Time has healed some of the wounds that tore Roger Waters apart from Pink Floyd, but that doesn’t mean he admits to any desire to set aside his solo career for some sort of reunion project.
“A reunion is out of the question,” Waters told the Times. “Life, after all, gets shorter and shorter the closer you get to the end of it and time becomes more and more precious and, in my view, should be entirely devoted to doing the things you want to do. One can’t look backwards. Well one can — and I do, actually, and with some fondness — but to try and walk backwards would be absurd.”
Waters and his former bandmate, Floyd drummer Nick Mason, were speaking with the paper on the occasion of a plaque being unveiled at Regent Street Polytechnic, the college where the band got its start in 1963. And although Waters was unequivocal in his disinterest, Mason spoke for a certain sector of Pink Floyd’s fan base when he made it clear he’ll never say never.
“I live in hope,” said Mason, noting that some of the stumbling blocks include Waters being “difficult” and guitarist David Gilmour disliking touring. “If there’s another Live 8, maybe the others would step up for that. Or if some world leader said, ‘We need a bunch of artists to come and do a hundred gigs that might in some way change the face of the globe or help bring world peace,’ we might find we had a lot of fans in al-Qaeda.”
Of course, any Floyd reunion would be incomplete without keyboard player Rick Wright, who died in 2008, or guitarist Syd Barrett, who lived in seclusion for years before passing away in 2006. Returning to the site where the band got its start prompted plenty of good-natured reminiscing from Mason and Waters, with Waters recalling he started writing songs after Barrett inspired him — and wrote one early composition, “Walk With Me Sydney,” with him in mind.
“I’m afraid I can,” he laughed when asked whether he can remember how it went, and sings, “‘Waaalk with me, Sydney / I’d love to, love to, love to, baby you know / Sydney, it’s a daaark night, hold me, hold me, hold me tight / I’d love to, love to, love to / But I got flat feet and fallen arches and peritonitis and DTs and a washed-up braaaaain …’”
After his impromptu a cappella performance Waters chuckled, “It was appalling. They don’t write songs like that anymore, son!”