Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Roger Waters

Great title, don't you think?

Tomorrow night, Roger Waters, 'the Creative Genius of Pink Floyd', is playing a gig on the grass across the lake from my office. Instead of just working late and enjoying a free, but invisible, show, I have bought tickets.

I've been an admirer, rather than a rabid fan, of Pink Floyd since, ooh, seems like forever. But I lost the plot a bit when Waters left in 1985 (Wright had already been fired), reasoning that none of them on their own could be anything like as good as all of them together. This was proved to me about four years ago when BetterArf and Offspring got me a post-split Floyd CD, 'the Division Bell'. Not shite exactly, but nothing at all to write home about. I lost interest in them really, so when Roger Waters played Dubai about three years ago I just ignored it. Waters had got such totally bad press from the other members of the band after the split that I might have been more interested in buying tickets for a gig by Satan himself.

What changed my mind was seeing Waters and the Floyd reunited at the Live 8 London gig in 2005. I Limewired a track by Waters called 'Leaving Beirut'. This doesn't appear on any album but is as beautiful and moving as any song that Pink Floyd ever recorded. After that I bought Waters' operatic double-album 'Ca Ira', followed by 'Amused to Death'. He truly is a genius.

So when it was announced that he was heading this way again (and at Media City, rather than the, for me, inaccessible Tennis Stadium), that was definitely a date for my diary. He's gonna do Dark Side of the Moon and other Floyd hits, but I hope he'll slip some new stuff in there too.

I saw the Floyd live once. At the Knebworth Festival in the UK in 1975 (over 31 years ago!!!!!!). A bunch of us from school had hired a minibus for the day. This was in the days before building-sized video screens, and we were sitting about a mile away from the stage, but I do believe those dots on the stage were Waters, Wright, Gilmour and Mason. But hey, the tickets were £2.75! Standing tickets for tomorrow's gig are Dhs 265, about £37. 'VIP' seated tickets are Dhs 595, about £83. The only seats at Knebworth were patches of grass.

By the way: this blog has not been produced as part of the Roger Waters marketing campaign. I only mention that because about a month ago Cliff Richard played in Dubai at the Tennis Stadium. A few days before the gig I received an email from the Netherlands(!) Cliff Richard fan club, hoping that I was going and would blog about the gig before and after(!). Nice try but no cigar. I have no opinion on Cliff Richard - not a very positive one anyway.

But I'm looking forward to tomorrow night like a kid looks forward to Christmas.

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