Roy Harper is a "street singer" from England, popular in the 1970's. Waters didn't like the way he was singing 'Have a Cigar,' and Harper was in another studio at the time making an album. So, they brought Harper in, and had him sing it. Though Waters feels that Harper did "a fine job of singing it, a song can never sound quite right to the person who actually wrote it."
Roy Harper is also the subject of a Led Zeppelin song, "Hats Off to Roy Harper," from their third album.A bit more information, courtesy of Scott Lindsey:
|Harper is much more a song-writer than a musician, in the same way Bob Dylan is. He's been recording since the late '60's and has released about 18 or so albums, including the duo effort with Page, "What Ever Happened to Jugula?" which also featured Gilmour. Like Dylan, he doesn't have the greatest voice, but it is somewhat unique, albeit not as recognizable as Dylan's. Much of his released material is simply vocal with acoustic guitar. He's very British and at times very political - very much the cynic. His music isn't for just anyone and for some is an accquired taste. What some find "pointed" others find "grating."|
Harper also helped out David Gilmour on his first solo album, helping to write and sing "Short and Sweet." He appears on Gilmour's live tour video.
There's a Roy Harper mailing list, called "stormcock." The contact address
is "email@example.com". You can also subscribe by sending a
message to "firstname.lastname@example.org" with line "subscribe stormcock