Nick Mason Addresses Johnny Rotten’s ‘I Hate Pink Floyd’ Shirt


In a recent interview, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason commented on Sex Pistols’ Johnny Rotten and his infamous Pink Floyd shirt.

Throughout his music career, Johnny Rotten had a rageful stance that carried and inspired the characteristics of the early punk movement. The singer was against many things, which was also reflected in the Pistols’ music. As for his opinion on Pink Floyd, Johnny reflected his feelings by wearing a shirt that said, ‘I hate Pink Floyd‘ in his numerous performances.

Upon the release of the reimagined version of Pink Floyd’s tenth studio album, ‘Animals,’ Nick Mason recently looked back on the old days and shared his view on punk and Johnny Rotten. The drummer shared that during the period of recording ‘Animals,’ the band might have been affected by the growing punk movement of the era. As punk tended to criticize and disobey, it generally aligned with Pink Floyd’s stance.

As Roger Waters is known to be forward with his political views, the host asked Mason if the characteristics of punk and Waters’ mindset shared a common understanding of nihilism in regards to the concept of ‘Animals,’ as well as Pink Floyd’s lyrics and general approach. The drummer answered that he believed that punk shaped and affected music at the time, but it was an unconscious impact rather than an obvious one. He stated that even though he wasn’t a great fan of the genre, it did give the youth a new sense of freedom.

Mason replied:

“I think whatever influence punk brought to ‘Animals’ or, indeed, music at the time, it was subliminal rather than being obvious. It was an influence, but I think for me, I don’t think there was a lot of it that I thought, ‘This is great.’ It was more, well, it’s interesting because it’s returning to the sort of rock ‘n’ roll where teenagers can get together and do this and actually have an audience and do it. It was strange in that respect.”

The drummer then disclosed that punk had successfully dealt with progressive rock, which at the time had ‘become pompous.’ Nick Mason stated that progressive rock and punk were seen as two different genres with no apparent affiliation. Nick then joked about Johnny Rotten’s infamous shirt and expressed that it was hard to understand the complicated relationship between the two movements.

The drummer explained:

“I think it was a good thing in terms of dealing with prog rock – which had become so pompous, really – but it wasn’t obvious. I mean, apart from Johnny Rotten having the T-shirt that said ‘I Hate Pink Floyd.’ [Laughs.] It’s almost as though they were such separate camps that it would be hard to see quite how the influence of one might influence another.”

Johhny Rotten’s Pink Floyd shirt has become a joke since there are no hard feelings between the artists. Pink Floyd’s ‘Animals’ remix was released only recently, and Mason currently pursues his solo career with his band Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets. The band is on a North American tour, performing all across the United States and Canada.