Tag Archives: Roger Waters

The Pros And Cons Basic Analysis By David Smith

Roger Waters Pros and Cons (Censored Version)
Roger Waters Pros and Cons (Censored Version)

More complex than the wall and deeper than Dark Side, just a shame about the music. The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking was the first solo album by Roger Waters and the subject of this fairly light song by song analysis to help those that struggle with the album to follow it and to be able to develop their own ideas from these ones.

So we start with the narrator drifting off to sleep as the lines between reality and dream are blurred. His wife tries to engage her in conversation but he appears to respond to her seeing a fantasy woman instead of her introducing us to the theme of infidelity and the first song:

We were moving away from the border
Looking for somewhere to sleep
The two of us sharing the driving

The narrator and his wife (assuming she is that) here in the car, keep note of this, she IS present during this sequence

I sneaked a quick look in the mirror
She gave me a smile

But his dirty mind is elsewhere and he is eyeing up another woman despite his wife

And the sun shone down on her lovely young limbs
I thought to myself she’s much too good for him

The attractive hitchhiker’s relationship at this stage reflects his. She is with a partner (‘she’s much too good for him’) but it is a gender role reversal from the narrator and his spouse. This album is about sexual politics and in the relationship she is the more independent one and is ok with being eyed up and stuff knowing that her partner will not question this as the narrator is comfortable doing the flirting as his shant either. Their partners need them more than they need their partners.

I lay down beside her with tears in my eyes
She said

The narrator cries a tad. A first sign of weakness. He may be the stronger one in his relationship but can he really leave his wife for her? Perhaps he starts to realise not. Either that or he has the realisation this is a dream. Up to you really.

You could see that she thought I looked fine
And when she turned sweeter
The reason (between you and me) was
She’d just seen my green Lamborghini

We can presume she is about to say something painful because the next song immediately begins on a rush as he goes through a list of impressive things that he has procession of, as if to assure her that he is good reveals his commercial goods rather than his true personality, this is the first mention of his inability to connect with people on a personal level.

The music returns to the familiar and calm music. He has convinced both her and himself of his qualities with his commercial possessions in order to deny any doubt he may have of himself (or that she may have.) He is self confident again after this very short moment of despair and fear. The dream suddenly changes location to the bedroom and for the first time it is implied that he is actually the dependent one in the relationship as the female who is possibly his wife has Arabs with knives ready to punish him for his thoughts of infidelities

She said “Come on now kid, it was wrong what you did
You’ve got to admit it was wrong”
Oh god….Jesus
Sleep Sleep
I know that I’m only dreaming

She informs him his eyeing up and temptations were wrong, she says this in a very reasonable voice though to assure him she is actually very sincere in her motivations of this act of punishing him. However, just as he feels in danger he manages to remind himself it’s just a dream and imagines himself away to Germany for the fairground, a place that to him represents safety and contentness :

And I want to get back
To the girl with the rucksack
To feel her flaxen hair
I want to be there

Now that he feels safe in his dream world he thinks back to the hitchhiker with the rucksack, how he wishes he was still with her, but after his wife’s actions he is slightly unsure if he can make it there in the dream. He watches as his partner seems to flirt with a waiter and he immediately becomes worried that she is now going to commit an act of infidelity as he watches making her the more dominant one by punishing him. This continues in to the next track as he tries to rid himself of this fear of her committing infidelity by having sex with her, however at the end this is far from the reality

Stay with me
No…
Stay with me

He is unable to conquer his fear of her leaving him and begs her to stay with him, but his dream turns in to a nightmare as he is unable to stop thinking about the possibilities of her leaving him ‘Forget it’ he says denying the reality, and the next track begins. Sexual revolution is a violent song with all his aggression being transferred in to sexual energy. This brews from spite towards the possibility of his partner leaving him for someone else and again he tries to regain confidence in his position as a lover by bringing back the hiker and having sexual intercourse with her.

I am only a rat in a maze like you

He justifies it by assuring the hitchhiking girl that he is just lost, as is she. They are both lost in their relationships and can find their release in each other. However, for these further thoughts of infidelity he returns to his room again where his partner is aware of what is going through his mind and shows no mercy. To punish him again for his unfaithful nature (this time physically cheating on her) she eats a little dog that he rather likes. To him this dog is an emblem of his youth and innocence (hence it being from a kid’s song) so she putting a symbolic end to this reminding him that there are consequences to infidelity.

