1990 - The Wall Live in Berlin Performance

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Keith Jordan
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1990 - The Wall Live in Berlin Performance

Post by Keith Jordan »

21 July 1990
Roger Waters staged The Wall — Live In Berlin at Potzdamer Platz, Berlin. The concert was held as a fundraiser for the 'Memorial Fund For Disaster Relief'. The Wall album was performed in its entirety with special guests including Bryan Adams, Marianne Faithful, Van Morrison, and Albert Finney.
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Re: 1990 - The Wall Live in Berlin Performance

Post by walter5 »

Hated it. The list of guest stars performing reads like a VH-1 List of "Where Are They Now?" One-hit wonders. Some of them were very ill-fitting and technical problems *plagued* this performance. I remember we had a big party for it, and it was such an anti-climax. If Rog hadn't had the foresight to film the dress-rehearsal he wouldn't have had much of a product to sell.
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Re: 1990 - The Wall Live in Berlin Performance

Post by nosaj »

I watched and then did my part by ordering the box set with cds and vhs and t-shirt and chunk of wall in support of the Memorial Fund For Disaster Relief.

I was amazed that it actually occurred at all, but some of the guests were a little outside my taste (Brian Adams doesn't really play guitar if you look closely).

The spectacle was truly something at the time...still, I basically never watch or listen to the recordings.
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Re: 1990 - The Wall Live in Berlin Performance

Post by Jimi Dean Barrett »

This was my introduction to the wacky world of Pink Floyd. I only caught the last half, from the end of "In The Flesh" when that inflatable pig... er... thing appeared over the wall and I kept watching from then on in. Went round to a friends house who I knew had the album (And he lent me the VHS of the film instead!) and that was that.
I didn't know about Waters falling out with the band so I actually thought he'd put on weight by the time they were playing Knebworth! :lol:
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Re: 1990 - The Wall Live in Berlin Performance

Post by Isntthiswherewe »

walter5 wrote:Hated it. The list of guest stars performing reads like a VH-1 List of "Where Are They Now?" One-hit wonders. Some of them were very ill-fitting and technical problems *plagued* this performance. I remember we had a big party for it, and it was such an anti-climax. If Rog hadn't had the foresight to film the dress-rehearsal he wouldn't have had much of a product to sell.
I dont think you could class Van Morrison as a one hit wonder but I know what you mean.
I too was dissapointed by the video. Ive only ever watched it once.
I think you had to be there to appreciate the atmosphere. The area alone was awesome. The area between the two walls looked as though it was stuck in 1945. Old buildings with bullet holes in the wall, windows blown out. The stage was so vast they used building site cranes to raise up the puppets. Plus the, whatever it was, 100,000 people all around.
Id have to say that this recent show was better but it was certainly something special at the time.
Id perhaps like to watch the dvd on my modern system with 40" TV and surround sound rather than the 22" little tele I originally viewed it on though. Might be a better experience in 2011.
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Re: 1990 - The Wall Live in Berlin Performance

Post by walter5 »

No, I wouldn't class Van as a "One Hit Wonder", nor Levon Helm and Garth Hudson (of The Band), or, to be fair, Joni Mitchell (although I never cared much for her). But the rest of the cast? O.K., Thomas Dolby was a great choice for The Teacher, and Tim Curry was in fine form as The Prosecutor, but the lows outweighed the highs, and the wuddafug? moments in cast selection far outweighed the superior selections. Then there's the irony--At the request of the concert producers, part of the Berlin Wall was kept in place as a security fence behind the stage.

I knew the Brandenburg Gate area, I'd walked through Checkpoint Charlie 6 years prior, in my U.S. Army Class A Uniform, into East Berlin, for an afternoon, where I bought cheap Russian cigarettes and vodka. Berlin in 1984 was a very weird place. I lived in West Germany for 3 1/2 years and it was quite strange in some respects, looking back, a lot of us suspected that the Soviet "threat" was nothing of the sort, but actually *saying* that to another American was reason for condemnation and accusation of being soft on the "Communist Threat." Really, I still can't imagine what Berlin must have been like at the time that the Wall came down.

