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Roger Waters, The Man Behind the Wall, Hitting the Road in 2017

Roger Waters of Pink Floyd and the muse behind Dave Thompson’s, Roger Waters:The Man Behind the Wall, will be hitting the road in Spring 2017 for a solo tour. This is perfect timing with the paperback release of Thompson’s book in the Spring


00333745fcTo some, Roger Waters is the face behind classic Pink Floyd. To others, he is the temperament behind some of the greatest albums of the rock era. And to others still, he is one of the most original songwriters of a generation that overflows with notable talent. To all, he is an enigma: a rock star who not only eschewed stardom but also spent much of his career railing against it.

Roger’s tour, Us + Them, was named after one of the songs he wrote for Pink Floyd’s 1973 album, Dark Side of the Moon.  The 40+ date tour will kick off in Kansas City on May 26th and wrap up in Vancouver on October 28th.

“We are going to take a new show on the road, the content is very secret,” Waters says. “It’ll be a mixture of stuff from my long career, stuff from my years with Pink Floyd, some new things. Probably 75 percent of it will be old material and 25 percent will be new, but it will be all connected by a general theme. It will be a cool show, I promise you. It’ll be spectacular like all my shows have been.”

-Roger Waters

Roger Waters: The Man Behind the Wall traces Waters’ life from war-torn suburbia to the multitude of wars he has fought since then – with his bandmates, with his audience, and most of all with himself. Packed with insight and exclusive interviews with friends and associates, Roger Waters: The Man Behind the Wall dismantles the wall brick by brick, revealing the man who built it in all his glory.

Just in time for the tour the book will be rereleased in paperback. Tickets for the tour are now available for presale.

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Learning to Fly

The following is an excerpt of Roger Waters: The Man Behind the Wall by Dave Thompson, as it’s posted on Total Music magazine. Visit their site for the full excerpt.

The Wall was Roger Waters’s first solo album.

He never told the band, such as it was, because there were times when it felt as though there wasn’t really a band left to tell. Pink Floyd’s last tour, shipping Animals across Europe and the United States, had ended fractiously to say the least, with a final night in Montreal, Canada, that saw guitarist David Gilmour absent the stage before the encore, keyboard player Richard Wright admit that the album was decidedly not one of his favorites, and drummer Nick Mason effectively sidelined from any part in the decision-making process whatsoever.

Waters himself was utterly conflicted, on the one side relishing the lifestyle that Pink Floyd’s success allowed him to live so lavishly, but on the other hand resenting the compromises that the success demanded from him—the kowtowing to the industry, to the expectations of the audience, and to his audience itself.

Maybe he regretted the flash point that had already become a legend of sorts, when he spat full in the face of one especially enthusiastic fan on that final night of the tour. But not as much as he regretted the accumulation of all the personal triggers that provoked him to do such a thing in the first place.

Neither did his bandmates seem at all put out by the absence of Pink Floyd from their lives. Gilmour and Wright were both working on and promoting solo albums that presumably allowed them to exorcise whatever musical demons had been caged by Waters’s increasingly firm hand on the Floydian tiller, and Mason was off producing the latest LP by Steve Hillage, Green, not to mention the second album by the Damned, one of the more ambitious bands hawked up by the British punk rock movement. Rumor insisted that the punks had actually asked their record label to procure them the services of Syd Barrett, Floyd’s long-since-absent founder-member. He was unavailable, so they were offered Mason instead.

Keep reading this excerpt on Total Music magazine’s website!

Roger Waters: The Man Behind the Wall is the first full biography of the author of The Dark Side of the MoonWish You Were Here, and, of course, The Wall. It traces his life from war-torn suburbia to the multitude of wars he has fought since then – with his bandmates, with his audience, and most of all with himself. Packed with insight and exclusive interviews with friends and associates, Roger Waters: The Man Behind the Wall dismantles the wall brick by brick, revealing the man who built it in all his glory.

Q & A with Dave Thompson

Dave Thompson

Dave Thompson


Dave Thompson
, author of Roger Waters: The Man Behind the Wall chats with Houston Press’ Bob Ruggiero. The following is a snippet of that interview. Please go to their site for the whole Q&A.

What made you decide to tackle a Roger Waters bio?

Mainly, the fact that there has never been one — and because his solo career (which has now lasted twice as long as the Floyd did) deserved it.

Of course it’s been mentioned in books about the band itself, but the waters are always muddied by the other band members’ presence (if you’ll excuse the pun). By concentrating the book on Waters alone, it gives the reader an unimpeded view of what has actually been a single, solid career arc.

To you, what is the lasting appeal — both musically and narratively — ofThe Wall to make it still so popular enough for Roger to do two world tours of it?

I really don’t have a clue; I’ve never liked it! But in simple terms, it was created as “an event,” it was staged as “an event,” and people like events. It’s a lot like when a classic movie or stage show is revived; people go along so they can say they were there.

There is more to it than that; The Wall does have an underlying message that a lot of people either agree with, or have placed their own interpretations upon. It’s almost become a political manifesto for the underdog, and there’s a lot of people who need that. Personally, I’d prefer him to be touring new music, but…well, that gives us something to look forward to.

Keep reading this interview on Houston Press’ website!

