Home Celebrity Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters Misguided Pleas to Rock Stars Are Ignored

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters won’t shut up. He keeps making public pleas to other rock stars to stay away from Israel. He incorrectly and misguidedly calls Israel “an apartheid state,” a comment that isn’t going to win him any fans in his adopted home of New York City. I’m disappointed in Waters and starting to think he should stay on the Dark Side of the Moon until he can control himself.

This week, Waters has posted an open letter to Neil Young, begging him not to play any shows in Israel. Young had to cancel a date there this week due to security concerns, which alerted Waters to the existence of the show. More recently, Waters also lobbied the Rolling Stones to cancel their show in Tel Aviv. They wisely ignored him.

Almost all the musicians Waters has pestered on this subject have declined to respond because he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Young people, rock fans, take him seriously because they like Pink Floyd’s music. But now I’m starting to think that Waters’ songs like “Us and Them,” “Money,” and “Brain Damage” may have other meanings.

Even if he’s not anti-Semitic, Waters doesn’t realize he’s engendering anti-Semitism. All you have to do is look at headlines from Europe, and the rising number of situations in the US, to realize that Waters is making an egregious error here. If he keeps it up, he may find that Pink Floyd’s fall marketing campaign will meet with less enthusiasm than hoped. All in all, it’s another brick through the window, and we don’t need that..


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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
12 replies to this post
  1. “Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters won’t shut up” I’m sorry, where I come from, an artist is someone who expresses him/herself, be it from a personal or political (or both) standpoint. Roger Friedman, just because you’re not happy about what Waters has to say doesn’t mean you can bash him for it. Total hypocrisy. I don’t blame you for refusing to listen to what he has to say, sounds like you might be entrenched in an ultra-nationalist idea of Israel. Also, his criticism of the morally reprehensible things that Israel has done, are in no way anti-semetic or do they ‘engender’ anti-semetism. You just see it that way because 1) an extremist few who are irrational and anti-semetic, which is inexcusable, and 2) as mentioned above, because of some ultra-nationalistic view of Israel.
    Roger, you can love your country and still be critical of certain policies.
    If I don’t agree with some policies in Nigeria, doesn’t make a racist Roger. So stop throwing that accusation around because it only helps the people who are anti-semetic when you equate them to peaceful, and rational people engaged in reasonable political dialogue.

    Otherwise, It was a fantastic article!

  2. Waters hasn’t been a member of Pink Floyd since the 80s. He has zero involvement in their fall marketing campaign. Maybe you’re the one who doesn’t know what you’re talking about.

  3. This author stinks just like the rest of main stream Zionist controlled media. Good news for him though… theres a nice cozy dungeon in hell waiting fro you.

  4. Well, I don’t think Pink Floyd’s marketing campaign will be damaged as Pink Floyd is made up of David Gilmour, Nick Mason, and the late Rick Wright. Waters distant himself from Floyd in 83 and the two remaining members of Floyd have distant themselves as well. As far as influencing young fans, the anti-Israeli rants went over their heads as they were more focused on seeing “The Wall” live instead of politics.

  5. Roger is entitled to his opinion and for what its worth this is not a one sided issue as some Israel supporters would have you believe. The Arabs are poorly represented and lack basic negotiation skills, but that has more to do with their leadership than its peoples. The Jews do have the Palestinians by the throat and they will continue to do so. The Palestinians are a backward people and they simply need better leaders as do the Jewish people. All of these guys on both sides would rather fight than talk. Who is to blame as always gets to be the bigger issue, than solving the problem. Downtrodden people are always downtrodden no matter if there leaders suck or not and I think that is Roger’s main point.

  6. This is why we should not give too much weight to the opinions of celebrities. This person is a musician, not an expert in world politics. I love Pink Floyd and I will continue to. That does not mean I believe everything that comes out of Roger Water’s mouth. Foe all I know he is completely ignorant of world event, which his comments indicate may be the case. it’s also why I don’t listen to Oprah, Dr. Phil, Bono, Sting, and a host of other celebrities on any issues other than entertainment. That’s what they do. When my house is on fire I will call the fire department, not Oprah. When I am having a heart attack I will see a Doctor, and not Dr. Phil, either. We should not put too much weight in the words of celebrities. They can lend weight to causes but they are not experts. I am willing to give Waters a break and I have no plans to stop listening to Pink Floyd. But he obviously needs to either study up on world events or shut his yap, both would be optimal.

  7. waters is ignorant and ill-informed, at the least, and anti-Semitic and evil, at the most. it’s a pity young people listen to his racist rantings regarding israel. he’s off my play list, for sure.

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