This interview with Roger Waters was conducted with Rick Deyulio & others in mid April 1999. Our thanks go to Rick.
Today, I had the opportunity to speak with Roger Waters on a conference call with 4 other folks. By the way, Roger was calling from Barbados, where he’s rehearsing.
DJ#1: “What can you tell us about what we’re going to be in store for on this tour?”
Rog: …”it’s just a question of whittling it down, I’ll be doing stuff from the last 30 years of my writing…” <snip>
DJ#1: “any opening acts?”
Rog: “…no, there’ll be no opening acts, I’ve never done that, and I see no reason to start now.”
DJ#2: “what kinds of visual things can we expect, and will we see the pig anywhere?”
Rog: “you’ll definitely see the pig, whether it’ll be there in all its glory or just pictures of it…I’m trying to work a lot with projections, I’m using quad sound, which I always have done, but I’m working with still projections. I’m gonna work with panning? projectors which I used a bit in Berlin, you know there these very powerful projectors that you can light up the sides of skyscrapers with and we’ll be using them indoors, so it should be quite bright. I’m not carrying a circular screen or anything like that. I don’t like, I don’t want to use stage lighting, or very little. I’ve very much gone off the idea of lots of lights going on and off on stage. So many r’nr shows, you know, there’s vari lights whizzing around and all kinds of flickering going on all the time and I personally find that rather irritating, so I’m gonna use projections and spotlights and that’s it and the rest will be imagination and a few sound effects…”
DJ#2: “do you have a favorite era of songs that you like to perform live?”
Rog: “No. <snip> The question is, whittling it down. I mean, The Wall I could easily play the whole thing, but that’s 2 hours! So I can’t do the whole thing. I play a few songs from that and a few here and there. <snip> I wouldn’t want to come on and play 2 hours of just all the tunes that people recognize because that might not create the kind of atmosphere that I’d like to create.”
DJ#2: “I’ve got to ask a question that’s kind of obvious and I’m sure other people would like to ask the same question, but where is your relationship with the other members of Pink Floyd right now? I’m sure you’ve heard the millennium concert rumors and things like that, where does everything sit right about now?”
Rog: “I haven’t heard any millennium concert rumors, but I have heard rumors in the past, (laughs) um, it’s sort of…comfortably separate, thank you very much for asking.”
DJ#2: “I bet you’re very excited about the rerelease of the Wall…”
Rog: “you mean the Wall movie?”
Rog: “yeah, I actually sat in a hotel room with Gerald Scarfe and we watched it together and we did a kind of commentary on it and uh, so that will be on the DVD. And also, they were asking me if I could think of anything extra that we could put on and I remembered that, right at the end of making the movie, almost the last conversation that Alan Parker and I have had, we were talking about it and I said, ‘I don’t think reel 7 works and we should remove it.’ And he said ‘ok’ and that was Hey You. So that was never in the movie and what we’re going to do is tack it onto the end and anybody who buys the movie this time will get ‘Hey You.’ ”
MY TURN!: “Roger, this is a great honor for me to speak with you today, thanks for taking time out…”
Rog: “Not at all…”
ME: “Roger, first off, you mentioned ‘Hey You’ from the movie, and I had heard for the longest time that that piece of footage was lost, had you always had it on file or was it something that you just found?”
Rog: “No, nothing was thrown away, the movie is owned by a company I control, called Tin Blue? Limited and I sign a check every 3 months to Pinewood studios for storage for everything, you know, (laughs) what happened was James Guthrie, the engineer on the Wall and who did the soundtrack of the movie as well, is putting the sound together for the DVD and he came and recorded the sound for me and Gerald Scarfe in Paris and it was with him I had the conversation, I said ‘what about reel 7?’ and he went ‘what a great idea, I’m gonna go and look for it’ and he went to Pinewood, and there it was!”
ME: “Are you doing any fishing while you’re there in Barbados?”
