Roger Waters - I invented the Rock'n'roll spectacle

All discussion related specifically to Roger Waters.
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space triangle
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Roger Waters - I invented the Rock'n'roll spectacle

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''The Rock'n'roll spectacle is an interesting thing, because I can say I invented it. I recall going into big venues and thinking, “Christ, this is boring.” I remember around Dark Side of the Moon, when we had a couple of risers with lights on it built by Arthur Max, who was a lighting guy we stole from Bill Graham and the Fillmore East. And he sort of invented the circular screen we used. I thought, “How can we fill these spaces with theater?” That’s when I started working with people who made inflatables and thinking more about projecting images and firing fireworks that turn into parachuting sheep into the air and flying planes, and all that. I can say, Rock'n'roll spectacle is my biggest contribution to the world of music, not the conceptual albums or lyrics.

I remember Mick Jagger coming to the Nassau Coliseum gigs in late 1979 and seeing The Wall. He came backstage, trying to find out how he could get that. “I want that.” Somebody pointed to [illustrator] Gerald Scarfe, who was sitting on the sofa chatting with Nick Mason and said, “He’s the one you should see.” And Jagger didn’t see. He thought it was Nick. So he went up to Nick and said [in a Jagger impression], “I gather you’ve done all the visuals and all that.” And Nick, of course being Nick, said, “Well, yes. I did. I do that in my spare time when I’m not practicing my drumming.” And Jagger sat and talked to him, wasted half an hour of his life thinking that. Bless Nick. How cool''.
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Re: Roger Waters - I invented the Rock'n'roll spectacle

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He's a wanker.

Four days before Pink Floyd's "Mr. Screen" made it's debut, David Bowie kicked off his Diamond Dogs tour, where the stage was designed to look like a city. The set weighed 6 tons and had over 20,000 moving parts; he sang "Space Oddity" while being swung over the audience by a crane.

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Re: Roger Waters - I invented the Rock'n'roll spectacle

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Yeah trying to say he's the one person who invented the rock n' roll spectacle is telling of his enormous ego. I don't think any one person can be attributed to that, but Pink Floyd and David Bowie were certainly pioneers in that area.
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Re: Roger Waters - I invented the Rock'n'roll spectacle

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C'mon people, give the man the credit he deserves! 8)

And...our Rog had a more to say on the subject :

''I remember also when we did The Wall [in 1979] being criticized by Bono. U2 were a very young band, and they’re going [affects Irish accent], “Oh, we can’t stand all that theatrical nonsense that Pink Floyd do. We just play our music and the songs unto themselves and blah, blah, blah.” Oh really? All they did for the rest of their fucking career was copy what I’d been doing and continue to do. So good luck to them, but what a load of bullshit. If you lead them, people will follow''.

And, you know what.. You have to forget about The Wall. Because you can’t do bigger or more complex. The [Floyd’s] Wish You Were Here tour had some of that, and the Animals tour in 1977. And then there was The Wall. After that, everybody did spectacle. Everybody followed me, and did. it''
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Re: Roger Waters - I invented the Rock'n'roll spectacle

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He wouldn't know if other artists had done it before him anyway, because in that same interview he admitted he hasn't heard any of Radiohead's work, because "I don't listen to other people's records." He's a jackass.
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Re: Roger Waters - I invented the Rock'n'roll spectacle

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space triangle wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 7:58 am ''I remember also when we did The Wall [in 1979] being criticized by Bono. U2 were a very young band, and they’re going [affects Irish accent], “Oh, we can’t stand all that theatrical nonsense that Pink Floyd do. We just play our music and the songs unto themselves and blah, blah, blah.” Oh really? All they did for the rest of their fucking career was copy what I’d been doing and continue to do. So good luck to them, but what a load of bullshit. If you lead them, people will follow''.
I can't say I ever remember where U2 copied Pink Floyd or Roger Waters. I wouldn't say they did their own new original thing a lot of the time either but I don't see much correlation between them and Waters (maybe some of their political music in the 80s? But that was a lot of Irish independence stuff more than Waters' usual talking points.)
ZiggyZipgun wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:12 am He wouldn't know if other artists had done it before him anyway, because in that same interview he admitted he hasn't heard any of Radiohead's work, because "I don't listen to other people's records."
That's such a bizarre thing for an artist to say. You'd think one of the essential things for a musician to do is listen to a lot of other people's work. It's like how authors say the best thing to do to keep up writing well is to read a lot.
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Re: Roger Waters - I invented the Rock'n'roll spectacle

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theaussiefloydian wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:16 amI can't say I ever remember where U2 copied Pink Floyd or Roger Waters.
I think, here Roger is referring exclusively to the stage/spectacle aspect. The fact is that U2 had perhaps the most elaborate concert stage in the world at the times of of their 'Zoo TV Tour' & 'PopMart Tour' .
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Re: Roger Waters - I invented the Rock'n'roll spectacle

