Another brick in the Wall
“You’d have to talk to the people who portrayed me as a villain. We started a band when we were young men, and we did some really good work together, and we grew apart musically and philosophically. It started to unravel long before The Wall. We clung together under the safety of the trademark for many years. It finally became most uncomfortable, so I left.”
The Roger Waters version of Pink Floyd split up in 1985, although the band carried on until 1994, much to his chagrin.
In 2005, Pink Floyd reunited for Live 8 in London’s Hyde Park. In an age where so many established acts have worn out their welcome with relentless touring, the Pink Floyd reunion was the singular memorable event of that night.
Sitting in a pub in Waterford on a warm summer’s evening, it was instructive to watch the revellers ignoring act after act on a television in the corner. Not even Robbie Williams, The Who or Sting could disturb them from their Saturday night pints, but then Pink Floyd came on and the sound went up. Everybody watched.
The band members, who had not played together for 24 years, were immaculate, inspiring and reminded the world why they were once so huge. A fan held up a banner: “Pink Floyd reunion: pigs have flown”. It was an apt summation.
The reunion inevitably fuelled calls for more. Waters signalled his willingness to do more shows, but neither Gilmour nor keyboardist Rick Wright were interested. There were too many ghosts.
The questions ought to have stopped after Wright’s sad death from cancer in 2008, but they continue. Fans were given a tantalising glimpse of what might have been when Gilmour made a surprise appearance on The Wall tour at the O2 in London, in May 2011, to reprise his incomparable guitar playing on Comfortably Numb.
“No there’s no plan for more. I think David is basically retired now,” says Waters wistfully, as if retirement was the worst idea in the world.
“People develop attachments to these things. This is 27 years ago now. That is a long time for other people, fans, to be saying why don’t they get back together. Get used to it. There were reasons why we broke up, and they are just as valid now. We are never going to get back together again. It was over in 1985, and it is going to stay over. Forgive me if I don’t sound that interested.”
Roger Waters will play Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on September 18th. Tickets from €69.50 are on sale now
Wall to Wall matters
The original Wall tour in 1980 and 1981 was performed only 31 times. It was a logistical nightmare.
Roger Waters later played The Wall live in Berlin, shortly after the Berlin Wall came down.
The Wall tour 2010/2011 included two dates (out of 217) in Dublin. Waters was joined on stage one night by children from St Joseph’s co-ed school in East Wall for the chorus of Another Brick in the Wall, and by innercity Musical Youth Foundation on the other.
The Wall was the third most successful tour of last year taking in €140.5 million.