Rog: “yes…” <snip> (He went fishing the night before) -I’ll snip the details of the fishing expedition. 🙂
ME: “When we actually see you here in Syracuse, will you be debuting any new material?”
Rog: “That’s a very good question, and I’m toying with the idea of doing 1 new song. I haven’t decided yet, whether to do it or not, I’m gonna try it out in rehearsal and see how it feels, yeah I think it would be good to do that…”
ME: “Actually, that brings up my next point, I’m also a member of the international RW fan club, which is Reg, and I had wondered if you actually keep tabs on that or any of the internet mailing lists like ‘Echoes…’ ”
Rog: “I haven’t checked out any of the internet, but I do get copies sent of Reg, so I am up-to-date on Reg, yeah.”
ME: “The Wall live in Berlin will go down as an historic performance, my question to you is, do you have any plans maybe for something like that for the millennium?”
Rog: “Well, it’s funny you should ask that, because I had thought that I might like to try and do the Wall again in the year 2000, having done it in 1980 and 1990 and, to which end, I was tentatively looking at trying to do it in New York, but it was just too difficult logistically to get it together, because I wanted to do it on Wall St., I thought that would be funny. (laughs) But it meant closing Wall St for about a week, and uh…ehm, I don’t think that the locals thought that was a particularly good idea, but, having said that, in Hamburg in Germany, <company name> or something have put up some money and there’s some people there who are building an electronic wall, which is 400 meters long and I think, 12 meters high or 18 meters high, it’s an enormous thing, and it’s made up of screens and it will be run from software through hard drives and as of now, I don’t think they have anything for it. So, a friend of mine, in fact, Jonathon Park, who is part of Fisher/Park and who has work on my shows over the years, is very involved in building this thing with them. They’re very interested in me doing a, kind of, virtual Wall performance and storing it on hard drive and so that could easily be a performance that could happen in the year 2000, which would be great, particularly for me, because I would be able to watch it for a change! (laughs) It would be stored on a hard drive, so I could go stand and watch it with Mike! (laughs)”
ME: “Since Marianne Faithfull worked with you on the Wall in Berlin, I read that you had recently given her an old PF song that you’d written and that she’ll be putting that on one of her new albums…”
Rog: “yeah, well…I wouldn’t call it an old PF song, it’s one of my songs, it had nothing to do with PF ever, I don’t think, it was a song that I wrote in 1968…” <snip> (Nothing new here)
DJ#4: “Why now, with the big tour, why would you want to go out without an album to promote?”
Rog: “Well, I did a show in ’92 with Don Henley for charity, for his Walden Woods Project, and John Fogerty did some, Neil Young did some tunes, I did some tunes and Don did some tunes, and it was a great evening…<clip>…and I just used Don’s band, I rehearsed with them for a couple of afternoons, we did 4 or 5 numbers and I LOVED it, you know, the audience were great, I thought there was a great vibe coming back from them…<snip>…and so from that moment on, I thought, ‘well I’ve got to do some more of this,’ and this year I developed plans with my family to spend the whole summer on the east coast, in Long Island, in fact. And I thought, well, maybe now’s the time to do it. I called up Frank Barsalona in Premiere and Barbara and said ‘what do you think?’ and ‘would this make sense?’ if I put a band together and did maybe 20 shows just on the East coast, all within reasonable striking distance of where I’m staying, so I called a few promoters and I got a very positive response, so I said ‘ok, let’s do it.’ And, if it’s successful, next year I might do the South and, maybe, the West coast, because I always love playing in the South too, you know? There’s some great music towns down there like Austin and Phoenix and I’d love to play the West coast, so if this works out, I might do some more next year.”
DJ#4: “Will you be doing stuff from ‘Meddle’ or ‘Piper?’ ”
Rog: “Well, I had to look at ‘Piper,’ and I’m only doing my songs and there’s only 2 on ‘Piper’ and one is ‘Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk’ and the other is ‘Corporal Clegg.’ (Note: Rog had probably lost track of what was on the first 2 albums!) I quite like ‘Corporal Clegg,’ but not enough for it to find a spot in the couple of hours or so that I’ll be doing. So, the answer is no, there won’t be anything off ‘Piper.’ Much as I like Syd’s songs, I don’t feel that it would be right.”
