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‘With all due respect,’ Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters disrespects Drake and the Weeknd

A man with gray hair and a scruffy beard speaks at a microphone while raising his right hand in a fist
Former Pink Floyd bassist and singer Roger Waters, seen in 2020, is touring North America into October.
(Isabel Infantes / Associated Press)

Roger Waters is upset that news outlets didn’t come review his show. And he’s taking it out on Drake and the Weeknd.

Waters, co-founder and former frontman of Pink Floyd, is currently traveling North America on his “This Is Not a Drill” tour, a politically charged show molded by the artist’s progressive views. While stopping in Toronto, though, he was dismayed to learn that not a single local newspaper had sent a critic to review his show.

Speaking to the Toronto Globe and Mail, Waters pressed the question to journalist Brad Wheeler, craving an explanation.

“What’s interesting about you being here with me now is that none of the newspapers in Toronto sent anybody to review my shows,” he said. “What I’d like to know, what I’d like you to ponder on, and maybe ask your readers, is if they have any theories as to why that may be?”

The notion of artist as provocateur has sparked considerable heat lately, what with Kathy Griffin’s incendiary representation of President Trump and the Public Theater in New York’s allusion to Trump in its new production of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.”

Wheeler then informed him that he had been assigned to cover the Weeknd’s show that same night in Toronto (although it was postponed the day of due to a widespread network outage). That answer wasn’t good enough for Waters.

“But the Weeknd was canceled,” Waters said. replied. “And my show was for two nights. I have no idea what or who the Weeknd is, because I don’t listen to much music. People have told me he’s a big act. Well, good luck to him. I’ve got nothing against him. Would it not have been possible to review his show one night and my show another night?”

Wheeler told him the paper didn’t cover as many concerts as it used to, but Waters pressed on. And somehow, Toronto superstar Drake got drawn into it all.

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“I’m not trying to make a personal attack,” Waters, 78, continued. “I’m just saying it seemed odd. And, by the way, with all due respect to the Weeknd or Drake or any of them, I am far, far, far more important than any of them will ever be, however many billions of streams they’ve got. There is stuff going on here that is fundamentally important to all of our lives.”

The latter portion of his quote referenced the current state of the world, a central topic of Waters’ current tour (and ones that preceded it). Speaking to The Times in 2017 about his album “Is This the Life We Really Want?,” which was incredibly critical of former President Trump, Waters stressed the importance of participation.

“Every human being,” he said, “has a responsibility to throw their hat into the ring and to use as much of the energy as they have to, hopefully, advance the human race as a race, in ways that promote the general happiness of all, rather than the great wealth of the very few.”

Waters’ “This Is Not a Drill” tour hits Los Angeles’ Crypto.com Arena on Sept. 27 and Sept. 28.


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