By Carol Anne Szel
Roger Waters, co-founder and prime songwriter of the classic revolutionary band Pink Floyd, is honoring the 30th anniversary of the original release of "The Wall" with an astronomical tour featuring a full band and state-of-the-art production of his tale of dissension and metamorphosis performed in its entirety.
Before this, "The Wall" has been performed live in its entirety by Waters just 31 times; including Pink Floyd's 1980-81 tour in support of the album.
Originally released in November 1979, "The Wall" was America's top-selling album of 1980, is one of the top-selling double albums of all time. "The Wall" was made into a metaphorical musical film, directed by Alan Parker with screenplay by Roger Waters, in 1982. One of the most profoundly influential albums in the history of recorded music, "The Wall" continues to influence the music world for generations.
In his own words from his website:
I recently came across this quote of mine from 22 years ago:
” What it comes down to for me is this: Will the technologies of communication in our culture, serve to enlighten us and help us to understand one another better, or will they deceive us and keep us apart?”
I believe this is still a supremely relevant question and the jury is out. There is a lot of commercial clutter on the net, and a lot of propaganda, but I have a sense that just beneath the surface understanding is gaining ground. We just have to keep blogging, keep twittering, keep communicating, keep sharing ideas.
30 Years ago when I wrote The Wall I was a frightened young man. Well not that young, I was 36 years old.
It took me a long time to get over my fears. Anyway, in the intervening years it has occurred to me that maybe the story of my fear and loss with it’s concomitant inevitable residue of ridicule, shame and punishment, provides an allegory for broader concerns.: Nationalism, racism, sexism, religion, Whatever! All these issues and ‘isms are driven by the same fears that drove my young life.
This new production of The Wall is an attempt to draw some comparisons, to illuminate our current predicament, and is dedicated to all the innocent lost in the intervening years.
In some quarters, among the chattering classes, there exists a cynical view that human beings as a collective are incapable of developing more ‘humane’ ie, kinder, more generous, more cooperative, more empathetic relationships with one another.
In my view it is too early in our story to leap to such a conclusion, we are after all a very young species.
I believe we have at least a chance to aspire to something better than the dog eat dog ritual slaughter that is our current response to our institutionalized fear of each other.
I feel it is my responsibility as an artist to express my, albeit guarded, optimism, and encourage others to do the same. To quote the great man, ” You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”
- Roger Waters, 2010