DJ#4: “Since you didn’t tour for ‘ATD,’ what are the chances of hearing something like ‘WGW?’
Rog: “Oh, well, we’ll definitely be doing that. I’d like to do so much from that album. I was listening to it and I thought, well I gotta do ‘WGW’ and I HAVE to do ‘Perfect Sense’ and I really want to do ‘Late Home Tonight,’ and I must do ‘Bravery of Being Out of Range’ (laughs) and I can’t not do ‘It’s A Miracle’ and I really want to do ‘ATD’ but obviously I can’t do it all, I mean, that record was 72 minutes long, but I will definitely be doing ‘WGW’ and a couple of other tunes from that album.”
DJ#4: “What can we expect as far as stage presence?”
Rog: “Well, the plan is to cover the stage, the background of the stage with a reflective gauze, so that there isn’t a screen and everything is a screen, you see what I mean?”
Next up, is a journalist. He asks about “Ca Ira” and Roger talks about it
for a while. He’s half-way through recording it now, and will overdub 2 choruses in Paris in June, one in French and one in English. It will be out early next year. They’ll do performances. The piece is 2 hrs and 30mins long. Roger does have some solo rock songs waiting to be recorded, and he’ll record them whenever he can get some studio time.
Journalist: “How difficult was it for you to turn over control of your material that you wrote, to your ex-bandmates?”
Rog: “Well, it was quite easy because it was taken out of my hands! (laughs) …by the law court. You know, English law is based on property and the name PF is a very valuable item. If I had wanted to take it for myself, I might’ve had some chance of achieving that, but what I wanted to do was retire it and I had no chance of achieving that, and that was something I learned about the law…there was no way that the English legal system was going to say ‘here’s this very valuable thing, nobody’s going to have it’ and so, the boys got it, and so be it…”
Journalist: “What about Syd Barrett, have you ever had any contact over the years?”
Rog: “I hear of him often, because my mother still lives in Cambridge, so I get news of him from her, but he leads a reasonably quiet existence. You know, he gets his royalty checks coming through, he has very, I think, simple needs. He’s still, I think, in and out of the local hospital, mostly out, but he is, quite seriously and severely schizophrenic and certainly the times I made contact with him, 20 years ago, were pretty uncomfortable for both of us and I don’t think there’s anything to be achieved from stirring up, you know, when he gets reminded of what was, I think he gets quite, kind of, stirred up and it’s quite upsetting for him…so, no I have no contact with him…except, of course, that I remember Syd with great fondness and it was very difficult for us when he became ill, and uh, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a bit of a tear in the eye when I’m performing SOYCD or WYWH, which are kind of songs for Syd that I wrote in the aftermath of his becoming ill.”
Journalist: “He has, unfortunately, become one of those real empathetic characters in r’nr history when you speak of the damage that can be done…”
Rog: “I don’t think you can blame r’nr for the damage done to Syd, I think it was inherent or genetic. You could probably blame LSD for enhancing it. It is certainly true that if you are potentially schizophrenic or liable to other mental illnesses or collections of symptoms that we give titles like that, doing a lot of LSD or doing ANY LSD or doing any dope of any kind is a very bad idea, and Syd did a lot, so it may be that he was helped down that road. I think he was always, I mean, the potential was always there for him to…you know, I’m sure that if Syd did LSD now, his symptoms would get a lot worse than they are.” Top
Roger Waters Radio Interview Friday, 30 April 1999 100.7 WZLX, Boston, Mass., USA Transcribed by Dave Ward email@example.com
Carter Allen: 100.7 WZLX, Boston’s only classic rock, and welcome to the Classic Cafe. You just heard some songs from our number one classic rock album of all time, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band from The Beatles. And it’s quite a day, quite an event for me here today because I’ve got a very special guest on the telephone. On August 4th, Roger Waters, who wrote most of the lyrics and much of the music to Pink Floyd’s albums, is coming for a rare concert appearance at the Tweeter Center. Tickets are going on sale this Sunday at one p.m. And I’ve got him on the phone right now, so let’s welcome to the airwaves of 100.7 WZLX, mister Roger Waters! Hi, Roger.
