Posts from 13th December 2001

13
Dec 01

WHICH ONE’S PINK?

I Hate Music6 comments • 560 views

WHICH ONE’S PINK?

I have always been a firm believer in doing the work you love and loving the work you do. That’s why my CV includes spells as a librarian, a sensory deprivation engineer, and a special liason for the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Busker Corpse. But that’s not to say I can’t sympathise with you poor souls trapped in a job you hate, faced every day with the punishing traumas and choices of modern industrial existence. “Hmm, which CD will I put on today – Dido or David Gray?”. Actually, no, I can’t sympathise.

But I sympathise more with you, O oppressed White Ladder listener, than with Roger motherfucking Waters. Roger’s job was to be a rock star. How he’d got the gig was a mystery, given that he looked like the horse from Steptoe And Son – but once he was in ‘the business’ he threw himself into it with the precise opposite of gusto. All of Pink Floyd’s biggest-selling records are about how absolutely shit it is to be a famous musician. “Welcome To The Machine” howls Rog with his customary metaphorical deftness. Yes the business nay LIFE ITSELF is an evil MACHINE that PROCESSES YOU and stops you being FREE it is populated with PIGS (three different kinds, Roger painstakingly points out) who say “HAVE A CIGAR” as they make you sign away your creative SOUL…

Hold on there Roger! The Man did you wrong how exactly? He restricted you to a mere nine parts of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” perhaps? Let’s get this straight. Pink Floyd were at the height of their commercial powers at a time when rock was the most indulged music on the planet. In other words if there is anybody in human artistic history who could done absolutely anything he wanted to do it is Waters, R. It’s not anyone else’s fault that what resulted sounded like Eric Clapton fallen in a tar pit.

Roger should have taken note of his colleagues’ attitudes. You didn’t catch Nick Mason complaining about his job, oh no. He knew a good thing when he saw one – turn up, hit a drum maybe fifteen times per song and then fuck off for the next three years to drive racing cars. (Pink Floyd may have put out A Collection Of Great Dance Songs but their music goes beyond mere BPM – if only because “beats” in the plural would contravene the Trades Descriptions Act.)

But Roger had none of this fair-mindedness. He moaned and moaned and moaned. For goodness’ sake, Rog, I agree with you! The music industry is a pit of cloth-eared snakes favouring product over talent (Evidence A is Pink Floyd but never mind). So why on earth didn’t you just leave and get another job? Very simple, no problems. Just put down the bass, walk out of the door, and forget all about it. You have to conclude that either Roger was just as greedy and venal as the rest of them, or that his blinkered misanthropy and grudge-bearing had made him completely unemployable. Like Dido versus David Gray, readers, it’s a very difficult choice.