Monday, September 22, 2008


A while back, a meme about 20th century musical events spilled over into NetNewMusic and Startling Moniker, where I mentioned the Pink Floyd concert at the Berlin Wall in 1989.  A kind correspondent traded me the VHS tape of the event for a couple of CDs, so let me correct my initial impression to point out that it is only Roger Waters, and no other members of Pink Floyd.  I saw Waters' Dark Side of the Moon tour a few years ago, which was elaborate, but nothing like this.

Like many of us who kept Dark Side of the Moon on the charts for 14 years (the longest of any album in history), I was a big Floyd fan and had several of their albums on vinyl.  But except for one song (Comfortably Numb), The Wall never appealed to me, and although I picked up The Final Cut, I really stopped listening to any post-Animals work.  The Wall was too depressing, too bound up in the overdosed rock star world, a sentiment that was confirmed by the Alan Parker movie.

But it's been years since I thought about any of this.  Watching the movie of the Berlin Wall concert, my initial reactions were the magnitude of the spectacle and the staggering implications of performing this piece in this place at this time.  The film's conclusion, the performance of The Tide is Turning (not part of the original album) with all of the guests on stage, was an overwhelming moment of hope, that something wonderful would happen with the dismantling of the Iron Curtain.   And yet, watching the movie now, not even two decades after the depicted events, possibly in the midst of another sea change as consequential as the Berlin Wall, it feels like the tide has indeed re-turned, back to the greed of the power brokers lining their own pockets while the rest of the country burns.  Plus ça change....

1 comment:

kraig grady said...

The Argentine people might be a good model to do when things fall apart