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 two years later, but apparently hard feelings between Waters and Gilmour lingered for years.

Gilmour and 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."

Gilmour and Waters fought over Pink Floyd

The feud between Gilmour and Waters has shown no signs of ending in recent years. 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 his 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.

Gilmour and Waters clashed on social media 2023

Relations between David Gilmour and Roger Waters took an especially nasty turn in 2023. Gilmour's wife Polly Samson (shown above with her husband) went on Twitter to call out Waters on his political views, tweeting that "you are antisemitic to your rotten core. Also a Putin apologist and a lying, thieving, hypocritical, tax-avoiding, lip-synching, misogynistic, sick-with-envy, megalomaniac." Gilmour supported and retweeted his wife's comment, writing "every word demonstrably true." Waters responded to Samson's comments by claiming that they are completely untrue.

Samson may have been inspired to take Waters to task after he gave an interview to a German publication, in which he seemed to support Russian President Vladimir Putin and criticized western involvement in the war in Ukraine (via Pressenza). Waters definitely seemed to be changing his tune from earlier statements he had made about Putin. He claimed that Putin may have been justified in his actions because he was trying to stop the killing of Russian-speaking people in the Donbas region and stop the rise of Nazis in the country.

In the same article, Waters also appeared to be highly critical of Israel. He told the outlet that the state was practicing apartheid in its treatment of Palestinians living there. Waters also seemed to draw parallels between Israel and Nazi Germany in terms of committing genocide. Despite these controversial and inflammatory statements, Waters said that "I call myself a humanist, a citizen of the world. And my loyalty and respect belong to all people regardless of their origin, nationality or religion" (via Pressenza).