Roger Waters is apparently going to be touring behind his 30-year-old album, The Wall, later this year, because there’s nothing everyone likes as much as watching your grandpa tell tales of political exclusion. To promote the tour, Waters’ street team (I guess promoters would be more accurate) have been painting an Eisenhower quote about peace all over walls in major metropolitan areas. But they chose the wrong wall in L.A. recently: They painted over the Elliott Smith memorial wall, a section of concrete that Smith’s fans have been using as a makeshift memorial since his death (it’s also the wall from the Figure 8 cover).
Smith fans were justifiably pissed that their grandpa could have done something like this, prompting Waters to issue this statement:
“It was absolutely an accident,” Waters said. “I didn’t want to disrespect Elliott Smith’s fans, and I’ve instructed (the team) to remove the wheat paste immediately. It was a random pasting in the normal course of this, and I want to make it public that we had no intent to offend or cover up something precious.”
Waters, who said he was unfamiliar with Smith’s work until this incident, said the national wheat-paste campaign is being coordinated from his New York offices and that the street art team based there didn’t know the wall’s importance to L.A. music fans. […] “That’s why I was so incensed when I read that article that said I paid someone to disrespect Elliott Smith,” Waters said. “I admit I didn’t know his music, but I’ve talked to people who do and it’s clear he was a young man who felt deeply, and any empathetic person wouldn’t have an issue with publicizing that quote.” “I would guess, and this is only a guess,” he said, “but it’s my guess that he would have been sympathetic to that message.”
What an asshole, am I right? I mean, yeah, okay, maybe Elliott Smith may have been cool with it, but the dude IS DEAD. REAL DEAD. So saying that he’d like your co-opting of a Eisenhower quote for the purposes of promoting a tour you’re doing of an album that is 30-years-old is NOT COOL, Roger Waters. It’d be like saying I’m sure Syd Barrett would approve of us painting over his headstone for this Doritos ad because he liked eating when he was alive. [L.A. Times]