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space triangle wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 9:01 am I think, here Roger is referring exclusively to the stage/spectacle aspect. The fact is that U2 had perhaps the most elaborate concert stage in the world at the times of of their 'Zoo TV Tour' & 'PopMart Tour' .
Fair enough, but by that point elaborate stage concerts were a staple of rock music (due in part to Pink Floyd's influence, true) so I find it difficult to say U2 were actively copying Waters or Floyd in that respect. All in all I find it still a bit of a strange thing to accuse them of.
(And I don't say all of this to rip on Waters, as I do find myself in awe of a lot of his concerts. I just don't think he has the trademark on the concept of an elaborate stage show is all.)
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Re: Roger Waters - I invented the Rock'n'roll spectacle

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The "not listening to other artists" backfired when he then goes on to say he loves Neil Young and Leonard Cohen. Maybe "I don't listen to other artists unless they are raved about as great writers"? :-;
And I think TFC and his first couple of solo albums shows how narrow his songwriting is. Only good people manage to extract great stuff from Roger. But he seems to not see this and carries on, the mad bastard! <ii>
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Re: Roger Waters - I invented the Rock'n'roll spectacle

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Jimi Dean Barrett wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 3:49 pm The "not listening to other artists" backfired when he then goes on to say he loves Neil Young and Leonard Cohen. Maybe "I don't listen to other artists unless they are raved about as great writers"? :-;
Possibly, though Radiohead's work at least post 1996 has been lauded for Thom Yorke's lyrics so you'd think he'd have also picked up on that a little if that be the case.
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Re: Roger Waters - I invented the Rock'n'roll spectacle

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Jimi Dean Barrett wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 3:49 pmMaybe "I don't listen to other artists unless they are raved about as great writers"? :-;
I just think he stopped listening to new artists in the mid '70s. He went straight into old man mode at the tender age of 30: Music these days is all rubbish!
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Re: Roger Waters - I invented the Rock'n'roll spectacle

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Jimi Dean Barrett wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 3:49 pmAnd I think TFC and his first couple of solo albums shows how narrow his songwriting is.
And still he is the man behind the best selling Rock'n'roll album of all time - The Dark Side Of The Moon (50 million copies).
And the man behind the best selling double Rock'n'roll album of all time - The Wall (31 million copies).

He must have done something right, after all. :-;
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Re: Roger Waters - I invented the Rock'n'roll spectacle

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space triangle wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 4:14 pm And still he is the man behind the best selling Rock'n'roll album of all time - The Dark Side Of The Moon (50 million copies).
And the man behind the best selling double Rock'n'roll album of all time - The Wall (31 million copies).

He must have done something right, after all. :-;
A bit of a reductive statement I feel, as the magic of Dark Side was very much a team effort - he might have provided some bloody good lyrics, but the music side of that album is also fricken' fantastic. I find I enjoy The Wall a lot less than most on the grounds that there isn't as much musical collaboration on that album - there are great moments on each side, but there are also plenty of songs where it sounds a bit like Waters getting a bit too far up himself(a significant amount of Side 3, minus Hey You and Comfortably Numb, being the chief examples). But clearly I'm in the minority there given how well it sells.
Jimi Dean Barrett wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 3:49 pm And I think TFC and his first couple of solo albums shows how narrow his songwriting is.
I think it's more of a case of his writing getting narrower over time. Dark Side and Wish You Were Here have some of the best lyrics he's ever written (and some of the best written lyrics ever imo), but I feel like the further he disappeared up himself the narrower it got until we hit The Final Cut and (gawd help us) Radio KAOS. There are flashes of a return to form on Amused to Death, but to me Waters' lyrics began to suffer the moment he said "sod subtlety". That's just me though.
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Re: Roger Waters - I invented the Rock'n'roll spectacle

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space triangle wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 4:14 pm And still he is the man behind the best selling Rock'n'roll album of all time - The Dark Side Of The Moon (50 million copies).
And the man behind the best selling double Rock'n'roll album of all time - The Wall (31 million copies).
This is barely true even when you only look at "rock'n'roll" artists - Michael Jackson outsold them in both categories by far. AC/DC's Back in Black has sold more copies than Dark Side of the Moon. And what is the worst-selling Pink Floyd album? The goddamn Final Cut.
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Re: Roger Waters - I invented the Rock'n'roll spectacle

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ZiggyZipgun wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 5:14 pm Michael Jackson outsold them in both categories by far. AC/DC's Back in Black has sold more copies than Dark Side of the Moon.
Yeah, also this. Thriller has sold something like 66 million records, and Back in Black is also sitting at a healthy 50 million copies. And one could argue whether Thriller is rock or pop funk I suppose but the point still stands.

None of this is meant to diminish Pink Floyd or Waters' influence by the way. There's just a part of me that sees a statistic that's a little wonky and can't help but go "um accctuallllyyyy..." (my friends hate me for it lol)