Eric Clapton says Pink Floyd's Roger Waters suffers "terribly" from sharing his political views and has seen him “sit on the window ledge in tears”

Roger Waters and Eric Clapton
(Image credit: Jim Dyson/Getty Images, Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Crossroads Guitar Festival)

Eric Clapton has stated that he thinks Pink Floyd's Roger Waters has "a lot of guts" for sharing his political opinions - many of which have been heavily scrutinised and have even resulted in his own gigs being cancelled due to claims of anti-Semitism. 

The guitarist's thoughts on Waters arose during a new interview with The Real Music Observer, after being asked on what he thinks about people suggesting that musicians should “stick to music” rather than weigh in on politics. 

“I don’t respond to the word ‘should’ very well," he answers. "Anyone that tells me what I should be doing, I’m going to do the opposite. Not just out of spite, but because who are they to tell me how to live my life? I don’t interfere with them.”

Clapton continues, “I love Roger. I love him. We are brothers and he goes his way about it, and it takes a lot of guts, and he suffers from it terribly. I’ve seen him sit on the window ledge in tears and say ‘It’s morning here in Manhattan and I’m in tears again’, you know?

"I can’t do that, I am on the verge of tears a lot when I think about what’s going on and the evil there is, but I also have to carry a positive message of hope, and he does too. Music is a healing agent. I believe that there is a system of thinking about how you conduct yourself in that realm, and to be responsible not to offend people.”

He adds: "Gandhi had it down, but I don’t really want to follow his path, because if he wanted people to follow his thinking he would go on a starvation diet and he would risk his life and that’s when they knew he was serious. 

"A lot of people really don’t expect me or Roger to stick to what we say, but we do. And I think I have a responsibility because of what I told you earlier that I’m there carrying a message of hope, for love, peace and freedom you know that’s my responsibility as a musician.”

Back in February, Waters called Bono "disgusting" and "shit" following his performance at the Las Vegas Sphere, in which saw the U2 frontman pay his respects to the people killed during the October 7 attack at the Israeli music festival Supernova. 

Last year, Waters was the subject of a documentary, The Dark Side Of Roger Waters, which was produced by the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism. The programme - which was promoted by former bandmate David Gilmour - featured several incidents of alleged anti-Semitism perpetrated by the musician.

Polly Samson, a former lyricist for Pink Floyd and the wife of Gilmour, additionally posted a tweet labelling Waters "antisemitic to [his] rotten core. Also, a Putin apologist and a lying, thieving, hypocritical, tax-avoiding, lip-synching, misogynistic, sick-with-envy, megalomaniac." Gilmour retweeted his wife's post with the caption: "Every word demonstrably true."

In response, Waters - who has repeatedly denied all accusations of anti-Semitism - called the documentary “a flimsy, unapologetic piece of propaganda”.

Clapton himself has come under fire for his own political opinions, most notably in 2021 for peddling conspiracy theories throughout the pandemic and taking a strong stance against vaccines, additionally suggesting that people meeting up to watch music performances is "as important in their healing as any kind of medicine."

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.