Roger Waters explained that he loves performing the 1975 song because “I can almost stop singing and almost wherever I am in the world,” the audience will take over for him.
The 80-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer said he notices that this happens particularly when he gets to the last verse of the song.
“I ask them, actually. I say, ‘Sing with me,’” Waters noted. “And then I kind of shut up and let ’em get on with it.”
He then recited the verse: “How I wish, how I wish you were here … Two lost souls swimming in a fishbowl, year after year / Running over the same old ground, what have we found? / The same old fear. Wish you were here.”
Waters then commented at the end of the clip, “I love hearing audiences sing that back at me.”
About “Wish You Were Here”
“Wish You Were Here” is the title track to Pink Floyd’s classic 1975 album, which has sold more than 6 million copies in the U.S. alone. The song is among the British band’s best-known tunes, although it was never released as a single. Waters co-wrote “Wish You Were Here” with Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, who sang lead on the studio version of the tune.
Roger Waters’ Reveals His Most Difficult Concert Experiences
Meanwhile, in another recent video Q&A segment, Waters revealed the two concerts that were the most difficult he ever played.
The first he mentioned was the star-studded performance of The Wall that he did in Berlin in 1990.
Waters explained that the show, which was held at the Potsdamer Platz several months after the Berlin wall was knocked down, “was fraught with difficulty, just because it was a huge endeavor and undertaking.”
The second concert he cited took place in 1987, while he was on a U.S. tour a few years after leaving Pink Floyd, at the same time his former band was on a stateside trek.
“[Pink Floyd was] playing in Cincinnati to about 70,000 people in the football stadium, and I was playing in a 4,000-seat arena to about a thousand people,” he recalled with a laugh. “And I remember thinking, ‘This is character forming. They’re out there playing my songs to 70,000 people … and here I am.’”
Waters continued, “And I’m thinking all this, and then I went ‘bang!’ and I hit the microphone, and I started bleeding copiously, and I was wearing a white T-shirt, and I thought, ‘Wow! This is f—ing cool’ … and I felt my character being formed in that moment, ’cause I was in pain, and some humiliation and whatever.”
He finished his recollection by saying, “So, thank you, those thousand people who came to that show that night. It was not easy.”
Waters, of course, has gone on to mount many massively successful solo tours, playing to huge audiences across the globe.