When Roger Waters wrote Pink Floyd’s classic 1979 The Wall album, he looked introspectively to confront his own personal demons. But in the almost four decades since its release, the album has taken on additional meaning. In a recent interview with AFP, Waters described the opus as a symbol of “how detrimental building walls can be on a personal level, but also on broader levels.” In July 1990, Waters celebrated the fall of the Berlin Wall by performing the album in Germany.
Now – as Donald Trump prepares to build a wall along the US-Mexico border to keep out Latin American and other immigrants – Waters plans to protest the president’s xenophobia with another performance of The Wall.
Waters – who’s called out Trump in the past in his live shows – will perform at the US-Mexico border, because he believes that it is musicians’ duty to speak out. And with the current administration firmly in place, he sees many parallels between the US and Nazi Germany. He describes The Wall as “very relevant now with Mr. Trump and all of this talk of building walls and creating as much enmity as possible between races and religions.”
About a decade, Waters updated the album, adding in two songs that didn’t make the original cut – “What Shall We Do Now?” and “The Last Few Bricks.” In a 2010 letter to his fans, according to Guitar World, he explained why he decided to revive The Wall tour.
“It took me a long time to get over my fears,” he said. “It has occurred to me that maybe the story of my fear and loss with its concomitant inevitable residue of ridicule, shame, and punishment provides an allegory for broader concerns: nationalism, racism, sexism, religion, whatever! All these issues and ‘isms are driven by the same fears that drove my young life.”