GENE SIMMONS Calls ROGER WATERS 'A Well-Meaning Guy' Who Is 'Inflamed' And 'Angry About The Political Situation'
June 9, 2023
During a new appearance on "Piers Morgan Uncensored" on TalkTV, KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons was asked to weigh in on criticism over Roger Waters's concerts last month in Berlin during which the former PINK FLOYD leader displayed Nazi-like symbolism and made what some people have described as offensive comments about Holocaust victim Anne Frank.
During the shows at Mercedes Benz Arena, Waters appeared on stage as the character Pink from the rock opera "The Wall" during a performance of the song "In The Flesh", wearing a black leather trench coat with a red armband bearing two crossed hammers instead of a swastika.
It was later reported that Waters was under investigation for possible incitement by German police, in addition to possibly having committed trademark abuse for the use of Frank's name without the consent of the Anne Frank Foundation, which has trademarked the name.
Waters projected Frank's name on a giant screen during the shows, along with several other names of contemporary figures including George Floyd and Shireen Abu Akleh.
Speaking to "Piers Morgan Uncensored", Simmons, who is Jewish, said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Well, first of all, [Roger Waters is] a very talented guy. He's written some of the most wonderful music, along with [the rest of PINK] FLOYD many, many decades [ago]. And it's obviously held up, and he's got lots of fans.
"There is something to be said for keeping your political and other beliefs off the stage. His choice is to use the stage as a platform to further his point of view. There is a difference between a political statement about Israel and about anti-Semitism. By the way, anti-Semitism also involves Arabs; the definition of a Semite includes the Arab world.
"I think he's a well-meaning guy," Simmons continued. "I don't agree with his point of views, of course… I think he is, from my point of view, inflamed, angry about the political situation — as we all are."
Addressing specifically Waters's pro-Palestine activism, Gene said: "The best way to have a discussion or even an argument is find common ground. And then get into the diversions of what you think. So what we agree with — and I'm Israeli and Jewish. My mother was in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany and so on and so forth. I'm not saying this to get your heart pumping… We agree there absolutely should be an Arab state, Palestine — no question about it. It should exist side by side with Israel. There should be free flow of information and commerce and so on. Okay, so it doesn't exist now. Let's work together to try to make it happen. So what's the problem?"
Waters has been an active member of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against the state of Israel for more than a decade, and has routinely called for a total cultural boycott in Israel, urging artists to not perform in the region. He has also called out other artists for holding concerts in the Israeli capital, including RADIOHEAD frontman Thom Yorke.
Waters wrote the majority of the music and was responsible for all of the conceptual elements and lyrics for PINK FLOYD's most successful albums.
PINK FLOYD recorded some of the most popular music of the 1970s, including the albums "Dark Side Of The Moon" (1973),"Wish You Were Here" (1975),"Animals" (1977) and "The Wall" (1979).
Since his departure from PINK FLOYD in 1985, Waters has been involved in a legal dispute with former bandmates, guitarists and vocalist David Gilmour and drummer Nick Mason, about the use of the band's name.
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