Rare behind-the-scenes footage of Roger Waters rehearsing ‘The Wall’ at the Berlin Wall in 1990
Pink Floyd’s concept record, The Wall, stands as one of the greatest rock masterpieces of all time. The operatic nature of the album allowed the band to create a live show truly like no other. It was a mission the group accomplished, touring their gigantic ‘Wall’ structure into various venues across the globe and leaving open-mouthed audiences wherever they went.
The album and stage show would have no better chance to display its brilliance than standing on the site of the infamous Berlin Wall back in 1990, just eight months after it was brought down. While not technically a full Floyd, Roger Waters leads an all-star ensemble as they perform the evocative record for nearly 500,000 revellers.
The oppressive wall had already fallen when Waters and his crew arrived to construct another one in a symbolic moment of unity. Not only would they build one on stage, but the performance would tear the on-stage and figurative Berlin Wall down once again as the crowd swelled and congregated around this seminal moment.
The evening of July 21st 1990 would see Waters take to the stage with a massive show ready for the people of Berlin who swelled in Potsdamer Platz. As well as the behemoth production, there was also an all-star list of guests including Cyndi Lauper, Van Morrison, Thomas Dolby, and the Scorpions, as well as many more.
Undoubtedly the highlight of the contributions was a stunning performance of ‘Goodbye Blue Sky’ from Joni Mitchell, one which used the innocence of the song to signify the possibility of a new beginning for the German people. It was a notion symbolised in the stage show too.
The performance, as well as the wall that it was centred around, proved a difficult problem to negotiate. It’s vastness and irregularity meant that the entire stage show needed to be meticulously rehearsed. Below, we’ve found footage from one of those rehearsals and it’s a revealing look behind the scenes.
The show wasn’t without its difficulties. In fact, one of the points made about the release of this performance on DVD in 2003 was that it edited out the numerous technical hitches. In the clip, it’s easy to see how these problems could arise as the stage team struggle with several aspects of the production, that’s without providing sound to nearly half a million people.
While you can check out the entire performance below, we gathered a keen insight into the working machine of Roger Waters and Pink Floyd through this rare behind-the-scenes footage.