When I was in college I got pretty into Pink Floyd through the movie “The Wall.” During some late nights, a little blurry in the eyes and head, it spoke to me on a deep, emotional level and I “understood it.”
This week I had a chance to attend an intimate lunch with Roger Waters, thanks to Rolling Stone. He explained the themes of: loss, rebellion, truth, coming of age, economics and politics. And that “The Wall” was in part inspired by the death of his dad during the war, when Roger was just a young boy. No wonder I could relate, as my Mom died when I was just a young boy.
Roger shared how during the songwriting process he needs to “empty his conscience mind to allow space for ideas… be passive to allow something to bust out.” This is hard to do in our wired, always-on world. I can attest to this, as I sit here on my phone blogging. But I did find it in the Himalayas and from time to time in my daily life now, when I give myself the space.
I found Roger to be a bit self-congratulating and aggressive in his criticism of the US government. He did however recognize the Beatles for “Giving all the rest of us permission to express ourselves.”
I asked the last question of the day. “What advice would you give the Roger of 35 years ago, when you wrote ‘The Wall’?” Roger gave himself the silent “space” to ponder but only came back with, “I think I did OK.” He indeed did better than OK but it would have been nice to hear some self reflection of what he’d learned on his amazing Path.