And just as it all seems really bad with her brushing away the remains of their love her voice turns from the harsh screech of Roger Waters to the sincere and vulnerable voice she earlier had in Arabs… and in reality, as displayed in the beginning of the album. She dictates that they leave and he agrees, following her lead before he regains control choosing the location and the route they take making everything is now ok again.

Go fishing my boy!

Plenty more fish in the sea. Basically everything is going very well for them as the settle down in their new home, but we can presume with the notion of him going fishing that he is keeping an open mind about women and that perhaps it is further infidelities that are the motivations for what follows. The new life begins to rot and the kids get ill and his family falls apart as his partner now goes the full way and leaves him because he cannot commit to just her out of fear of feeling vulnerable and being honest with her. This is confirmed in Dunromin duncarin dunlivin as his mistake

You were my everyday excuse
For playing deaf, dumb and blind

He always took her for granted and as a result remained ignorant to the world around him as if it all came unconditional. ‘Playing’ confirms this is an act and he is really unable to open reveal the person inside. He is uncomfortable with life because for him it is a constant falsity

She waits for the real Mr. Right to come
Gently removing her heart
With his promises of real communication

In his depression he imagines his partner to now be with someone else who can fully commit to her and be open and honest with her… All the things he cannot do. Unable to accept this he denies her new man and is unable to see why he in any better than himself. He realises the new man promises real communication seems to treat her in just the same way that he did, a fact that makes him sick at the end of the song with the realisation that he was doing everything right with her except being honest. The above quote is him trying to justify himself to her as being the stronger lover

An angel on a Harley
Pulls across to greet a fellow rolling stone

At a low the narrator tries to pick himself up again by recreating the feelings of excitement he had earlier with that hitchhiking girl by channelling further ill feeling to in further sexual energy for some more casual sex. Hitchhiking is a metaphor for being single and looking for a partner, and this album of course looks at the pros and cons of not being able to fully commit to another individual. A biker comes along to greet him. Rolling stone is of course a phrase for one who sleeps around a lot and he now tries to think of himself as one… Far from the truth really

You flex your rod
Fish takes the hook
Sweet vodka and tobacco in her breath
Another number in your little black book

He watches the biker in action and sees him immediately finding a new partner; however, this is only for a one night stand and nothing more. A bit of successful hitchhiking, but is it satisfying? Unable to do this he worries about his own life and questions it’s worth:

“Jump” says Yoko Ono
“I’m too scared and too good looking” I cried

He is too scared to die and also convinces himself that he has a lot of live for, but has to do so without thinking of his partner who he still holds a candle for. Again he doesn’t want to look vulnerable so she goes unmentioned and vanity is used to defy her role in his life and her importance to him. Unfortunately for him he is reminded of masculine ideals like Shane and Dick Tracey, that he can not live up to. He can only at best be himself. This discourages him and he returns to the kerb out of fear of the possible results of sleeping around, he just wants to be with someone who accepts him again, though still denies his partner as being right for him

He retreats away from the road and in to a calm coffee shop. Along comes a waitress that reminds him off his partner and her kindness. From this he further reflects on her and how even without her there she is all around him in spirit (in every stranger’s eyes actually) and this creates a much better world for him to be in.

It’s oh so easy now
As we lie here in the dark
Nothing interferes it’s obvious
How to beat the tears
That threaten to snuff out
The spark of our love

He regains faith in himself as a partner and a person upon the realisation that to be strong at both roles he just needs to be able to offer honesty and genuine communication without this constant fear of vulnerability. This leads to a moment of clarity as he realises what he has lost and why. The moment of clarity comes and he realises that he is a mere mortal, yet so is his partner and so genuine communication is all that is needed to save the relationship. While the dream may be other and was a wee bitty exaggerated in places the message was a true one that he shall now apply to life

And I have to admit
I was just a little afraid, oh yeah
But then…
I had a little bit of luck
You were awake
I couldn’t take another moment alone.

And now in reality he admits to this fear that his wife will be gone, acknowledging as a result of his dreams his vulnerability and love for her. He feels content with her once again.

Before They Were Pink Floyd – A History of the Band Pre Floyd

A brief look at the bands the Pink Floyd members were part of before the Pink Floyd formed and started going places! Feel free to discuss this article on the forum when read.

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Being in the right place at the right time and meeting the right people seems key to success in the music industry. A love of the new music pouring in from the USA in the form of Rhythm and Blues numbers, which allowed young teenagers to rebel against their parents Jazz and classical collections, would have inspired young men the country over to pick up a guitar and form a R&B band!

