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Waters Runs Deep

Forty years after it embarked on its first psychedelic sojourns, Pink Floyd still has a legacy that's as relevant as ever. But fans might wonder if part of its stage package is a fraud. Roger Waters, the band's bassist and one of its charter members, would likely say yes, the protests of his former colleagues notwithstanding. Following the drug-induced descent of its resident genius and musical madcap, Syd Barrett, Waters assumed the reins of leadership, helping to guide the group through critical and commercial success in the '70s, including the breakthrough opuses Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall. Waters' austere yet hypnotic melodies (he penned the megahits "Money" and "The Wall, Pt. 2") and Orwellian imagery (manifest in lyrics that were mostly his alone) defined their music until internal dissent — specifically the increasing friction between him and guitarist Dave Gilmour — fractured the Floyd in the early '80s. In the years since, Waters has steered his solo career with varying degrees of success, even delving into classical music with an epic opera based on the French Revolution called Ca Ira. Still, that's nothing compared to the real-life soap opera that's resulted from an acrimonious legal battle with his former bandmates over rights to the Pink Floyd branding. Determined to assert his claim to the band's catalog, Waters continues to wave the Floyd flag on tour, performing and recording The Wall live in its entirety and, on his current tour, the whole of Dark Side of the Moon. That's a Roger 10-4.
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Lee Zimmerman

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