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Roger Waters: when talent and ideology do not go hand in hand

Roger Waters Pink Floyd, Vladímir Putin

HAVANA, Cuba.- The history of rock could not be written without dedicating a long and substantial section to the British band Pink Floyd, and its legendary bassist, Roger Waters. The group has emerged as one of the most influential in contemporary music, not only because of its interesting and exclusive sound stamp, but also because of the concept on which it based all its record production, whose premise was experimentation with all kinds of instruments, effects of sound and technologies, in addition to addressing complex, deeply human, philosophical issues, and even committed to certain political and social scenarios.

Pink Floyd was a think tank run by five mad scientists, and Waters, especially, knew no bounds. His creativity was decisive in the success achieved by the band during the 1970s and 1980s, when masterpieces such as The Dark Side of the Moon (1973) —about to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of its release in the United Kingdom— Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977), The Wall (1979) and The Final Cut (1983), with which they registered million-dollar sales worldwide.

After leaving the group in 1986, Waters embarked on a solo career where he unleashed his versatility. He recorded four albums in the studio, composed several soundtracks, and in 1990 organized the concert “The Wall – Live in Berlin”, one of the most massive in history, with around 300,000 attendees.

In 1996 he was inducted into the US and UK Rock Hall of Fame as a member of Pink Floyd. In 2005, after twenty-four years apart, he reunited with the band for a benefit concert, and in 2011, he did so with David Gilmore and Nick Mason.

Roger Waters hasn’t made headlines just because of his brilliant career. The musician has been in the eye of the hurricane due to his controversial statements in defense of Vladimir Putin or Venezuelan Chavismo. Other times, his words and attitudes have been interpreted as anti-Semitic attacks.

Last February Polly Samson, a writer and wife of David Gilmore, accused Waters of being “an anti-Semite and an apologist for Putin”, after the musician admitted that he now feels more willing to listen to what the head of state says. Russian. Waters acknowledged having changed his mind about Putin, who, according to him, “…governs carefully, making decisions on the basis of a consensus in the government of the Russian Federation.”

Waters too added: “Ukraine is a red line. It should remain a neutral damping state. If it doesn’t continue like this, we don’t know where it will lead. We don’t know yet, but it could end in a Third World War.”

The controversy escalated considerably after a post by Gilmore himself, in which he assured that all his wife’s criticisms of Roger Waters were “demonstrably true.”

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