“I’m seeing Roger Waters tonight,” I almost text my mom.
But of course I don’t.
I look at my draft message. I see the date of her last text, unanswered. I look at her phone number, which has no name attached to it, as usual, and I wonder if it has changed again.
This all occurs while I’m driving. It’s a bad habit, I admit, but I know the highway well. This forgettable stretch of the 101, just north of San Luis Obispo County, sees coastal green change to a barren brown with a horizon that is lifeless and heat that is punishing. There’s nothing to do here but drive on through. The vineyards come next and their grapes swarm the hills, coloring what used to be nothing. This view dominates both sides of the highway for a while. Eventually the grapes fade and the land flattens.
The four hour drive to San Francisco is a movie I’ve been forced to watch my entire life. Or, perhaps, it is more like a record, its grooves deep and patient and used and damaged.
I am being absurdly nostalgic about asphalt, but this is what Pink Floyd does to me. My route will end at the Chase Center for the Bay Area stop of Roger Waters’ 2022 tour THIS IS NOT A DRILL. The tour has been rescheduled from its original 2020 attempt due to COVID-19. Like all Floyd fans, I’ve been waiting two years for this tour, and yet I still don’t feel prepared for it. As I drive, I listen to an unofficial tour playlist I found on Spotify:
- Comfortably Numb
- The Happiest Days of Our Lives
- Another Brick in the Wall, Pt 2
And so on.
THIS IS NOT A DRILL is the beginning of the end for Waters, claiming the tour is his “first farewell,” whatever that means. I have learned never to trust the retirement of musicians, but Waters is 79 years old. One can hope—perhaps after Waters finishes his current touring schedule—that his 80th year of life will soften his hardened, litigious heart and see him reunited with David Gilmore and Co. for one last run as Pink Floyd proper.(more…)