Radio KAOS (The Album)

“Included in this program is a map of the northern hemisphere, showing all the western listening devices, where they are and what they are, and including an exploded map of South Wales where BILLY, the main character, comes from, and an exploded map of LA, where he goes to. It’s a bit like the map in the frontispiece of Winnie The Pooh, in that it has dotted lines showing Billy’s route, where great-uncle David’s house is, and where Radio KAOS is in Laurel Canyon. It is lend credence to the idea that in there somewhere is a story, if you care to search for it. To answer your question of what the main themes of the record are, Ian Ritchie, who produced the record, is quite distressed that I didn’t call it Home, which for a long time was the working title, because one of the things that the record is about is what home is. Is home keeping out of the weather? Being reasonably well fed? Being safe? Is home doing those things in the context of a family? We all think we understand what we mean by the idea of home. But is home the most important thing to a human being in the sense of belonging to a certain thing or person? Having that sense of security and the feeling you are not going to be moved on or blown to pieces? The feeling that you have the right to a continuous existence within the context of the society to which you belong from the moment you are born to the moment you die in order to arrange yourself into a good shape to die in? I don’t know. I know there is a utopian idea that the possibility exists for communities to exist where people try to look after one another, and co-operate with one another, in the hope that they can get from the cradle to the grave, and at some point along the way feel fulfilled. And that we can reduce the percentage possibility of some truly appalling trauma, be it the Bomb, AIDS, a minor invasion, or simply being told you have no worth, we don’t need you, piss off. I just feel we could be doing a lot better than we are if we off-load the idea that the only route to progress, the cause of human happiness, is competition. I am concerned with the idea in this piece that rampant, unrestricted market forces are trampling over everybody’s fucking lives and making the world a horrible place to live in and also increasing the potential risk of us all blowing ourselves up because we’ve become so frustrated in our efforts to compete with each other. Which is why I have great concerns about the proliferation of nuclear weapons and why I think it essential that Europe becomes a nuclear-free zone. Because one of these people who think they’re not getting a fair slice of the cake is going to get hold of these weapons and fucking well let them off. What’s Reagan going to do if one of his frigates is blown up by Gaddafi using a nuclear weapon? I hate to think. They’ve already gone out and quite happily bombed Tripoli. In the preamble to this record I talk about that, because one of the other parallel concerns in the record is the idea of politics as entertainment. The idea that by isolating the high- profile enemy like Gaddafi you can entertain the electorate into polling booths to put the X in the right place is what I call the soap opera of state.”Roger Waters (749)

Pros And Cons Of Hitch-Hiking (The Album)

“It was an album about a night of erotic dreams, but nothing violent or unpleasant.”Roger Waters (748)

Amused To Death (The Album)

“The album title came from a book by Neil Postman, who wrote a short book called Amusing Ourselves to Death, which is about the history of the media, particularly as it relates to political communication – i.e., how things have changed since such works as Lincoln’s speeches were made available for the general public to read. And I had at one point this rather depressing image of some alien creature seeing the death of this planet and coming down in their spaceships and sniffing around and finding all our skeletons sitting around our TV sets and trying to work out why it was that our end came before its time, and they come to the conclusion that we amused ourselves to death. Things coalesced slowly as I became more and more interested or obsessed, pick your word, with the inordinately powerful and all-encompassing effect that television seems to have on the human race. My general view is that television when it becomes commercialized and profit-based tends to trivialize and dehumanize our lives. So I became interested in this idea of television as a two-edged sword, that it can be a great medium for spreading information and understanding between peoples, but when it’s a tool of our slavish adherence to the incumbent philosophy that the free market is the god that we should all bow down to, it’s a very dangerous medium. Because it’s so powerful… I think the motivation is at the root of its current evil, i.e. it’s because they have to compete in an open marketplace that their standards get reduced so the programming tends to end up as the cheapest possible salable item. I don’t believe that wanting to beat the opposition makes for good programming, but it’s an ideology that is still rigidly adhered to.”Roger Waters (750)

Déjà Vu

“I wrote this one song that demands an answer to a particular question. I’ve changed the title to Deja Vu, but the working title was ‘If I Had Been God’ and it describes what would have been different – or might have been different – if I had been God.”Roger Waters (1033)
“I took the words “Lay down Jerusalem” out of “Déjá Vu.” The chorus used to go, “Maybe a woman at a stove/Baking bread, making rice or just boiling down some bones/Lay down Jerusalem/Lay your burden down.” There was a big thing, Nigel [Godrich – Ed] trying to persuade me to take any reference to Jerusalem out. “I said, ‘It’s really important.'” But he said, “People will go, ‘He’s being an anti-Semite again.’ I said, “There’s nothing anti-Semitic about it. Jerusalem is hugely important because of the Crusades, the Ottoman Empire, the British, whoever has been fighting over this place.” Obviously, Jerusalem, the place, can’t be guilty of anything. On the other hand, one feels that if Jerusalem could be peaceful – without the burden of that discontent, the fighting for faith – it would be fabulous. That’s what I’m saying in this song.”Roger Waters (1110)

Is This The Life We Really Want? (The Album)

“It means what it says. A perpetual state of war; your government rewriting laws taking away most of your civil liberties … Is this how you want to live? And if it’s not, is there anything you can do about it? Do you have any choice? Or is the train going so fast that there is no way of finding where the brake is? Or persuading anybody that maybe it should slow down a bit?”Roger Waters (1110)
“[Originally conceived as a radio play – Ed] It’s about a quest with an old man and his grandchild. They decide to go to try to find the answer to a fundamental question because the kid wants to know, “Grandpa, why are they killing the children?” Which is a perfectly reasonable question for a young child to ask an older man. The title comes from a poem I wrote in 2008 when we were all pumped in the bloom of good feelings about the possibility that Barack Obama might be elected President. It was sort of looking back at the GW [Bush – Ed]/Cheney days and the invasion of Iraq and saying, “Do we really want to live in a state of perpetual war, or not?” That is a question, sadly, nine years later that is still central to all of our lives.”Roger Waters (1138)
“Part of this record is about the transcendental nature of love. I believe in it very powerfully. When we’re touched by love, whether it’s love for a woman, or love for an idea, or love for liberty, or love for a child a flower, whatever it may be, there is the possibility within the power of the emotion of love to transcend one from the senseless scrabble that a lot of our lives become to applying ourselves to developing our potential to empathise with others, particularly others who are different, particularly with others who may appear to be our enemy, because they’re not. We are divided by circumstances of geography, accidents of birth, rather than by our humanity.”Roger Waters (1138)

The Last Refugee

“The idea of being in a future where the idea even of being a refugee is a relic from the past is so moving to me.”Roger Waters (1138)