Roger Waters: Hi, Carter.
CA: How are you?
RW: How are you doing?
CA: I am fine.
RW: Good to hear from you again.
CA: It’s been a long time.
RW: It sure has.
CA: [chuckles] It’s been, like, seven years since Amused to Death.
CA: It’s gone very quickly. [pause] So you’re touring now?
CA: Why tour now?
RW: Well, I’m– Ever since ’92, in fact when I was doing Amused to Death, when I did a show in the Universal Ampitheatre in L.A. with Don Henley for the Walden Woods project. And it was a great evening. It was John Fogerty, Neil Young, me and Don, and we did a few numbers each. And I loved it. You know? It was just great. I came off stage and I thought, ‘Wow, I’d really like to do that again.’ Now, this summer I have plans to be with my family on the east coast for four months. And I thought, ‘Well, maybe this is the time to do it.’ So we put twenty dates in, in the months starting June the 22nd and finishing August the 22nd. And so I thought, ‘Okay, fine. I’m going for it.’
CA: You know, the last time you were out on the road, on Radio KAOS…?
CA: …Doing a full-blown tour, now, I remember you had your kids out on the tour, and they were getting tutored while they were on the road.
RW: Yeah, that’s right.
CA: Do how old are they now?
RW: My biggest one is 22, and my little one is 21.
CA: So what are they listening to? Do they listen to, like, your albums from years ago? Are they listening to harder–
RW: I think so, yeah. My son does, but, you know, he’s in bands himself. He’s a very good keyboard player as it happens. I had toyed with the idea of him playing some keyboards on this show, but I think he may be too involved in his own stuff.
CA: Does he have the sort of ‘denial mentality,’ Roger, like he doesn’t want to acknowledge his rock star father?
RW: I think he understands that it’s a double-edged sword, that it opens doors and it’s also a bit of baggage that it might be better not to carry. But having said that, it was tough on the rest of us who didn’t have famous father as well. It’s tough for anybody trying to break into rock ‘n’ roll.
CA: Roger, who’s going out with on your touring band this year, and are you going to have an elaborate stage set-up like on your Radio KAOS tour?
RW: No. Well, I have no plans to do that. It will be a less elaborate show because it’s a much shorter tour, and they’re mainly rather smaller venues. I’ve got some of the same players from that tour: Graham Broad, who was the drummer with Radio KAOS, is playing with me, and so is Andy Fairweather-Low. I’ve got a keyb– Jon Carin is playing keyboards, and a fairly new– I’ve got a youngish American guitar player called Doyle Bramhall, who played with Jimmy Ray Vaughn. So that’s basically the band. There might be one more keyboard player or one more guitar player. I’m kinda gonna wait until we get into rehearsals to see what we need. And it kinda depends upon the setlist that I come down with, which I’ve been working on for the last few weeks, trying to whittle it down, to make it a tolerable length.
CA: Roger, a lot of my listeners here at WZLX have been asking if you’ll be doing any Pink Floyd material at all on this tour.
RW: Absolutely, yeah. I’m going right back to the beginning, and I’m doing stuff from everything.
CA: You never got a chance to tour on Amused to Death, your last solo album. Are we actually gonna get a chance to hear some music from that solo album?
RW: No question! At the moment, my list of songs to do from Amused to Death, I think there’s five songs. Well, I won’t get to do them all because, you know, I’d pick three or four or five songs from all the albums that I’ve made or been involved with over the years. And if I did that, the show would be like five hours long, so–
CA: That’d be excellent! [Rog laughs] Let’s do it!
