As founding member, lyricist, and principal composer of Pink Floyd during the band’s most influential and creative period, Roger Waters has achieved global success and global renown.
He makes his feature film directorial debut with ROGER WATERS THE WALL, which revisits and reimagines what is arguably the most ambitious of his projects with Pink Floyd.
Waters co-founded Pink Floyd in the mid-1960s with his friend and schoolmate Syd Barrett. They quickly gained a following on the strength of singles such as “Arnold Layne” and “See Emily Play.” Playing its part in the cultural upheaval of the era, Pink Floyd was at the forefront of the psychedelia movement and became one of the most influential groups of its kind. Barrett’s career was tragically cut short by illness, resulting in his departure from Pink Floyd in 1968. Waters became the band’s primary songwriter, shaping its sonic direction with the release of albums including “A Saucerful of Secrets” and “Ummagumma.” There were also soundtracks for two films by Barbet Schroeder, MORE and THE VALLEY (OBSCURED BY CLOUDS), and song contributions for Michelangelo Antonioni’s ZABRISKIE POINT.
Under Waters’ guidance, Pink Floyd made a series of best-selling albums during the 1970s, the most successful and iconic of which was 1973’s “The Dark Side of the Moon.” One of the earliest and most important concept albums, it has spoken to successive generations of listeners, selling in excess of 50 million copies to date. It has logged over 40 years (and counting) on Billboard album charts, including 15 consecutive years on the Top 200. “The Dark Side of the Moon” was followed by the hugely successful “Wish You Were Here,” “Animals,” and “The Wall.” Released as a double album on November 30, 1979, “The Wall” combined elements of Waters’ personal history with a broader look at self-imposed barriers and alienation. Waters conceived “The Wall” as an album, a show, and a film, and it achieved huge success in all three incarnations. The album had a two-year run at the top of the album charts, and by 1999 had sold over 23 million RIAA certified units in the U.S. The third element of the series, PINK FLOYD THE WALL, written by Waters, directed by Alan Parker, with animation by Gerald Scarfe, and starring Bob Geldof, premiered at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival and has since become a cult classic.
In July 1990, Waters mounted a charity performance of “The Wall” before 350,000 people in Potsdammer Platz in Berlin to celebrate the collapse of the very real concrete wall, which for so long had divided the city and Germany. A live album and television documentary, “The Wall: Live in Berlin,” were released in August 1990.
In 1985 Waters left Pink Floyd to pursue a solo career. There followed “The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking,” “Radio Kaos,” and “Amused to Death.” Waters toured “The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking” in 1985, with Eric Clapton on lead guitar; and “Radio Kaos” in 1987. In 1999 Waters took to the road again in North America with his “In the Flesh” tour; critical and popular success led to a worldwide extension of the tour, culminating in the release of a live album and DVD.
Waters briefly reunited with Pink Floyd for an acclaimed performance at the Live 8 concert in London’s Hyde Park in July 2005. That same year saw the completion, CD/DVD release and premiere of his opera Ça Ira, with two recitals in Rome. The work, written in the 19th Century orchestral tradition, depicts the events of the early part of the French Revolution.
From 2006-2008 Waters toured the globe with “The Dark Side of the Moon Live,” including an appearance at Giants Stadium for Live Earth.
In late 2009, he began to contemplate a new staging of “The Wall” that would take advantage of the immense technological changes of the past three decades. “The Wall Live” played a total 219 dates to 41.1 million people worldwide from 2010-2013; it grossed $460 million and was the most successful tour ever by a solo artist.
Waters produced, co-directed and co-wrote ROGER WATERS THE WALL, which was shot during “The Wall Live” tour of 2010-2013. The film has its world premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.