Hopefully this will spark some interesting discussion.
We would see indeed. Only David Gilmour and Bob Ezrin produced the Division Bell, supposedly an album influenced quite a bit by Rick Wright. That speaks volumes.Roger: Why did I fire Rick? Because he was not prepared to cooperate in making the record. (Wearily) What actually happened was "The Wall" was the first album where we didn't divide the production credit between everybody in the band. At the beginning of the process, when I said I was going to bring Bob Ezrin in and he was going to get paid, I said, 'I'm going to produce the record as well, so is Dave, so we're going to get paid as well, but Nick, you don't actually do any record production, and Rick, neither do you. So you're not going to get paid.' Nick said fair enough, but Rick said, 'No, I produce the records just as much as you do.' So we agreed we would start making the record and we would see.
...But who would be the arbiter? We all agreed on Ezrin.
So Rick sat in the studio - he would arrive exactly on time, which was very unusual, and stay to the bitter end every night. One day Ezrin said to me - he was slightly irked by this brooding presence very occasionally going "I don't like that" - 'Why's Rick here again?' I said, 'Don't you get it? He's putting in the time to prove he's a record producer. You talk to him about it.' So he did.
After that Rick never came to another session, unless he was directly asked to do keyboard tracks. And he became almost incapable of playing any keyboards anyway. It was a nightmare. I think that was the beginning of the end.
But in the end of the end, since you ask, we had agreed to deliver the album at the beginning of October and we took a break in August to go on holiday. I sat down with a bunch of sheet music and paper and wrote out all the songs and what was needed and made up a schedule, and it became clear to me that we couldn't get it finished in the time available.
So I called Ezrin, 'Would you be prepared to start a week earlier on the keyboard parts with Rick in Los Angeles?' Eventually he went, 'All right. Thanks, pal,' - because of the idea of doing keyboard tracks with Rick. I said, 'Look, you can get another keyboard player in as well in case it's stuff he can't handle, but if you get all that keyboard overdubbing done before the rest of us arrive we can just about make the end of the schedule.'
A couple of days later I got a call from O'Rourke. I said, 'Did you speak to Rick?' "Yeah. He said, 'Tell Roger to fuck off.'" Right, that's it. Here I was doing all this work and Rick had been doing nothing for months and I got "Fuck off." I spoke to Dave and Nick and said, "I can't work with this guy, he's impossible," and they both went, 'Yeah, he is.'
Anyway, it was agreed by everybody. In order not to get a long drawn -out thing I made the suggestion that O'Rourke gave to Rick: either you can have a long battle or you can agree to this, and the *this* was, you finish making the album, keep your full share of the album, but at the end of it you leave quietly. Rick agreed. So the idea of the big bad Roger suddenly getting rid of Rick for no reason at all on his own is nonsense.
In 1983, Gilmour said "I think the thing with Rick was that he didn't have anything that any of us felt was contributing to what Pink Floyd do." An interviewer then asked "Compositionally?" to which David replied "In any way."David: (Sigh) I did not go along with it. I went out to dinner with Rick after Roger had said this to him and said if he wanted to stay in the band I would support him in that. I did point out to Rick that he hadn't contributed anything of any value whatsoever to the album and that I was not over-happy with him myself - he did very very little; an awful lot of the keyboard parts are done by me, Roger, Bob Ezrin, Michael Kamen, Freddie Mandell - but his position in the band to me was sacrosanct. My view, then and now is, if people didn't like the way it was going it was their option to leave. I didn't consider that it was their option to throw people out.
How inconvenient that would be. I, for one, could see Gilmour wanting to get rid of Nick Mason as well. After all, Pink Floyd as only two people instead of four or three would mean more money for the two people who then made up the band. Gee, how come two people posing as "Pink Floyd" sounds familiar? MLOR, anyone?Roger: I had a meeting with Dave in my garden in the South of France at which Dave said, 'Let's get rid of Nick too.' I bet he doesn't remember that. How inconvenient would that be? I went 'Ooh, Dave, Nick's my friend. Steady!'
We're back to the classic "Roger Waters wanted to become Pink Floyd" theory, which is supported by numerous people who actually believe "Pink Floyd" circa 1986-1994 were not a farce that ruined Pink Floyd's legacy. The preposterous theory is supported blindly because of comments such as the above from Nick Mason. As I have posted more than once now on this message board:Nick: I think in real terms it would be highly likely that I would have been next. And then after that I think it would have been Dave. That's what's curious when we talk about it now. I think it's just that Roger was feeling more and more that this was his idea and he wanted total control.
If Roger's plan was to have "Pink Floyd" all to himself, why did he destroy his personal management deal with Steve O'Rourke in 1985? If Roger's plan was to have "Pink Floyd" all to himself, why did he ask EMI and CBS to release him from his contractual obligations as a member of "the group" "Pink Floyd" in 1985? If Roger's plan was to have "Pink Floyd" all to himself, why did Roger choose not to go back into the studio and try to create a "Pink Floyd" product in order to satisfy his contractual obligations instead of doing what he did? These are questions the folks who support the aforementioned theory have to consider. Ultimately when one does consider the three key questions I have asked, they see that the theory is clearly a pile of gobbledygook. However, some individuals will still reply something along the lines of "Roger did not have Nick on the last song on TFC!" So what? Nick performed more on TFC than he did on MLOR. Did those folks ever consider that fact? Maybe Nick missed the recording session for "Two Suns in the Sunset"? Maybe Nick just could not play the song the way Roger wanted it to be played? If that was the case, so what?
I don't buy the rubbish that Roger Waters wanted to have Pink Floyd all to himself. When one considers the facts seriously, it doesn't add up.
Now we have an instance of the classic "Roger said Rick had a cocaine habit." When did Roger ever say Rick Wright had a cocaine problem, and that is why he was thrown out of the group or such? Roger has never said Rick had a cocaine problem at any time.Rick: It would have been quite easy to say, 'Oh he left because he had a cocaine problem or a drink problem.' I can honestly say that it really was not a drug problem. It was taken without a doubt by him, me, Dave, Nick, Bob Ezrin, but purely socially, it wasn't lying around in the studio.
Roger: There *were* people who were doing a lot - some of us had big, big problems. I certainly wasn't doing drugs at that point.
I have seen on numerous boards people making such false claims as "Only Roger has said Rick had a cocaine habit," and that's why I'm posting this bit. It's rubbish. Roger never said such a thing. Case closed.
Once he decided he wanted to control everything, his first step was, 'I'll get rid of Rick, I've never liked him anyway.' It was part of his big game plan to become the leader, the writer, the producer and have people play for him.
Oh, some big game plan, huh? Even The Final Cut is credited as being produced by Michael Kamen, Roger Waters. In fact, David Gilmour also produced it, but Gilmour dropped his own production credit, for whatever reason(s).
You know, as I have brought up before, if Roger's such a big, bad bully for not allowing Wright to be involved with the production of The Wall, or not simply giving him a production credit for nothing, what does that say for jolly ole Gilmour, who produced The Division Bell only with Ezrin? Again, all of this particular nonsense we hear from Wright, Ezrin, Mason and Gilmour doesn't add up.
The Wall - Produced by Bob Ezrin, David Gilmour, and Roger Waters
A Momentary Lapse of Reason - Produced by Bob Ezrin and David Gilmour
The Division Bell - Produced by Bob Ezrin and David Gilmour
Again:Rick: I think the next step of his plan, though they were buddies, was to get rid of Nick, that's what I've heard, and then Dave become the guitarist and use session musicians. You may think that's all rubbish, but I suspect that's how he was thinking.
If Roger's plan was to have "Pink Floyd" all to himself, why did he destroy his personal management deal with Steve O'Rourke in 1985? If Roger's plan was to have "Pink Floyd" all to himself, why did he ask EMI and CBS to release him from his contractual obligations as a member of "the group" "Pink Floyd" in 1985? If Roger's plan was to have "Pink Floyd" all to himself, why did Roger choose not to go back into the studio and try to create a "Pink Floyd" product in order to satisfy his contractual obligations instead of doing what he did?
