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Home arrow Interviews arrow Roger Waters interviews arrow May 8th 2005 - New York Post
May 8th 2005 - New York Post Print E-mail
Written by Matt   
Tuesday, 05 September 2006

Published in the New York Post online edition. Interview by Jamie Schram, NY Post.

Q: Whose idea was it to bring "The Wall" to Broadway?

A: Well, I was approached by Harvey Weinstein and Tommy Mottola last summer. So I went and had a meeting with them in New York. I had been toying with the idea for a number of years. I think Harvey had been wanting to get into Broadway production for some time. I think they'd been investing in Broadway shows for some time. Harvey is a music guy. I believe his original background is in radio in Albany. He comes from a rock'n'roll background.

Q: What is "The Wall" about?

A: It's about a sort of self-imposed alienation. It's about being too frightened to open up to other people. It's about how fear alienates us from our fellow man. It's largely autobiographical. On the record and in the movie, I have borrowed from other people's lives. There's a bit of Syd Barrett in there. I don't remember throwing a TV out of a window (as in the film). That's something out of Led Zeppelin.

Q: After the success of the movie and the album, why did you decide to take "The Wall" to Broadway?

A: My motivation is primarily that both the record and film, proud of them as I am, well, they have depth. They endure. There are no laughs anywhere. There are not many jokes. Humour is a very important part of my life. I think it's a part of the central character in the film, Pink. There will be a lot more humour in the Broadway version.

Q: What are the differences between the play and the film?

A: I don't think the play will be anything like the film. A situation where you have live music is quite different from sitting in a cinema. I have been writing episodically. I have been trying to get some humour off my chest. I have been talking with Adrian Noble to direct. He was a director of the Royal Shakespeare. He directed "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" in London. Another person involved is a young English writer, Lee Hall. Lee is helping me write. He has written a lot for radio in England. He has written a number of plays.

Q: Who are going to be the actors?

A: I haven't the faintest idea. I haven't even begun to think of casting. The first thing is to get down the story.

Q: What songs are you going to perform?

A: Well, I would think most of the songs off "The Wall". And some of the other songs: "Money" and "Have A Cigar".

Q: Are you going to play any of your early songs like those featured in (the 1972 concert film) "Pink Floyd Live At Pompeii"?

A: I kind of doubt it. If you were watching, there is a little scene where Adrian Maben, the director, asked me, "What is the music about?" I'm really stoned. I'm just looking at him for a long time. I said, "What do you mean about?" I take a drag from my cigarette. I am refusing to be interviewed. It's sort of weird humour. That's the guy (Pink) I want people to see in the theatre - sort of a strange Englishness about the character. It's a sort of particular English humour.

Q: When is the play going to open, and at what theatre?

A: No idea. We are just trying to find the heart and soul of the story. The music we know is powerful. That's a given. I will really want to make the audience laugh.

Q: Are you trying to take the story in another direction?

A: I don't think we're trying to take "The Wall into a total different direction. I think we're trying to illuminate another side of Pink's personality. He was kind of hard to empathize with in the movie. And if you can't empathize with him, he can't help you to understand life.

Q: Are there going to be any special effects?

A: I would think it would be extremely unlikely that there won't be. And when you are permanent in the theater, it gives you time to get it right. I am really excited about that - to stay in one place and to get the lighting and the special effects really perfect.

Q: How do you think the production is going to turn out?

A: I'm trying not to think about it. You get into a whole bunch of questions. First of all, we need to see it in black and white on the page. We are right in the middle of doing the work right now. Maybe about halfway there. Yeah, some of it makes me laugh.

Q: Can you tell me something about the material?

A: No, I don't want to give away anything.

Q: Are you nervous about the production?

A: Of course I am. Yeah, of course I am nervous. It's a conundrum. There are a lot of very, very difficult questions that need to be answered whether people are going to see it or not. We can't just reproduce what people already know. It would be dull. That would just be a purely commercial venture. But to give it new life by bringing humour to it will make it more palatable for the theatre. I think the message - what "The Wall" is saying to us - is still important to us 20 years later.

Q: Are any of your former bandmates contributing to the project?

A: No, they are not.

Q: Are you in touch with any of your former bandmates?

A: I had dinner with Nick (Mason) recently. He was in New York doing a book signing. We've rekindled our friendship. I'm very happy about that. I never see Dave (Gilmour) or Rick (Wright). We have very little in common.

Q: Are you going to be living in New York during production of "The Wall"?

A: I will be spending a lot of time in Manhatten. I already spent a lot of time there.

Copyright 2005 New York Post, and included here purely for archiving and educational purposes.

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