Pink Floyd's classic 'The Wall,' inspired by Montreal incident, turns 40
MONTREAL -- It’s been 40 years since Pink Floyd declared they didn’t need no education.
Saturday marks the anniversary of the release of The Wall, a concept album about alienation, mental illness and an incident at a Montreal concert that saw bassist and singer Roger Waters spitting at a fan.
Upon its release the double-album spent 15 weeks at the top of the Billboard charts, selling over 11.5 million copies in North America alone. Produced by Toronto’s Bob Ezrin, the album spawned several classic rock radio staples, including ‘Comfortably Numb’ and ‘Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 2.’
In a 2011 interview with a British radio station Waters recalled the incident that inspired the album. During a concert at the Olympic Stadium on July 6, 1977 he spit in the face of a fan who was close to the stage, leading the songwriter to begin pondering the disconnect that had developed between the musicians and their fans.
The Montreal connection has endured throughout the years. In 2016 L'Opera de Montreal performed their take on the album to celebrate the city's 375th anniversary.