November 10, 2014 by Benji
I got involved in a strange discussion last weekend and feel the need to discuss the issue. I was involved in an event on Sept 27th at the Majestic Theater in Detroit, where the Echoes of Pink Floyd, the Midwest’s premier Pink Floyd tribute band, played as a fundraiser for a Trust benefiting a young man with Autism. One of my friends whom I had invited to the show didn’t come, and he didn’t want to be “associated with a band that is anti-Israel, perhaps anti-Semitic too,” referring to Roger Waters past statements about Israel. I’ve seen other rumblings on social media from friends who are struggling about whether to buy the Pink Floyd album, The Endless River, which was released on Nov. 7th.
So let’s address this whole notion that Pink Floyd is anti-Semitic, as I’ve heard a number of Jewish people complain about this, and about Eddie Vedder, and about Salma Hayek and other celebrities who don’t support Israel’s position in the Middle East. I have a few thoughts.
- Who cares what a musician thinks about international politics? Roger Waters, Eddie Vedder and Salma Hayek have as much credibility to discuss this issue as Paris Hilton does to discuss advances in Physics.
- There are some celebrities who do have something to offer in the world of conversation of international politics. But let’s not forget that Roger Waters in not one of them! He has spilled more drugs on the floor in drunken stupors than most people can in 10 lifetimes. Is it possible his brain is not all there?
- Pink Floyd didn’t say anything anti-Israel. Roger Waters did…YEARS after he was kicked out of Pink Floyd.
- I have spent countless dollars buying albums, shirts, posters and other Pink Floyd stuff. I love the band, love the music. It shaped the way I thought and felt most of my life. That said, I can’t expect to agree with every position they have. But I shouldn’t have to agree in order to appreciate their music! Is Cat Stevens’s music not still beautiful even though he converted to Islam? Are Top Gun and Braveheart not still great movies even though Tom Cruise and Mel Gibson have gone off the deep end?
- Jews need to get over themselves. Not everyone believes what we believe. Not everyone supports Israel. It’s OK for Roger Waters to disagree with your political views without you making him out to be a terrible person.
- Jews boycotting Pink Floyd for what Roger Waters says is as silly as Roger Waters boycotting-Israel for what Yasser Arafat said in the ’80s!
In summation, Pink Floyd is awesome, they always were, and always will be. Roger Waters is so anti-establishment and pro-underdog that he roots for the underdog even when they are wrong, but that doesn’t change the fact that Pink Floyd is awesome.