George Roger Waters (born September 6, 1943) is a British rock and roll musician and songwriter, best known as the former singer-songwriter and bass player for the band Pink Floyd.
After band founder Syd Barrett suffered mental ill health in the late 1960s, Waters set the band's artistic direction and, along with co-writer, guitarist, and singer David Gilmour, brought Pink Floyd into the limelight, producing a series of albums that remain among the most critically acclaimed and best-selling records of all time.
Waters' relationship with Gilmour grew strained through the late 1970s, however, as Waters exerted more and more creative control over the band. The last Waters-Gilmour collaboration, The Final Cut, was credited as being by Waters, with music performed by Pink Floyd. Waters left the band and a disagreement between Waters and Gilmour over the latter's intenton to continue to use the name "Pink Floyd" progressed into a lawsuit. Gilmour won the rights to the name "Pink Floyd" and a majority of the band's songs, though Waters did retain the rights to the album The Wall and all of its songs—nearly all of which had been written by him.
Waters embarked on a solo career after Pink Floyd, producing three albums and a movie soundtrack that were critically acclaimed but failed to garner impressive sales. After Amused to Death in 1992, Waters spent much of the 1990s composing an opera entitled Ça Ira. As of 2004 this production remains incomplete, though parts have been heard publicly.
After the downfall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, 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, a location which was part of the former "no-man's land" of the Berlin Wall, and featured many guest superstars.
After a long hiatus, he started touring again in the late 1990s, performing live concerts of some of his most well-known work with Pink Floyd, alongside material from his solo career, before sizable audiences. He is also known to spend time working on a new solo album, but it is not known when it will be finished. Two possible tracks from this forthcoming album have been released on In the Flesh Live and Flickering Flame: The Solo Years Vol. 1 respectively.
In 2002 Waters performed at a concert organised by the Countryside Alliance in support of fox hunting, although Waters has never publicly held the Tory allegiances that this might suggest, and in fact viciously criticised the Thatcher government's policy in the Falklands War on The Final Cut (especially on the track "Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert").
Waters' father, Eric Fletcher Waters, a soldier in the British Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment), lost his life in the World War II Anzio Campaign (which is described in Waters' song "When The Tigers Broke Free"). This loss has been a recurring theme in much of Waters' work.
Solo Albums by Roger Waters
Music from "The Body" (1970) (movie soundtrack with Ron Geesin)
The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking (1984)
When the Wind Blows (1986) (movie soundtrack)
Radio K.A.O.S. (1987)
The Wall Live in Berlin (1990)
Amused to Death (1992)
In The Flesh Live (2000) (live)
Flickering Flame: The Solo Years Vol. 1 (2003)