The Wall (The Album)

“Initially I had two images — of building a wall across the stage, and of the sado-masochistic relationship between audience and band, the idea of an audience being bombed and the ones being blown to pieces applauding the loudest because they’re the centre of action, even as victims. There is something macabre and a bit worrying about that relationship — that we will provide a PA system so loud that it can damage you and that you will fight to sit right in front of it so you can be damaged as much as possible — which is where the idea of Pink metamorphosed into a Nazi demagogue began to generate from. The theme of insanity has something to do with Syd, but with my own experiences as well. “When I was a child I had a fever, my hands felt just like two balloons” is about the indescribable feeling in my body during a high fever delirium where everything felt too big. On the couple of occasions in my life where I have felt myself approaching mental breakdown it has felt like delirium, so my connection with how Syd or other schizophrenics must feel is taken from both that childhood memory and the odd moments in my life of great personal stress when I have experienced the edges of that same feeling…”Roger Waters (745)
“[Two characters on the album (The Final Cut) come to mind – the man in the pub who laughs with his friends but is really hiding “behind petrified eyes” and the homecoming hero who can’t forget the dying words of the gunner crackling over the intercom. Presumably they are demoted soldiers – Ed]? Yeah. They’re both the same character. They’re both actually the teacher from ‘The Wall’. We learn a bit more of his past history – “When you’re to land on your feet/What do you do to make ends meet?/Teach.” So many of the teachers at the Cambridgeshire School for Boys, the school I went to, had gone into teaching after the war. They couldn’t think of anything else to do.”Roger Waters (746)
“[Was you father’s death the kick-off point for The Wall itself – Ed]? No, it wasn’t. It was working in stadiums in America, touring to promote Animals. We did lots of really big stadiums and I disliked it intensely because it became a social event rather than a more controlled and ordinary relationship between musicians and an audience. It became something other than that, which I didn’t like. The front sixty rows seemed to be screaming and shouting and rocking and swaying and not really listening to anything and those further back could see bugger all anyway. Then, when you are backstage, all you ever hear talked about is money. Maybe the general public are interested in how much money has been earned and who grossed what but I’m not. I would be if I needed the cash I suppose!! If you’ve got cash you need to use it to provide standards for yourself. At one show I was singing ‘Pigs On The Wing’, an acoustic number, and this kid was screaming and climbing up the front of the stage and to my eternal shame I spat at this kid because I was so angry. What happened? This thing that I aspired to has turned into this. Sitting in a room alone afterwards I was struck by the thought that there was a huge wall that you couldn’t see between me and the audience. Then I drew it and started to talk to people about it and they thought I was mad because my original idea was to start building a wall at the beginning of the show and when it’s finished they can’t see you or hear you any more and then the show is over. In Berlin there will be parts of the wall already built and then at the end it’s all knocked over at the end in a symbolic act of redemption and release and rejoining with one another. Then I started to think what this wall was and how I had developed it and I realised it was my wall, not theirs. Well, it was something that we shared but because I had thought of it it really had to be my wall so that is where my father came in.”Roger Waters (747)
“[Explaining the concept of the wall – Ed]. It started with a theatrical idea. We did a gig in ’77 in Montreal when we were touring ‘Animals’ and I was very disaffected by being in football stadiums with people who didn’t seem all that interested with what we were doing. I’m told, obviously I can’t remember this anymore, that I actually spat on somebody who was trying to get up on the stage. And disgusted as I was by my actions, I thought about it deeply and lost quite a lot of sleep. During that loss of sleep I thought, “what a great theatrical idea it would be to do a rock ’n’ roll concert and to physically build a wall across the front of the stage while the concert is going on,” just to demonstrate how much alienation there is potential for in that, and the record came after that theatrical idea.”Roger Waters (1138)

Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)

“We don’t need no education’ is a reaction to, and part of a lifelong fight against authority. Education of children is probably our most important responsibility, certainly if you want to live in a society where you have a political system that has anything to do with the needs and wishes of the people, and their happiness as well, it behoves us to provide ourselves with an educated electorate.”Roger Waters (1138)