Cover of The Wall
Why Pink Floyd? week culminates with my thoughts and observations about The Wall.
The Late Night with Jimmy Fallon’s Why Pink Floyd? Week ends tonight in spectacular fashion with Pearl Jam doing “Mother” from The Wall.
I find The Wall to be the creative apex of Pink Floyd’s collective musical genius. It also happens to be the split in the nuclei for Pink Floyd. The Wall is very much Roger Water’s baby, as it is his story.
The stress and strain on the band members during The Wall’s recording sessions are well documented. I won’t take the time here to get into the dynamics that took place. When The Wall collapses into rubble and the dust clears we witness a very different Pink Floyd standing in our midst.
I have always felt it was unfortunate that Richard Wright was forced to resign from the group by Roger Waters. I love his signature keyboard sound. He created a rich fullness with his textures of layered sound. In my estimation he took the Hammond B3 organ to amazing new heights. Of all the members of Pink Floyd I witnessed at The Dark Side of the Moon concert in 1973, Richard Wright organ playing etched himself the firmest in the my memories.
Much has been written and analyzed about The Wall. Certainly The Wall has taken on a life of it’s own over time. I am constantly intrigued by the dimensional variations The Wall has given us over the decades since it went on stream in 1979.
First as a limited series of live concerts in 1980 that created a major stir because a cardboard wall was constructed in front of the band, walling them in and then, being torn down at the end.
Next The Wall was turned into a film directed by Alan Parker and was released in 1982. The Wall broke new barriers with multimedia, as recorded film footage with actors was interspersed with wild animations from Gerald Scarfe (which we first saw on the double album cover art and as part of the live show). I a liken Scarfe’s graphic art to Ralph Steadman’s manic art.
The Wall was later performed and filmed in Berlin as a celebration for the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. Roger Waters engaged producer Tony Hollingsworth to create The Wall – Live in Berlin, at a location once occupied by part of the Berlin Wall. It featured such guest stars as Rick Danko, Levon Helm and Garth Hudson of The Band, The Hooters, Van Morrison,Sinéad O’Connor, Cyndi Lauper, Marianne Faithfull, Scorpions, Joni Mitchell, Paul Carrack, Thomas Dolby and Bryan Adams, along with actors Albert Finney, Jerry Hall,Tim Curry and Ute Lemper. This concert features my favorite collaborative edition of “Comfortably Numb” sung with a fierce passion by Van Morrison.
Roger Waters has been touring steadily with The Wall Live since 2010 . He brings The Wall Live to North America Stadiums (including Yankee Stadium) in the second quarter of 2012.
An effort was made to produce and bring The Wall to Broadway. The closest that came to realization was a two week off-Broadway production in Boston, Massachusetts in 1996.
The Why Pink Floyd? Immersion Box Set will become available on February 28, 2012. This will complete the Why Pink Floyd? product distribution campaign.