Saturday, July 29, 2017
Roger Waters-The Man behind the Wall by Dave Thompson. (Backbeat Books 2017)
Dave Thompson is an internationally known music writer, having written books on James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Jackson Browne, Kurt Cobain, Judas Priest, Cream, Deep Purple and many more. He has written stuff for Cleopatra records, Goldmine, Rolling Stone and many others.
The book does not take a birth to now approach and skips around here and there for the first half of the book and then takes you from 1967-1977, talking about the development of all the Pink Floyd records, movie soundtracks (both published and aborted), solo records, etc.. There is a lot of indepth info about all the demos and early song titles that we used and almost always changed for the early records. It was interesting that the band up until 1975, used to work out all their songs in the live setting before making the studio albums. This was destroyed by the success of a bootleg called Winter Tour 74 that sold very well and had most of the material that would eventually make up Animals.
A lot of great info about the Wall, the making of Roger’s solo albums, his taking control of Pink Floyd to force his works upon a group that was not really happy about it. The author is both critical and sympathetic to Roger. It is quite clear that Pink Floyd was no longer a group by the later 70s and Roger was basically forcing the band to make his solo works and not leaving any room for them to all create music together, which is a pity, as that is when they made the best music. I learned quite a lot of new interesting information.
The book is very well researched but the author did not approach Roger Waters, who is still very much alive and well. I always wonder why they don’t contact the person they are writing a book about. It would allow you to answer a lot of the questions that the author speculates about in the text. Anyway, Roger is a difficult personality and probably would be very unhappy about this book and contents.
This book was originally published in 2013 in hardcover. IT has not been updated for the 2017 paperback version, which is a pity as Roger has finally released another solo record. Anyway, this is a very interesting book and I learned a lot about the man, the music and Pink Floyd.