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Roger Waters once said Phil Collins was pretending to be a songwriter

Roger Waters


Roger Waters once said Phil Collins was pretending to be a songwriter

The original Pink Floyd bassist and singer Roger Waters was certainly a really important part of the band’s vision and lyrics, being the creative force behind especially albums like “Animals” (1977) and “The Wall” (1979). He was the band’s main lyricist and it was crucial for the band’s success, alongside David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright.


Besides being known for his musical talent, Waters is also remembered for always saying what he really thinks about everything. Back in 1992 in an interview with Musician magazine he talked about the Genesis vocalist Phil Collins, who also became a huge pop star as a solo artist. He curiously said that he felt that Collins was pretending to be a songwriter.

Roger Waters once said Phil Collins was pretending to be a songwriter

“You can draw a line between what I’m interested in and what I’m not interested in. On one side you can name Dylan and Lennon, who observe the world and have ‘feelings’. (They) write songs directly from those feelings. On the vapid side you have pop groups who need material and write songs to fill the hole, rather than getting somebody else. But they might just as well get somebody else, because it’s a manufacturing process.”

“It’s not poetry, because it doesn’t spring from heart or guts or wherever John Lennon’s or Dylan’s songs came from. And in my view – I seem to always wind up attacking poor Phil Collins. But it’s only because he’s so visible. He’s symptomatic of an awful lot of if. He might well disagree and so might his fans. But the ‘feeling’ I get is that he’s pretending to be a songwriter or a rock’n’roller. It’s an act. That’s why it’s unsatisfying. And those videos underscore that feeling.”

He continued:

“If you cared about what you were doing, you would ‘not be able’ to do that silly walk, one behind the other. Because you would find it impossible to ridicule your work in that way. ‘Mister Picasso, we think it would sell this work if you hung by your heels from a crane and held it upside-down with your trousers down.’ Pablo’s not gonna do that. Because he’s serious about what he does.”

“Just a passing thought. That’s taken over an awful lot of the business. You could say, ‘Well, why shouldn’t it?’ Absolutely ‘no’ reason. So long as it doesn’t take over and ‘squeeze’ out the Lennons and Dylans because they’re too good for it. They won’t take their trousers down and do silly walks on the beach,” Roger Waters said.

Collins joined Genesis in the early 70s as their drummer and after Peter Gabriel decided to leave he became the band’s vocalist. A few years later when the guitarist Steve Hackett also decided to leave, the band became a trio. It was formed also by Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks, transforming their music into a more commercial sound.

That change was crucial to make Genesis one of the best-selling bands of all time. So Collins is one of the few people who were able to sell an estimated amount of more than 100 million records worldwide both as a member of a band and as a solo act.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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