“When Roger came up with the original concept for "The Wall," he wanted a Beach Boys background sound. Who knew?”
Roger Waters launches “The Wall Live” tour this Wednesday in Toronto, before hitting three dozen cities across North America; a European swing starts next March.
The tour celebrates the 30th Anniversary of one of rock’s biggest concept albums. Due to the size of the original production, Pink Floyd played the album in a 1980-81 special series of dates in Los Angeles, Uniondale New York, London and Dortmund, West Germany.
The last time Waters performed the album in its entirety was as a solo artist in Germany in 1990, to mark the recent fall of the Berlin Wall.
As the tour gets set for opening night, we’ve learned that the band Venice are doing the backup vocals for the show. Venice’s Kipp Lennon has launched an online tour diary and tells the story of how his band found its way “behind the wall.”
“Last year in November, we were contacted by Jon Joyce (LA session singing legend and original singer on "The Wall" album and tour) because Roger had contacted him about putting the tour together and needing a vocal group,” writes Lennon. “He suggested that our vocal sound would be a great fit. (Apparently when Roger came up with the original concept for "The Wall," he wanted a Beach Boys background sound. Who knew?)”
“Well, we sent Roger a live version of our Beach Boys medley that we happened to be doing in our set at the time,” continued Lennon. “Then we downloaded some karaoke versions of some Pink Floyd songs, and overdubbed our vocals onto them and sent those along as well. We were happy to hear that he was happy with what he heard.”
“(Roger) flew out from New York to LA on a rainy night in December to hang with us in (Venice bandmate and brother) Michael (Lennon)'s living room. We sang for him and he showed us some rare footage of the original tour, and it all progressed from there,” noted Lennon. “Very surreal, as you can imagine. Like having Pete Townshend or Paul McCartney sitting in your living room. One thing lead to another, and after a few months and some more singing (overdubbing onto the original tracks of "The Wall" with original engineer/producer, James Guthrie), it turned out that Roger didn't need all four of us, only three, because he decided he wanted Jon onboard to sing his original bass parts. And the show is written for four background vocalists only. After a few weeks of rehearsals and an unfortunate process of trying first Michael, then Pat on the high parts, it was decided that Pat would be the choice for this tour.”
Here’s the full band lineup for “The Wall Live”…
Bass & Vocals: Roger Waters
Lead Vocals: Robbie Wyckoff
Guitars: Dave Kilminster, G. E. Smith, Snowy White
Drums: Graham Broad
Keyboards: Jon Carin, Harry Waters
Backing Vocals: Jon Joyce, Kipp Lennon, Mark Lennon, Pat Lennon
Check in tomorrow for Behind The Wall with Roger Waters – part 2
Roger Waters - Comfortably Numb (Live) - In the Flesh (Live)
Roger Waters and guests – Comfortably Numb
The Wall Live in Berlin – July 21, 1990