We’re dipping back into the Far Out archives to remember a moment when two icons of rock music put their differences aside for the greater good. Since Roger Waters left Pink Floyd back in the 1980s, there has been constant speculation swirling around about a possible reunion. However, since the band announced their split, the duo have only reunited three times including one performance that was in front of just 200 people.
The first time that Waters and Gilmour reunited was famously in 2005 for the London Live 8 performance at Hyde Park, a show which marked the quartet’s first performance together in over 20 years and, sadly, would be there last with keyboardist Richard Wright who tragically passed away in 2008.
However, the next time the two musicians managed to link up would be a much more intimate occasion. In 2010, while at a charity performance hosted by Bella Freud in Oxfordshire, Gilmour and Waters joined the cause which benefitted the Hoping Foundation which seeks to help Palestinian Refugees—a cause which both musicians triumph strongly.
The pair smashed out Pink Floyd classics ‘Wish You Were Here’, ‘Another Brick In The Wall (Part Two) and, of course, ‘Comfortably Numb’ was a no-brainer. However, Gilmour was determined to do a rendition of ‘Teddy Bears’ (featuring Phil Spector) 1958 classic ‘To Know Him Is to Love Him’ which required some convincing to get Waters on board to join.
Writing in a lengthy blog post following the reunion, Waters explained how the whole night came to fruition, noting: “So here’s what happened. Last year, ‘The Hoping Foundation’ a charity that supports Palestinian refugee kids, (Hoping Foundation) put on a fundraiser at Ronnie Scott’s Club in London, the idea of which was to raise money by auctioning karaoke performances by various celebrities. David was there as a supporter and was moved to perform an impromptu rendition of George Gershwin’s ‘Summertime?’ which he performed aided and abetted by supermodel Kate Moss.
“In the wake of that evening, someone, I think it was David himself, came up with this ‘Wouldn’t it be funny’, idea. What if he (David that is) were to sing the old Teddy Bears song ‘To Know Him Is To Love Him’ with me (Roger that is), what with us having been so famously at each other’s throats for years and years. Get it! Anyway he emailed me with this suggestion and I loved it, so then it was just a question of juggling dates and deciding to do ‘Wish You Were Here’ and ‘Comfortably Numb’ to round out our little set.”
He added: “Or so I thought, until he sent me a number of very musical and eloquent demos of how we could do the song in two-part harmony. I listened with a sinking heart, knowing that David, with his superior vocal skills, could sing either part standing on his head, whilst I would have to search for a different key and then struggle through hours and hours of routining a performance that lay way outside my vocal comfort zone. To my eternal shame I bottled out and told Dave I would happily do ‘Wish You Were Here’ and ‘C. Numb’, but that ‘To Know him is to Love him’ was beyond me.”
Waters then continued: “Some weeks passed with David cajoling me from time to time, telling me how easy it would be, but I clung resolutely to my fear of failure until one day he made one final entreaty. I quote “If you do ‘To Know Him Is To Love Him’ for The Hoping Foundation Gig, I’ll come and do ‘C. Numb’ on one of your Wall shows”. Well! You could have knocked me down with a feather. How fucking cool! I was blown away. How could I refuse such an offer. I couldn’t, there was no way. Generosity trumped fear. And so explaining that I would probably be shite, but if he didn’t mind I didn’t, I agreed and the rest is history. We did it, and it was fucking great. End of story. Or possibly beginning.”
Gilmour would go on to join him on one of the dates of his Wall tour the following May for ‘Comfortably Numb’ and there was also an appearance made also accompanied by Floyd’s Nick Mason later that evening at London’s O2 Arena however this is the last time Waters and Gilmour have shared a stage.
Watch the video below of the duo reunite for the Hoping Foundation at Kiddington Farm, Oxfordshire, for a very special performance of ‘To Know Him Is To Love Him’.