Interviewed by B. Cockburn
Amused to death is the third and current solo album from Roger Waters. It's an album Roger obviously believes in strongly otherwise he wouldn't be joining us at 4:30 in the morning as he is now, ha, ha, ha. Let's welcome live from Capitol Radio in London Mr. Roger Waters:
BC: Good morning to you
RW: Bob, Good morning.
BC: I trust you are well and healthy and settled in there at the studio in London?
RW: Um, well, healthy and sleepy.
BC: Ha, ha, ha. It is I believe 4:30 in the morning there in London right now. Again we thank Roger for getting up at this G-d awful hour. So much happened sonically Roger, on Amused to Death, let's talk about the new cd for a moment. Listening to it is almost like going to see a film in a theater. How long were you in the studio to create the desired effect for this record, there is so much detail in here?
RW: Well, the mixing process took about eight months, I suppose, last year and a bit of the year before. But we've being putting songs together for the last four or five years.
BC: And, uh, going into the first song we're going to play which is "Three Wishes", um, tell us a little bit about that song. What was going through your mind as you wrote that? It seems that if you've been working for five years, it may have been a while ago that you wrote it. But what do you recollect about the song writing process and what you were trying to convey in this?
RW: It is, it is, that one was one of the early songs, so it was some time ago. Well, it's the old three wishes story, you know, the Genie comes out of the bottle and before you know it you've had your three wishes and you never got 'round to the thing you really wanted. In this case true love.
BC: We are going to play that song right now and talk with Roger Waters momentarily and of course your phone calls too on Rockline on the Global Satellite Network. (Three Wishes is played)
BC: The old "three wishes" story as Roger put it. Roger Waters from Amused To Death, that is an edited version of that that is currently available at radio stations and you just heard it on Rockline on the Global Satellite Network.
(asks people to phone in)
T from N.Hollywood: Um, it's really a wonderful thing when we can have intelligent people in the music industry that can present a cohesive amount of music. There's a certain anethnic quality to your music Roger and with regard to Radio K.A.O.S. do you really, do you feel it might have hurt your chances of getting any solo airplay because of the fact that Radio K.A.O.S. really took the programmers to task?
RW: I dunno. I dunno that's a maybe. Maybe, who knows? But uh, you know we don't choose what we write, I'm happy to say. Um, writing songs is the difficult bit of, of the end of the business that I'm in. And is so difficult that those of us that write songs have little choice in the matter so if that's what I have to write songs about then I do and whether people play them or not then is kinda up to them. But thank-you for your comments.
BC: So how radio programmers or any one like that might respond, you really don't care about, your goal is to write a song that you're comfortable with huh?
RW: Well, I'm happy to say, that's right, and I'm happy to say that um, Jim Ladd who you all know very well, you know, who made that record with me and came on the road with me seems to have at least found himself a decent job. Which is nice.
BC: T., thanks for the call.
R. from Huntington, Ind.: Hi Roger, I'm thrilled to talk to a rock legend. I seen your tour of Radio K.A.O.S. at Wembley arena when I was living in England, and it was great. And I had a question, uh, how you met up with Andy Fairweather-Low?
RW: Andy Fairweather, how did I meet up with him, I, when I was going into the second bit of the Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking tour in 80-whenever that was, 85 I think it was. Um, I was looking around for guitarists and I bumped into Andy from time to time since I first met him on tour in 1968. We did a tour together when he was in a band called Amen Corner(?) and we did one of the last kind of rock package tours around England and the headliner was Jimi Hendrix. It was Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, The Nice, Amen Corner, and another band that I can't remember. And so I'd known him for all those years and he'd been working with Eric Clapton and Eric Clapton was working with me on Pros and Cons, and I asked Eric what Andy was like and he said he was great so I gave him a ring and he came around and the rest is, happy.
BC: You've done a lot of projects with him over the years. Russell thank-you, that's a good call.
B. from Waterbury, Conn.: Hello, Mr. Waters. On the first track "The ballad of Bill Hubbard" and also at the end of the title track of ATD, you incorporate Alf Ruzzell and the Royal Fusiliers, talking about his experience in WWII with Private William Hubbard, uh, I was wondering how do you feel this moving story weaves itself into ATD with its modern day social and political scandals?
RW: Oh, that should be easy to answer in 15 seconds. Um, I don't know, what struck me about Alf Ruzzell was the extraordinary humanity of his story in that he had been living with his concern, having left his friend in no-mans-land 74 years before and that he had carried this kind of burden with him and I guess it struck me that we help each other little to sort out those burdens that each of us individually has. Though, I have to say that if I am optimistic about the future, which I am, it is largely because, um, I dunno, through modern tele- communications, and this is the positive side of telecommunica- tions, we seem to be getting better at understanding each other and helping each other personally with our individual problems.
BC: It's very stirring to hear his, I guess you would call it monologue, on the album. It's very heartfelt and very passionate. Are you surprised that after 74 years he still carries pangs of guilt for something that happened in WWI, or do you think that's just human nature?
RW: I think that's what we're like, you know. I think that's one of the great things about human beings, is that they carry those feelings with them, but also, when you hear one individual's experience like that, it lends support to the notion that we need to be compassionate with one another and help one another.
K. from Philadelphia: Hi Roger, how are you? Your solo albums and things like The Wall and The Final Cut have all had central themes and storylines. I want to know when you are working on new material, do you write with a specific narrative in mind, or do you write a series of songs and a theme naturally emerges?
RW: Um, normally the latter. Certainly to start with and then a theme will develop and I may fill in the gaps, you know, the bits and pieces, uh, afterwards. But, ya, normally the thread is whatever's going on in my heart for the period of time that I'm writing those particular songs. Um, and it's my need to make sense of it that provides the theme.
BC: You co-produced this album with Patrick Leonard, a lot of people think of Madonna when they think of him. This shows some real diversity on his part, co-producing an album like this with you, doesn't it?
RW: Uh, yeah, well Pat grew up in Michigan, and uh, he told me when we first met that he came to a Pink Floyd concert when I believe it was when Dark Side of the Moon was still called Eclipse, so it must have been in 73, I guess, or maybe, yeah 73. And uh, you know, he was one of those 13 or 14 year old kids in the front row sitting there with their mouth open. And he kind of fell in love with the whole idea of the thing at that point. And uh, so this was kind of ambition fulfilled for him, and we had a terrific time together, he's a very accomplished musician and producer.
BC: In co-producing, did it ever come down to who had the final say? Did you ever have to say "No, this is the way we're doing it Patrick"?
RW: No. Absolutely not, because Pat completely understands that it's my record and that if there is any question of a final say then it rests with me. So, he would, he would, he would, he would if he felt something about anything, he would uh, you know, argue his points vociferously but at the end of the day he has to go with my instincts finally. He said that to me often, which, you know, and he's quite right.
BC: We are going to play Watching T.V. We have taken some liberties with the music tonight. We're not playing all of everything. You need to get the cd to listen to everything all the way through. And if you have not heard it all the way through, you should. It is really amazingly well put together and very thought provoking. We're going to play Watching T.V., the first half of this song. This was inspired by the incidence in China, wasn't it Roger?
RW: Yup, it's a song I wrote the day after I saw the Tianmen Square massacre stuff all over my T.V. screen.
BC: And it exemplifies really what one person can do in this world, doesn't it?
RW: Yeah, that's the idea at the end of the song, if we are only playing the first half you won't get to the punchline which is that the notion is, it's about one individual girl who is killed in Tianmen Square and the fact that her death is important because it occurs on television and therefore moves a large number of people and in that way as I say in the second chorus at the end of the song she's different from the unknown Nicaraguan, or the Rosenbergs or the unknown Jew because she died on T.V. (Watching T.V. is played)
P. from N.Y.: I would like to say hello G-d, also known as Roger Waters. And I'd like to ask him, having knowledge that most of today's popular music that's like dance music and other childrens' listening songs consist mainly of bits and pieces of other artists work, how does he feel that issue of sampling as far as influencing music and creativity will affect the music industry? And does he really feel that the children of the video age are, or will be amused to death?
RW: Well, that's an interesting question and it's one that we are all going to find the answer out to. I think not. And I certainly hope not. I hate the whole idea of sampling. You know, nothing is more loathsome, well there are more loathsome things but, well, Marky Mark having a hit record with Walk on the Wild Side was something that turned my stomach to a large degree and I don't like that using of other peoples, mind you Lou Reed doesn't seem to mind so why should I but something about it that uh, that affects me. That I don't like. But I think that people who think their own thoughts and write their own music, and uh, whose basic motivation is not the bottom line are beginning to have more impact, you know, there's something, I dunno, I think there's a new kind of honesty developing in some of the young bands. They're playing their own instruments now. People are finally beginning to understand that the Roland 80- 80's aren't the absolute answer to all God's questions.
BC: I know Brian May of Queen, on this program, took offense to Vanilla Ice and what they did with Under Pressure and even said on the show "We're going to kick his Ice" and they did. There was a lawsuit over that one.
D. from Indianapolis: Hello Roger, congratulations on ATD. It's definitely the best sounding album I've ever heard. And I was wondering, I noticed it was recorded in Q Sound, and I was wondering how that compares to the Holophonic stereo you used on the PaCoHH?
RW: Well it's a completely, it's a different system. Q Sound is designed primarily for speakers, whereas the Holophonic system was for headphones. That's number one. Number two - the holophonics was invented by a man named Zurkerelli, an Argentinian, who was slightly crazed and very secretive about what the thing actually was. And so we know it did something, nobody, I think, to this day knows exactly what. Q Sound comes from Calgary, from a couple of Canadians and a Russian together and they're not secretive about it. They're very pragmatic about it and so we know exactly what their system does. It divides any signal into a left and right component and so it works with any stereo system and it introduces minute delays at different frequency levels into left and right components to make your brain think that the sound is coming not from in front of you from the two speakers, but from in any one of a number of other positions around you. But, you have to be sitting right between the two speakers, I mean exactly to within like an inch or an inch and a half either side of the central perpendicular axis. And it is an amazing effect, as you rightly have noticed.
B. from Rochester, N.Y.: Hello Roger, it's quite an honor to speak to you and it's been well worth the wait for the ATD album. I have two questions for you tonight. The first one, in the song "Too Much Rope" you say "Each man has his price Bob, and yours is pretty low". Are you referring to Bob Ezrin?
RW: Strangely enough, a lot of the lyrics I write now I write directly onto tape by putting some music down on a track and then going into the studio and running the tape and singing directly without thinking too much about what it is. And those verses of "Too Much Rope", I did like that. The reference when I actually put the word down on tape was to Bob Dylan because at the time, I was going through a kind of Bob Dylan sound-alike period to amuse myself in the studio. Uh, so I would be singing (Dylan style) "Each man has his price Bob", like that. For a joke. But afterwards it seemed to me a rather appertain for Bob Ezrin so I left it in because of Ezrin as a little gift for Bob Ezrin. Yeah.
BC: So, Dylan in mind but if it works the other way, no problem with that either, huh?
RW: (Dylan-esque) That's right. That's right.
B. question #2: I would like to know what part Flea of The Red Hot Chilli Peppers had to do on your album? He's mentioned in the special thanks.
RW: Yeah, he is. Um, strangely enough I was talking to an English journalist who is very into bootlegs and bits and pieces and he was complaining about the new Pink Floyd box set because there wasn't anything special in it. Reasonably enough in my view, but that's another story. Um, and uh, we were talking about the possibility of releasing demos, you know, as he said you should release your demos sometime as an album and I thought, well, that's not a bad idea. We recorded "It's a Miracle" three times and the second time we recorded it, we did a very up tempo version of it and Flea came in and played bass. And wonderfully he played too. He was great. I loved it. But when we put the record together, this very up tempo version of "It's a Miracle" didn't fit within the dynamic context of the rest of the record. So the very last piece of recording we did was to re-record "It's a Miracle" and just Pat and I sat down one afternoon at the piano and re-did it.
BC: ...You were not really involved in this 9 cd box set, were you Roger?
RW: No, I wasn't.
BC: Did that bother you?
RW: Yeah, yeah it bothers me. The way our back catalogue is run is through a company that we're all shareholders in but because Dave and Nick out vote me on the board of that company, I don't have any say in what happens to the catalogue. And I find it extremely irritating but there we are. Such is life.
BC: I got the impression too that there's been no movement between the three of you. No fence mending or anything like that has taken place.
RW: Very little.
BC: That's a shame.
RW: No, there hasn't been any. Well is it? I don't know, you know, we, it's a strange thing. It's something that lots of fans of the music attach to. But the music is still there, the work that we did in the past I think was very good you know, we all contributed to it. It was a good period, I think, in all of our lives and the fact that we have fallen out musically, philosophically, politically, and in every other possible, imaginable way, uh, I think does not discredit everything we did together and we will make our choices in life, you know, and sometimes you fall out with people and it's not the worst thing in the world.
E. from Calif.: Good morning, Roger. ATD is a very, very great album. What started me off in to your music was in the early 1970's at Winterland. The Meddles tour, the Dark Side of the Moon debut. It was incredible sound then. Why do you think quadrophonics didn't make it, I mean to follow the line of that album, that concept?
RW: Um, I'll tell you what, as a home thing I think it didn't make it because you needed to have four speakers and the system the industry adopted was pretty archaic. The encoding and decoding was bad. And also, they set the system up as front left, front right, back left, back right over four tracks. The human brain doesn't register that. I think for it to have worked decently, they should have done it like we used to do it live, which is to have the front information as a stereo image left and right, but then the surrounding information to be left, right and behind because that's the way we think. We don't think back left, back right. We think is it on my left, is it on my right, is it behind me, or is it in front of me. That's the way the brain works. So they made a fundamental error, I think, encoding it onto four tracks of information. If they were going to do that they should have had a modern signal in the front, a left signal, a right signal and a back signal. And it would have been much more dramatic and interesting.
BC: I've got a question for you, Roger. I was curious if ATD is part three of a trilogy that includes The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon, is there anything to that?
RW: What, what did you say? Sorry, I missed that.
BC: Is ATD part three of a trilogy that would include The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon? Or is that total out in left field?
RW: Yeah. No, I don't think you could make that connection, however, it's strange you should say that because there seems to be some connection, people seem to connect them. I certainly do in my mind, you know, there is something similar about them certainly.
BC: Well, I feel better now. Ha,ha,ha. Gosh. Left me hanging in the wind out there.
J. from Kentucky: How's it going? I have one question. I noticed on your new album there's a lot of great guitar work. Jeff Beck is just an excellent choice. I was wondering what it was like to work with him?
RW: Magical. Yeah, absolutely wonderful. I've always loved the way he plays the guitar and I guess we worked with him for maybe three or four days to do the stuff that he does on the album. And it was terrific. He arrived at the studio and he has a brand new guitar, he gets it out of the box, he doesn't seem to tune it, you know, he sits and leans with his bum on the studio multi- track and you run the track and he starts doing these kind of magical things and kind of looks at you and says "Is that the sort of thing you want?", you know, and you say "well, no it's not" and then you tell him what you do want and he does that magically as well. What I find extraordinary is that unless you can watch his fingers really closely and you still can't work out how he's doing it. Amazing.