The death of Roger Barrett’s father and the flying of the nest of his siblings meant that Barrett’s liberal mother allowed up to 30 young people at a time to invade a room in her house to jam and listen to the new music, play guitars and smoke the occasional joint. Barrett was very much a shining beacon on the Cambridge music scene.

Above: Syd Barrett with Those Without in 1964
Below: David Gilmour on performing live with Jokers Wild in the mid 1960s.

Barrett played in his first band Geoff Mott & The Mottoes in Cambridge during the spring of 1962. He then moved on to Those Without from June – September 1963. Meanwhile, David Gilmour played several times in Cambridge in 1962 and 1963 in his first band, The Ramblers, although only playing a couple of shows with them. He went on to play more shows with his second band Chris Ian & The Newcomers and later just The Newcomers when Chris Ian departed. David would then go on to play semi-professionally with Jokers Wild and play quite a few dates around Cambridge as a local hero having taken to the guitar!

The London Scene was also the place where several bands were formed by other members of what would later become Pink Floyd. Nick Mason, Richard Wright and Roger Waters were all based in London and, from Autumn 1963, were playing in various bands. Sigma 6 was up first as a jamming group. This band was put together by Clive Metcalf whilst Nick Mason, Roger Waters and Richard Wright were attending Regent Street Polytechnic. It would then morph into The Abdabs and, occasionally, even The Screaming Abdabs!

It was in Autumn 1964 that Syd Barrett had left Cambridge and had joined his future Pink Floyd band mates to play in the band The Spectrum Five. It would soon become Leonard’s Lodgers as Leonard, landlord to some of the Floyd at the time, had a PA system so was most welcome in the band!

In January 1965, the collection of people currently rehearsing as Leonard’s Lodgers would become one solid unit with varying names such as The Pink Floyd Blues Sound, The Pink Floyd Sound, The Tea Set and, eventually, just The Pink Floyd! It was as this group, after Chris Dennis (vocalist) left Barrett, Waters, Mason, Klose and Wright to their own devices, that they recorded their first demo as The Pink Floyd in the Regent Street Polytechnic during some studio downtime. These three tracks were the cover of a Slim Harpo R&B standard ‘I’m A King Bee’, and three Barrett original compositions ‘Double O Bo’, ‘Butterfly (AKA ‘Flutter By Butterfly’)’ and ‘Lucy Leave’.

An early incarnation of The Pink Floyd with Bob Klose back right.

Bob Klose, who was playing guitar, left the band in the summer of 1965 as his parents were moaning at him due to his lack of commitment to his studies. When term break came, Barrett started his first serious relationship with Lindsay Corner and had his first acid trip in Cambridge with friend Dave Gale. It was liquid LSD 25 dropped haphazardly onto sugar cubes so they took rather large doses! Barrett had hold of a orange, a plum and a matchbox. The fruit represented Venus and Jupiter apparently and Storm Thorgerson would use this story to embelish various works of art in the future!

With the only accomplished musician Bob Klose gone, the rest of the band simply couldn’t compete with all the other bands playing R&B tracks so had to change direction slightly! Extended jams around basic chord structures were one option which they took up much to the delight of the underground scene. These extended jams earnt them much praise from the local music scene and, not too long down the road, from around the world.

So, the Floyd and Syd’s downfall had begun.
Births

1943 September 6th – Roger Waters born Great Bookham, Surrey
1945 January 27th – Nick Mason born
1945 July 28th – Richard Wright born
1946 January 6th – Roger Keith Barrett born
1946 March 6th – David Gilmour born


Bands (Members & Gigs)

 

Geoff Mott & The Mottoes (Cambridge Band)
(Spring, 1962)

Band Members

Roger “Syd” Barrett – Vocals
Geoff Mott – Vocals
Tony Sainty – Bass
Clive Welham – Drums

Performance History

11 March 1962 – Friends Meeting House, Cambridge, England

The Ramblers (Cambridge Band)
(March 1962 – October 1963)

Band Members

Richard Baker – Bass Guitar
David Gilmour – Guitar (in performances marked *)
John Gordon – Rhythm Guitar
Chris Marriot – Vocals
Mervyn Marriot – Guitar
Albie Prior – Guitar
Clive Welham – Drums

Performance History

1962

24 March 1962 – Free Church Hall, Cambridge, England

03 May 1962 – Guildhall, Cambridge, England
12 May 1962 – Free Church Hall, Cambridge, England
25 May 1962 – City Supporters Club, Cambridge, England

