Wish You Were Here (The Album)

“All of the songs I’ve ever written pose similar questions. Can you free yourself enough to be able to experience the reality of life as it goes on before you and with you and as you go on as part of it or not because if you can’t you stand on square one until you die.”Roger Waters (361)
“All the songs are written for me, encouraging myself not to accept a lead role in a cage but to go on demanding of myself that I keep auditioning for the walk on part in the war cos that’s where I wanna be. I wanna be in the trenches, I don’t want to be sitting in HQ, I don’t wanna be in a hotel somewhere, I wanna be engaged probably, I might say, in a way that my father would approve of.”Roger Waters (361)
“The interesting thing is that when we finally did do an album, the album is actually about not coming up with anything, because the album is about none of us really being there, or being there only marginally. About our non-presence in the situation we had clung to through habit, and are still clinging to through habit — being Pink Floyd. Though it’s moving into a slightly different area again because I definitely think that at the beginning of Wish You Were Here recording sessions most of us didn’t wish we were there at all, we wished we were somewhere else. I wasn’t happy being there because I got the feeling we weren’t together, the band wasn’t at all together.”Roger Waters (362)
“The next record ‘Wish You Were Here’ really should have been called ‘Wish We Were Here’ because although we’d achieved the goals we’d set ourselves as kids — i.e. making money, becoming rich and famous — it became convenient to stay together despite the big musical, political and philosophical differences that we had in the band. But the differences between us became more apparent — there were huge arguments during the making of ‘Wish You Were Here’, about what should be on it: I had a very clear vision of what I thought the record should be, and Dave thought it should be something quite different. He wanted to use some songs I’d already written, which later appeared on Animals — ‘Sheep’, or was it ‘Dogs’, which was called ‘Raving And Drooling’ then. Because it was already there, and he liked it, he thought we should use it. I’d say, ‘No, this record’s got to be true to the idea of absence’, and Dave would scratch his head and go, ‘Whaaat? What are you talking about — we’ve got these great songs, let’s use them’. I was, ‘No, no, it has to be coherent, it has to be about something’. And I won that little battle, I’m happy to say, and I think Wish You Were Here is a better record for it, it’s quite linear and coherent. But they became even more disgruntled.”Roger Waters (738)
“It was all about absence and to some extent about the loss of Syd Barrett who had succumbed to mental illness seven or eight years before.”Roger Waters (1138)
“As the sort of theme of the album was absence, Storm [cover designer Storm Elvin Thorgerson – Ed] went away and thought about absence and so you have a person swimming with an absence of water and a body in a suit with an absence of the body and a person diving into water with an absence of splash.”David Gilmour (1267)

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

“Did you realise that ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ is about Syd [Barrett – Ed]? We don’t see much of him now since he left and we’re definitely a different band since his day.”Rick Wright (739)
“Although “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” is the song that is specifically about Syd, “Wish You Were Here” has a broader remit, I can’t sing it without thinking about Syd.”David Gilmour (361)
“Roger’s paean to Syd. I’ve always loved this song. I love the words.”David Gilmour (740)

Welcome To The Machine

“[Did you feel as if you were trapped in your own machine? – Ed]. Yeah, just the year before, you know, two years before we hit the big time if you like with ‘Dark Side of the Moon’. That meant having a lot more contact with the machinery of the rock-and-roll business and we had become a much bigger business and their eyes were opening up and you could see this wanting to participate in our good fortune look in people’s eyes.”David Gilmour (1267)

Arnold Layne

“I was at Cambridge at the time I started to write the song. I pinched the line about ‘moonshine washing line’ from Rog our bass guitarist — because he has an enormous washing line in the back garden of his house. Then I thought, ‘Arnold must have a hobby,’ and it went on from there. ‘Arnold Layne’ just happens to dig dressing up in women’s clothing. A lot of people do — so let’s face up to reality.”Syd Barrett (741)

Louder Than Words

“Polly Samson, my wife, wrote great words for it which was her view on the strange dynamic that we have as a band.”David Gilmour (970)