When Roger Waters Finally Found Happiness on Tour
Guitarist Snowy White recalled Roger Waters’ happiness as his 1999 comeback tour ballooned into a three-year extravaganza and the large-scale success he’d always hoped for as a solo artist.
White’s first interaction with Waters came when he signed up as a touring member of Pink Floyd in 1976. He was also part of the The Wall road trip in 1980 and had taken part in Waters’ one-off live version of the production a decade later, but by the time he called White in 1999, he hadn’t toured in 12 years.
“Roger phoned me up and he said, ‘I’m only doing this little tour, just three weeks,'” White told Rolling Stone in a new interview. “I agreed to do it since it seemed like a nice chance to get out to America and do some shows. I thought it would just be three weeks, but that short tour turned into 13 years.”
He noted "that was so funny … we were flying commercial airlines at first. I can see this picture in my head of Roger sitting in the waiting area at the airport, not looking very happy at all. He used to book two seats so he had an empty seat next to him. And then I remember the promoter talking to Roger: ‘We sold this out, I think we better move it to the bigger place.’ It got bigger and bigger.
“And then four days later, we got this little private jet. Then about another four days later, we got a bigger one. Then it just kept going. Roger got the bit between his teeth and realized this could be exactly what he’s always wanted. He was totally in control of the band and music. He didn’t have to deal with the Pink Floyd thing or anything. He was happy. He was part of the band. It was a band feel. It felt really good.”
White – who's also played with Thin Lizzy – admitted he didn't fully enjoy his previous experiences with Pink Floyd, mostly because he’d rather have been playing blues in a small club than performing someone else’s music in a stadium. But, he recalled of his 21st-century stint with Waters, “The first few tours were really good … Roger was great. He treated the band really well, and it got bigger and bigger. We were top-flight stuff. You can’t get really higher than how we were traveling and where we were playing.”