Not many people can match up to Eric Clapton’s iconography as the ‘Guitar God’ but Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters is certainly one of them. We’re dipping into the Far Out vault to see these two stars come together to cover Pink Floyd’ ‘Wish You Were Here’ back in 2005.
The event took place following the tragic incident of December 26th 2004 as a deadly tsunami hit Indonesia and nearly wiped out the population. With 200,000 killed and many more missing, the world soon moved into action and musicians did whatever they could to help.
That led to George Clooney creating a benefit called Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope, which was broadcast worldwide in 2005. Among the many acts to make an appearance was Eric Clapton and Roger Waters as the two rock stars sat down next to one another and delivered a touching performance of Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here’.
Clapton has been a long time fan of The Pink Floyd. In a 1968 interview with Rolling Stone, he almost introduces the magazine to the band, saying they’re one of his favourite groups at the moment. When the magazine ask for a little more info Clapton says: “Very strange group. The nearest thing you would have to them here –— well, I can’t even think of a group you can relate them to. Very freaky. They’re not really psychedelic.
“They do things like play an hour set that’s just one number. They are into a lot of electronic things. They’re also very funny. They’re nice, they really are a very nice group. They’re unambitious and they give you a nice feeling watching them. They’re not trying to put anything over.”
Aside from being a fan back then, Clapton and Waters had worked together before. The guitarist famously helped out on Waters’ first solo album away from Pink Floyd, The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking back in 1984. Clapton even joined Waters on a few tour dates during that year. But it is this performance of ‘Wish You Were Here’ that will remain their most poignant performance with one another.
Played simply on acoustic guitars, far removed from Floyd’s elaborate conceptions, the song is given extra gravitas by the trio of singers behind the pair. It’s a stripped back and a poignant moment as Clapton and Waters do their best to provide a captivating show.
Watch Eric Clapton and Roger Waters perform Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here’ below: