Roger Waters Tour Ad Defaces Elliott Smith Mural

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Elliott Smith / Photo by Tibor Bozi
WRITTEN BY
William Goodman

Roger Waters messed with the wrong wall.

To publicize his upcoming The Wall tour, in which the Pink Floyd mastermind will play his former band's 1979 rock opera to celebrate its 30th anniversary, Waters' label launched a guerilla marketing campaign, hiring street artists to cover hip locations in New York and Los Angeles with projections, wheat pastings, and chalk drawings of an anti-war quote from President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Ooops, it turns out one of those artists isn't an Elliott Smith fan.

The revered "Elliott Smith Memorial Wall" in L.A., which is immortalized on the cover of the singer/songwriter's Figure 8, has been tagged with the following quote from former president Dwight D. Eisenhower:

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

According to his label, Waters considers the quote "a call to arms to a new generation of fans, to not sit idly by and believe what is being told to them, but to constantly question, and find the answers they seek by breaking down walls."

The only thing Smith's fans are questioning is why, exactly, this was used to deface a memorial for their beloved singer/songwriter.

The L.A. Weekly has photos of the wall from Monday night, showing the quote covering a large section of the mural. And while the mural isn't exactly in great shape -- other street artists often tag the same wall -- Waters knows it was a mistake. So, he phoned up the L.A. Times to issue a public apology.

"It was absolutely an accident. 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." He added that he had not heard Smith's music and that, "it's not like this was some pristine monument and Roger Waters is the Big Bad Wolf who covered it up."

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