Pink Floyd’s ugly split hasn’t soured Nick Mason on Roger Waters: ‘Still one of my oldest, dearest friends’

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Roger Waters had a fiery response to those who misunderstood his involvement in the new Pink Floyd album, effectively telling fans to get a grip. His long-time bandmate Nick Mason still treasures his relationship with Waters, despite a split that goes back almost three decades now.

“I’ve made some smart remarks over the years,” Mason tells the Journal and Courier, “but he is still one of my oldest, dearest friends — and a man I’m always pleased to see.”

That hasn’t happened very often since Waters and Pink Floyd endured an ugly mid-1980s breakup, one that was preceded by Waters bringing in another drummer to perform during the contentious sessions for 1983’s The Final Cut. Most memorably, Nick Mason, Roger Waters, David Gilmour and the late Richard Wright reunited in 2005 for the Live 8 concert. (They did “Speak to Me,” “Breathe” and “Money” from Dark Side of the Moon; the title track from Wish You Were Here and “Comfortably Numb” from The Wall.) Mason also joined Gilmour during a 2011 stop on Roger Waters’ solo tour of The Wall, performing “Outside the Wall.”

That completed a circle going back to the earliest days of Pink Floyd, when Waters and Nick Mason met as students at London Polytechnic. Wright and then Syd Barrett eventually completed the group’s early lineup, before Barrett was replaced by David Gilmour.

Mason allows that “of course, there were differences later on.” Still, he tends to focus on the good, more than the bad: “Playing with Roger, I would have to say, was always good,” Mason adds. “The relationship with a bass player and drummer is very special.”

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