Guitarist Recalls ’Hideous, Disaster’ Audition for Roger Waters, He Still Got the Gig

Dave Kilminster, guitar player for Roger Waters, looked back on his audition for the Pink Floyd bassist’s solo band. Talking to Guitar Interactive, Kilminster recalled how a few different things went wrong although he ended up getting the gig.

Recalling his beginnings in the band with Roger Waters, Dave said that it was initially supposed to be a 10-week run back in 2006 but he stayed with the band since (transcribed by Killer Guitar Rigs):

“I signed up for a 10-week tour in 2006. That’s what I signed up for. And I’m still here, which is amazing. I mean, he’s great. It’s obviously life-changing, stuff like this. I certainly wasn’t expecting to still be doing this.”

David Kilminster Solo - Another Brick in the Wall / Paoletti Guitars / Roger Waters 2023

When asked how he landed the audition, Dave replied:

“I heard that Roger Waters was looking for a guitarist. My manager told me he just received a phone call from Snowy White.”

However, even before landing the audition, Kilminster already stumbled upon the first issue — he didn’t know who Roger Waters was:

“Because Snowy used to use his rehearsal facilities. So my manager Martin, he was really excited. He came to me and said, ‘Roger Waters is looking for a guitarist.’ And I’m like, ‘Who’s that?'”

Dave Kilminster in Little Wing di Jimi Hendrix al Music Heaven Bologna (15/05/2010)

He added:

“I had no idea who Roger Waters was. No. I’m sorry. I obviously was aware of Pink Floyd. But I was never a huge Pink Floyd fan, I guess. I kind of missed them.”

“I was more into [Led] Zeppelin and Queen, Black Sabbath, and Pat Travers, and all these other guys. So Martin was obviously a little bit flabbergasted. And then he said something about ‘Comfortably Numb.'”

dave kilminster comfortably numb 6/7/17 san jose roger waters

But strangely for such a skilled guitar player, the only version of “Comfortably Numb” that he knew of wasn’t the Pink Floyd one:

“And, at that point, the only version of ‘Comfortably Numb’ I’d ever heard was [by] the Scissor Sisters. I thought, ‘Okay, it’s gonna be interesting. Yeah, I can do kind of disco.’ But then I kind of realized, obviously… [Laughs] It wasn’t going to be like that at all.”

Recalling how the audition came to be, Dave said:

“So I phoned them up. In fact, I didn’t even phone them up. Because Martin gave me the dates for the 10-week tour. And I said, ‘Well, I’ve got some dates with Keith Emerson, right in the middle, in America.’ So, you know, obviously, I can’t do it. And I didn’t think anything more of it.”

Dave Kilminster, Solo (Comfortably Numb)

“And then I think it was the next day or the day after I had an email from Keith’s manager to saying, ‘Really sorry, but we’re gonna have to cancel those shows in America.’ All right, that’s a sign.”

So after getting this “sign,” Dave then decided to take the chance and try out for this Roger Waters guy that he never even heard of:

“So I thought, ‘Okay, I’m, I have to go for this.’ I’m still not expecting to get it. I never expected to get it. But I just thought, you know, I was working on an album at the time, I thought maybe I’ll meet someone, maybe they’ll push my material, whatever.”

ROGER WATERS 'This Is Not A Drill' - 'Have A Cigar', Glasgow Hydro, 02/06/2023

Going over to the audition itself, Kilminster admits that it was a complete disaster on his end:

“So obviously, [I] went for the audition. Performed terribly. I mean, it was just hideous. I thought I was prepared. And I clearly wasn’t prepared. Because I didn’t know even about the history of the music. I mean, they said they wanted someone to play and sing like David Gilmuor.”

Although he did prepare the guitar parts, Dave said how Roger wanted him to sing as well. Unfortunately, he wasn’t prepared for that at all:

“So we’re just about to play ‘Money’ and I’m feeling quite confident because I’ve worked out all three guitar parts. So I went to Roger said, ‘Which part do you want me to do?’ I could do the reggae thing or just follow the bass line or do the thing with the tremolo.”

That Pedal Show – Dave Kilminster's Live Rig With Steven Wilson, 2016

“And he said, ‘I don’t mind. Are you alright on the lyrics?’ I’m like, ‘I’m supposed to sing this?’ Okay. So the first time I sung it, Roger Waters was [next to me], I’ve got the lyrics on a little stand and I’m playing the reggae thing and trying to sing this thing. Which isn’t difficult, but it’s something that is kind of nice if you go through it a couple of times. [Laughs] Just to get your head around it. So that was a bit of a disaster.”

But that wasn’t the end of it. Dave then recalled how he had the wrong guitar for the occasion:

“Then I realized, as I’m playing ‘Money,’ I had two guitars with me, two electrics, one had 21 frets, one had 22. You need 22 to play ‘Money’ for the high bends. And I had the wrong guitar. And so halfway through I’m like ‘I’m really sorry, can we stop?’ [Laughs] ‘Because I can’t play on this guitar.'”

Roger Waters - Money (Pink Floyd cover, Live in Munich, May 2023)

“And then we did ‘Wish You Were Here’ and the acoustic wasn’t working. And it was just a whole… It was a nightmare. Really — a complete disaster. I just felt like such an idiot. I was kicking myself.”

When asked “what turned that around” and why they decided for David to join the band, Kilminster simply said that he had no idea and added:

“They liked me. I think… I’ve heard from someone that was their tour promoter. He said, ‘You did this one solo, you just went for it and the whole room kind of went, ‘Whoa!” And I had no idea. I was just in my own private hell. But apparently, that’s what they loved. It might have been ‘Comfortably Numb,’ I have no idea.”

Photos: Eddie Berman (Dave Kilminster, May 11 2007), Kadellar (Roger Waters en el Palau Sant Jordi de Barcelona (The Wall Live) – 04 (crop))

  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor and brands like Sam Ash.