However, it *is* clear that Rog learned a lot from the attempted video-taping of The Wall at Knebworth in 1981 or whenever it was, it was much better lit, and much better filmed, but of course the technology for such things had just taken *off* in the 80's, he couldn't have *helped* but to have done better. I recall how much things changed from the time I was taking Radio/Television production at UNC in 1980, and working for an Armed Forces Radio Television Station in 1990.
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Re: 1990 - The Wall Live in Berlin Performance

Post by Yucateco »

The stage and the puppets of this concert are simply amazing. As nearly everybody noted the guest stars are mostly horrible. But there are also some amazing moments: Don´t leave me now/Brick III/Last few bricks is great, Run like Hell with the marching soldiers is awesome and this concert features the best version of Nobody home ever with a great Snowy White solo.
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Re: 1990 - The Wall Live in Berlin Performance

Post by admiral panther »

cindy lauper singing mother. i currently dont own a copy. should i get it on dvd? opinions?
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Re: 1990 - The Wall Live in Berlin Performance

Post by Yucateco »

admiral panther wrote:cindy lauper singing mother. i currently dont own a copy. should i get it on dvd? opinions?
that would be Skinhead O´Connor singing Mother, Cindy was Another Brick ;) i think its worth getting the dvd because the sound is much better than on the cd in my opinion.
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Re: 1990 - The Wall Live in Berlin Performance

Post by admiral panther »

Yucateco wrote:
admiral panther wrote:cindy lauper singing mother. i currently dont own a copy. should i get it on dvd? opinions?
that would be Skinhead O´Connor singing Mother, Cindy was Another Brick ;) i think its worth getting the dvd because the sound is much better than on the cd in my opinion.
yes, thank you for the correction, its been a long time, i think i'll head over to amazon and see about it,,...skin!! he he i just noticed that..
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Re: 1990 - The Wall Live in Berlin Performance

Post by J Ed »

I was lucky enough to be at this concert, and mere metres away from the stage too
Ive blathered on about endlessly and most wont want to read me blathering again
but for posterity I blathered here, in one of the first threads I ever started
and here and again downthread here
and found some more contextual info to blather about here
and indoobitably in a few other places besides even I cant be bothered digging them up

one must seperate the performance, which was a was giganormous scale site-and-moment specific theatrical event, from the album, which puts all a listeners focus on the presence of the "special" guests
...isntthiswhere... wrote:The stage was so vast they used building site cranes to raise up the puppets.
sounds like you were there too
thing was the whole city was sprouting cranes all over the place at that moment in time, especially the eastern neighborhoods behind the stage
the fall of the eastern govt was a development boom for the west and within months they had hundreds of big projects on the go, sort of like when the yuppies succeed in gentrifying a declining inner city neighbourhood but on an unimaginably different scale
the cranes moving things round Rogers stage blended right in with that cityscape
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Re: 1990 - The Wall Live in Berlin Performance

Post by danielcaux »

The only bad thing about this show was the awful taste Roger displayed when selecting the guests involved, but what can you expect of someone who jams with Bon Jovi and hangs around with Shakira? The theatrics and particulary the use of a real military band on stage were otherwise mind blowing.

Of the guests I think the only one I really liked was that bonehead sexy chick who used to be a lesbian or a priest or something like that. And Dolby was good too. And I guess Scorpions were a logical choice given that they were the most popular german band at the time. All the others were a little way too much kitschy on my personal scale. Actually include Scorpions on that statement too.

After all this time Mother is the only song of this show that I keep coming to for its musical value. Beautiful voice and performance, although I believe its just a rehearsal and not what you lucky bastards actually watched and listened live on there.
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Re: 1990 - The Wall Live in Berlin Performance

Post by sherer »

danielcaux wrote:The only bad thing about this show was the awful taste Roger displayed when selecting the guests involved, but what can you expect of someone who jams with Bon Jovi and hangs around with Shakira? The theatrics and particulary the use of a real military band on stage were otherwise mind blowing.
I wouldn't mind hanging around with Shakira :D
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Re: 1990 - The Wall Live in Berlin Performance

Post by thefinalcut »

They performed an excellent version of 'The Trial', well actually the entire DVD is amazing, but you know...to see Roger Waters singing with Marianne Faithfull is fucking EPIC !!! :D
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Re: 1990 - The Wall Live in Berlin Performance

Post by moom »

admiral panther wrote:cindy lauper singing mother.
Joni Mitchell did, I think. Definitely not Lauper.
walter5 wrote:The list of guest stars performing reads like a VH-1 List of "Where Are They Now?"
Ironically, Roger is on that list himself.

sherer wrote:
I wouldn't mind hanging around with Shakira :D
I, on my part, am having second thoughts about hanging around with her. I'd whether get choked on a rope or get a rush of blood to the head.



Overall, I like it. I think that time it was supposed to be celebrating the fall of the Berlin wall, not the fall of a traumatized rock-star. So Roger might have thought, "Let's play The Wall but make it a party." A unifying moment. And the guests did their homework fine. Especially Brian Adams, who impersonates the youthful version of Gilmour perfectly and sings probably the best of them all, not making his set feel like an ordinary tribute show. And remember - not all of them are necessarily 100% up for the job. If you're a perfectionist this much and are famous/inspiring and rich enough to make an event like this, and thus are looking for absolutely perfect performers that are also popular - well, good luck with that.
He did say Sinead was quite an egoist, though...