The Reason Nick Mason Called Roger Waters ‘The Bad Guy’

Education is crucial for a successful career and life, as many parents advise. Without a college degree, you might end up in a low-paying job. But it’s not a strict rule; some follow their passions without finishing school. Pink Floyd’s founding members, Nick Mason and Roger Waters, also left architecture to follow a career path in music.

In a 2006 interview with Tagesspiegel, Mason recalled those days and said he initially wanted to become an architect. Still, as the band started to achieve success, he and the other band members decided to change their career paths. When asked if he became a rock star due to his friends, the drummer replied:

“If you wish to say it that way. I really don’t think that there would be somebody else who could try to talk my education out of my head. I wanted to become an architect. Music seemed to be interesting, but I was convinced that it would not be a proper way to earn my livings. But Roger was the bad guy who managed to change my view.”

Roger’s Impact On Nick’s Career Choices

Then, the interviewer wanted the musician to clarify his point, to which he responded:

“My parents were hoping that I was joining the best students from school. The truth was that I was hanging around with this guy who had no good attitude towards studying. He wasn’t lazy, don’t get me wrong.”

The Impact Of College Days On Pink Floyd’s Creative Approach

Although the two musicians didn’t complete their architecture degree, their days in college have been still effective in their way of thinking. It also contributed to their approach to music. In 1987, Waters joined an interview with Chris Salewicz and said the following when asked about the connection between being an architecture student and ‘The Wall’:

“Maybe the architectural training to look at things helped me to visualize my feelings of alienation from rock ‘n’ roll audiences. Which was the starting point for ‘The Wall.’ The fact that it then embodied an autobiographical narrative was kind of secondary to the main thing, which was a theatrical statement in which I was saying, ‘Isn’t this f*cking awful? Here I am up on stage, and there you all are down there, and isn’t it horrible! What the f*ck are we all doing here?'”

However, Mason was given an honorary architecture degree in 2012. Fifty years later,  the Regent Street Polytechnic, now the University of Westminster, recognized the drummer’s contributions to music and awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Letters, completing his unfinished architecture degree. The university acknowledged that Pink Floyd’s innovative approach to music and stage design was influenced by their architectural education.