As a life-long Pink Floyd fan, I can’t explain how excited I was when I heard that Roger Waters was staging a concert production of “The Wall,” his 1980 magnum opus. When the album was originally released, the band mounted a stage spectacle that was so enormous and expensive that they were only able to play 31 shows and were almost bankrupted in the process.
The idea of being able to see a production of “The Wall” that would equal the legend of the original Wall concerts in 1980 was enormously tantalizing. I immediately signed up on Waters’ website for the opportunity to purchase tickets before the general sale (like a real fan would) and waited for the appointed day. Dreams quickly crashed to Earth when I signed on to order and discovered that a pair of tickets would cost $440.
FOUR HUNDRED AND FORTY DOLLARS!
I quipped later that I’d only pay that much money to see a reunited Beatles concert – “But only with all four of them in attendance.”
It astounded me that tickets would cost so much. Yes, I know this is an expensive production to put on. But in a state like ours, where only about 700 of us still have a job, it seemed unlikely anyone would even HAVE that kind of scratch to blow on tickets. And it should be noted that, last I heard, Roger lives in an enormous house built on a giant pile of money that forms its own private island in the South Pacific.
As I though about this, I started to think about all my friends that wouldn’t be able to afford to go to this concert either…and a great idea sprung from my imagination. Instead, what if I did my OWN production…in the Palace of Hickory Hills, aka my garage.
So, on the evening of Oct. 24th 2010, when others are settling into the things they call seats in the Palace of Auburn Hills – my audience will be settling into their lawnchairs and blankets on the driveway of my house. To the strains of “Outside the Wall,” my garage door will begin to rise. And at the appropriate moment, *it* will begin: my own personal statement of music, commerce, and performance art. I will play all the songs from “The Wall” in some form or another using only the most cutting edge musical tools; my acoustic guitar, a mic on a stand, an 6-channel Yamaha portable PA, my Yamaha Portasound PSS-480, and maybe a couple of other musical trinkets and gadgets to help spin the yarn. No Pink Floyd concert would be complete without a state of the art light show – I have that too, courtesy of my daughters’ light-up disco ball, purchased at a premium (okay, $9.99) from Target.
The best part will be the end of the show. In the original concert and presumably this one as well, one of the greatest spectacles was the gradual building of a giant wall across the front of the stage. In the Pink Floyd show, sets and inflatables popped out of the wall, movies were projected on it, and the wall was demolished at the end of the show. I have my own plan to replicate that staggering technical achievement. When I reach the end of the show (or possibly when I get tired or forget the rest of the songs), I will end with an artistic statement that profoundly illustrates the way we build our own “walls” and prevent communication with each other. Actually, I will reach down and press the button on my garage door closer and close the door. Fin.
So, I hope you can join my friends and I for my own low-rent, eight-bit version of The Wall. If nothing else, at least you won’t have a massive credit card debt to pay off when it’s all over.