Blaming your problems on someone else - it's the easiest thing in the world to do. David, Nick and Roger have all said Rick was offering basically nothing. It isn't "Roger's a big bad bully who fired him because it was the first step in some enormous masterplan to get Pink Floyd all to himself, and Nick was next, and then Gilmour after him." Yeah, that's it. Perhaps in the fantasy world where The Division Bell is a masterpiece on par with The Wall it is the case!Rick: I think he would tell you that I'd lost interest in the band - there are times around 'Animals' where I would sit down with our manager and say, "I've got to leave this band, I can't stand the way Roger's being," but I wasn't really serious about leaving, though sometimes I wasn't happy. At the time I was going through a divorce, I wasn't that keen on 'The Wall' anyway, and I didn't have any material. He might have seen my situation as not having contributed everything but he wouldn't *allow* me to contribute anything.
Rick wasn't pulling his weight. I mean, if you have a job at some petty convenience store where you make minimum wage, and you decide to show up and to not do your duties, do you really think you're going to get to keep your job? No. Now why the heck would someone who is involved with a mega-popular band expect to not lose their position in the band if they don't pull their weight? We're not talking minimum wage with "Pink Floyd," we're talking millions of pounds. Do you get the gist of what I am trying to say?
Anyway, later in the article Rick says a bunch of other stuff, as do Nick and David. Most of the stuff from Rick is about how supportive David and Nick were supposedly, and how Roger was the big bad wolf out to get him. Given their earlier comments on how they think "Roger wanted to have Pink Floyd all to himself," there's really no point in taking their latter comments seriously.
On to a later piece of the article:
OH, I wonder why! Yeah, and I also wonder why the track listing was incorrect on that original press too! Obviously the original press was a rushed job. Maybe Gilmour had something to do with it, sort of like the time Gilmour dropped his production credit for TFC?The album was completed in Los Angeles, its cover designed by Gerald Scarfe and Roger Waters. The sleevenotes to the original vinyl release credited three producers, one co-producer, four engineers, three writers, two orchestra arrangers, six backing vocalists, a sound equipment man and Islington Green School. The names Rick Wright and Nick Mason are nowhere to be seen.
Rick: I'd forgotten about that - Nick was left off as well? I wonder why – but at the time I'd left the band and sort of given up.
Nick: I wasn't too happy. It was rectified on later pressings, I think.
The final bit I want to quote from the article:
Any thoughts?Roger: The concept (of 'The Wall''s theme influencing its author's behaviour) is a convenient view for people. It's a short step from leader to dictator. We're all volunteers. Nobody had to stay. Even during 'The Final Cut,' where everything finally exploded, I was always completely willing to make the record on my own. We'd been arguing since 1974, for God's sake. Too long. At a certain point you have to say, this is not working, the point has come to break up.
David: Roger said it was over. I said I would probably make another record. He made it clear he wouldn't make another record with us; I made it clear that it was my intention so to do.
Roger: I want people around me who are creative, lively, interested and interesting. Dave is none of those things. He doesn't have any ideas and he's not interested really in people who do, except insofar as they can write records that he can put his name on, which is what's been happening since I left.
Nick: I would never have imagined that we *could* have carried on without him until Dave said, "We can. Let's have a go." The feeling was....It's not your band to kill.
Roger: I didn't decide that the band would have to die. I expressed my view that that would have been the best thing. I would be distressed if Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr made records and went on the road calling themselves The Beatles. If John Lennon's not in it, it's sacrilegious. I don't want to put words into Dave's mouth but from what I've read I have a suspicion his view would be that a lot of people would hold the view that it wasn't OK to go on calling the band Pink Floyd when Syd ceased to function. The body of work that the four of us produced together post-Syd has some of that connection to the same things that The Beatles' work has a connection to, and that for me makes Pink Floyd important. And to continue with Gilmour and Mason, getting in a whole bunch of other people to write the material, seems to me an insult to the work that came before. And that's why I wanted the name to retire.