Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters: Master of Spectacle

pink floyd

If there’s one thing in particular that Pink Floyd is known for — even more than its work on the frontiers of prog rock or its mastery of the album as a cohesive artistic statement — it’s putting on one hell of a show. Trippy colours and lights and animation. A plane soaring over the arena before exploding in a fiery crash. A giant inflatable pig hovering above the audience. A vast wall, built up of large white bricks, rising gradually on the stage until it obscures the band entirely.

But one of the outstanding moments in the band’s history was a moment of avant-garde anti-spectacle — an appearance at the Royal Festival Hall in 1969 during which, for one number, the band built a table on stage with a saw, hammer and nails.

“In a rhythmic way,” emphasises Roger Waters­, the bassist turned driving force of Pink Floyd at the band’s peak. At 74, Waters readily admits that his memories of the earliest days of pre-fame Pink Floyd can be hazy, but he recalls this show distinctly and with more than a little amusement.

“When we finished that number,” he goes on, “we sat around it having a cup of tea and listening to the radio. That appealed to my sense of the absurd. I liked that a lot. You could say that in a way we were doing Marcel Duchamp.”

It was also a display of cosy harmony between four young men whose discord and infighting would eventually tear the band apart.

Read the full story at The Australian.


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