Dave Thompson – Roger Waters: The Man Behind the Wall
Dave Thompson is a well-respected rock journalist and author. He writes well, and his research places him high atop the mounds of Rock Scribes that have come and gone over the years. He is always creative, well studied, and he writes in a style that makes the reader comfortable… while wanting to read more. This time out he has taken on the musical story of one of the most reclusive Rock Gods in the world: Pink Floyd creative juggernaut and accomplished solo artist, Roger Waters.
The books begins with what Thompson calls Waters first solo album, The Wall. The book is split in two halves: The first begins with The Wall, an album Thompson clearly does not care for, and continuing on through his solo catalog, and then the recorded history of the Waters-era Pink Floyd. It is pretty cool that Waters ‘solo’ career comes first in the book…very clever. However, the fact that this man does not care for Waters grand masterpiece is a bit disturbing and makes Thompson wander too far into Rock Nerd status. He comes across a bit like the rock snob who would rather listen to a rare B side of pure Syd Barrett crapola than enjoy “Run Like Hell.” Okay, so be it, as his rock nerd-dom seems to help him as he seemingly knows everything that Waters and Floyd ever recorded, thought about recording, or started to record and then abandoned.
The first half of the book, the Waters years, is the best half. The second half is much more of the Floyd history with Waters thrown in for good measure. It is almost a Syd Barrett book in part two, initially. When Thompson gets to Animals, then it suddenly gets riveting again and stays that way until the end of the book.
This is a good read. Waters comes off as sort of a snob, though. One wonders if Roger were to ever bother to read this book, how he would think Thompson ‘got’ him. One bets Roger would think Thompson, as well as most Floyd fans, totally missed the point!
By Jeb Wright
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