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Thursday, February 16, 2017
Forbes: Pink Floyd Previews London Show, Talks Glastonbury Rumor, Donald Trump, Mexico And 'The Wall'
Pink Floyd Previews London Show, Talks Glastonbury Rumor, Donald Trump, Mexico And 'The Wall'
Pink Floyd band members Nick Mason (L) and Roger Waters (R) pose for photographers following a press conference in central London on February 16, 2017. (BEN STANSALL/ AFP/ Getty Images)
Pink Floyd today announced plans for a blockbuster touring show, starting in London. It also addressed rumors of a future performance at the Glastonbury Festival and questions about the relevance of its album The Wall with President Donald Trump’s plans build a wall on the Mexican border.
The comments came during a rare joint appearance by singer-songwriter-bassist Roger Waters, and drummer Nick Mason.
The “Their Mortal Remains” exhibition, running at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum from May 13 through Oct. 1, will feature stage sets, instruments, rare photos, unseen videos and much more from throughout the U.K. band’s 50-year career, during which time it has sold more than 250 million albums, 75 million in the U.S. alone.
In news conference questions, the two musicians were asked if there was any possibility of the group reuniting to play a concert on the Mexican border.
Mason said he had no idea, but joked that he had been sent a picture of Donald Trump captioned “We are going to build a wall and Pink Floyd is going to pay for it.”
Waters said he had been often asked if he would stage The Wall in future, having stopped his solo performances of the concept album a couple of years ago. “I have always said I would do it again… if they ever figure out what to do with Israel and Palestine and get rid of that appalling security boundary there.” He would certainly consider it if world conflicts were resolved “and there is no ‘Us and Them’ and we are all human beings… then as an act of celebration of a move towards a more humane way of organizing ourselves I would be only too happy to put a concert on in some place that is significant geographically and if that happened to the border between the United States and Mexico, then yes absolutely. But, first of all, the sewers are clogging with the greed of powerful men… I am quite sure that if President Trump comes to this country [Britain] there will be enormous demonstrations, the biggest ever seen.”
Waters said he only finished the vocals for his new solo studio album the day before yesterday and it is being mixed now. It will be followed by an international tour, Us & Them.
The duo was asked about the world’s biggest greenfield festival, Glastonbury, where veteran organizer Michael Eavis had been quoted previously as saying he would like Pink Floyd to play. The festival takes periodic fallow years, with one expected in 2018, and is set to move to a new venue in 2019.
Mason said, “I think it would be nice to add to the list of things – we have never played Glastonbury. It would be fun to do it, yes. But I don’t think it is very likely.”
Waters replied, “I did Glastonbury once – it was very cold! But there were a lot of people and it seems very jolly and I liked it. Yes, I would do it again. I am on the road during 2018, so if Glastonbury came up I would look at it and say yes or no.”
(All of which is not a flat “no” anyway.)
Would guitarist David Gilmour get on board?
Mason said that Gilmour had announced his retirement – then unretired. Waters noted that the reunion question is “so dull.” It has been coming up ever since the 1980s, and there was a brief reunion for the Live 8 concert in 2005. Waters and Gilmour joined for another show at London’s 02 in 2011.
Like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd members face constant questions about the likelihood of reuniting. Led Zep’s Robert Plant has denied reports that he rejected $800 million for a reunion. Some promoters could see a figure of that amount for Pink Floyd, given the potential for income – surely more than The Wall Live Tour, with extra for a movie.
Pink Floyd’s early leader, Syd Barrett, left in 1969 and died in 2006; keyboard player Rick Wright died in 2008. Gilmour and Mason turned leftover material into The Endless River in 2014, with statements saying that album was the last of the band. Waters quit in 1985 for a long solo career.
The songwriting of Waters was the backbone of some of the bestselling albums of all time: The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall. Still, some tracks were a group effort with Gilmour’s guitar and vocals to the fore. During today’s news conference it was stated that Dark Side still sells 10,000 copies a week.
Floyd’s earnings capacity was boosted in 2011 and 2012 with remastered editions, compilations and box sets. Most recently, its 27-disc box set of early recordings was priced $699.98 in 2016. The Early Yearson Legacy has more than 12 hours of audio and 15 hours of video, including 20 unreleased songs such as 1967’s “Vegetable Man” and “In the Beechwoods.” Individual volumes of much of the material are now following.
The Pink Floyd exhibition follows the record-breaking David Bowie Is show at the V&A. The Rolling Stonesalso gathered material for another huge touring show, Exhibitionism.
Among the Pink Floyd objects going on show: the school book that says Waters was caned for fighting; a letter from Gilmour telling his mother he was joining a band called Pink Floyd but she need not worry; a photo of John Lydon of the Sex Pistols sporting a “I hate Pink Floyd” tee-shirt; a Sennheiser recreation of “Comfortably Numb” and much more.