Fishman Artist // Roger WatersRoger Waters grew up in Cambridge, England where he attended the same school as his future band mates, David Gilmour and Syd Barrett. In 1965, Barrett and Waters met an experimental percussionist Nick Mason and an extraordinarily gifted keyboardist, Rick Wright. The combination became Pink Floyd. For more than 40 years, Pink Floyd has moved from massive to almost mythic standing.
During the late sixties, it was Syd who did most of the song writing for the band. However, Roger did write the lyrics to “Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk” for the album Piper at the Gates of Dawn. When Syd Barrett’s mental health had led him to leave Pink Floyd, Roger Waters soon took hold of the band’s leadership. Since then, Roger Waters' lyrics and ideas went into the most successful Floyd albums such as Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Wall.
In 2010 Roger Waters brought “The Wall Live” on tour. Why “The Wall” now? Roger's own words…
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. I disagree.
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.”