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Leftist rock stars who are giant a-holes in real life.
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Posted by: LateForLunch ®

07/27/2020, 23:39:24

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I have always followed the business-side of popular music, especially rock with interest. I have always read about how famous rock musicians behave both as business people and as human beings, with fascination.

Peter Gabriel bills himself as a "world musician" (PFFT!) He got sooooooo sanctimonious after he left his original band Genesis - joined the anti-apartheid movement. 

Ever the posing virtue-signaler Gabriel fired all of his white male musicians, hired a bunch of black musicians from South Africa. One of the band members eventually committed murder and was affiliated with gangs who "neck-tied" people (burned them to death because they were enemies or had "collaborated" with whites). That didn't faze Gabriel.

Gabriel fired all of the white musicians he worked with in the beginning of his solo career and replaced them with either females or blacks or both. Gabriel was so desperate to be thought of as a "great liberal" by other leftists, that he was willing to throw all of his former band-mates under the bus following a fad (black-o-philia).  

Gabriel betrayed Genesis by quitting without warning just before they were about to start recording their next record. The other members were disgusted. See, Gabriel had been told by a Hollywood producer that he was going to make him a film star. heh  

So right after their most successful tour (The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway) Gabriel was confronted by the other band members and told that if he didn't stay and start recording with them, they would replace him with another singer. 

Gabriel quit. He went to Hollywood while the band auditioned other singers (eventually using Phil Collins who was previously mostly back-up vocal) and recording their next record. Gabriel's movie-career went NOWHERE fast (he apparently didn't know about the de facto ban by H-Wood on rockers as movie stars. It never went well historically so no studio was willing to risk big production money on 'em). 

Roger Waters (Pink Floyd)

Then there is also Pink Floyd's Roger Waters. Waters is by many accounts from both business associates and other musicians an a-hole of the greatest magnitude. 

Waters thought of himself as the only really irreplaceable member of Floyd. He ended up screwing himself out of millions upon millions of dollars because he could not control his ego. 

 As an aside to his megalomania, Waters sat and did nothing while his "best friend" (former band mate Syd Barrette) sank slowly but inevitably into drug abuse and total madness. If my best friend was doing too many drugs, I might be tempted to, oh, I don't know...TRY TO GET THEM TO STOP!!! Not in Waters' case. He did absolutely nothing.

As band leader and principle songwriter for years after Barrett's departure, Waters wielded his self-bestowed supremacy like a true leftist dictator. He often denigrated and shut-out the work of the others in his band because it didn't jibe with his own creative "visions". This despite the fact that the others, especially David Gilmore, were skilled, technically-brilliant instrumentalists and songwriters in their own right. 

Eventually Waters grew so egotistical that when one of the other Floyd members (keyboardist Richard Wright) refused to cut his vacation short by two full weeks in order to comply with a demand from the record company that they start the tour early Waters used his clout with the corporate reptiles to force the Wright to quit the band. 

Ironic touch is that the record company convinced Waters that it was too late to train a replacement for Richard Wright's parts, so the band hired him to tour as a non-member (paid by the concert instead of getting a percentage of the profits from the tour). 

Adamant about taking his last two weeks with his family, Wright refused to cut his vacation short.He was trying to save his marriage at the time by spending some quality time with his children. He took his two weeks, then caught up with the tour.

As it turned out, the Wall tour production was so expensive to put on that it nearly bankrupted them. 

The Wall tour lost money for the members of the band too, not just the production company. Since Richard Wright was paid roughly $15,000 per show, he actually made money on the tour while his former band mates lost money. heh  

All of the above caused more friction between Waters and the others, partly because they all originally wanted to keep Wright as a member, and because the grandiosity of the tour production was largely driven by Waters' egocentric belief that because the Wall was based on his grand concept, it would be profitable nonetheless. 

Because Waters insisted that the tour production company add all sorts of fancy effects to the road production, even though they sold out most venues in every city, the Wall tour lost a lot of money. 

Water's crowning achievement was to declare after the Wall tour debacle, that the others in the band were unworthy of his talent, and resigned from Floyd forever. 

Unfortunately for Waters, he did not have very good legal counsel or else ignored it, because he tried to take the Pink Floyd band name rights with him. After years in court and tons of money to lawyers, Rogers' efforts to block the other members of the band HE HAD VOLUNTARILY QUIT failed to stop them touring under the name Pink Floyd. 

If the other members didn't hate Rogers before, his legal assaults on them put the poisonous cherry on top of the garbage cake he had baked for everyone. 

Even the ever-patient/diplomatic Floyd guitarist David Gilmore* finally gave up trying to get along with Waters and stopped communicating with him for years. Through all that time, it was Waters who continued to fan the flames of division by making endless insulting, inflammatory public statements about his former band mates, while they all largely remained silent (thereby retaining their own dignity). 

Floyd made more money from touring in the first two big road trips they did after Waters quit, than in all of their previous tours combined. Meanwhile, Waters struggled releasing one unpopular recording after another* 

As a bit of Biblical irony, Waters never saw a dime of the touring revenue from the most-profitable period of the band's existence - and even better, as soon as Waters quit, the band rehired Richard Wright who got his share of all that touring revenue while Waters did not.  

Eventually after a decade of horrible behavior, Waters finally was somehow able to learn to mimic the behavior of normal humans long enough to do a few performances with the band. He finally stopped saying horrible, stupid things about his former band mates and even once or twice admitted in interviews that the cause of all of the conflict between them was his own egotism.

Too little too late. See, the remaining band members never invited Rogers to rejoin the band while it was still touring- so they all got rich off Floyd's tours while he never did.*** 

And if he performs with them at all, he appears as "special guest Roger Waters", not as an official member of Floyd. heh 

*David Gilmore is a very smart person who not only has great talent himself, he appreciates talent in others. It was David Gilmore who first brought singer Kate Bush to the attention of a record company and signed her to her first contract. 

Bush as many know, became a very successful British artist. Waters never discovered or developed any other successful artists whatsoever. He was WAAAAAY too into himself to ever consider the talent of others to be in any way significant. 

** To be fair, Waters' recording, "Amused to Death" (an indictment of television based on a great book called "Amusing Ourselves to Death") is in my opinion a classic of the rock art form. But Amused was a commercial failure - even with superstar guest musicians like Jeff Beck, Steve Lukather and others doing yeoman's work, Amused to Death did not make much profit either for Waters or for the record company that financed the tour. 

***What many don't know about rock musicians is that none of them ever get rich off selling records alone. That's why many artists started giving away their music for free (or for very little). The big money is in touring (tickets, merchandise, tee shirts etc.) The way David Bowie became a billionaire was not just by selling records, it was by doing 100 sold-out shows in big venues on five or ten world tours and investing the revenue wisely.

 Floyd likely made anywhere from $50-$60 million dollars profits from their first two post-Waters world tours (while Waters' only sources of income from his Floyd song-writing were royalties from record sales and from playing very small venues on much shorter tours with his own bands). 

Modified by LateForLunch at Tue, Jul 28, 2020, 01:30:33

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