RW: Yeah, it’d be all that to you! I’ve got to *sing* the thing, you know! [Laughter all around] I’m fifty-five years old, give me a break! [More chuckles]
CA: Well, we’re talking with Roger Waters today on WZLX, and why don’t we listen to something from his first solo album, The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking, and Roger will be right back to do some more talking to you right here, 100.7 WZLX, Boston’s only classic rock.
[The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking plays]
CA: 100.7 WZLX, Boston’s only classic rock, and The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking here at WZLX. We’re talking to Roger Waters from Pink Floyd right now who is on the phone from Barbados. We haven’t heard from you in a while. What the heck have you been up to these last few years?
RW: I’ve been writing an opera for the last umpteen years. It’s going really, really well. I’ve recorded eighty minutes of excerpts, I’ve recorded all the orchestra, I’m recording the chorus parts in Paris between June the 8th and June the 21st. I think it’ll be out in the year 2000.
CA: Roger, do you have any plans on the books right now for a live performance of that work?
RW: There will be concert performances without any question. We’ve sort of talked to the people who, like at Tanglewood, and Chicago, and people at the Hollywood Bowl are very interested in putting on a concert… Now whether– when there will be a production of the opera, that would be years down the line because there’s so much money involved, and it takes so much time to put that kinda stuff together, that I think people would wait and see whether– you know, what the kind of reaction was to the music. Because in the light of what other people out of rock ‘n’ roll have done when they have ventured into classical music, I could understand people thinking, ‘Well, you know… [hesitant-sounding voice] Let’s just wait and see.’
CA: Did you find the transition from working on epic rock works like The Wall to classical music to be easy, or more difficult that you expected, or– how’d it go?
RW: I had to learn to work a computer. And with great help from a great friend of mine called Rick Wentworth in England who’s been working on the orchestrations with me, I had to learn a lot about orchestras and what instruments can play what, and how manuscript works and all that kinda thing, which I had a very, very sketchy knowledge of before. But, you know, the thing about dynamics and the expression of emotion is not really very different when you’re writing an opera or a symphony than it is if you’re writing The Wall. It still has to have a shape, and it has to have loud bits and quiet bits, and it has to be dynamic and it has to flow, and it has to, you know, all of that kind of stuff is what I’ve been working on naturally for the last thirty years anyway.
CA: Roger Waters, solo performer, classical composer, member of Pink Floyd. Why don’t we go back to The Wall album right now and then we’ll come back and chat with Roger Waters right here at 100.7 WZLX, Boston’s only classic rock.
[Another Brick in the Wall, part 2 (single edit) plays]
CA: 100.7 WZLX, the Classic Cafe. We have Roger Waters of Pink Floyd on the phone here with us. There’s been a lot of talk about healing the breach between you and Dave Gilmour to put you two back together in Pink Floyd. We’ve heard so much. Are any of the rumours or reports true?
RW: Oh, well, the only things that I’ve heard from them is that they wanted me to perform Dark Side of the Moon with them in London the last time they did a great big world tour, but I didn’t want to do that. And I think they kinda want me to pat them on the head and say, ‘Everything’s okay guys.’ [Rog chuckles] ‘You did good. And it’s all right.’ You know, I feel fine about what’s happened. It was kind of hard for a while, just realizing just how powerful the name was. But, you know, a lot of water’s gone under the bridge. I’m really enjoying my life, and I’m really happy doing the work I’m doing. I can’t imagine a ‘Hell Freezes Over’ tour, to be honest. [CA laughs] As far as I can see, it would still be allowing the numbers to rule. I can’t think of any reason for me going back and making a Pink Floyd record and doing a show or a tour or anything other than if I was to say, ‘Okay, you got me. I wanna be a big star, I want all of that, I want all of that weight that I disavowed when I left, and I want to re-embrace all of that stuff that I attacked when I wrote The Wall, I want to change all my philosophies,everything that I’ve said and that I feel about music and my own integrity and my politics and everything about my life, I reneg now, and let’s all go out and make a lot of money together.’ That’s not gonna happen. All of those things in my life are really important to me: the music is really important to me. The kind of magic that we had before we were successful is real important to me. That connection between the performer and the audience and the ideas in the songs — I want to be part of that. I don’t want a part of this ‘D’you know how much we’ve grossed?’ crap. I haven’t wanted that since 1977 when I said, ‘I don’t want that, and I never want to do that again.’ I still never want to do that again.
