“4 sleeps til Waters!!!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!!!!!”
-Robbie Greer, via text message, 16/05/11
First thing is first; follow this link to Roger Waters’ dot com and watch the flash video of Roger Waters The Wall, Special Appearance by David Gilmour, Live at the O2 London. If this does not make you burp an absurd giggle of laughter before running up the walls and doing back flips, then please don’t read on. Go away, get yourself a copy of Pink Floyd: The Wall, preferably on vinyl, lock yourself in a room and listen to the whole thing at least twice. Come back when you realise (as you bloody well better) that it is simply the best thing ever evar!
On a not unrelated note, guess what I’ll be doing this Friday. Need a clue? I’ll be in the MEN Arena. Tickets are sold out; as they also are on Saturday. We got our tickets almost a year ago, and at £85 they are the most expensive concert tickets I’ve ever bought. Nothing else could make me part with my money as quickly as Roger Waters: The Wall Live. There is no necessary thought process; it’s just a reaction. Discover Roger Waters is touring The Wall > buy ticket immediately regardless of the cost.
I was about 16 when I first heard The Wall. I had occasionally noticed this mysterious double LP in my dad’s collection; the plain white one with no text and minimal black lines indicating a drawing of a brick wall. I was at an age where I was starting to relax the natural childish hostility towards my parents music tastes. I seem to remember it was Christmas day. I asked my dad about the record. He said it was crap. He bought it when it came out and had only listened to it once or twice. I could have it if I wanted it.
I opened the gatefold sleeve and saw some dramatic and beautiful illustrations rendered in splattered inks of black, reds, yellows, etc. An obvious yes, I’ll take it! Up to my room I went (“I bungee jump into my grungy dump,” –MC Paul Barman), and possibly had one of those ol’ fashioned toke things on the Red Eye that I used to enjoy so much. Regardless of herbal aides I had an epiphany.
The first time listening to The Wall all the way through was entirely unforgettable; a feeling of utter awe that will stay with me for the rest of my life. This was the most complete work of art I had ever experienced in album form. At the time the nearest contender was Marilyn Manson’s masterpiece Anti-Christ Superstar, and even that couldn’t compete. The Wall was so perfect it angered me that my dad could dismiss it so. He had owned it for twenty years and never listened to it! Exclamation!
I rarely listen to all of The Wall now, simply because some of it is just too harrowing. For example the song Mother is so claustrophobic and stifling it drains all the life and optimism out of me in moments. It convinces me that I am trapped inside a smothering wall, a tomb of protective motherhood that prevents me from loving any other women. This is entirely untrue, but the narrative of Mother is so powerful it plays with the mind.
Besides the choking atmosphere of Mother there is a lot of dark stuff going on, fortunately most of it has a great beat, and all of it is risen to the stars by rocks greatest lyricist and its greatest guitar tone. This is Pink Floyd at its best, as dominated by Roger Waters and his insecurities and demons. David “don’t call me Dave” Gilmour does what he does best; play beautiful guitar better than anyone else in the world. I’ll shut up about The Wall now. Point is, I’m going to see it in four days, and I’m excited.