Pink Floyd.... I have never had a chance to see them - I was schoolchild at the time of their only show in my country, but I became their fan because of my dad who played their albums at home regularly - and during the period of time Dark Side, Wish and Wall became my favourites, but I never became a fan of early Barrett years. I'm not strictly Waters / Gilmour defined fan, I think that High Hopes, Learning To Fly or Sorrow are stunning tracks - so I admire almost whole career of PF.
Live 8, 2005, Pink Floyd reunion.... I do remember watching this performance live on TV - absolutely stunning performance, despite RW's weaker vocal performance. Sadly, during On An Island tour, David wasnt anywhere near (in fact he played in Clam, but I wasnt able to get there that week) so I missed his tour.
Roger Waters announced European leg of his Dark Side Of The Moon tour - my first concert Floyd-related experience! I won't hide my worries about state of Roger's voice at the time, but he was really fine. The show was fantastic (I prefer DSOTM over The Wall a bit and because of that I liked this concert even more than later Wall gigs)! Dont ask me about details, but couple of situations are going to stay in my mind forever - pyramind created from laser lights with light going through that and creating rainbow on other side was just stunning piece of visual concert art. Still, because I knew the "reputation" of difficult personality that Roger is, I thought that he is one of those who is better never meet.... you know that "dont meet your idols" rule - so I didnt even try, despite that hotel was known because of one tabloid who informed about RW's stay in our country.
2010 - The Wall Tour announced, spring 2011 - first gig in Prague announced, 2nd date added later after first gig was sold-out. One of my friends got an information about Roger Waters arrival to Prague and he offered me to go to the airport with him and couple of others. I denied because scheduled arrival was about midnight or shortly after that and I thought that it didnt make a sense. But he was right and following morning I saw picture of their meeting with Roger and he told to me how friendly he actually was.... So what to do about it? Luckilly - Prague is city with couple of 5* hotels with great reputation (so these are most probable) and they are very near to each other (5-10 minute walk from each other). Because I knew he had 2 gigs in row, I tried it on 2nd day. I tried first hotel - nothing interesting and then I got to the 2nd one and I recognized the man I knew from Queen - sound engineer Trip Khalaf and I knew he was sound engineer on The Wall Tour too, so I obviously found the right place. Group of fans got bigger as time went on - I think that about 15 of us waited there. Roger's manager came to us and said something like "I'm going to ask Roger whether he will sign for your or not - at least you will know" and he came back about 10 minutes later and said "He will sign for you, there is just couple of rules - one per person, no handshake, no posing pictures, but you can take them during signing...." and then - Roger invited us to the hotel grounds - out of sight from street and signed for us. I got The Wall tour programme signed from him. Rushed and ugly one, but... mine! Sadly one guy from Poland didnt keep the rules and asked for "posing" picture with Roger and it was refused by Roger in very strict and pretty rough way - bad way how to spoil the experience for him, but these rules were told in advance, so it was his own mistake, definately not Roger's! Years and tour went on....
Summer 2013 - Roger Waters's Prague open air gig was moved to O2 Arena again, many people disappointed because of this, but finally it was very lucky decision because there was a huge delay of trucks with equipment - open air gig would have to be cancelled (10pm curfew), gig in hall could have been delayed. I wanted to meet Roger again, because he was really fine, but when he arrived to Prague, I was in Slavkov (Deep Purple played postponed gig from 4th August one day later - when Roger arrived to Prague). So I had to try hotel again - this time, it wasnt secret information anymore, I was almost sure - the same one as in 2011. I wanted to meet him before his leaving for soundcheck, but then - the issue with delayed tracks appeared! Three hours of delay of trucks = three hours of delay of soundcheck and almost three hours of delay of gig itself? In fact the show finally started with just hour and half delay, so it wasnt that bad. But Roger's leaving for soundcheck was definately much later than expected (about 7pm!) and also we were worried about his mood under these conditions. Suprisingly everything went fine. Again - Roger's manager came in and we got into discussion like this:
manager: "does anyone have any experience from last time?" - I said "yes, I have from 2011" - "so do you know the rules?" - "one sign per person, no handshake, pictures during signing?" - "perfect, tell the others..."
Roger invited us again behind the hotel gates and signed for us again, and again about 20 people there. This time without any issue, because everyone respected the rules..... Another brilliant The Wall performance (it's impossible to describe the show, it must be seen!) and then - discussion with friends about saying goodbye to Roger on airport next day - do it or not? Isnt it a bit much? That's silly - let's go! I decided to make a picture from meeting from previous day and ask Roger to sign it. Sadly the company which makes these fast pictures (on wait) have only couple of sizes and large ones are really very expensive. So I decided to make "middle one" (just 7x5" /18x13cm size).... We all got at the airport at the right time - Roger arrived just few minutes after us! In hurry I made a terrible mistake! Because I had no idea about pen used for signing on the photograph, I had a sheet of folded blank paper to make assure that ink on the photo has dried already, but I put this awful crumpled paper under the photograph for the signing. You can guess how it ended - please dont laugh... :)
This is a picture taken just shortly after the signing. Of course - "spiteful" friends have a great fun from me till today because of this story..... but finally - the framed photography with the signed sheet of paper does not look bad at all. :)
These are all my signed Floyd-related items, including all 3 autographs obtained from Roger and I really hope that I'll be able to obtain DG's sign in September.... :
Thanks for reading and again, sorry for any grammar mistakes!
(to be continued....)