When Roger Left Pink Floyd: “It Was Like Stalin Died”

PINK FLOYD’S NICK MASON likens the period after Roger Waters left the band in 1984 to the aftermath of Russian leader Josef Stalin’s death. In the new issue of MOJO, available in the UK from Tuesday, October 28, the band’s drummer ponders the effect of their iron-willed bassist and chief songwriter's departure. “It must have been the same when Stalin died,” says Mason. “It took quite a while [to recover], it was a three or four year period.” MOJO 253, the Pink Floyd issue, available in the UK from Tuesday, October 28.

Mason also sheds light on the meeting at a sushi restaurant in 1984 when Waters revealed to the others his intention to leave the group. “Roger thought we were all going to call it day, and David and I thought Roger was going to call it a day and we were going to carry on,” he reveals. “[But] the thing is, these slightly unbalanced people make great musicians. If we hadn’t had the mad Syd and the mad Roger, we might have been doing Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep.”

In a 21-page Pink Floyd extravaganza, Mason and guitarist David Gilmour are interviewed at length about the group’s extraordinary history and the backstory to their new album, The Endless River, created using outtakes from 1994’s The Division Bell sessions. The album, they reveal, will be the last-ever new material to bear the group’s name, and represents a “full stop” to their career. “I don’t want this to be seen as our last great hurrah,” says Gilmour. “But it is the last thing, I’m pretty sure.”

Our Floyd celebration also journeys back to explore the mid-’60s roots of the band in Cambridge and bohemian, acid-soused London, when Syd Barrett was their unchallenged and increasingly unhinged creative engine.

Enjoy our extensive Floyd-ness in its full splendour in MOJO 253, on sale at UK outlets from Tuesday, October 28.

Also in the issue: the story of Kurt Cobain’s last photo-shoot and interview; Richard and Linda Thompson reunite against the odds; Billy Idol spills the beans on his debauched and commercially astronomic ’80s; Mick Fleetwood reflects on a remarkable life; and kosmic psychedelicist Ty Segall reveals the secrets of his craft. Plus there’s a brilliant FREE CD of new psych stonkers, featuring Goat, Thee Oh Sees, .

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