‘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.

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