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Pink Floyd’s The Wall rises again in Berlin Print-ready version

by Gary Graff
Toronto Star
July 20, 1990
Original article: PDF

BERLIN - Roger Waters has learned that the quick after-thought can come back to haunt you.

Last year, the former Pink Floyd bassist and chief songwriter sat for an interview about the making of The Wall, the group's 1979 epic about isolation, disillusionment, conformism and fascism. Asked if he'd ever do the album in its entirety again, Waters said he doubted it. Then he paused.

"I said I might do it outdoors in Germany if they ever took the Berlin Wall down," he recalled recently.

They did, and he will. Tomorrow at Berlin's Potsdamer Platz, near the Brandenburg Gate, Waters will stage a massive production of The Wall that involved more than 600 people, including musicians, workers from East and West Germany, a Soviet military marching band and a full East German symphony orchestra and choir. Workers are constructing a 600-foot-long and 60-foot-wide wall that will be symbolically destroyed during the finale.

Guest stars for the event include musicians Joni Mitchell, Sinead O'Connor, Van Morrison and James Galway, and actors such as Tim Curry, Albert Finney and Jerry Hall. More than 180,000 people are expected to see the show in Berlin, with another billion watching via television hookups around the world. PolyGram Records plans to release an album from it on Aug. 21.

Waters' show will be a benefit for the organization that talked him into it: the Memorial Fund for Disaster Relief, an international charity founded by Leonard Cheshire that aims to raise $800 million (U.S.) during the next five years - $8 for every life lost in major wars during this century.

Once the Berlin Wall opened, the National Fund spent five months negotiating with both governments, as well as with military representatives of the United States, Britain, France and the Soviet Union. "It was an enormous coup by the people who did it," Waters said. "I make no claims of having been involved myself."

Waters said he's humbled by the relevance of The Wall to the recent events in Eastern Europe.

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