08 June 1962 – City Supporters Club, Cambridge, England

20 October 1962 – Free Church Youth Club, Cambridge, England

13 November 1962 – King’s Head, Fen Ditton, Cambridge, England

01 December 1962 – Guildhall, Cambridge, England
15 December 1962 – Fulbourn Hospital, Fulbourn, Cambridge, England

1963

16 February 1963 – Memorial Hall, Great Shelford, Cambridge, England

07 March 1963 – Victoria Ballroom, Cambridge, England

15 April 1963 – Church Hall, Sawston, Cambridge, England*

16 May 1963 – Victoria Ballroom, Cambridge, England*

02 August 1963 – Rex Ballroom, Cambridge, England
17 August 1963 – Victoria Ballroom, Cambridge, England

12 October 1963 – Village Hall, Harston, Cambridge, England

 

Chris Ian & The Newcomers (Cambridge Band)
(January – March 1963)

Band Members

Barney Barnes – Rhythm Guitar
Roger Bibby – Bass Guitar
Chris Ian Culpin – Drums
David Gilmour – Guitar, Vocals
Ken Waterson – Vocals


Performances

1963

26 January 1963 – Memorial Hall, Fulbourn, Cambridge, England

16 March 1963 – Guildhall, Cambridge, England
23 March 1963 – Village Hall, Dry Drayton, Cambridge, England
The Newcomers (Cambridge Band)
(April – October 1963)

Band Members

Barney Barnes – Rhythm Guitar
Roger Bibby – Bass Guitar
David Gilmour – Guitar, Vocals
Kenny Lennon – Vocals (performances marked *)
Johnny Philips – Vocals
Ken Waterson – Vocals
Willie Wilson – Drums


Performances

1963

04 May 1963 – Guildhall, Cambridge, England
25 May 1963 – Village Hall, Trumpington, Cambridge, England*
27 May 1963 – St Andrew’s Baptist Hall, Cambridge, England*

08 June 1963 – Rex Ballroom, Cambridge, England

03 August 1963 – Rex Ballroom, Cambridge, England
24 August 1963 – Rex Ballroom, Cambridge, England

05 October 1963 – Rex Ballroom, Cambridge, England

Those Without (Cambridge Band)
(June – September 1963)

Band Members

Roger “Syd” Barrett – Bass Guitar
Steve Pyle – Drums
Alan Sizer – Guitar, Vocals
Smudge – Guitar

Performances

1963

16 June 1963 – Congregational Church Youth Club, Cambridge, England

12 September 1963 – Chestnut College, Cambridge, England

The Hollerin’ Blues
(July 1964)

Band Members

Barney Barnes – Keyboard, Electric Piano, Vocals
Roger “Syd” Barrett – Guitar
Peter Glass – Harmonica
Steve Pyle – Drums
Ken Waterson – Vocals, Maracas, Harmonica

Performances

1964

July 1964 – Masonic Hall, Cambridge, England
July 1964 – Victoria Road Congregational Church Hall, Cambridge, England
July 1964 – Footlights Club, Cambridge, England

Jokers Wild (Cambridge Band)
(October 1964 to 1966)

Band Members

David Altham – Guitar, Saxophone, Keyboards, Vocals
David Gilmour – Guitar, Vocals, Harmonica
John Gordon – Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Tony Sainty – Bass, Vocals (left in 1966)
Clive Welham – Drums, Vocals (to mid 1966)
Peter Gilmour – Bass Guitar, Vocals (early 1966 onwards)
Willie Wilson – Drums (mid 1966 onwards)


Performances

1964

14 October 1964 – Les Jeux Interdits, Victoria Ballroom, Cambridge, England

1965

13 January 1965 – Les Jeux Interdits, Victoria Ballroom, Cambridge, England
20 January 1965 – Les Jeux Interdits, Victoria Ballroom, Cambridge, England
28 January 1965 – Les Jeux Interdits, Victoria Ballroom, Cambridge, England
30 January 1965 – Dorothy Ballroom, Cambridge, England

13 February 1965 – Dorothy Ballroom, Cambridge, England
19 February 1965 – Caius College Valentine Ball, Guildhall & Corn Exchange, Cambridge, England
22 February 1965 – Old English Gentlemen, Cambridge, England
24 February 1965 – Dorothy Ballroom, Cambridge, England

26 March 1965 – The Racehorse, Cambridge, England

5 May 1965 – Les Jeux Interdits, Victoria Ballroom, Cambridge, England
12 May 1965 – Les Jeux Interdits, Victoria Ballroom, Cambridge, England
19 May 1965 – Les Jeux Interdits, Victoria Ballroom, Cambridge, England

