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Waters leaving Floyd was like death of Stalin

Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason has compared the 1984 departure of Roger Waters with the death of Josef Stalin.

He says the lineup change hit them as hard as the communist leader’s 1953 passing would have impacted the Soviet Union.

And he’s recalled the meeting in a London sushi restaurant where former frontman Waters said he was leaving.

Mason tells Mojo: “Roger thought we were all going to call it a day, and David and I thought Roger was going to call it a day and we were going to carry on.”

The split became acrimonious and set off off a chain of lawsuits and counter-suits, before differences were settled in recent years. “It must have been the same when Stalin died,” Mason reflects. “It took quite a while to recover – it was a three or four year period.”

But he believes Floyd’s musical output was worth dealing with his bandmates’ personalities: “These slightly unbalanced people make great musicians. If we hadn’t had the mad Syd and the mad Roger, we might have been doing Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep.”

Frontman David Gilmour last week revealed that the lyrics for Louder Than Words, one of the few track on upcoming final release The Endless River, address the band’s infamous inability to communicate with each other.

The band’s first album since 1993’s The Division Bell, a tribute to late keyboardist Rick Wright, is launched on November 10. They’ve just released another trailer for the work.

Martin Kielty

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.