Many people admire the songwriting skills of Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell and wish to write like them. Roger Waters, on the other hand, had a different inspiration. He often expressed his admiration for his former bandmate, Syd Barrett, and his ability to create mesmerizing lyrical structures. Waters’ appreciation for Barrett’s talent was evident when asked whom he wished to write like.
After Syd Barrett’s departure, Roger Waters took over the songwriting duties for Pink Floyd and proved to be influential in penning some of the band’s most notable pieces. He also believed that some of his bandmates, such as David Gilmour and Rick Wright, tried to copy his songwriting style but failed. Gilmour had someone to envy as well but not for songwriting skills – he wished he could deliver guitar riffs like a particular guitar hero.
David Gilmour revealed in a 1985 interview with Guitar Classics that he admired Eddie Van Halen’s guitar playing and had attempted to emulate some of his techniques, but ultimately could not play like him. He attributed this to the different scales and techniques that Van Halen used, and suggested that he needed to spend more time practicing the guitar.
“I can’t play like Eddie Van Halen. I wish I could. I sat down to try some of those ideas, and I can’t do it. I don’t know if I could ever get any of that stuff together. Sometimes I think I should work at the guitar more. I play every day, but I don’t consciously practice scales or anything in particular.”
Gilmour admired Eddie Van Halen’s guitar skills and was envious of his ability to play technical riffs. He acknowledged that he could not play like Van Halen and regretted not spending more time practicing the guitar.