BC: He is one of really a handful of the cut above guitarists, he is in a certain group - the Clapton, Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck. And you worked with some other good guitarists- Andy Fairweahter-Low, whose name came up a little earlier. Steve Lucather also, also on this record Don Henley, Rita Coolidge, Flea who got mentioned, and you got to work with the late Jeff Piccaro too, didn't you Roger?
RW: Yeah. In fact that was the very last piece of recording we did. As I mentioned before, we re-recorded "It's a Miracle". And it suddenly felt, we reduced the tempo and made it much quieter, it's just one piano, one synth, and the voice really. And we decided it should have bass and drums in the middle and Jeff was working with ToTo in the studio down the hall so we asked him to come in and do it and he did. Very sad.
T. from WS: Hi, Roger. I was wondering, was it your idea for the video for "What God Wants", and if it was, what gave you the idea for it?
RW: Uh, I had an idea at the beginning of the making of that video which was the idea that uh, visually the album hangs on which is this idea of a gorilla who is a metaphor for the human race sitting watching television and trying to work out what his relationship is with the t.v. set and with all the other gorillas. Insofar as there is a gorilla and a television set in it, yeah it was my idea but the rest of it is down to Tony Kaye who's the man who made it.
BC: I think in some ways it takes a lot of courage to put out a rock-n-roll album with a song on it called "What God Wants". I mean there are certain forums where it's ok to discuss God openly, there's others where it's a bit iffy and you're going to be looked at with a lot of scrutiny. Did that cross your mind at all, or did you actually welcome that type of challenge?
RW: Um, it's not a question of welcoming it or not welcoming it, as I said earlier in this program we don't choose what we write. I paint what I see and take the consequences and there's enough people out there who will happily attempt to censor what I do without me censoring it myself, you know, before it gets to you, if you see what I mean.
BC: Oh yeah.
RW: So, I kind of leave that up to them. I mean, it's, that particular song has been widely misunderstood as I knew it would be misunderstood.
BC: It has been. It really has been. I've had people take offence just at the title and not be able to explain why even.
RW: Yeah. Well, my concern is that we take the name of God in vain and that, you know, as was typified in the recent conflict in the Gulf, you know, there we all are dropping bombs and firing shells at each other all firmly believing that we're doing it all in God's name. And the paradoxes that are involved in that still don't seem to have been brought home to us all. And it's the same God, you know, it's just a different prophet.
BC: Unmistakably Jeff Beck on that.
J. from N.Y.: Hello, Mr. Waters. I have a question that's a little bit of Pink Floyd trivia for you. Remember back to the Wall album, at the very beginning of the recording and the very end, there are some almost inaudibly mumbled words and in the book ASOS he alludes that this might be a sentence that begins at the end of the album and ends at the beginning of the album. Although the voice is almost inaudible it sounds like it might be yours and I wonder if you could clear up what the sentence is?
RW: Yeah, it is. Well spotted. If you make a tape recording on a reel to reel machine of the end of the album and then edit it onto the beginning of the album, you'll find that the sentence runs straight through. And the sentence is "Isn't this where we came in?"
J. from St. Louis: Hi Roger. My question is at the Wall live in Berlin concert, did you seek out such a wide range of performers from the music world? 'Cause you had everything from Scorpions to Cyndi Lauper, or did they all come to you asking to be part of the project?
RW: No. We went to all of them. And loads and loads of others too. You see, when you're doing something like that, you ask lots and lots of people. Some of them say yes and then hedge and you never hear from them again or whatever, and some of them say yes and then turn up. So, it was a question of putting a team together that could do the show. And we did I'm happy to say. And with one notable exception, they were all wonderful. But we're not going to talk about Sinead, are we? Not tonight. We've talked about her enough already, I think.
BC: I was just about to ask but I don't need to now. I was really glad that you included the Scorpions. In that, in talking to them especially before the show, they more than anyone, I think, as far as the performers or anyone in the media, had a real sense of the history of where they were and what was happening, they and Ute Lemper, they really knew what was going on. They kept saying to me "Bob, do you realize where you are sitting. People were dying a couple of years ago, literally right where we are this moment." I think that really opened their eyes and they were very joyous over that weekend. It really meant a lot to them, I think. Were they part of your plans in the beginning, or did they come in later?
