Roger Waters, the legendary musician and co-founder of Pink Floyd, is well-known for his progressive rock albums that explore themes such as war, politics, alienation, and identity. But what is less known is his passion for fishing and how it influenced his songs and philosophy.
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Roger Waters’ Early Life & Interest
Waters grew up in Cambridge, England, where he developed an interest in fishing at an early age. He often fished with his father, who was killed in World War II when Waters was only five years old. Waters later said that fishing was a way of connecting with his father and coping with his loss.
Fishing as a Source of Inspiration
Fishing also became a source of inspiration and metaphor for Waters, who used it to express his views on society, human nature, and spirituality. In his solo album Amused to Death (1992), he wrote a song called “What God Wants”, which compares God to a fisherman who baits and hooks humans with false promises of heaven. The song criticizes organized religion and its role in creating violence and suffering in the world.
Another song that features fishing imagery is “The Tide Is Turning” from his album Radio K.A.O.S. (1987). The song is about the power of communication and solidarity among people who are oppressed by the media and the government. Waters sings: “I used to think the world was flat / Rarely threw my hat into the crowd / I felt I had used up my quota of yearning / Used to look in on the children at night / In the glow of their Donald Duck light / And frighten myself with the thought of my little ones burning / But oh, oh, oh, the tide is turning”. The reference to the world being flat and throwing his hat into the crowd suggests that Waters was once apathetic and cynical about the possibility of change. But the tide turning implies that he has regained hope and optimism, and is ready to join the movement for a better world.
Waters also used fishing as a way of exploring his own psyche and emotions. In his album The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking (1984), he wrote a song called “5:06 AM (Every Stranger’s Eyes)”, which describes a dream he had while fishing. In the dream, he meets a woman who represents his ideal partner, and they fall in love. However, he soon realizes that she is not real, and that he is alone. The song reflects Waters’ loneliness and longing for intimacy, as well as his struggle with fame and identity.
Art, Therapy, and Philosophy of Life
Fishing is more than just a hobby for Waters; it is a form of art, therapy, and philosophy. He once said: “Fishing is an act of meditation. It’s a way of being at one with the world”. Through fishing, Waters has found a way of expressing himself, connecting with others, and understanding life.