Several rock musicians over the years have aired their grievances and differences, often making headlines and drawing public attention. Among these, Roger Waters has managed to find himself on the receiving end of a fair share of criticism. Names like David Gilmour and David Draiman of Disturbed have been vocal about their discontent with him.
Interestingly, the iconic Sinead O’Connor has also voiced her own unique qualms with Waters, bringing to light an age-old feud that has since intrigued rock enthusiasts and the general public alike.
Though music often brings artists together, forging bonds that last lifetimes, it’s equally potent in driving wedges between them. It was the 1991 rendition of ‘The Wall’ that brought Sinead O’Connor and Roger Waters into the same orbit.
A monumental project in its own right, one would assume that artists collaborating on such a venture would be united in their mission. However, as time would reveal, this wasn’t the case for O’Connor and Waters.
In a candid 2013 interview with Uncut, O’Connor took the opportunity to unveil the curtain, shedding light on the stark reality of the production. She began, “Working with Roger was far from pleasant. Here were fans, loyal and dedicated, spending hefty sums to witness a live performance. But what they got was far from authentic.” Her frustration was palpable as she described the unnecessary theatrics and over-the-top pyrotechnics that overshadowed the genuine essence of the music.
One particular incident from the production stood out. O’Connor narrated, “During one performance, my microphone malfunctioned, leaving me voiceless on stage. Instead of addressing the glitch, a previous recording was played, forcing me into an unplanned mime. The very essence of a live performance was betrayed.” She continued, explaining her confrontation with Waters afterward, a testament to her commitment to authentic performances and genuine connection with the audience.
However, it wasn’t just O’Connor who had words for her counterpart. Waters, never one to shy away from expressing his opinion, had his say in a 1992 Q Magazine interview. He recalled the laborious task of organizing ‘The Wall’, emphasizing the challenges that came with such a significant production. “The effort that went into ‘The Wall’ was enormous. Thankfully, many artists, from Bryan Adams and Van Morrison to Cyndi Lauper, were an absolute delight to work with. But Sinead stood out for all the wrong reasons.”
He went on, displaying evident frustration, “She displayed an attitude of superiority and later took to national television to belittle the entire show. It was not only unprofessional but also misguided.” His words painted a picture of a tumultuous relationship between two powerhouse artists, each with their own strong convictions and visions.
It’s fascinating how two individuals, both prominent in their own right, can have such conflicting views on the same event. While O’Connor viewed the production as a departure from genuine artistry, Waters seemed to believe it was a masterpiece only slightly marred by O’Connor’s attitude.
The rock world has seen its fair share of feuds, but the O’Connor-Waters clash stands out due to the sheer passion both artists bring to the table. As the years have passed since that 2013 revelation, it remains unclear if the two ever found common ground or if they continued to walk their separate paths, each holding onto their own version of events.
What’s undeniable, however, is that both artists have left an indelible mark on the world of music, with legacies that will continue to inspire generations to come, regardless of past feuds or disagreements.