RW: I thought it would be good to have a heavy rock or a heavy metal or I don't know what they call themselves, band doing "In the Flesh" which was written, always, as a parody of that kind of music. So, I went and met them, they were recording in Holland and I went and explained the idea to them and I liked them a lot, they are a very good bunch of guys.
F. from VA: Good morning, Roger. My question involves the recording of the Wall album. In a Jan. issue of Goldmine magazine, David Gilmour stated that of the original recordings of that release, there was a great deal of finished material that had to be edited out to fit into the constraints of a double album. But that these tapes still exist and are available. Would there be any interest on your part in seeing the full unedited edition being prepared for release? And if the interest is there, would it require artistic co-operation between yourself and David?
RW: Um, to answer the second part of the question first, I think if the tapes are there, no it wouldn't. They could just do it without speaking to me. But I don't know what he's talking about. I don't, I don't think there's a whole load of unreleased material. I certainly don't remember anything.
BC: Is it hard to walk away sometimes from great takes because you have one that is slightly better. I mean working with Beck there must have been some things that you threw away that you would have loved to have kept and inserted into the piece?
RW: Yeah, but you always do that in anything. The whole thing about producing a record is making those decisions all the time, you know, there's always something about the different takes and you put bits from here and bits from there together and that's what making a record is all about. But, I'm interested in this question because I don't think this material exists. I don't know what Dave is talking about.
BC: Well, you should have your people check it out because Fred, let's bring Fred back. You saw it in Goldmine is that correct, Fred?
Fred: Yes sir. It was in a Jan. issue of Goldmine. He was saying that there was enough material to maybe be a third album in the set. But because of the constraints of the double album situation back in the '70s, unlike CD right now, there wasn't space for this additional material.
BC: A little homework for you there, Roger.
RW: Well, I don't know. I mean, Dave never had the faintest idea what the record was about anyways.
BC: OOOKAY! J. is next. J. you're on with the outspoken Roger Waters.
J. from Texas: Hello, Mr. Waters. In your opinion, at what point did Pink Floyd peak? And what was your biggest, most meaningful contribution to the group?
RW: I think as a group, we peaked with Dark Side of the Moon. And I think my most meaningful contribution was sometime after that was maybe writing The Wall.
BC: Interesting. I was very curious to hear your answer on that. So you think the band peaked with Dark Side and your most valuable contribution was The Wall?
RW: Yeah. I mean, by the time the Wall happened it wasn't really much of a band anymore. Wish You Were Here was a pretty uncomfortable experience. When people start their bands, as anyone who's been in a band will know, we all rehearse in our garages and living rooms and we all have this notion about being successful and standing on a stage and people applauding and anybody who goes into rock-n-roll is always motivated by those factors as well as wanting to make money. As well as some of us maybe wanting to communicate some of our ideas. And when you have your first kind of really big hit album you fulfill lots of the functions that you got together for in the first place. With Pink Floyd, that point was reached with Dark Side of the Moon and after Dark Side of the Moon there was a lot of clinging together because it was safe, you know, because we had achieved a certain amount of success and it seemed like a good idea to stay together under the nice, cozy umbrella roof of the trademark. And so we did for many years and I'm happy that we did because we've produced some really good work after that but it didn't really feel like we were all in it together anymore quite the same way after that point. That's why I say that was the peak.
A. from Oklahoma: Hi, Roger. With the Final Cut, you opened yourself up a lot emotionally with that album and I'm wondering if that is frightening for you to expose yourself that much.
