Pink Floyd: The Wall/Fun Facts
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
- The character Pink is a composite of original Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett and Roger Waters, who replaced Barrett as leader following Barrett's departure due to an LSD-fueled breakdown. Roger's father, Eric Fletcher Waters, had died during the Battle of Anzio in World War II in 1944 (the subject of "When The Tigers Broke Free") and Waters himself had grown increasingly alienated from the audience during Pink Floyd's huge stadium tours. During the last night of the tour supporting their previous album, 1977's Animals, Roger snapped and spat on a fan. This led to the idea of there being a "wall" between performers and the audience.
- "Hey You" and "The Show Must Go On" are the two songs from the album to not appear in the movie in any form. The "Hey You" sequence was deleted because it would have been redundant, since it was made up of footage from other parts of the film. "Empty Spaces" was replaced by "What Shall We Do Now?", which is where it would have been on the album. "What Shall We Do Now?" did not appear on an album until 2000's Is There Anybody Out There? The Wall Live 1980-1981.
- Roger Waters had presented the other members of Pink Floyd with two concepts, The Wall and The Pros and Cons of Hitch-Hiking. They picked The Wall. Waters would go on to record Hitch-Hiking himself in 1984 as his first solo album after leaving the band. It would stop at #30 on the Billboard Top 200 and generally flop with the critics. In Rolling Stone, Kurt Loder, who had praised the otherwise maligned The Final Cut to the hilt, trashed Hitch-Hiking as a "static, faintly hideous record" and that "you could count the number of actual melodies here on Mickey Mouse's fingers." Loder added that guitarist David Gilmour's About Face, which he had given a modest, unenthusiastic three stars ("Not bad at all, but, except for Pink Floyd completists, not essential either."), assumed "new luster in comparison to this turkey." The magazine gave it a rating of one star, proving that the rest of the band were right when they chose to record The Wall.
- The soundtrack page is a list of the songs in the order that they appear in the movie, no actual soundtrack album was ever released. The original plan was to release a soundtrack album, with one working title being Spare Bricks. Then The Falklands War broke out, and Roger turned it into the anti-war protest album The Final Cut. "When The Tigers Broke Free" first appeared on a promotional disc released in conjunction with Waters' performance of The Wall at Potsdamer Platz in Germany in 1990. It was included on the 2001 compilation CD Echoes: The Best Of Pink Floyd and then on the 2004 re-mastered re-release of The Final Cut. While Roger Waters has performed it in concert, Pink Floyd as a band have never performed it live.
- During "Stop", Pink recites other lyrics ("Do you remember me/How things used to be/Do you think we should be closer?" and "Put out my hand, just to touch your soft hair/To make sure in the darkness, that you were still there.") The first set of lyrics would later appear in "Your Possible Pasts" on The Final Cut and the last lyric appeared in "5:11 A.M. (The Moment of Clarity)" on Roger Waters' The Pros and Cons of Hitch-Hiking.
- During "The Happiest Days of Our Lives," the Teacher reads from Pink's book of poetry. The lyrics ("Money get back/I'm all right Jack keep your hands off of my stack/New car caviar four-star daydream/Think I'll buy me a football team") are a conflation of lines from the first and second verses of "Money" from their 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon. Far from the "absolute rubbish" that the teacher calls them, the song was Pink Floyd's breakthrough hit in the U.S.
- Roger Waters said that the song "Nobody Home" was "about all kinds of people that I've known". The line "I've got a grand piano to prop up my mortal remains" is about keyboardist Richard Wright, who was suffering with a serious cocaine problem at the time. Wright was forced to leave by Waters during the making of the album the film was based on, and consequently did not attend the premiere with the rest of the band. Aside from a failed one-off side project called Zee which produced a 1984 album titled Identity, Wright disappeared from the music scene until Gilmour restarted Pink Floyd in 1987.
- During "Comfortably Numb", Pink's manager says that Pink is asthmatic. While neither Syd Barrett nor Roger Waters were, animator Gerald Scarfe was.
- While the film received mixed reviews at the time, Roger Ebert loved it and included it on his "Great Movies" list.
- The original plan was for Roger Waters himself to play Pink, until some tests proved that he couldn't act.
- Gerald Scarfe was off playing pool instead of attending the New York premiere since he "couldn't bear to see the film again."
- Roger Waters didn't like the film originally, though he later warmed to it.