Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters delivers message to fans who don’t like his politics: ‘F**k off to the bar’

Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters has a long history of wearing his worldview on his sleeve and the aging rocker has a message for fans on his latest tour that they can “f**k off to the bar” if they can’t stand his politics.

(Video: CNN)

The 78-year-old classic rock icon sat down for an interview with CNN’s Michael Smerconish on Saturday’s edition of “Smerconish” where he discussed the messaging on the “This Is Not a Drill” North American tour. Messaging that is at times harshly critical of U.S. foreign policy, especially President Joe Biden, who is labeled as a “war criminal” on one of the videos shown during the band’s performances.

In the interview which at times turned contentious, Waters explained the rationale for opening his shows with a message telling the audience, “If you’re one of those ‘I love Pink Floyd, but I can’t stand Roger’s politics’ people, you might do well to f**k off to the bar right now,” the words which were shown on the giant video screen along with Waters’ voice.

“It’s a really good way to start the show, apart from anything else, it sets a few things straight,” he said. “Also, it encourages a lot of the people who have come to the show…because they have listened to everything I’ve written since you know, 1965 or whenever I started writing songs, so they do know what my politics are and they do understand what my heart is and they understand soft of why I’m there.”

“But maybe it also gives a message to people who don’t want to be there, in which case them effing off to the bar is probably not a bad idea,” he added. “Except that you never know. Those people, if they sit in a community like my audience is, on these shows of ‘This Is Not a Drill’ on this tour, there is such a great feeling of communication in that room between me and the audience and between us combined, with all of our brothers and sisters, all over the rest of the world, irrespective of who they are, where they live, their ethnicity, their religion, their nationality or anything else, because if ‘This Is Not A Drill’ has a message, it’s that we have to communicate with one or another.

Smerconish pressed Waters – who has been a fierce critic of former President Donald J. Trump – about his suggestion that Biden is a war criminal.

“President Joe Biden?” Waters asked. “Well, he’s fueling the fire in the Ukraine for a start, that is a huge crime. Why won’t the United States of America encourage Zelensky, the president, to negotiate, obviating the need for this horrific, horrendous war,” striking a nerve with the host who expressed dismay over his response.

After much heated back and forth over Ukraine, the topic turned to China which Waters denied was encircling Taiwan, seeming to give a free pass to for the communist regime’s abominable human rights record.

“Roger, Roger, if you’re having a conversation about human rights, at the top of the list of offenders are the Chinese. Why is it always the western world?” Smerconish asked his agitated guest.

The Chinese didn’t invade Iraq and kill a million people in 2003,” Waters shot back “In fact, as far as I can recall, hang on a minute, who have the Chinese invaded and murdered, slaughtered?”

“Their own,” replied Smerconish. “Their own.”

“Bollocks!” Waters exploded. “That’s absolute nonsense. Complete nonsense. You should go away and read, but read some proper…”

“Hey, my problem is I spend too much reading your liner notes,” Smerconish joked as he brought the interview to a close. “Thank you for doing this”

One of the iconic band’s founding members since it was formed in London in the 1960’s, Waters shared vocal duties with guitarist David Gilmour and as served as the ideological driving force behind the group’s lyrics for such classic albums as 1973’s Dark Side of the Moon and 1979’s The Wall, a semi-biographical tale of an alienated rock star that featured several hit songs including “Another Brick in the Wall,” “Run Like Hell,” and “Comfortably Numb.”

The group which was well known for its fantastic light shows and props such as a giant inflatable pig – which Waters used during his recent solo tours for anti-Trump messages  – split up in the mid-80s amid personality clashes, creative differences and legal battles.

With Gilmore and fellow members Richard Wright and Nick Mason retaining the use of the band’s name, they embarked on a their own 1987 tour behind the album A Momentary Lapse of Reason while Waters went it alone, never again achieving the commercial success of Pink Floyd while putting out albums that were more politically themed such as 1992’s Amused to Death as well as relying heavily on material from The Wall, which is regarded as his magnum opus.

The “This is Not a Drill” tour will hit nearly three dozen cities in the U.S. and Canada before it wraps up with two dates in Mexico City in mid-October.

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