The Truth About David Gilmour And Roger Waters' Infamous Feud

David Gilmour and Roger Waters may hold the rock world's record for most enduring feud. Their bitter battle has now lasted longer than the time they spent together in the groundbreaking group Pink Floyd. Formed in the late 1960s, Pink Floyd first made its mark on the music scene with its unique, experimental sound (via AllMusic). And their 1973 release, "Dark Side of the Moon," lifted the band to superstar status. Waters drew inspiration from his own life for one of the band's most popular works, "The Wall" (1979), but tensions within the band led Waters to consider their 1983 album, "The Final Cut," to be their last.

The roots of the Gilmour versus Waters conflict can be found in Waters' departure from the group and the ensuing legal battle over Pink Floyd. Waters may have walked away from the group in 1985, but that didn't mean his bandmates agreed with him that Pink Floyd was done. David Gilmour and drummer Nick Mason wanted to continue on, according to AllMusic. Waters took his former bandmates to court in 1986 because he thought the band was "a spent force creatively" (via BBC). Waters came to an agreement with his bandmates the following year, but apparently hard feelings between Waters and Gilmour lingered for years.

David Gilmour and Roger Waters had a temporary truce

The cold war between Gilmour and Waters thawed enough for a one-time reunion for the charity event Live 8 in 2005, according to Far Out magazine. And in 2013, Waters admitted that he "was wrong" to sue Gilmour and Mason after leaving the group (via BBC). But there seems to be little hope of any meaningful collaboration between Waters and his former group. Gilmour spoke to Rolling Stone magazine in 2014 about how "Roger was tired of being in a pop group 30 years ago. Why on Earth anyone thinks what we do now would have anything remotely to do with him is a mystery to me." Gilmour also touched on the power issues behind the scenes, saying "Roger is very used to being the power, the sole power, behind his career." But Gilmour thought that Waters being part of "something that has any form of democracy to it wouldn't be what he'd be good at."

In 2018, drummer Nick Mason also offered his insights on the Gilmour-Waters feud in an interview with Rolling Stone. "I think the problem is Roger doesn't really respect David." He also said that Roger is bothered by the fact that Pink Floyd didn't end when he left. "It's a constant irritation, really, that he's still going back to." Mason, who gets along with both Waters and Gilmour, finds the feud tiresome. "It's really disappointing that these rather elderly gentlemen are still at loggerheads."

There's no end in sight for David Gilmour-Roger Waters feud

The feud between Gilmour and Waters continues to this day. In 2020, Waters released a video message on his Twitter feed to air his frustrations about having no access to Pink Floyd's social media, saying "I am banned by David Gilmour from the website" (via Rolling Stone). "I think he thinks because I left the band in 1985 that he owns Pink Floyd, that he is Pink Floyd, and that I'm irrelevant." In his message, Waters also revealed that he had met with the surviving band members the previous year to try to "get past this awful impasse that we have," but this effort "bore not fruit."

In 2021, Waters and Gilmour clashed over a re-release of Pink Floyd's 1977 album "Animals." Gilmour first discussed the conflict in a vague way in an interview with Rolling Stone, saying "a very lovely Animals remix has been done, but someone has tried to force some liner notes on it that I haven't approved and ... someone is digging her heels and not allowing it to be released." Waters took his own website to respond, writing that Gilmour "vetoed the release of the album" over the liner notes because he wants "to claim more credit ... on the work he did in Pink Floyd, 1967-1985, than is his due." In the end, Waters agreed to the "Animals" release without the liner notes, and he published them on his own website instead.