When Roger Waters Rejected David Gilmour’s Invitation To Sing ‘Comfortably Numb’ Together

Pink Floyd can be regarded as one the greatest and most influential rock bands in the world with their well-crafted songs and iconic stage performances which made their audience feel like they were watching a play. Even though the band received very positive reviews from the music critics and fans along with hitting the charts and selling millions of records worldwide, the tensions between Roger Waters and David Gilmour didn’t end.

Gilmour and Waters started to compete and argue with each other to decide who was going to determine Pink Floyd’s artistic direction. Waters led the band until his departure in 1985 and the band released their best-selling legendary records such as ‘The Dark Side of the Moon,’ ‘Wish You Were Here,’ ‘Animals,’ and ‘The Wall’ during Waters’ era. A tracks from his era became one of the most popular Pink Floyd songs of all time.

The Story Of Pink Floyd’s ‘Comfortably Numb’

Pink Floyd released their eleventh studio album entitled ‘The Wall,’ which is defined as a rock opera, on November 30, 1979. The album received critical acclaim and became a commercial success thanks to the unique songs and the band’s members’ remarkable performances as lyricists and instrumentalists. Some music critics and Pink Floyd fans consider the album’s track ‘Comfortably Numb’ as Pink Floyd’s greatest song.

‘Comfortably Numb’ was written by Roger Waters and composed by David Gilmour so it can be said that it was one of the best works that emerged from the Gilmour-Waters collaboration. Also, two Pink Floyd legends served as the song’s co-lead vocalists until Waters left the band due to creative differences. Therefore, the band worked with other guest singers except for the times when Waters joined the band for some special events.

Why Did Roger Waters Refuse David Gilmour’s Offer?

Pink Floyd started The Division Bell Tour to support their fourteenth studio album ‘The Division Bell’ on March 30, 1994, in San Bernardino and it ended on October 29, 1994, in London. In one of the final concerts at Earls Court, in London, David Gilmour revealed that the band invited Waters to perform ‘Comfortably Numb’ with them, however, Waters’ agent rejected it saying that he was too busy to reunite with them for the concert.

Gilmour explained the situation saying:

“Funnily enough, we did invite him to come and play on Dark Side at Earls Court in 1994. His agent said he was too busy. I don’t suppose I’d ask him. The guy’s left. He’s gone. Seventeen years ago. He’s gone to feel free and pursue his own projects and freedom is what one should have.”

Gilmour added that he didn’t ask Waters himself and Pink Floyd performed the song with some other special guest stars. The guitarist highlighted that Roger Waters left the band years ago to pursue the musical career that he always dreamed of, therefore, no one should expect him to show up every time his former bandmates wanted. He added that Waters wished to be free and it’s not an unusual thing for him to place importance on his own projects.

You can listen to the song below.