"If this concert is to celebrate anything, it's that the Berlin Wall coming dow can be seen as an liberating of the human spirit," Waters tells Q during rehearsals.So it is not in any sense a "Top that!" addressed to Dave Gilmour and Nick Mason, now legally established owners of his old band's name and, hence, proprietors of an fabulously successful Pink Floyd comeback in the late '80s?
"No it's not Top that! But it certainly will be most gratifying that a few more people in the world will understand that The Wall is 'my' work and always have been. There must be an element of that. Though after hearing them at Knebworth I don't think I should worry. They just haven't got the faintest idea of what any of it's about. But then they never did. Still most of the audience for this show will probably think it's Pink Floyd anyway. The attachment to the brand name is limpet-like. It's something I live with."
The 100-piece Soviet army band took no more than a word in the ear of the right chap. Four tanks, though, were just not on. Nor, finally, were the pair of WW2 bombers buzzing the site, proposed by Waters.
Even Cheshire had balked at that one. "He said, You can't do that" Waters recalls. "I said, "But that's what this is all about! Anyway, we had an argument. I think he felt bad about it because he still has things to deal with, knowing he'd been up there dropping bombs on the poor bastards."
The bomber proved unobtainable anyway but for Waters, other satisfactions were readily to hand. "When I came to listen to the album again after 10 years, I thought, Christ, I hope I like it still," he says. " Then I put it on in the car and it was, This isn't half bad. I'm extremely proud of it. I'm proud of the fact that I get letters from schoolteachers who use Another Brick as the basis of class discussion. And there's a book about psychotherapy in which the author mentions The Wall and says how extraordinary it is that an Englishman should write in this way. When I read that in an academic tome about child psychology I did feel a warm thrill that somebody had taken it so seriously.
I get letters about The Wall too - I'm not saying the mailbag's bursting with them - but from people it meant a lot to, helped them free their feelings. It's given comfort. So the pay-off from having expressed myself before my peers and torn down my wall, if only to limited extent, the pay-off is... good."
When the band reached NZ on "that" world tour, Dave and Nick and Rick were interviewed briefly for television. One of the questions asked was very similar to the above, along the lines of "How do you feel about performing without Roger Waters".
Dave's answer (paraphrased - this was some time ago):
"Well, we're only doing three songs that he sang on and I'm singing those, and bass players are ten-a-penny really."