Is the forthcoming live album some kind of celebration?
That coupled with guilt at providing no new music for the record company. And a feeling of not being bullied by the record company but actually saying, “Let’s see if we can find something we’re happy with”. It’s very difficult to find things from the vaults. A while back the BBC wanted to release some Top Gear tapes, and they really weren’t good enough.
These tapes were almost a surprise, because I didn’t realise they existed. I thought the only music we had from ‘The Wall’ shows was the music that went with the film. And we’d only filmed about 20 minutes of the show. And I have to say now that I’m slightly embarrassed that we’re releasing a third version of this material instead of something new, but it’s not as though anyone’s being forced to buy it.
What are your memories of the shows?
I don’t have specific memories of different nights, and the reason for that, apart from Alzheimer’s, is that it was by far the most rehearsed thing we’d ever done. It was remarkably smooth for something so complicated. What one tends to remember in a normal gig is when the audience responds and you know you’re getting through. Here we couldn’t see the audience, so there are moments of that, but it’s things like the Teacher puppet or The Wall being finished off. And the strongest of all when the spotlight picks Dave out at the top. Even backstage you could feel the thrill.
You’re using Storm Thorgerson, who fell out with Roger, for the artwork. People may have expected Gerald Scarfe?
We fell out with Storm over everything and obviously with Gerry’s artwork being such an integral part of ‘The Wall’ it had to be included in the artwork. But what’s great about this is that it’s the first time the four of us have co-operated since 1986, and there’s been an agreement to let Storm do this work. Storm has aligned himself with Dave and me over the last couple of albums. Roger, quite reasonable, feels he’s in the enemy camp, and it’s really nice that he’s actually accepted that Storm could get involved.
It wasn’t the best of times, making ‘The Wall’ was it?
No, but it wasn’t as bad as it got afterwards. It’s no problem, it’s been 30 odd years and some of it’s been great and some of it not so great. But I didn’t suffer as much as Dave did. If anyone was not given sufficient credit it was Dave. I made my contribution and it was nothing like in the same league as Roger’s.
What was it like dealing with the Waters-Gilmour power struggle?
Virtually every band that’s ever existed has been there. We need to dispel the myth that everything’s like The Beatles’ film Help. Life isn’t like that and it’s very difficult to disband a group or to have someone leave gracefully. Great credit to Genesis. I sometimes feel like the ship’s cook. I see various commanders come and go and when it gets really rough, you just go back down to the galley.
How did Rick leaving affect you?
If I was honest I’d say I still feel guilty about it. Roger carried out a brilliant campaign to get what he wanted by a certain amount of cajoling and threatening. I don’t think, looking back on it now, I should have stuck up for Rick. But as it was I utterly failed to do so, and aligned myself with the forces of safety. It’s a shame and looking back I feel guilty. The one thing was that Rick was the only one of us to make any money from ‘The Wall’ shows. We had to stand the cost of the shows and Rick was paid a fee for doing them.
Jeff Porcaro came in to play ‘Mother’. Did that bother you?
Most of the drum tracks were done earlier on, so whatever Jeff would have done would have been done in Los Angeles. If there’s the odd thing that’s done, it’s not necessarily a bother. If something’s right for a track and I can’t do it then so be it. On ‘Remember A Day’, which was a single from 1903 or whenever, Norman Smith did the drum parts.
You never got paid for the ‘Relics’ sleeve – is that true?
Yes, but don’t worry. I’ve had over 20 years of enjoying bringing it up in interviews.
Were you aware of the rumours of discussions about Floyd as a Waters/Gilmour dup after Rick was sacked?
Not directly, but I probably realised there might have been a sense of “Hang on, why don’t we…?” I guess it would have been the same thinking that Roger brought to bear on Rick, that if people weren’t contributing sufficiently, then why bother? It’s interesting that he’d see it as a duo rather than just him, but I guess he wasn’t ready to go solo.
Roger talks of ‘The Final Cut’ as a solo album.
Roger’s probably indicated correctly. He was very busy pushing people out. Testing it, you might say. There were some pretty unpleasant conversations.
What was it like when Roger quit?
It’s a very curious piece of politics. Roger could have finished Pink Floyd off by never leaving. By remaining ion it and never doing another stroke of work, nothing would have ever happened. He felt he was being held back by the existence of the band and the record company kept saying, “Great solo album, where’s the next Floyd album?”
He was correct in that sense, so he had to try and do something to become the successor. I remember a meeting where he said, “Come on, it’s over.” The feeling was, “Well, it’s not correct for you to decide.” By telling us that we couldn’t carry on without him, Dave in particular, who can be pig-headed when it comes to it, absolutely saw red and finally got it together to go back to work. Roger had been my great mate for years, but even I felt that it was an outrage. You do need these duelling egos in a band to make it work properly.
So who are the duelling egos now?
Um, well, there aren’t any. Which is why we can’t seem to get back to work!
This is the second time a major member has left and you’ve gone on to greater things…
[Raises eyes skyward] Oh, as soon as I get rid of Dave, I tell you, such great plans [laughs].