CA: Ah… I’ll take that as a ‘no.’ [chuckles] Do you have any desire after the opera’s finished that you might work on another rock-oriented project, a rock ‘n’ roll album?
RW: I’m very glad you asked that question! [raising his voice, excited] I’m booked into a studio in February 2000. It’s already happened! I’ve got an idea that I want to persue, I’ve written a bunch of stuff. I’m quite excited about it. And in order to make sure that I persue it, I’ve said, ‘Right, I’m gonna do it *that* month, I’m going into a studio and I’m gonna start work, or do a lot of work on a new album, because it’s something that I’ve wanted to do for some time. You know, I have never woken up one morning and said to myself, ‘I’ve gotta write something.’ It’s always much more passive with me than that; I get a kind of feeling that builds up in me– some feeling, some emotion builds up, and I know that there’s a song trying to get out. And I will then run to the piano or pick up a guitar or something and write down whatever it is that comes out of me. And a few things have started to pop out of me now. And enough things have started to pop out that I think there’s probably enough material to make another album. And it’s about personal responsibility. It’s funny enough — it’s kind of about what we were just talking about, about going back to Pink Floyd or not. In a way, going back to Pink Floyd would be accepting that I’m not autonomous as a human being, and then it would be about not understanding that the only change that we can make in the world is to change ourselves.
CA: Roger Waters, thanks for spending time with us today.
CA: We’ve enjoyed years of great music from you as a member of Pink Floyd from the beginning, and as a solo artist, and I’m really looking forward to your classical music debut. I’m looking forward to this opera. And of course we’re looking forward to your visit to Boston at the Tweeter Center on August 4th. Thanks so much for gettin’ on the air with us here at WZLX today.
RW: Thank you all.
CA: Take care, Rog.
RW: Yeah, cheers.
CA: Looking forward to seeing you up here in Boston.
RW: Yeah, okay.
[Young Lust plays. The operator says, “He hung up!” and then…]
CA: He hung up ‘cos the interview is over! 100.7 WZLX, Boston’s only classic rock. Here we are on the Classic Cafe. Roger Waters on the phone with us, and great to talk to him. Y’don’t get to talk to Roger very often, and see him very often, so that was very cool that he did call us. ‘Young Lust’ from The Wall, also ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ from The Wall and also a little bit of ‘Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking’ right here at 100.7 WZLX. Top
I am once again indebted to Dave Ward for the following transcription of this revealing interview with Roger.
Interview on Q101 FM Chicago
25 June 1999
Transcribed by Dave Ward <firstname.lastname@example.org> http://waterstour.cjb.net
Mancow Muller: host of the radio programme
Greg Cotton: Chicago Tribune/Rolling Stone correspondent
Jerry Michaelson: partner in Jam Productions, Chicago floyd/waters promoter
Barry [?? last name unknown ??]: President of the Central States Ticket
Brokers Association, associated with “Mr. B’s” ticket agency
Jim D. Regatas (sp?):
Roger Waters: some musician guy 😉
Thomas Frank: fan who contacted Waters about the ticket availability and pricing problems
Greg Cotton: “His tickets for his show July 24th flew out in about two minutes, is what I’m told. And people were waiting in line thinking they were in a great position in line for tickets at various TicketMaster outlets and next thing you know they’re second or third in line and they don’t have a ticket, or a chance to even pay these TicketMaster fees.”
Waters: “I have really one simple point to make, and that is that in certain markets in the United States, scalping is illegal, and I think it would be a very good thing if it was illegal in Chicago. And then this kind of situation wouldn’t arise. I’ve been brought into this because people write me letters explaining the situation, and it’s a problem when there’s huge profits being made by scalpers out of tickets that these kind of ordinary fans who can’t afford the prices they want to change don’t get to go see the show. And it pisses me off, big time.”
