The Source

1984 with host Charlie Kendall

Waters quotes from 'Shades of Pink'


Charlie Kendall :

"See Emily Play," and "Arnold Layne," two Syd Barrett compositions that were Pink Floyd's first chart successes in 1967. Even then, the essence of Pink Floyd couldn't be captured on record. Their early concerts featured a choreographed light show and quadraphonic sound system. Following the release of their debut album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Syd Barrett's behavior became more and more erratic. Barrett, the band's leader, the one who brought Pink Floyd to prominence, was now in over his head.

Roger Waters :

I believe Syd was a casualty of the so-called "Psychedelic Period" that we were meant to represent. 'Cause everybody believed that we were taking acid before we went on stage and all that stuff....unfortunately, one of us was, and that was Syd. It's a simple matter, really, Syd just had a big overdose of acid and that was it. It was very frightening, and I couldn't believe what had happened, 'cause, I remember we had to do a radio show, and we were waiting for him, and he didn't turn up. And then he came the next day, and he was a different person.

Charlie Kendall :

With Syd out of the band out of the band completely, in order for Pink Floyd to continue, someone else would have to write the material. Roger Waters took the controls, with some apprehension.

Roger Waters :

I had no idea that I would ever write anything, when I bought my first guitar at age fifteen and decided that I was going to be a rock star along with umpteen million other kids. I had no idea that I would ever really write songs, and in the early years, I didn't have to 'cause Syd was writing all the material and it was only after he stopped writing that the rest of us had to start trying to do it. I'd always been told, at school anyway, that I was absolutely bloody hopeless at everything, so I had no real confidence about any of it.

I never kind of sit down and try and think of ideas, ideas arrive, and I'll go "Hmm...that's not a bad idea," and I may make a note of it, somewhere. And then I'll come back to it later, and then maybe it will develop, or maybe I'll sit down at a piano one day and work out some chords for a melody that comes together with a bit of an idea. All that happens without me trying at all, I don't have to try. The difficult bit, then, is developing those short ideas into full-length things, that's where the craft comes in, and the graft. 'Cause then that does take a long time--well, it can do. Sometimes the absolutely the hardest things are, you know, you've written two verses and a bridge to a song and you've got to write the last verse and sometimes to write that last verse becomes an absolute nightmare.

Charlie Kendall :

That's "In The Flesh." Over the years, Floyd has developed an approach that has satisfied them artistically and financially.

Roger Waters :

When you start coming up with ideas for things like this, of course the immediate reaction always is: "It's going to cut into the profit margins...," you know, "Oooh, I don't know if we want to do..." And there have been some ludicrous things that I've done in the past that were, well that Floyd did in the past, that were, that was a real battle to get them done because they were going to slice $150,000 off the bottom line.

Your writing, I believe, comes out largely from a personality that develops when you're a child. And that how successful you may become, you don't change inside. You may become crushed by the weight of your success, and that weight may prevent you from expressing the feelings that are still...that you will always have inside. I don't think that the way a person feels ever really changes through their life. Do you?

Charlie Kendall :

Following on the heels of David Gilmour's recent album, Roger Waters released his first solo effort The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking.

Roger Waters :

Well, the idea for the album came concurrently with the idea for The Wall --the basis of the idea. I wrote both pieces at roughly the same time. And in fact, I made demo tapes of them both, and in fact presented both demo tapes to the rest of the Floyd, and said "Look, I'm going to do one of these as a solo project and we'll do one as a band album, and you can choose." So, this was the one that was left over. Um...I mean, it's developed an awful lot since then, I think.

[The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking]

Charlie Kendall :

That's the title track from Roger Waters' solo album, The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking. The short American tour that just concluded was definitely one of the must-see concerts of this year. Roger's band included Eric Clapton, and a stage show nearing Pink Floyd's proportions. Roger's next move is up in the air.

Roger Waters :

I don't know what I shall do in the future, but there's no way I can stop working. If I stop working for a bit I...I find myself drifting into the room with the piano, sitting down, starting to tinker, you know, "What if...?" I shall go to my grave with "Well, I wonder if...." And from those "I wonder if"s, something happens.


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