Personalities | Pink Floyd | The Gilmour-Led Era (1987) | Key Events


Waters Declares Legal Action

Roger Waters had got wind of Gilmour’s intentions well in advance of the EMI press release and in October 1986 had taken matters to the High Court. Even though Waters had offered the name to Mason and Gilmour in 1985 when unofficially leaving, he did not believe that they would actually dare to record without him. Although a game of legal tennis ensued, with both parties giving their side to the press, the bottom line was that Waters could not stop Mason and Gilmour – with Wright on salary – releasing ‘new’ Pink Floyd material.


Waters’ Radio K.A.O.S.

Roger Waters released his second solo album, Radio K.A.O.S., in June 1987. This was a concept album about a disabled young Welshman whose special mental powers allow him to hack into military computers and pretend to start – and then avert – a Third World War. Like the ending of The Watchmen graphic novel (1986/87) this fake threat to humanity is intended to unite the world, although Waters’ political convictions took a swipe at Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, the plight of UK miners (a male-voice choir feature on ‘The Tide Is Turning’) and the rigid formatting of American FM radio stations. Musically, the album was smeared with Eighties’ technology, from a Fairlight synthesizer to computerized voices, and sold – for a Floyd-related album – poorly.


Waters’ Radio K.A.O.S. Tour

Roger Waters took Radio K.A.O.S. out on the road in 1987 for a 37-date tour that was confined to North America, apart from two final dates in Wembley, England. Backed by his ‘Bleeding Hearts’ tour band the staging was lavish and, in keeping with the Radio K.A.O.S. theme, featured a radio DJ talking between songs, introducing original footage of ‘Arnold Layne’ as well as allowing lucky fans to talk to Waters through a telephone box in the auditorium at each venue. Did anyone dare to ask, ‘When are Floyd getting back together?’? As well as Radio K.A.O.S. material, Waters served up a number of Floyd classics including ‘Money’, ‘Breathe’, ‘Welcome To The Machine’ and ‘Wish You Were Here’.


A Momentary Lapse Of Reason

That the new Pink Floyd album was called A Momentary Lapse Of Reason (1987) probably summed up Waters’ feeling about the mental state of his former band-mates. With Storm Thorgerson’s arresting cover art featuring an endless river of beds it certainly looked like a Floyd album. ‘Learning To Fly’ was the outstanding track, in which Gilmour, in some respects after being overshadowed by Waters’ songwriting and production dominance, demonstrated that he was now learning to ‘create’ again. That the album reached No. 1 in the UK and America showed that there were plenty of Floyd fans, old and new, willing continue the journey.


A Momentary Lapse Of Reason Tour

The A Momentary Lapse Of Reason tour of North America kicked off in Lansdowne Park, Ottowa, Canada on 9 September and by Christmas the band had completed over 50 dates. Gilmour,...

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Source: Pink Floyd Revealed, by Ian Shirley


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