A week after last year’s U.S. election, Barack Obama made a speech in which he lambasted nationalism “built around an ‘us’ and a ‘them.'” It was a phrase that resonated with Roger Waters, and not just because he’d co-written a song called “Us and Them” when he was in Pink Floyd.
“It’s because I agree with [Obama],” says Waters, who is working on a new album in a New York recording studio. “There is no ‘us’ and ‘them’; it’s an illusion. We are all human beings and we all have a responsibility to support one another and to discover ways of wresting the power from the very, very few people who control all the cash and all the property.”
That notion that we’re all in this together is one of the major themes the former Pink Floyd singer and bassist will highlight on his upcoming arena tour, also dubbed Us + Them, which kicks off a North American leg in May. He’s promised a spectacle worthy of following up his blockbuster The Wall tour for the trek, and it will feature a mix of older songs with a taste of some new songs, since the tour coincides with the release of a new Waters solo album, Is This the Life We Really Want?, which he says also addresses concepts similar to the tour.
The singer, age 73, says the tour and album fall in line with the sense of discontentment that he’d previewed when he posted video of himself performing the Animals track “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” in Mexico City last October in front of projections of Donald Trump juxtaposed with the word pendejo (“stupid”). “I was wanting to make a strong point of my disapproval of the Donald and everything that he stands for before the election,” he says. “Sadly, it didn’t seem to have quite enough effect. I wrote a long speech that I was gonna make at Desert Trip, but I didn’t because it would not have been good theater. I’ve still got that speech written, and I think I might post it at one point.”
Ever outspoken, Waters is ready to take his message of humanity on the road and play it before giant audiences, even if it alienates a few fans along the way. “Out of the 80,000 people at Desert Trip, I’m guessing maybe 1,000 got up in disgust and walked out of my performance – I don’t know for sure,” he says. “But there was a very small number people who were upset that I was lampooning the nincompoop.”
In a wide-ranging interview with Rolling Stone, Waters talks about the intersection of his musical and political views.
The West End basement bar where Pink Floyd got their big break will be recreated inside the V&A for a new blockbuster show dedicated to 50 years of the giants of rock.
Fans will enter the exhibition by climbing into the back of a replica of the beaten-up old Bedford van they toured in during their early days.
The story of their career, taking in multi-million-selling albums and spectacular concerts full of theatrical effects, will then unfold.
A section dedicated to the UFO club in Tottenham Court Road, where Pink Floyd be-came the unofficial house band 50 years ago, includes a psychedelic light show created by designer Peter Wynne Willson, who worked with the band at the time.
The show will open in May. Researchers, led by long-time Pink Floyd collaborator Aubrey “Po” Powell, spent more than two years hunting down memorabilia in the homes of band members including bass player Roger Waters. Some 350 exhibits include a painting by original lead singer Syd Barrett, guitars, album art, and clothes worn by the band when they were starting out and kept ever since by drummer Nick Mason.
Mr Powell said: “Nick was a collector from the early days. He had a very well organised archive and had shirts from the UFO days kept on hangers.
“We searched through their houses and barns and sheds. You would open up a box and there would be a Gerald Scarfe piece of animated film in pristine condition that’s been untouched for 30 or 40 years.”
One exhibit is a letter from the helicopter pilot hired to chase the giant inflatable pig, suspended above Battersea Power Station for the cover of 1977 album Animals, after it broke free and floated off towards Kent.
Another item is a cane used to punish some of the band members during their Cambridge school days which helped inspire the character of the Teacher in The Wall.
Mr Powell said: “The Teacher was taken directly from Roger’s teacher at school, who was a bully. We went back to the school and found they still had the cane that was used on them. I told Roger and he was over the moon about that.”
Waters and Mason were expected to make a rare public appearance together today to discuss the show — but Mr Powell said the trip down memory lane had not plastered over all the cracks in the band’s famously fractious relationships. “I would like to say ‘yes’ but no comment will be appropriate,” he said.
“This is about a band that have gone on for 50 years, made some of the most fantastic music ever, and judging by audiences at their solo shows are as popular as ever.”
