‘Unfettered by more middle-of-the-road colleagues’: Roger Waters on The Wall without Pink Floyd

Roger Waters’ relationship with The Wall, which begins a European stadium tour in July, has continued to change over the years — and, in no small way, because he’s presenting it without the other members of Pink Floyd.

“The shows are a lot more political now, as anyone who saw them over here (in America) will attest, than they were in 1979-80 — unfettered as I am by more middle-of-the-road colleagues,” Waters says, in a newly posted talk with the Huffington Post.

Waters admits that he’s played down the original concept, which focused on a rock star’s alienation from his audience, in favor of the project’s fervent anti-oppression subtext.

“I thought, when I decided to take this thing back on the road, at the behest of my beloved wife Laurie — who said, “if you’re going to do anything else, you’ve got to do The Wall — I was absolutely determined to bring it up to date and to make it more obviously and overtly political and humane than it had been. [I wanted] to look for those things, and to play down the story of the poor, miserable millionaire. (Laughs.) I thought, we’ll play that down and try to think about a) fallen loved ones, which has become a big, big part of the show, and b) make more general political comments about how we are oppressed by maligned authority — in general terms, everywhere, all over the world.”

His modern-day version of The Wall even includes a new song, “The Ballad of Jean Charles de Menezes.” The track, which focuses on a Brazilian who was wrongly accused in a London bombing scare, arrives in the song cycle just after “Another Brick in the Wall, Part II.”

Waters has done The Wall some 192 times as a solo venture already, performing before more than 3 million fans worldwide. His 2013 stops include Ireland, Croatia, England, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France, among others.

The Wall was the last official Pink Floyd release to feature the classic-era lineup of David Gilmour, Rick Wright, Nick Mason and Waters; they only ever played the show together 29 times. Their subsequent release The Final Cut didn’t include Wright, and then Waters sat out for both A Momentary Lapse of Reason and Divison Bell.


Something Else!

The Something Else! Reviews webzine, an accredited Google News affiliate, is syndicated through Bing News, Topix and AllAboutJazz.com. The site has been featured in The New York Times, NPR.com's A Blog Supreme, the NoDepression.com Americana site, Popdose.com and JazzTimes, while our writers have also been published by USA Today, Jazz.com, Rock.com, Blues Revue Magazine and UltimateClassicRock.com, among others. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.