 

Roger Waters: The Man Behind the Wall is the first full biography of the author of The Dark Side of the MoonWish You Were Here, and, of course, The Wall. It traces his life from war-torn suburbia to the multitude of wars he has fought since then – with his bandmates, with his audience, and most of all with himself. Packed with insight and exclusive interviews with friends and associates, Roger Waters: The Man Behind the Wall dismantles the wall brick by brick, revealing the man who built it in all his glory.

Happy Birthday, Roger Waters!

Guest Blogger: An interview with Dave Thompson, author of Roger Waters: The Man Behind the Wall. Read on for some very informed opinions on Pink Floyd for Roger Waters’ 60th birthday, continued on Thompson’s blog

Now Thompson brings us Roger Waters: The Man Behind The Wall, and if you think it’s going to unspool as just one more book about Pink Floyd, think again….  Once past the opening couple of chapters, they scarcely even get mentioned again until halfway through the book. 

Q: You open the book with the making of The Wall, which I’m sure will confuse some people.  Tell us why you did that.

A: I wanted to get it out of the way.  Bloody thing.  I really didn’t like it when it came out and I’ve not really changed my mind since then.  I actually preferred The Final Cut when it came out  But it’s also the lead-in to the solo career, because it almost was his first solo album.  When it came time for Floyd to make a new album, Waters gave them two concepts, The Wall and The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking.  And they chose Pros and Cons.  They changed their minds a few weeks later, but that’s how close it came.

Also because too many books, and my own are among them, are obsessed with the music that an artist made first, charting the day-to-day doings of the sixties and seventies, then treating the rest of the career as an afterthought.  Which runs the risk of encourages readers to do the same thing.

Q: Well, for many acts, it is.   

A: Okay, that’s true.  Not many people would argue that Paul McCartney’s post-Wings career is anywhere near as enthralling as his days with the Beatles.  Or that Bowie in the Eighties and beyond tells a more intriguing story than the decade that preceded them.  A Rolling Stones book that analyzed the years since Undercover would be an even bigger drag than getting old.  There’s a reason why Keith Richards’ autobiography spends more time on his favorite recipes, than documenting the creative process of the 2000s.

Q: So how is Roger Waters different?  

A: Because… okay, he’s scarcely been prolific, but the music he’s made since he left Floyd has been a master class in maintaining both relevance and opinion, without once sidelining any of the reasons we consider those qualities to be of interest.  Again going back to why The Wall is important, in a lot of ways it was a sketchbook for concepts and imagery that he would return to and… it’s kind of like a demo for everything he would write about in the future.  Plus, if we go back to the 1980s, The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking and Radio K.A.O.S. were, and remain, the finest efforts released by any so-called veteran mainstream artist that whole dismal decade long.

Q: Tell us about the first time you heard Pink Floyd.

A: It was fall 1973, newly returned from the school summer holidays. One of my classmates was raving about an album he’d discovered while we were away. It was called The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd, and he was so mortified by my lack of interest that he insisted on playing the whole thing there and then.

Q: You weren’t impressed?

A: I was thirteen and I was into Glam Rock.  Bowie, Bolan, Slade… wham bam thank you slam.  Pink Floyd?  Horrible, hairy… not one of them knew one end of a tube of lipgloss from the other, and listening to their endless album, I didn’t believe they had time for me.  I remember suffering through the interminable “Us and Them,” and feeling it suck all the joy from the room.  “Money” was a dour disco plod at a time when “disco” translated into anything that might make people feel like doing anything so uncool as dancing and, by the time the stylus hit “Brain Damage,” I was so dispirited that I condemned it as a pompous rewrite of David Bowie’s “Laughing Gnome,” and left the room.

Q: At which point, Bowie himself made you change your mind

A: Yeah.  The rat.  Bowie was the bee’s knees at that time.  He was really only two albums into his reign of stardom, but he was already more than a simple pop star.  He was also an arbiter of taste and, in the fifteen months since “Starman” set the children boogie-ing (in an age when fifteen months actually meant something, and wasn’t simply a moment in time that flashed by in ten minutes), he’d already bent my ears towards a wealth of music that I knew I’d be listening to for years to come.   Jacques Brel, Iggy, Lou Reed and the Velvets… Bowie had never let me down, which is all a very convoluted way of introducing my next exposure to Pink Floyd, courtesy of the album he delivered just a few weeks after my encounter with Dark Side Of The Moon.

Keep reading here!

Roger Waters: The Man Behind The Wall

To some, he is the face behind classic Pink Floyd. To others, he is the temperament behind some of the greatest albums of the rock era. And to others still, he is one of the most original songwriters of a generation that overflows with notable talent. To all, he is an enigma: a rock star who not only eschewed stardom but also spent much of his career railing against it. But to call Roger Waters a mass of contradictions is simply taking the easy way out. He is so much more than that.

Roger Waters: The Man Behind the Wall is the first full biography of the author of The Dark Side of the MoonWish You Were Here, and, of course, The Wall. It traces his life from war-torn suburbia to the multitude of wars he has fought since then – with his bandmates, with his audience, and most of all with himself. Packed with insight and exclusive interviews with friends and associates, Roger Waters: The Man Behind the Wall dismantles the wall brick by brick, revealing the man who built it in all his glory.