I never had David Gilmour down as a dog. I never had him down as a sheep or a pig either. He was one of the good guys, not the ‘mad bugger’ that the inimitable band of brothers, Pink Floyd would bash their heads against while we stood with our fists raised in solidarity; and by Pink Floyd I always mean the alchemic amalgam of ROGER WATERS, RICK WRIGHT, NICK MASON, SYD BARRETT…and after Syd’s breakdown and subsequent departure from the band…Dave Gilmour, the new boy.
I bolded this because believe it or not, Pink Floyd legally is basically just David Gilmour. Nick Mason is off doing his Saucerful of Secrets project, where he plays the more psychedelic early offerings up to Meddle. He clearly hasn’t irritated Gilmour to the point of erasure, he gets a few mentions on the Pink Floyd website, and a couple of thumbnails on the Gilmour saturated youtube channel, unlike Roger Waters. You see Waters has been almost entirely rubbed out of Pink Floyd history. If you came to Pink Floyd for the first time you would think that Pink Floyd was David Gilmour, his wife, Polly Samson, his children, and a few other guys now and again that may have something to do with things.
Roger is locked out of the Pink Floyd website, his tours not promoted, his work not promoted, the only mentions of him are the ones that are wholly unavoidable. Gilmour is indulging in some highly dog-like behavior, throwing around his weight, bolstered by British jurisprudence, which legally gives him the rights to Pink Floyd the brand, the name and all that entails. Pink Floyds legacy is being controlled by the new boy, and man oh man, what a dictator he is proving to be!
We all know that the man behind the lyrics, behind the concepts, behind Pink Floyd, was Waters. Who had mother issues and splashed them liberally about for us all to peer at and sing along to? Whose daddy sadly died in the war, causing much pain? It was not Gilmour. Yet still we hear about Gilmour’s input, Gilmour’s work, Gilmour’s now ugly mug slathered across everything, yet nary a Roger Waters reference or tee-shirt to be seen in the Pink Floyd store.
Back to Animals album, the only song on there with a cowrite credit for Gilmour is Dogs, the rest are all credited to Waters alone. It is slightly ironic really, considering this killer behavior from David.
Deaf, dumb, and blind, you just keep on pretending
That everyone’s expendable and no-one has a real friend
And it seems to you the thing to do would be to isolate the winner
And everything’s done under the sun
And you believe at heart, everyone’s a killer (Dogs, Pink Floyd: Waters and Gilmour)
The winner was isolated in the court case drama of the ’80s, fuck friends, it’s all about the brand, about control, about the almighty $$$. Roger was simply expendable once David was told he was allowed to make him so legally. After all, wouldn’t anyone else do the same? Everyone’s a killer? It is worth noting that Roger wanted to disband Pink Floyd, and no one, including himself, to use the name, once the band had split up. Who’s the killer now, Dave? Who’s the killer now?
David has been ruthless in his cutting out of Roger from Pink Floyd history, from current promotional materials, and from the band in general. If you look at the Pink Floyd website, there are more mentions of Polly Samson, Gilmour’s wife, and of the Gilmour children – who play with Gilmour and their music promoted on the Pink Floyd site – than there are of Roger Waters.
Talking about the Von Trapped family, as they have been calling themselves, the latest release promoted on the site is a Gilmour/Samson written song called Yes I Have Ghosts, on which a Gilmour child or two plays and sings. It sounds like Mumford and Sons by way of Donovan, it is heavy on the harp, and the most banal bullshit I have heard in a while. Corny lyrics, cheesy sound, it is not Pink Floyd. Heck, I think even the banal Mumford and Sons would have thrown this one on the floor, yet there it is, the hot push on the Pink Floyd website, while the blisteringly brilliant Roger Waters re recordings done during lockdown are banned. Yes, the Yes I have Ghosts track has some pretty guitar, but heck, even I can manage pretty guitar, especially if I had that kind of recording capability. It is not a Pink Floyd product. Neither is Gilmour’s wife’s books, as great as they are – still they are promoted on the Pink Floyd site as if it is Gilmour’s private page, and to be frank it might as well be. Pink Floyd has been reduced to David Gilmour, and what David Gilmour is up to, and what his family are doing.
The lockdown Von Trapped family output particularly rankled me. The man that recorded Pigs with Roger Waters, in all his champagne swilling glory, a large gorgeous mansion, tableaus of one percenter glory shoved in our faces, down in the pig pen, nose at the trough, playing the harp and looking expensively polished while we are out here suffering and dying. Tone deaf pap, proud daddy pushing his talentless children, nepotism at it’s finest. Absolutely piggish in it’s privilege. Oh Dave, was it all just a waste of time? It is truly US…and THEM…
I always saw Gilmour as rock’s nice guy, a killer with that axe, purveyor of solos and Roger’s right hand man. I saw him as mild, and kind of sweet in that hippy boy sort of way. He seemed crushed under the magnitude of Water’s brilliance and force of personality. Roger, from what I have heard on the snippets that appear from recording sessions, was a monster of perfectionism. It is good that he was, who else was going to whip that band of wet hippies into shape? Who else was going to extract The Wall from Gilmour, Mason and Wright? Fluffy Gilmour with his head full of happy empty flying high in the clouds?
I can’t stand to listen to the Waterless Floyd. It has no balls. It has no rock to the roll. Gilmour might have helped Waters carry the stone, but it was Water’s vision which hewed that rock-face into shape. It is all cotton wool, it is toothless, it has no bite. It is like eating a fast food meal only to be hungry again in five more minutes, it has no substance, it has no weight to the stone. It is boring as heck, and it is populated by mini Gilmours feeding off the nepotistic Pig teat.
Meanwhile Roger who has his This Is Not A Drill tour coming up in 2022, is holding on to the dream that we as a species can treat each other better, can be kinder, can be fairer, it is Waters who is holding onto his politics with both hands and flying the flag that used to be flown by four young men who thought they could change the world with rock and roll and have some fun doing so. Pink Floyd. Which one’s Pink? It appears now it is David. He is Floyd too. Except, outside of the court room, the fans know in their hearts who Pink Floyd really is- it is a group that split up in 1985.
Here is Roger Waters, the mind behind Pink Floyd’s music, at least when it all meant something more than money and lawyers. Beautiful recording.