Waters: “I’ve had a number of ideas. The first thing that you do is you make selling on tickets to shows of say more than a 10% handling charge illegal, so people can be bust[ed] if they try to sell tickets at inflated prices. I’ve been told that the brokers who are advertising in the [Chicago] Tribune and the Sun are trying to sell front five row tickets for my show for up to $1500.00, on a ticket with a face value of $50.00.”
Waters: “Apparently it’s already been through your legistature once, it went up and was about to be made illegal, and it was presumably the scalping lobby was too powerful and it was overturned…. Maybe just a little more pressure from people like you, and people who are into the newspaper, maybe the newspapers who you’ve got represented there today shouldn’t carry the brokers’ adverts. Pressure, just pressure!”
Mancow: “Somebody got paid off… If you want a decent ticket, you have to go through these ticket brokers.”
Michaelson: “I looked in the Tribune this morning. There are twenty-four ads for ticket scalpers — they’re not brokers, they’re scalpers. They are *parasites* that *leech* off of people. They’re no different than a smack dealer or a crack dealer or Jerry Falwell or whoever else. They’re taking advantage of people. There were five ads this morning for Roger Waters tickets. Five, on Friday, and that’s ridiculous. And these guys cause us to do a lot of different things so that the people get harmed. And we have to put wristbands on people and numbers and, it’s all bullshit!”
Waters: “In New York City for example, scalping is illegal. So it means if somebody comes up to you on the street outside the theatre or puts an ad in the paper trying to sell a ticket at a hugely inflated price, they can be bust, and that’s how it should be.”
Barry: “Basically in the industry what we do is we buy tickets on the aftermarket. The problem with the Roger Waters show and the fans not getting the tickets isn’t necessarily that I was able to get 20 or 30 tickets by conventional means. The problem was that Roger Waters is *so* popular, and he’s playing such a small venue, and that if we do the mathematics — I mean, TicketMaster has 150 or 160 or more outlets that a person can buy tickets at, the venue hold 4000 or less.”
Waters: “When you’re standing in line then, what you are doing, because you are buying those tickets to sell on for a profit, is you are denying somebody who wants to go and see the show the opportunity of buying a ticket. Tickets should be sold to people with I.D.,and either you go and see the show or you don’t go and see the show. But to buy the tickets and sell them on at a profit I think is disgusting.”
Waters: “If you want to run the service for those people, that’s fine. Run the service at 10 or 15% for your trouble and sell on the tickets or whatever, or sell them to the other fans who are working in a *factory* or something — never mind the doctors and the lawyers! There are tons of people who can’t be necessarily standing in line, you know. I understand that.”
Waters arranged for two tickets for fan Thomas Frank who wrote to him about the problem.
Waters: “You know, we can’t take care of everybody because, for obvious reasons.”
Waters: “You should be selling $50 tickets for $55 or $60. Any more than that is clearly profiteering.”
Barry: “Ours [Waters tickets] start at $125 for seats in the balcony. The closest seat that we ever saw in our office was twenty-somethingth row on the floor.”
Waters: “Last time I toured was in 1987, and it was when my ex-colleagues were out on the road playing in football stadiums, and I was out there kind of scraping around. This guy that you’ve got there now, and a number of other people, came to my shows and I was bloody glad to see them there because,believe you me, there were no scalpers buying tickets to those shows because by and large they weren’t fully subscribed so there was no profit in it for people. And it just pisses me off that these loyal people who’ve been following my career can’t get all the tickets to the shows because people are making huge profits out of the tickets. Because for some reason or another, God knows why,suddenly people wanna come and see me perform.”
Waters: “Why not just make scalping illegal? It’s illegal in New York. Why can’t it be illegal in Chicago?”
