By Simon Vozick-Levinson
Updated August 03, 2020 at 12:00 PM EDT
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Roger Waters‘ new viral marketing campaign is meant to generate buzz for his upcoming The Wall Live” tour. Instead, it’s getting some unwanted attention after one of his posters wound up pasted over part of the late Elliott Smith’s memorial mural on L.A.’s Sunset Boulevard yesterday. L.A. Weekly has pics: As you can see there, Waters’ street team stuck an image featuring an anti-war quotation from President Dwight D. Eisenhower directly on top of the beloved mural, which appeared on the cover of Smith’s Figure 8 and was unofficially dedicated with messages in the singer-songwriter’s memory after his tragic 2003 death. Smith’s fans were understandably less than thrilled.

Waters promptly apologized for what he called an innocent mistake. “It was absolutely an accident,” the Pink Floyd frontman told the L.A. Times today. “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.” A rep for Waters tells the Music Mix that the poster has already been removed.

Waters also told the Times that “It’s not like this was some pristine monument and Roger Waters is the Big Bad Wolf who covered it up.” As Pitchfork notes, that’s true enough — plenty of anonymous graffiti artists have left their marks on Smith’s unofficial memorial before Waters — but it’s still a somewhat snide and not altogether apologetic remark. What’s more, Waters confessed that he didn’t know Smith’s music before this brouhaha. (Guess he’s not a Good Will Hunting fan.) If nothing else, I hope this mini-scandal will inspire him to check out one of the two great Smith albums that were reissued last month.

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