ROGER WATERS "THE WALL LIVE" TOUR IN HOUSTON, 2010
I missed it. And I'm ok with that. At the last minute, got a call from a friend with an extra ticket. A really good extra ticket, right up front and everythang. But me and El Fisho Jr. were in the middle of having quite a day, and I mean, as much as I like Roger Waters and his concerts, music and especially his choice of bandmates that he plays with on tour, he can't measure up to El Fisho Jr.
So instead, tonight I'll watch my dvd of the 2000 IN THE FLESH tour, featuring one of my favorite Texas guitarslingers, Doyle Bramhall III. It's almost not fair to single out Doyle as outstanding on that tour, but he was. He sang and played the Gilmour parts with great respect and interpretation. Likewise, Snowy White and Andy Fairweather Low on guitars and Graham Broad on drums and a host of other great musicians were on that tour and there's a great CD of it as well.
I remember seeing Pink Floyd back in 1977 on the Animals tour in Houston at Jeppensen Stadium. Well, sorta I remember. I do recall the great music played by the Floyd that night, and I'll never forget the helium balloon animals floating around the stage.
I wasn't old enough to go see concerts when the Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon came around, and frankly I'm waiting for Mr. Waters to release a DVD of his 2007 Dark Side of the Moon tour, which like the Led Zeppelin reunion, was filmed but remains hidden from the fans like me who couldn't make the show but would pay real American dollars for a nice dvd with great sound. I've seen the boots on the web of the Led Zep show, and of course the sound disappoints.
Here's a note copied from the website of Mr. Waters, as to why he is performing THE WALL in it's entirety for this tour:
Why am I doing the Wall again now? I recently came across this quote of mine from 22 years ago: ” What it comes down to for me is this: Will the technologies of communication in our culture, serve to enlighten us and help us to understand one another better, or will they deceive us and keep us apart?”
I believe this is still a supremely relevant question and the jury is out. There is a lot of commercial clutter on the net, and a lot of propaganda, but I have a sense that just beneath the surface understanding is gaining ground. We just have to keep blogging, keep twittering, keep communicating, keep sharing ideas.
30 Years ago when I wrote The Wall I was a frightened young man. Well not that young, I was 36 years old.
It took me a long time to get over my fears. Anyway, in the intervening years it has occurred to me that maybe the story of my fear and loss with it’s concomitant inevitable residue of ridicule, shame and punishment, provides an allegory for broader concerns.: Nationalism, racism, sexism, religion, Whatever! All these issues and ‘isms are driven by the same fears that drove my young life.
This new production of The Wall is an attempt to draw some comparisons, to illuminate our current predicament, and is dedicated to all the innocent lost in the intervening years.
In some quarters, among the chattering classes, there exists a cynical view that human beings as a collective are incapable of developing more ‘humane’ ie, kinder, more generous, more cooperative, more empathetic relationships with one another.
In my view it is too early in our story to leap to such a conclusion, we are after all a very young species.
I believe we have at least a chance to aspire to something better than the dog eat dog ritual slaughter that is our current response to our institutionalized fear of
I feel it is my responsibility as an artist to express my, albeit guarded, optimism, and encourage others to do the same.
To quote the great man, ” You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”
My personal favorite, Snowy White, first appeared on the Animals Tour in 1977 as a second guitarist to help cover the guitar parts done in the studio by Gilmour. Since then, he's played with the band on tour and in the studio, and after the band broke up, seems to have remained friends with the remainder of the band and played with them as well as Roger on his tours.
On this tour, G.E. Smith is the big name that's got everyone excited. Folks tend to either love or hate G.E. and I'm one of those who thinks he is a great guitarist. I used to always make sure to pay attention when he was leading the Saturday Night Live band for the station breaks, when you could get a glimpse of G.E. blazing away on his guitar. I've got one of his solo albums, and he's a bluesman to his soul, who can also play some rock 'n roll.
Graham Broad is another favorite of mine. A great drummer, I've listened to the double CD of IN THE FLESH to grab his licks and his style as much as possible.
Here's the line-up of his touring band, per the wiki site above: