The Making Of Pink Floyd The Wall

Pink Floyd have always been sort of a tightly wound organization, but things have loosened up since the famous Live 8 reunion in 2005. In fact, the following year, all four members were out and about, playing Pink Floyd music. Many feel that the death of Syd Barrett that year helped rekindle the relationship.

Founding bassist and chief lyricist Roger Waters hit the road, playing The Dark Side Of The Moon around the world, with drummer Nick Mason sitting in for a handful of shows. Meanwhile, guitarist David Gilmour toured in support of On An Island, his first solo album in over 20 years, and invited keyboardist Rick Wright along for the ride. If you were lucky enough to see both, it was like seeing Pink Floyd in all its glory, albeit two different versions.

Wright passed away in 2008, bringing Waters, Gilmour and Mason even closer. Waters and Gilmour played a benefit for the Hoping Foundation together, with the stipulation that the guitarist would join the bassist at one of his shows celebrating the 30th anniversary of The Wall. Just another sign of thawing tensions.

In the midst of these mini reunions, animator Gerald Scarfe, the man as responsible as Waters for the enduring success of The Wall, has gathered together the three surviving band members and Alan Parker (who directed the 1982 film adaptation), along with his own personal photos and sketches, for a book called The Making Of Pink Floyd The Wall.

This book is as much about the visuals as it is the commentary from Scarfe throughout, along with insights from Mason, Gilmour, Waters and Parker. We learn how and when Scarfe got involved with the band (supposedly at Mason’s urging); how he made films shown at the group’s concerts on a huge round backdrop; his development of the Wish You Were Here tour program; his designing the inflatable pig for Animals; and how he basically became the band’s official animator. Scarfe also mentions that things were not always so serious in the Pink Floyd camp — that at one time, everyone did get along... more or less. He claims good times with Waters, even during the making of The Wall.

It’s during the making of the movie that the good-natured Scarfe shows some bristles. The powerful egos of Parker, Waters and even Scarfe himself, made for some tumultuous times. That doesn’t stop Parker and Waters from saying on how Scarfe’s ideas and vision really went into making the film come together. Although it was basically Waters’ story, and there was a lot of infighting and clashes, Scarfe’s contributions cannot be denied. So many years later, all parties involved have nothing but great admiration and praise for one another.

The book also includes some amazing photos from 1980-81 The Wall shows, as well as animation cels and rough sketches. There’s even a section about how things are now, after The Wall. As a whole, The Making Of Pink Floyd The Wall is an honest and visually stunning book every Pink Floyd fan will cherish.

~ Ralph Greco, Jr.

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