2 June 1965 – Les Jeux Interdits, Victoria Ballroom, Cambridge, England

5 June 1965 – Dorothy Ballroom, Cambridge, England
15 June 1965 – Peterhouse College May Ball, Peterhouse College, Cambridge, England
30 June 1965 – Les Jeux Interdits, Victoria Ballroom, Cambridge, England

3 July 1965 – Dorothy Ballroom, Cambridge, England
6 July 1965 – Les Jeux Interdits, Victoria Ballroom, Cambridge, England

1 September 1965 – Les Jeux Interdits, Victoria Ballroom, Cambridge, England
8 September 1965 – Les Jeux Interdits, Victoria Ballroom, Cambridge, England

12 November 1965 – Bassingbourn Village College, Bassingbourn, Cambridge, England
19 November 1965 – Shadow Ball, Victoria Ballroom, Cambridge, England
26 November 1965 – Comberton College, Cambridge, England

00 Unknown 1965 – The Pit Club, Cambridge University, Cambridge, England
00 Unknown 1965 – Byam Shaw School of Art, Campden Hill, Notting Hill Gate, London (with Pink Floyd!!)
00 Unknown 1965 – Great Shelford, Cambridge, England

Sigma 6 (London Band)
(Autumn 1963)

This band was put together by Clive Metcalf whilst Nick, Roger and Richard Wright were attending Regent Street Polytechnic.

Band Members

Nick Mason – Drums
Roger Waters – Guitar
Richard Wright – Rhythm Guitar, piano, organ and brass
Clive Metcalf – Bass Guitar
Keith Noble – Vocals
Sheilagh Noble – Occasional backing vocals
Vernon Thompson – Rhythm Guitar

Performances

The band made a number of undocumented appearances at various informal parties.
The Abdabs (The Screaming Abdabs) (London Band)
(Spring-Summer 1964)


Band Members

Juliette Gale – Vocals
Nick Mason – Drums
Clive Metcalf – Bass
Keith Noble – Vocals
Roger Waters – Guitar
Richard Wright – Rhythm Guitar
Performances

00-00-1964 – The Marquee, Soho, London. They played as extras in an unidentified film.

The band also played at various private parties but never played any other music venues. They rehearsed at Regent Street Polytechnic often in addition to the flat of Mike Leonard much to the annoyance of the neighbours!

The Spectrum Five (London Band)
(Autumn 1964)

The Band

Roger “Syd” Barrett – Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Bob Klose – Guitar, harmonica, vocals
Nick Mason – Drums
Roger Waters – Bass, vocals
Richard Wright – Keyboards, Vocals
Performances

02 March 1964 – Beat City, Oxford Street, London
03 March 1964 – Beat City, Oxford Street, London
00 Unknown 1964 – Camberwell Art School, London
Leonard’s Lodgers (London Band)
(Winter 1964)

Band Members

Roger “Syd” Barrett – Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Bob Klose – Guitar, harmonica, vocals
Mike Leonard – Occasional Keyboards
Nick Mason – Drums
Roger Waters – Bass, vocals


Performances

None Documented

The Pink Floyd Blues Band / The Tea Set / The Pink Floyd
(January – Winter 1965)

The group of people below played a handful of gigs together changing their name when the situation required it! They recorded once under the name The Tea Set material which has not yet been unearthed. They also recorded a 7 inch acetate single featuring un-released songs Lucy Leave and King Bee.

Band Members

Roger “Syd” Barrett – Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Nick Mason – Drums
Roger Waters – Bass, Vocals
Richard Wright – Keyboards, Saxophone, vocals
Bob Klose – Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals (left in summer)
Chris Dennis – Vocals (in January only)
Performances

00 February 1965 – Count Down, Palace Gate, Kensington, London

22 May 1965 – Summer Dance, Homerton College, Cambridge, England

26 June 1965 – Melody Maker National Beat Contest, Wimbledon Palais, Wimbledon, London
26 June 1965 – Beat Contest, The Country Club, Belsize Park, London

00 Unknown 1965 – Byam Shaw School of Art, Campden Hill, Notting Hill Gate, London (with Jokers Wild playing inside an enormous bird cage!).

00 Unknown 1965 – Great Shelford, Cambridgeshire, England (At Storm Thorgerson and Libby January’s engagement party with Jokers Wild and Paul Simon).
Bibliography

Inside Out – A Personal History of Pink Floyd by Nick Mason
Pink Floyd In The Flesh – The Complete Performance History by Glen Povey and Ian Russell
The Rough Guide To Pink Floyd – Toby Manning