Roger Water Gets Joy “Shutting Up” In Performing “Wish You Were Here”
via Roger Waters / Youtube
Pink Floyd’s iconic Roger Waters recently shared his love for performing the band’s classic hit, “Wish You Were Here,” revealing a unique reason that brings him joy during live shows.
In a video posted on his Instagram
Waters answered fan questions, focusing on one specific inquiry about his favorite song to perform and the underlying reason. Waters expressed his affection for “Wish You Were Here” and explained his enjoyment in performing it:
“I kind of love ‘Wish You Were Here’ only because I can almost stop singing and almost wherever I am in the world, particularly the last verse, I ask them actually. I say, ‘Sing with me.’ And then I kind of shut up and let them get on with it. ‘How I wish, how I wish you were here. Two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl year after year, running over the same old ground. What have we found? The same old fear. Wish you were here.’ I love hearing audiences sing that back at me.”
The joy Waters finds in this particular song lies in the connection he establishes with the audience during the performance. Inviting the crowd to join him in singing the heartfelt lyrics allows him to share a moment with fans worldwide, creating a powerful and resonant experience.
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“Wish You Were Here” was conceived by Waters during a period when Pink Floyd grappled with the realities of fame.
The album, with the same name as the song, serves as a reflection on the impact of success within the music industry, especially considering the challenges faced by former bandmate Syd Barrett. The track “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” within the album is a tribute to Barrett’s enduring influence on the band.
Interestingly, while Waters revels in the live rendition of “Wish You Were Here,” David Gilmour, another key member of Pink Floyd, had his share of challenges during the song’s production. Gilmour, the guitarist and vocalist, encountered difficulty hitting the concluding note seamlessly. In the Wish You Were Here songbook, Gilmour recalled the unique approach they took to overcome this obstacle:
“The only time we’ve ever used tape speed to help us with vocals was on one line of the Machine song. It was a line I just couldn’t reach, so we dropped the tape down half a semitone and then dropped the line in on the track.”
Despite the challenges faced during its creation, “Wish You Were Here” remains a timeless and cherished piece in Pink Floyd’s repertoire. Waters’ revelation about his enjoyment in the silence, letting the audience take over, adds a beautiful layer to the song’s live performances, making it a shared and poignant experience for both the artist and the fans.