The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains runs from May 13th to October 1st. Tickets are on sale now.
Due to overwhelming demand, eleven new dates* have been added to Roger Waters North American Us + Them tour, including a third show at Los Angeles’ Staples Center and a second at Denver’s Pepsi Center.
Listed Below Are The New / Extended Dates You can find ALL tour dates and information on the venues in our dedicated Tour Zone by Clicking Here
British label Network Releasing will bring to Blu-ray Peter Whitehead ‘s 1967 semi-documentary entitled “Tonite Let’s All Make Love In London” about the “swinging London” scene of the sixties. The film consists of a series of psychedelic performances and interviews and features live performance by Pink Floyd, together with footage of John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Mick Jagger, Vanessa Redgrave, Lee Marvin, Julie Christie, Allen Ginsberg, Eric Burdon, Michael Caine and many others attending one of the band’s concerts
The release will be available for purchase on May 1st.
Synopsis: Featured here as a brand new restoration, Peter Whitehead’s celebrated film probes the myth and the reality of “Swinging London” presenting an intimate, impressionistic collage of rare concert and studio performances, interviews with key figures from the worlds of music, art and cinema, and images of Sixties counterculture.
John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Mick Jagger, Vanessa Redgrave, Lee Marvin, Julie Christie, Allen Ginsberg, Edna O’Brien, David Hockney and Michael Caine are among those captured on film and in sound; bookended by a performance of Pink Floyd’s Interstellar Overdrive, the soundtrack features songs by the Rolling Stones and Eric Burdon. Made when many young people saw politicised hedonism as the logical response to global uncertainty, Whitehead’s “Pop Concerto for Film” taps into both the confidence and the confusion of an iconic moment in time.
Thanks go to forum member AphroditeMF for the heads up.
Roger Waters and Nick Mason made a rare public appearance together today at London’s Mayfair Hotel at a media briefing and Q&A session for The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains, due to open in May at London’s V&A museum.
Hosted by DJ Matt Everitt, the event started with a short description of the exhibition by co-curator Victoria Broackes, outlining the attention to detail that has gone into every aspect.
This was followed by a Question & Answer session with Matt and Pink Floyd’s Creative Director Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell of Hipgnosis, alongside Ray Winkler, CEO of the exhibition’s designers Stufish. Po spoke evocatively and warmly of his personal history with the members of Pink Floyd, and with Syd Barrett in particular, providing a creative and cultural overview of the ups, downs and importance of Pink Floyd’s career, while Ray Winkler touched on the design and architectural elements of Pink Floyd’s live staging.
Daniel Sennheiser, CEO of audio electronics company Sennheiser, then talked about the company’s involvement with Pink Floyd from their earliest years, and their shared commitment to audio excellence, which will manifest itself in 360-degree audio mixes played in a portion of the exhibition, as well as the headphone technology used to provide aural accompaniment to the exhibits.
Finally, Roger and Nick took to the stage to answer questions from Matt Everitt and some media in the audience. With thoughtful, and occasionally hilarious, answers, they covered topics such as playing specific concerts and Roger’s forthcoming album, to be entitled ‘Is This The Life We Really Want?’, while Nick admitted that he was probably the member of Pink Floyd most likely to have kept photos and memorabilia.
Both of them professed their admiration for the V&A curation team in unearthing interesting and meaningful objects, whether historic personal letters from the band or the actual cane used to beat Roger at Cambridgeshire High School For Boys, accompanied by the school’s ‘Punishment Book’ listing the beatings.
They both looked forward to viewing the exhibition in person, including passing through the entrance, a special reconstruction of the band’s Bedford CA van, into a world of Pink Floyd history, starting with psychedelia and progressing to the ambitious stagings of the later years.
The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains, presented by the V&A and Michael Cohl’s Iconic Entertainment Studios, runs from the 13th May till the 1st October 2017.
Tickets are on sale now: in person at the V&A; online at vam.ac.uk/pink-floyd or by calling (In the UK ) 0800 912 6961 (booking fee applies); or from ticketing partners Ticketmaster, LOVETheatre, See Tickets and Encore