Roger Waters Biography
Singer+songwriter & bass player and even composer, George Roger Waters was born on September 6, 1943, in Great Bookham, Surrey ENGLAND; he grew up in Cambridge where he first met Syd Barrett when they attended the Morley Memorial Junior School. In 1965, Waters was a founding member of Pink Floyd, with then lead singer, guitarist and principal songwriter Syd Barrett, as well as Richard Wright and Nick Mason. their 1967 debut album, "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn", was a critical success and positioned the band for stardom.
In 1970, Waters collaborated with British composer Ron Geesin on a soundtrack LP, "Music From The Body", a mostly instrumental album which featured some of Waters' and Pink Floyd's later work, "Breathe" for example, but in an embryonic form.
Within Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, the main lyrical contributor, exerted more and more creative control over the band. He had the idea of doing concept albums such as "Dark Side Of The Moon" and "Wish You Were Here", with Waters writing all of the lyrics and most of the music being written by David Gilmour. Waters is the sole writer of two of Floyd's most successful singles, "Money" and "Another Brick In The Wall (Part II)"; in total, he has songwriting credit on over 85% of the band's entire music catalogue.
In April 1984 Roger Waters released his first solo album, "The Pros
And Cons Of Hitch Hiking"; it peaked at #13 in U.K. and reached the
#31 position on the American Billboard Top 200 chart going gold.
The following year he proclaimed that, due to irreconcilable differences, Pink Floyd had dissolved. The ensuing disagreement between Waters and Gilmour over the latter's intention to continue to use the name Pink Floyd descended into lawsuits and public bickering in the press. Gilmour and Mason won the right to use the name and with Wright back in tow, Pink Floyd continued to exist without Waters.
In 1986 the psychedelic-Rock genius contributed songs to the soundtrack of the movie "When The Wind Blows"; his backing band, featuring keyboardist Paul Carrack, was credited as The Bleeding Hearts Band.
In mid-1987 Waters, still accompanied by The Bleeding Hearts Band although not always credited as such, released another concept album, "Radio K.A.O.S.", about a man named Billy who can hear radio waves in his head; the 8-song set hit #25 on the British chart and #50 on the U.S. Top 200 spawning two singles, "Radio Waves" and "Sunset Strip", which both fared well on The Mainstream Rock chart peaking at #12 and #15, respectively.
After the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, Roger Waters staged a gigantic charity concert of The Wall in Berlin on July 21, 1990 to commemorate the end of the division between East and West Germany; the concert took place on Potsdamer Platz, featured many guest superstars such as Cyndi Lauper, Ute Lemper, Scorpions, Sinead O' Conner among others and was one of the biggest concert ever staged with an attendance of over 300,000 and watched live by over 5 million people worldwide. The event was documented on a double-disc, "The Wall: Live In Berlin" which reached #24 in U.K. and #56 in U.S. while the first single, "Young Lust" performed by Bryan Adams, rocketed to #7 on The Mainstream Rock chart; "Hey You", performed by Paul Carrack was another Active Rock top 40 hit.
In September 1992 Waters delivered his third studio album, "Amused To Death", which once again showcased his talented use of concept, imagination and lyrical mastery; the record shot to #8 on the U.K. Pop chart and peaked at #21 on The Billboard 200 Albums list; the single "What God Wants, Part I" rose to #4 on The Mainstream Rock chart.
In 1999 Waters embarked on the In The Flesh tour which saw Waters performing
some of his most famous work, both solo and Floyd material. The tour was
a success and eventually stretched across the world; one concert was released
on CD-DVD, named "In The Flesh Live", in late 2000.
Roger Waters and Pink Floyd reunited for a performance at the Live8 concert in July 2005. They played a 6-song, 23-minute set, including "Speak To Me", "Breathe", "Breathe (reprise)", "Money", "Wish You Were Here" and "Comfortably Numb".
In February of 2005, it was announced on Roger Waters' website that his
opera, "Ça Ira", had been completed after 16 years of
work. It was released by Sony Classical on September 27, 2005 with Baritone
Bryn Terfel, soprano Ying Huang and tenor Paul Groves; nor does it contain
an appearance by Waters as a performer, he is the composer and he also
co-produced the 3-act opera. The album debuted at #1 on The Billboard
Top Classical chart.
Pink Floyd co-founder Roger 'Syd' Barrett died on July 7, 2006, at the age of 60, due to complications from diabetes. “The band are naturally very upset and sad to learn of Syd Barrett's death”, the surviving members of Pink Floyd said in a statement, “Syd was the guiding light of the early band line-up and leaves a legacy which continues to inspire”.
“Syd was a lovely guy and a unique talent”, added Waters. “He leaves behind a body of work that is both very touching and very deep and which will shine on forever”.
In 2007 Roger Waters recorded the original song "Hello (I Love You)", featured in New Line Cinema's sci-fi film "The Last Mimzy".