Author: Dave Thompson

Publisher: Backbeat Books (September 17, 2013)

ISBN-10: 161713564X

ISBN-13: 978-161713564

Over the years, Dave Thompson has written a series of books exploring a myriad of figures in rock history. With such a track record, of course, some of his offerings are more insightful than others. In the case of his new overview of the life and works of Roger Waters, we get a surface skimming review of what Pink Floyd's bass man has done over the decades. It's not really a bio, but rather a very long personal essay of rock criticism.

To begin, Thompson spends a few chapters going back to Waters' formative years in post-World War II England where the young would-be architect grew up without a father. Then, suddenly we're whisked decades into the future where Thompson discusses the creation of The Wall, first as an album, then as a film, and then all the solo projects that followed. Then, we jump back in time and review the history of Pink Floyd and the interplay between the various players including Syd Barrett, David Gilmore, and, to a much lesser degree, Nick Mason and Richard Wright.

What's missing is anything new in retelling the story. There's no evidence Thompson conducted any new interviews and thus can't really take us behind-the-scenes into the studio or into any of the participants personal lives. Regarding the latter, that's probably a good thing. Thompson sticks to the music and mainly offers ongoing opinions into the songwriting and playing on Pink Floyd's albums. Of course, he has to detail the feuds that boiled over between Waters and the rest of the group which are, of course, well documented elsewhere.

In short, if you know anything about the history of Pink Floyd, the game here is to compare your own responses to the music with Thompson's. I suspect there's still an audience that doesn't know much about the Pink Floyd albums before Dark Side of the Moon, and this book is as good a capsule history of those psychedelic years as any. Perhaps many readers will get a deeper understanding into the story of Syd Barrett that would be above and beyond the legends that sprang up about his "madness." But expect minimal illumination into the psyche of the enigmatic Waters, few revelations regarding his development as a musician beyond a noticeable theme of Waters, supposedly a spokesmen against authority figures in The Wall, was himself such a figure. Mainly, the book is rather a good summation of what happened and when and with whom. Considering the book's index, one can regard The Man Behind The Wall as a decent resource volume when you want to brush up on details, like how did Atom Heart Mother come about.

Follow Here To Purchase Roger Waters: The Man Behind the Wall