Roger Waters Turns 70

by Paul Cashmere

Happy birthday George Roger Waters. The former Pink Floyd bass player is turning 70 today.

Waters grew up with school friends Syd Barrett and David Gilmour. He met Richard Wright and Nick Mason when he was studying at the Regent Street Polytechnic (now the University of Westminster).

Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Richard Wright formed a band together in 1963. They called themselves Sigma 6 and changed that to The Meggadeaths.

In what then reads like a Monty Python sketch they became The Abdabs and then the Screaming Abdabs. They then became Leonard’s Lodgers, Spectrum Five and The Tea Set. In 1965 they became Pink Floyd Sound, The Pink Floyd and then finally just Pink Floyd.

Initially Syd Barrett was Pink Floyd’s singer, guitarist and songwriter. Barrett wrote all but wrote one song of Pink Floyd’s debut album The Piper At The Gates of Dawn in 1967.

Barrett left in 1968 and the band recruited Waters’ old school-mate David Gilmour to take over in April, 1968. At that point, Waters took the reigns as singer, songwriter and lyricist. He wrote the lyrics for the five albums leading up to his departure from the band in 1985, starting at Dark Side of the Moon. The icon Dark Side of the Moon became one of the biggest selling albums of all time, selling over 40 million copies worldwide.

All of Waters penned Pink Floyd albums were concept albums. Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977), The Wall (1979) and finally, The Final Cut (1983), all featured lyrics entirely written by Roger Waters.

In September, 2010, Roger Waters commenced The Wall Live world tour. The tour will conclude on September 21, 2013 in Paris after being performed 219 times.

Original Pink Floyd singer Syd Barret died in 2006. He would now be 67-years old. Keyboard player Richard Wright died in 2008. He would have turned 70 in July. Nick Mason is 69. He will turn 70 in January. David Gilmour is 67.

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