Sunday , July 21 2024

The Great White Wall

I am not particularly a fan of Pink Floyd’s The Wall – I see it as a rather tuneless and humorless exercise in introspective self-pity by Roger Waters that destroyed the band. It does, however, work rather better as a stage production. The ’90 Berlin performance is spectacular and the grandiloquence of the production is fitting for the time and place.

Ironically, one of the few memorable tunes from the CD, “Comfortably Numb,” was actually written by David Gilmour, as producer Bob Ezrin told me here:

    “Initially the album was to be written by Roger alone, but there were holes. I insisted that we go through Dave’s repertoire. At that point, there was tension between them, and I had to be the glue,” Ezrin says.

    “Dave played a bunch of demos, and after one – I don’t even remember what the lyric was – I said, ‘This must go on the album.’ Roger resisted, but demurred, wrote the lyrics, and that song became ‘Comfortably Numb.'”

    The contoversy surrounding the song continued. Waters and Ezrin felt that the orchestra was integral to the song and Gilmour did not. They fought about it until the last three days of mixing. Imagine “Numb” without the orchestra and you will know how good Ezrin’s ears are, as well as his powers of diplomacy.

Now The Wall is being turned into a Broadway show:

    Roger Waters, who co-founded Pink Floyd in 1965 and conceived the semi-autobiographical 1979 concept double album, will write the Broadway show’s book and arrange and orchestrate music for the stage production.

    The album, which includes such Pink Floyd hits as “Another Brick in the Wall,” “Comfortably Numb” and “Hey You,” follows the journey of disillusioned rock star Pink, who looks back at the experiences that forged his neuroses. Like Pink, Waters lost his father in World War II.

    Waters, who acrimoniously left Pink Floyd in the 1980s, sold the stage rights to the project to Miramax and Mottola, who runs his own Universal Music-based label, Casablanca Records.

    ….Pink Floyd’s theatrical live performances of “The Wall” became the stuff of rock legend, and an $8 million production was staged in Berlin in 1990, coinciding with the fall of the Berlin Wall.

    Said Waters of the planned Broadway show, “Now I can write in some laughs, notable by their absence in the movie.” [Hollywood Reporter]

“Notable by their absence” also from his life, as far as I can tell – perhaps with age has come some perspective.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted,, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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