“The Wall was Roger Waters's first album.” So begins Dave Thompson's Thompson's Roger Waters: The Man Behind the Wall, the first full biography on this notoriously guarded personality that has eluded probing queries and papertrail dissection for the entirety of his career. As he prepares to release his first solo album in twenty-five years, buff up on your Waters know-how with the paperback edition of Thompson's incisive profile, first published in 2013.
Born in 1943 amidst the bombs and shrapnel of the Second World War, Waters abandoned a career in architecture to pursue his myriad demons through song. Over the years, imbued with an utter brilliant mind and a general tendency toward belligerence, Waters has regularly butted heads with his bandmates, fellow musicians, fans, acquaintances, family, political figures, and entire nations – but why? Leaning on original research conducted among Waters' inner circle of friends and associates, Thompson cautiously dismantles every wall Waters has erected between himself and the public a brick at a time in pursuit of an answer. As the mass of apparent contradictions stack up and the saga of this publicly isolated man unravels, Thompson arrives at a portrait of an artist every bit as nuanced and recalcitrant as his work would suggest.