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“The Wall is a crowning achievement technically, lyrically and musically; it’s one of the things that I’ve most proud of having been involved with. Everybody was firing on all cylinders and was at the peak of their conditioning and talents. The end product shows that generations are still discovering the album, which for me is one of the most gratifying things about it. I really consider it to be a work of art.
“Roger’s fiancée, Caroline, had worked with me in London. We had hired her to be our rep for some of the things I was doing – Lou Reed, Alice Cooper – so when Roger started to noodle with the idea of bringing a producer into the project to work with the band, she said that he ought to talk to me about it. A side note: When I first started working with Alice Cooper in 1970, they were into British art rock and listening to things I’d never heard of – T. Red and Pink Floyd. They played me my first Pink Floyd, and I fell totally in love and became a monster fan.
“Actually, this story goes before then: When Pink Floyd were in Canada on the Animals tour, Caroline had called me to say hi, and I invited them over to the house for a barbecue. Roger couldn’t come because he was soundchecking, but Caroline invited me to the gig, and she said that we would all ride out to the show together. I was in the limo with them, and Roger said something about wanting to build a wall between the band and the audience. I think I said, ‘Wow, that’s a great idea, Roger.’
“So later, after Caroline had mentioned me to Roger and he felt comfortable with the idea, he sent [manager] Steve O’Rourke to New York to talk to me about it. Steve asked me if I would go out to the country to Roger’s house to listen to demos. I did so, and we listened to two projects, one of which became The Pros And Cons Of Hitchhiking and the other was The Wall. At this point, Roger wasn’t sure which one he should do. I believe everyone was unanimous in picking The Wall as the one to work on. I certainly was. While they were both great, that's the one that touched me the most.
“Working with Roger musically and conceptually was always incredibly stimulating. Sometimes it was difficult, but it was also exciting and thrilling and very challenging. There were so many things going on. There was never a moment where Roger and I looked at just a verse of a song; it was always part of something bigger.
“With Roger, it was like working on a theatrical production; with the other guys, it was like working with a rock band. They were all great. Nick [Mason] was a delight to be with, really smart and funny. Rick Wright was a gentle, sweet man, but at the time he was feeling very self-conscious about his relationship with Roger. I felt sorry for him on certain levels during that time, and I sometimes had to stand up for him. He wasn’t a fighter; he was always more of a passive guy.
“And David… working with him is always a stone musical thrill. He’s one of the greatest players of all time. He does it in a very understated and un-self-conscious way. Sometimes you would think he has no idea how great what he just played is. He just knocks it off and has some tea, and you’re standing there going, ‘Oh, my God... I just heard the best thing in my entire life.’
“Like the solo on Comfortably Numb. That was one take – and not only one take, the first take! The first time he ever played it, that’s what came out. We tried 100 times to make it better, but we never could. The first time I heard it, I said, ‘That’s the best solo I’ve ever heard.’ David said, ‘No, no, I can do better.’ He kept trying until he finally gave up, and he realized that we had the best one.”