Bridgehampton rock icon and activist Roger Waters shared a new YouTube video on Sunday featuring him and his touring band members performing his Pink Floyd classic “Mother,” from his seminal 1979 album The Wall—all while social distancing at their respective homes.
“Social distancing is a necessary evil in COVID world. Watching ‘Mother’ reminds me just how irreplaceable the joy of being in a band is,” Waters wrote in his social media shares and the notes beneath the black-and-white video, which shows him playing acoustic guitar and singing, while his numerous bandmates play their own instruments and sing, sometimes in split screen.
Waters was due to begin his This Is Not a Drill Tour in July, but the COVID-19 pandemic derailed those plans, causing the 76-year-old legend to postpone it until 2021. Meanwhile, forced to remain at home, Waters told Rolling Stone that he hasn’t stopped working “for a single second,” and he’s continuing to prep for the tour, which he called “part rock & roll arena show, part cinema.”
This beautiful “Mother” performance isn’t the first video he’s released from quarantine. Among them, he performs a cover of “Paradise” in tribute to his friend and the song’s author, singer-songwriter John Prine, who died in April.
More recently, on Tuesday, Waters released an “ANNOUNCEMENT” video to thank fans for the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the “Mother” performance. “I think one and a half million of you have viewed our new version of ‘Mother,’ which is lovely,” he says, adding, “It really warms my heart, I have to say, but it does bring up the question of why is this video not available on a website that calls itself the Pink Floyd website?” Waters goes on to discuss his longtime feud with former Pink Floyd bandmate and lead guitarist David Gilmour, which cemented when Waters left the band to pursue a solo career in 1985.
You can watch that announcement below and get mired in the bad feelings and decades of band politics, or simply watch “Mother,” choose not to get involved, and appreciate the song and video for their poignant beauty. The choice seems easy.