an Interview by Michael Simone
ecognition at last. In November 1995 Pink Floyd was finally nominated for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. After years of being previously passed up for nomination, while other artists, like that of Rod Stewart were
Roger Waters recognized the Importance of The Hall of Fame to the history of Rock and Roll music long before the Museum was even completed. He acquiesced and contributed to the museum by having built and donating a huge display and exhibit of The Wall which is designed in the image of the Berlin concert stage set.
On January 12, 1996, Pink Floyd: Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Rick Wright, and Nick Mason were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
| The Foundation undertook a nationwide search for an appropriate location, and in 1986 Cleveland was selected as the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. In addition to supporting the development of the new Museum, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation organizes the annual nomination, election and induction of new members into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The nominees are chosen by a committee of historians and musicologists, and are eligible if they have released a record at least 25 years prior to induction. They are then voted on by an international group of music industry professionals, including producers, broadcasters, journalists and performers. Since 1986, approximately 100 artists, as well as members in non performer and early influence categories, have been inducted into this pantheon of rock greats.
|The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will contain a dramatic permanent gallery for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, housing a multi-media tribute to the artists and industry leaders who have made major contributions to the art of rock and roll. Continuous glass walls contain illuminated panels in which the names and signatures of the honorees are etched. Punctuating The Wall are television monitors showing images of Hall of Fame members and brief programs on their careers and influences.|
The hall is named after Ahmet M. Ertegun, the son of the Turkish ambassador to the United States. Ertegun with Herb Abramson founded Atlantic Records in 1947, initially as a jazz label.
I was wondering if you could tell me when the display or exhibit was donated and the circumstances which surrounded the donation, such as what prompted Roger Waters to donate such a massive display? Had the Museum contacted Roger or Pink Floyd about the nomination, induction, and asked for any donations that they may want to include for the Pink Floyd section of the Museum?
The donation came about after I went to England and met Roger and his manager, Mark Fenwick. I had approached them about obtaining artifacts for an exhibit in the Hall of Fame Museum. We met in London over drinks, and the idea of doing something related to The Wall was discussed.
Earlier I had been in touch with Jonathan Park, of the London stage design firm Fisher-Park. Jonathan had been eager to do a project with the Museum, but neither he nor the Museum could come up with the right idea. Jonathan began drawing up plans for the exhibit, in conjunction with Roger and the Museum.
At the meeting with Mark Fenwick and Roger, it was suggested that Jonathan Park be brought in to develop a model of The Wall, using existing artifacts, such as the inflatable figures and the furniture. I said that I had already been talking to Jonathan, so it was agreed that this would be a three way project between Roger, Fisher-Park, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum.
How long did it take to set up or build the massive exhibit or display?
It took several months for the whole project to come together.
Does the exhibit occupy a prominent location in the Museum? Where is it located within the Museum?
The exhibit is located on the fourth floor of the Museum under the "Glass Tent." It can be seen from both inside and outside the Museum.
How big is the entire exhibit? What are the exact dimensions? How many floors high is it? How large an area does it occupy?
The entire exhibit is about 38 feet long and 22 feet tall. The depth of The Wall is 2 feet. The teacher is 28 feet in length.
Does the Museum have a section reserved for Roger Waters, or Pink Floyd, or both? And if so how big are these areas and are they located near the exhibit?
The band Pink Floyd (including Roger Waters) is recognized in the actual Hall of Fame portion of the Museum on the sixth floor.
Is the exhibit animated at all, are there any moving parts? Is there any music played surrounding the location of the exhibit and if so what is it? (Hopefully from Pink Floyd's "The Wall.")
The Teacher's eyes light up, and he moves while an audio loop plays the voice from The Wall saying, "If you don't eat your meat, you won't have any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?"
How many individual pieces the exhibit consists of, and what materials are they made of?
