When Roger Waters Proved His Shows’re More Profitable Than David Gilmour And Pink Floyd’s
Often when a member leaves the band to embark on a solo career, especially a band that has global fame, their own career doesn’t gain as much recognition as their former group. Rock history is filled with examples of this situation, and there aren’t many artists who outdone their ex-bandmates to show them what they lost.
Naturally, there are also a few exceptions to this, and one of the most significant examples must be Roger Waters. The musician didn’t only surpass Pink Floyd with gathering a bigger audience in one of his shows, but he basically crashed them with the money he earned that went down to the history of rock music.
Roger Waters Left Pink Floyd Due To Creative Differences
The feud between Roger Waters and David Gilmour is a tale as old as time. The former bandmates’ ongoing dispute pretty much started due to their creative differences many years ago while they were still band members of Pink Floyd. While Waters was the conventional leader of the band, Gilmour wanted to move forward in the opposite direction of Waters’ vision.
Amid creative differences, Waters left Pink Floyd in 1985 and began a legal dispute over using the band’s name and material. While the band settled everything out of court in 1987, Waters made the best move he could possibly make by appearing on one of the greatest shows rock music has ever seen, ‘The Wall- Live in Berlin.’
Roger Waters Earned Relatively More Than Pink Floyd And David Gilmour
When the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989, Leonard Cheshire asked Roger Waters to perform a concert to raise funds for charity. In July 1990, Waters staged one of the largest and most elaborate rock concerts in history named ‘The Wall – Live in Berlin’ with guest appearances from many musicians such as Scorpions, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, and more.
While many rock icons received invitations to the show, Waters’ former bandmates Gilmour, Mason, and Wright didn’t. However, the musician made sure that the Pink Floyd members knew what their ex-bandmate did as the show became one of the most memorable moments in his career as well as the most profitable.
During the show, Roger Waters played ‘The Wall’ and mesmerized the crowd in a concert with more than 350.000 people attending, according to several sources. In addition to those who were there, the performance was watched by approximately one billion people on TV as well.
Considering that the common ticket prices of the 1990s bands were around $20, such as Nirvana shows’ tickets, nearly $7 million was made from the ticket sales since more than 350.000 people attended the show. This number is much higher than the ‘A Momentary Lapse of Reason’ tour, which was held by the remaining Pink Floyd members around the same time and made $2 million at its biggest show at Cleveland Stadium.
Let’s take a moment to think about the fact that the Waters’ show production costed 6 million pounds alone. Since the production team was aware of the importance of Roger Waters first time performing ‘The Wall’ and the celebration of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, this huge price was covered by the sponsors and the sale of rights which was something that was never done in the music industry.
About the six million pounds worth of production, Waters said:
“At the end of it, we tear our walls down. Maybe, we get better on and feel happier, and the world becomes a better place. It’s been criticized often in the past as being a naive and simplistic answer so maybe it is. I have no worries about being called an idealist, I am.”
Even if the ticket prices and the production cost were ignored, it can be seen that a show of Roger Waters drew 350.000 people, whereas the rest of the Pink Floyd had the top number of 150,000 during their tour. Considering all the numbers and data that are mentioned above, it’s fair to say that Waters made way more money from his Berlin show than his former band did.
You can watch the interview below.