : Radio KAOS

Radio KAOS  "What is the Morse code on KAOS?"

The cover is pretty easy to decipher. It says:

The Morse code at the beginning and end of the album is harder to decipher. It's worth it, though, because it contains a deleted verse from "The Tide is Turning." There's also other bits of code scattered throughout the album. Here's what people have been able to figure out, from Douglas Whisler, A.G. Spencer and David Truckenmiller: - "turning Syl" (beginning of album) See the next question for a partial explanation...

 "What was the lost verse to The Tide Is Turning?"

There was supposed to be another verse to this song, but it was removed because Waters was worried about lawsuits. He did, however, sing part of it (the last two lines) during some live concerts. The lyrics are:

This is also who Waters refers to later in the song when he sings "The tide is turning, Sylvester."

 "What's being said at the beginning and end of KAOS?"

This is taken from Q&A in TAP (#53):

 What's all this about KAOS2 then ?

Roger liked the KAOS concept so much that, during a break in the KAOS tour, he began writing material for a new album about Billy and Jim, to be called "Amused to Death." At one subsequent KAOS show, Roger said he would play some new material from KAOS 2; the only "new" material played was "Fish Report with a Beat" and "Going to Live in LA." So I guess Roger had pegged the latter song, at least, for use on the new project (it had originally been written for the KAOS album).

The album was rumored to be ready for release in early 1989, and included a Gerald Scarfe cover that depicted three familiar musicians drowning in a giant martini glass. But the album was reportedly rejected by the record company, and later on by Waters himself.

What happened next is a matter of speculation. In a Rockline interview at the time of ATD's release, Waters said he had been putting the songs together for the past four or five years (interrupted, presumably, by his work on the "Ca Ira" project). Another article notes that most of the album was written and conceived before the Gulf War. So one might assume that at least some of the KAOS 2 material was worked into the new, "TV-concept" _Amused to Death_. But we don't know for sure...

05 : The Wall In Berlin

The Wall Live In Berlin  "Problems during the concert"

Problems were probably inevitable at such a large-scale, one- shot performance. The concert started smoothly enough, with the introductory acts (The Hooters, in case you were wondering why they're credited, along with James Galway and The Band, plus a German group) and the Scorpions' performance of "In the Flesh." But the microphones died completely during "The Thin Ice" -- Roger just waved at the crowd and did a little tap dance to keep them entertained. They got the mics working again mid-way through "Another Brick, pt.1," but only at low power; the crowd periodically screamed "louder, louder!" Full power was finally restored for "Empty Spaces," and continued without a hitch for the rest of the show.

The other well-known blooper was on Sinead O'Connor's rendition of "Mother." As I understand it (second-hand), as The Band began to sing the chorus, she lost her place in the song and began to sing the next verse! These mistakes were "cleaned up" on the album and video releases by splicing in footage from the previous day's dress rehearsal, and from an emergency redo of the entire concert the company did, right after the official performance.

06 : Amused To Death

Amused To Death  "Who Is Alf Razzel?"

The voice in ATD of somebody trying to rescue a comrade are those of Alf Razzell, a WWI veteran. Here's a (small) bit of background to his story (apparently from the same TV special from which Waters took the sound bites):

 "What's the backwards message in Perfect Sense?"

It's really (REALLY) difficult to decipher, so it's impossible to be 100% certain about all the words. But having said that, here's something that at least conveys the basic point, from the ATD Transcript:

Julia, (pause) however, (pause - 2nd thunder in normal direction) In the light and visions of the issues of Stanley, (pause) we changed our minds. (pause) We have decided to include a backward message, (pause - 1st thunder in normal direction) Stanley, (pause) for you, (pause) and for all the other book (short pause) partners. [very loud, noisy, screamed sentence]

The story goes like this: Waters had asked Stanley Kubrick if he could use some lines and "breathing effects" from his "2001: A Space Odyssey" film on the album. Specifically, Waters wanted to include the part about HAL's shutdown [from the ATD song book]:

Mr. Kubrick refused. So Waters dubbed in his own breathing effects, and recorded a nasty message for Kubrick's benefit. Heaven only knows if he's heard it, or more importantly, if he cares.

 "What's the Arabic chanting in Late Home Tonight?"

[Translation courtesy of Fady Alajaji:]

Some of the phrases were really hard to grasp because they were being spoken very quickly in the background of the high tempo beating drums.

Anyway I tried my best and here is the translation (although not very accurate) of what I could grasp:

At the end of the song, while Roger is singing the following:

a woman is shouting in the background in Egyptian Arabic. Apparently she is complaining to her husband and blaming him for her sufferings. Her words run as follows: ".... And then what!!!! why don't you ever help me? you all the time leave me alone at home and go join your fat friends in your endless useless discussions...

Then the beating drums start, and here everything is very chaotic. There are different voices in the background. I was able to distinguish a TV (or radio) commentator talking (but I can't get what he's saying) and at the same time there is a crowd shouting slogans in Arabic. I could not grasp all their words. This what I could get: I am not sure if the last word is "imperialists." Anyway you get the meaning. I think it's kind of a demonstration of fundamentalist Muslims. However I'm not really sure.

At the end of the beating drums, right before the missile explosion, the voice of the TV commentator becomes more clear, and he says the following:

That's it folks. I want to point out that this translation is not completely accurate, and it's not completely word by word. Arabic cannot be translated word by word into English because it won't make any sense. However, overall I think the translation is 90% accurate.

By the way I think Roger got these Arabic phrases from an Egyptian movie and mixed them into his song. I am certain the Arabic is Egyptian Arabic and not Libyan Arabic as it was meant to be; since this song is supposed to be about the bombing of the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

 "What's the deal with Andrew Lloyd Webber?"

[With much help from Adam Floro:] In general, he just doesn't like ALW's music, and doesn't mind saying so. But specifically, there's a section of Webber's _Phantom of the Opera_ that bears a marked similarity to a part of "Echoes." The opening notes to the "Overture" of _Phantom_ (Track 2, Disc 1) are C# C B Bb A C#. This matches rather closely a section of "Echoes," approximately 6:06 to 6:16.

While Waters was less than pleased with this similarity, Echoesians have pointed out that such a chromatic pattern is fairly common; by no means a Floyd invention. However, the relevant dates make the charge of plagiarism at least possible, if not really likely -- Webber first used the riff in question on the film "Gumshoe," released in December 1971. _Meddle_ was released on 11 November, 1971, with the live debut of "Echoes" having occurred on April 22.

 "What's Amused To Death based on?"

Television. Specifically, a book by Neil Postman, called "Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business."

It's a very well-received book, and worth reading. Publishing information, for anyone interested:

The book is about television, and its affects on (American) society. Postman is a culture pessimist, and his view on TV aren't too optimistic, but well-founded.

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End of echoes Digest / FAQ section 8 of 10