Do you ever aspire to write like Bob Dylan or Joni Mitchell after reading some of their most memorable quotes or while immersing yourself in their music and letting the lyrics flow away? It’s human nature to feel envious, thus it seems sensible that millions of people would want to compose a few words like them given that they are two of the most sensitive songwriters of all time.
I don’t know about you, but anytime someone asked Roger Waters who he wanted to write like, it wasn’t Mitchell or Dylan—rather, it was someone. It was Syd Barrett, his former bandmate, who the bassist frequently admired for his ability to create poetic constructions that just intrigued him.
However, Roger had the opportunity to take the songwriting instrument into his own hands and try writing a track after he and his bandmates fired Syd and sealed Pink Floyd’s demise with their newest member, David Gilmour. In the end, the rocker did have a significant impact since he was able to compose some of Pink Floyd’s most well-known songs.
Waters also seems to believe that some of his bandmates frequently attempted to emulate him as a writer but to no avail. The bassist has also mentioned how Gilmour and Rick Wright tried to imitate his manner, but when they realized they couldn’t use language in the same way he could, they would become angry, which is why they didn’t like Roger Waters so much.
Although it’s impossible to say for sure whether David envied Waters’ songwriting abilities, the rocker also had someone to aspire to when it came to line delivery. David Gilmour, however, wanted to sing guitar riffs rather than words because he had a specific guitar hero he wanted to play like.
When asked in an interview with Guitar Classics in 1985 who he hoped he could play like, the Pink Floyd legend immediately mentioned Eddie Van Halen, saying he had been attempting to emulate some of the younger rocker’s methods but couldn’t play like him.
Although he would frequently practice with his guitar and unconsciously play riffs, he was unable to focus on the scales and other elements Eddie’s techniques required, making it impossible for him to play like Van Halen. This made him believe that perhaps he needed to practice with the six-stringed instrument more.
According to David, he would like to play like:
“I can’t play like Eddie Van Halen. I wish I could. I sat down to try some of those ideas, and I can’t do it. I don’t know if I could ever get any of that stuff together. Sometimes I think I should work at the guitar more. I play every day, but I don’t consciously practice scales or anything in particular.”
Gilmour is a guitar hero to millions of people, but there was another guitar hero he coveted when it came to playing some more intricate guitar riffs. He complimented Eddie while claiming that he couldn’t play like him and sort of chastised himself for not practicing the guitar more.