RW: Uh, yeah. I think it is for everybody, you know. Strangely enough, that's what the end of The Wall is about, which is why that was such a good kind of experience for me, cause in writing The Wall I actually get to that in the end of the thing in The Trial sequence where Pink, the central character, is sentenced to expose himself before his peers and tears down his wall. I think it's any artists responsibility to share all that, whether it's a painter or a musician or a writer or whoever. That's what we do. And if we don't expose ourselves then probably what we're doing isn't all that interesting.
D. from Philadelphia: Good morning, Roger. Two questions for you. A question on "Three Wishes". I wanted to know if the second wish was in any way reference to getting back with David Gilmour?
BC: Ok. Next question.
D.: In reference to Pros and Cons, do you think it's really possible for mankind to really grasp the moment of clarity that slips away from the narrator's grasp at the end of the album? Do you think it's possible for mankind as a whole to really view the rest of humanity as exactly what it is, as human persons? Would you really think that we're forced to view each other as simply objects?
RW: That's a good question. That particular lyric was written within the terms of reference of a microcosm of a man and a woman in bed together on their own, you know, so to take it into the larger arena of the way we all view the rest of humanity. I don't know. These are kinds of questions that people like Asimov and Arthur C. Clark have addressed in novels like Childhood's End and things about the evolution of the human race and also questions that are addressed by Buddhism and by all kinds of philosophers in the last 5000 years or so. We have to remember that history is short, as I say in one of the songs on the record. We human beings haven't been looking at these questions for very long. 5000 years is not a long time to have been writing stuff down. So, I don't know. But we all recognize those moments of clarity when they happen, you know. And we all understand their quicksilver nature and the way that they slip away from us and that moment when it seems so right, you know, we know there's more to the way the human mind works than looking to the bottom of the sheet and seeing if we made a profit or a loss. Because we've all walked in from dreams and felt that we've made a connection that is more meaningful than that. So, I don't know.
BC: As we roll "It's A Miracle" underneath us, I'll pose this question to Roger Waters. When you write songs and create an album, are responses like Dan's what you hope for? That you can take a microcosm of a situation and someone like Dan can hear it and expand on it, expound upon it and take to another meaning? Is that what you hope people do with your music?
RW: I just hope, if I move people and they listen to something and they get a shiver down their spine, then I've fulfilled my function. If I make them think about something, about their lives and about the way they relate to other human beings then that's an added bonus. I've been listening to Neil Young's new album recently. When we cook dinner in the evenings, we put it on and listen to it. "I'm a dreaming man", maybe that's my problem. I can relate to that.
(a bit lost)
Caller: I was wondering what was before that, and what the guy was yelling at the beginning of that. I'm trying to figure out exactly what that was.
RW: So, what you did is record that bit of the record and then turned the tape around and listened to it.
Caller: I recorded it onto a video editing machine at a TV station and I played it backwards, and it was like popping out of the left channel too.
RW: Ok. Alright. Well, well done. A number of people know that I often put messages on records that I make. There's one on the Wall and a few other bits and over that particular piece of "Perfect Sense Part I", we had a bit from 2001. You know the Kubric movie. The bit where Dave is turning off the HAL 2000 computer and the computer is saying "Stop Dave", I don't know if you remember it and there's all this breathing in the background. It's a great scene and it's been sampled and used on a million different rap records. Anyway, I stupidly asked Stanley Kubric for permission to use it as background on that particular track. He hemmed and hawed for ages and ages and eventually refused me permission to use it on the grounds that it would open the floodgates and lots of other people would use it. And my presumption is that he was closing the stable door to those who bolted and fell on deaf ears. So, I made my own which is why you've got me breathing on there which is a bit like that thing and that is a backwards message for Stanley Kubric. So, "Yelnats" backwards we all now know is Stanley.
BC: Oh.... There you go
RW: And the shouting at the beginning, I wouldn't like to tell you what that is but it's the "Mad Scotsman" having a quiet word with Stanley Kubric about not giving me permission to use that Kubric stuff on the record.
BC: Roger, a quick 90 minutes, and thank-you for it.
RW: Not at all. Thank you.