Michaelson: “The problem is people are apathetic thinking that they can’t make this work, they’ll never defeat the scalpers. But if we get someone like you, Mancow, who can get on the air and get something going positive to stop these guys and get laws passed that would outlaw what they do and, like Roger said, put a 10% comission on it, that’s it. [To Barry] But don’t sit there and try and justify what you do as being helpful to anybody. You’re ripping people off, and other people can’t get ’em. But Mancow, if you make this a cause, you can make this work. It was passed, and then it was reversed in the next session. Go to the sporting events, go to the concerts, go to the plays and look who’s sitting in the front rows. It’s the politicians.”
Cotton: “I think it’s all great that everybody’s concerned about this issue, but you know, you brought up Eddie Vedder doing this same sort of thing three or four years ago. You know he was out there [?with a saw?] and everybody was sitting there on the ground saying, ‘Start hacking away, Eddie. You know, nice try but we’re not going to follow you out on that limb.’ So it seems to me that this has been attempted before and there was a lot of apathy; the artists didn’t back him up, the fans didn’t scream for him to win his battle. All they screamed about was ‘Why can’t I see Pearl Jam? Why isn’t Pearl Jam touring?'”
Michaelson: “Eddy Vedder’s situation was against the TicketMaster service charge, not the brokers. That’s what we’re discussing here. You can’t confuse the two. Charging a five dollar service charge versus marking something up 50 to 100 to 200 to 300% is the issue here.”
Barry: “What we have here is a commodity in one respect that entertainment is a commodity. People are going to pay for it, whether they pay Jerry’s price of $50 or whether they pay $100 or $1000, it’s ‘What is it really worth to the person?’ Let’s take another look: What if it were a Beanie Baby that were worth $6 when it was issued but we got people out there paying $500, or a rare coin when it’s issued from the mint it’s $20 and you have people that twenty years later,it’s rare, there aren’t many, and they want it so they’re gonna pay $1000 or $2000 for it. It’s America. This is what it’s about.”
Waters: “It’s not illegal for the free market to take it’s course with a coin or a painting. I doubt very much that there have been moves to outlaw the collecting of comics or — I have no problem with that, with people paying a lot of money for a rare coin or a comic, or anything else that they might want to collect. The two are not the same thing, and whoever was suggesting that it is is full of shit, if you’ll excuse me. That’s not right — it’s a different thing. This is me, Roger Waters, putting on a concert, doing a deal with a promoter, we work the finances of it out and we do it in such a way because I don’t want to rip people off. I want it to be a fair deal where I can afford my band and cover my expenses and people come to the show and we have a good evening….”
On a reunion:
Waters: “It’s not going to happen. I can understand people wanting it to happen because these things always look different from the outside than they do from the inside. People have a lot of nostalgia for those old days when we were a band, and we did some great work together, and I have a lot of respect for the work that they did then and what we did together, it was great, but we grew in our different ways and parted, and we’re very different people. We don’t have a great deal in common. And so to work together would not be a good idea. There would only be one motivation for getting together and that would be money. And that’s — I’m not starving. I don’t need the money, so I would feel that would be a retrograde step. I’ve felt kind of that our situation together was in some ways crushed beneath the weight of our own success anyways, and the money and the numbers and the amount of people and the huge audiences, it started to become more important than the more fundamental things of expressing ideas and communicating with people and so on and so forth. And so I have no hankering at all to throw myself back into that arena… To quote the old song, ‘It could be turned into a monster if we all pull together as a team.’ Well we did, and it did.”
Waters: “He’s still living in Cambridge, he’s still schitzophrenic, he still goes up and down. He’s pretty down most of the time. He lives on his own. But he survives. I haven’t seen him for umpteen years but when he does get contact with those days, with the late 60s, I’ve heard that it’s unsettling, the doesn’t like it, it doesn’t make him happy either.”
On the upcoming concerts:
Waters: “What you won’t see is the lighting tracks. We’re gonna do the show with no overhead lighting. I’ve become disenchanted with all that hanging lots of lights in the sky and flicking them on and off rather irritatingly.”