The actual wall is made of new bricks, which were fabricated by Michael Tait of Tait Towers, a company that builds stage props. Some new inflatables were created for this project by Air Artists, the company that manufactures inflatables for Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones and others. Some of the materials were original artifacts - such as the Thomas Dolby character - others were new. Some were made in England by Air Artists, others were made in America by Tait Towers.
Does the exhibit consist of only the Teacher looking over The Wall, or is there more? And if so, what? Are there any more settings and/or characters from The Wall that are apart of the exhibit?
The exhibit also consists of a motel room set-up, consisting of an easy chair, lamp and a TV, which plays video of The Wall in Berlin. The exhibit also includes 2 puppets, the Thomas Dolby character, two flags and 43 blocks.
Has Roger himself, been to the Museum to tour it, and view The Wall exhibit?
So far, Roger has not been to the Museum to view the exhibit, although we are in regular touch with him and Mark Fenwick.
Have any other members of Pink Floyd seen the display, and if so did they have any comments?
Steve O'Rourke and Nick Mason visited the Museum while it was still under construction, when the band was in Cleveland to play in the summer of 1994. None of them have been to the Museum since the opening.
What, if anything, have Pink Floyd, or the other individual members of Pink Floyd donated to the Museum?
We are currently working with Steve O'Rourke and the current members of Pink Floyd, trying to obtain memorabilia from them to exhibit in the Museum.
|Singer/guitarist Syd Barrett provided Pink Floyd with its early material, including the British hits "See Emily Play" and "Arnold Layne." He left the group in 1968, only to become rock's most legendary hermit (whose 1968 departure inspired "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" from "Wish You Were Here.") The remaining members, vocalist and bassist Roger Waters, keyboardist Rick Wright and drummer Nick Mason, along with Barrett's replacement David Gilmour, went on to become one of the most successful rock bands of the Seventies.|
Their 1973 release "Dark Side of the Moon" hit Number One on the Billboard charts and ultimately broke all records by remaining on the Top 200 album charts for a staggering 741 weeks. Success continued into the Eighties with The Wall , Waters' epic about alienation, which spent over two years on the charts and inspired a movie and a mammoth tour with one of the most celebrated stage shows in rock history.
In the Museum, at The Wall exhibit Roger Waters has written the following in Scarfe lettering:
In the old days, pre-Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd played to audiences which, by virtue of their size allowed an intimacy of connection that was magical. However, success overtook us and by 1977 we were playing in football stadiums. The magic crushed beneath the weight of numbers, we were becoming addicted to the trappings of popularity.
I found myself increasingly alienated in that atmosphere of avarice and ego until one night in the Olympic Stadium, Montreal. Some crazed teenage fan was clawing his way up the storm netting that separated us from the human cattle pen in front of the stage, screaming his devotion to the "demi-gods" beyond his reach.
Incensed by his misunderstanding and my own connivance, I spat my frustration in his face. Later that night, back at the hotel, shocked by my behavior, I was faced with a choice. To deny my addiction and embrace that "comfortably numb" but "magic-less" existence or accept the burden of insight, take the road less traveled and embark on the often painful journey to discover who I was and where I fit.
The Wall was the picture I drew for myself to help me make that choice.
The installation of The Wall exhibit at the Rock an Roll Hall of Fame Museum was designed by Jonathan Park. The animation design was created by Gerald Scarfe. The Wall exhibit was funded by Roger Waters and in part by Sony Music Entertainment Inc.
|About the induction of Pink Floyd into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Museum itself reported the following: On January 12, 1996 Pink Floyd was officially inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A verbose Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins inducted Pink Floyd, the archetype mystical performance rock band, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, describing them as the "ultimate rock and roll anomaly". Missing from the group tonight were Syd Barrett and Roger Waters, who was "sick".|
I want to thank Jim Henke, Sharon Koller, and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum for all of their help, contributions, and encouragement's, to our fanclub, and for this article. I especially want to thank Sharon Koller of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Curatorial Department for all her work, research, and steadfast help in getting the slides and the information to me for this article.