Pink Floyd have been little more than a memory for the past quarter-century, and the three surviving members are now in their mid-seventies, but their ancient feud somehow lingers on. The latest battle revolves around Waters being locked out of the band’s official website and Facebook page. That means he can’t share news of any of his solo projects, including his upcoming This Is Not a Drill Tour and his new rendition of “Mother,” with Floyd fans. He recently took to his own Facebook page to vent about the situation.
“Nothing from me is on the website — I am banned by David Gilmour from the website,” Waters said at one point. “David thinks he owns it. … I think he thinks because I left the band in 1985 that he owns Pink Floyd, that he is Pink Floyd, and that I’m irrelevant, and that I should keep my mouth shut. We’re all welcome to our opinions.”
The Pink Floyd Facebook account has recently shared numerous videos of Gilmour, his wife (Polly Samson), and their children singing songs and reading selections from her new novel, A Theatre For Dreamers. They refer to themselves as the Van Trapped family because they are in lockdown together.
Waters is not a fan. “There have been rumblings and grumblings in the ranks, I’m told by friends of mine that follow these things,” he says. “Some of the questions being asked are things like, ‘Why do we have to sit and watch Polly Samson for year after year, month after month, day after day, and the Von Trapps reading excerpts from their novels to get us to go to sleep at night?’”
If his goal is establishing peaceful relations with Gilmour, making a statement like this probably isn’t going to help. But he did sit down with Gilmour and Nick Mason in London a year ago and attempt to hammer out these. “I proposed all kinds of measures to get past this awful impasse that we have,” he said. “It bore no fruit, I’m sorry to say.”
Things weren’t always quite this bad. The classic lineup of Waters, Gilmour, Mason, and keyboardist Richard Wright reunited at Live 8 in 2005, marking the first time they’d appeared onstage together since the end of The Wall tour in 1981. Five years later, Gilmour and Waters played a brief set together at a charity concert. In 2011, Gilmour and Mason made a surprise appearance at a Waters show at the 02 arena in London.
For whatever reason, the fragile peace did not last. And in 2014, when Gilmour and Mason decided to craft a new Pink Floyd record around vintage Richard Wright recordings, Waters was not asked to be a part of it.
“Why on earth anyone thinks what we do now would have anything to do with him is a mystery to me,” Gilmour told Rolling Stone at the time. “Roger was tired of being in a pop group. He is very used to being the sole power behind his career. The thought of him coming into something that has any form of democracy to it, he just wouldn’t be good at that.”
The Endless River is largely instrumental, but the final song, “Louder Than Words,” features lyrics by Samson and vocals by Gilmour. They envisioned it as a grand goodbye from the band that summed up the whole saga. Check out the video above.
“We bitch and we fight,” Gilmour sings. “Diss each other on sight/But this thing we do/These times together/Rain or shine or stormy weather/This thing we do/With world-weary grace/We’ve taken our places/We could curse it or nurse it and give it a name/It’s louder than words.”
Barring a small miracle, that will likely be Pink Floyd’s final musical statement. The bitching and fighting, however, will probably never end.