Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters Discusses The Influence Of John Lennon In Unearthed Interview
Words by Riley Fitzgerald
Graphic by Press
“I only met John Lennon once, to my huge regret, and that was in the control room at Number 2,” Roger Waters once shared with Rolling Stone. “He was a bit acerbic. He was quite snotty – so was I!”
This crossing of paths occurred in at one of the Beatles’ recording sessions for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band while Pink Floyd were also at Abbey Road recording their own 1967 debut Piper At the Gates of Dawn.
The Beatles’ and Lennon’s solo work were an immense influence on the Pink Floyd visionary, something he expands upon in the following transcript of a 2000 MSN webcast.
Question: What other artist’s work interests you?
Roger Waters: I think John Lennon’s first solo album will always be in my top five. Neil Young is a big favorite of mine. His performance in that film was stunning. I think a great singer-songwriter is the best part of the musical spectrum. I was watching the last waltz because I’ll be filming. I was struck by the rawness of The Band’s Big Pink.
Later, Waters mentions John Lennon again.
Question: Your three wishes?
Roger Waters: That the innocent should be spared, the guilty should be forgiven and that John Lennon should have been seen as right when he said, “all you need is love.”
13 years after his MSN webcast took place Waters would cover Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ at a Stand Up For Heroes charity concert.
In 1985 Waters would cover Lennon’s ‘Across the Universe’ for a BBC TV special ‘A Journey in the Life of John Lennon.’
Waters would also elaborate upon the influence of Lennon alongside of the rest of the Beatles on Pink Floyd‘s own work in a 2015 interview with radio station KLCS.
“I learned from John Lennon and Paul McCartney and George Harrison,” he shared, “that it was okay for us to write about our lives, and what we felt — and to express ourselves… That we could be free artists and that there was a value in that freedom. And there was.”