Bringing an end to months of rumors, Pink Floyd announced over the weekend that the band’s classic lineup will come together to perform at the London Live 8 concert on July 2. Bassist/songwriter Roger Waters — who acrimoniously split from the psychedelic rock group more than 20 years ago — will join guitarist/singer David Gilmour, drummer Nick Mason and keyboard player Richard Wright for the show in Hyde Park to help raise awareness about African debt relief.
“Like most people, I want to do everything I can to persuade the G8 leaders to make huge commitments to the relief of poverty and increased aid to the Third World,” Gilmour wrote on Pink Floyd’s official Web site, confirming the quartet’s first show together in 24 years. “It’s crazy that America gives such a paltry percentage of its GNP to the starving nations. Any squabbles Roger and the band have had in the past are so petty in this context, and if re-forming for this concert will help focus attention, then it’s got to be worthwhile.”
Pink Floyd were hugely successful in the 1970s, and Waters was the driving force behind such classic Floyd albums as The Wall and The Dark Side of the Moon — the latter spending a record 741 weeks on the Billboard albums chart. Waters split with the group in 1983 and has feuded with Gilmour in the press over the years, at one point unsuccessfully suing the singer to stop the remaining trio from touring as Pink Floyd. The Gilmour-led Floyd have not played a live show since 1994.
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Led Zeppelin, with Phil Collins sitting in for late drummer John Bonham, famously reunited for the original Live Aid in 1985.
In other Live 8 news, Green Day have announced on their Web site that they will perform at the Berlin Live 8 show, joining a bill that features Brian Wilson, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Lauryn Hill and A-Ha (see “50 Cent, Jay-Z, Mariah, U2, Coldplay On Board For Massive Live Aid Sequel “ ).
The two additions to the all-star roster will not help alleviate the show’s main problem, at least according to Gorillaz/ Blur leader Damon Albarn. The rocker said Friday that he would not take part in the show and criticized the lineups as being “too damn Anglo-Saxon,” according to BBC Radio. “If you’re holding a party on behalf of people, you don’t shut the door on them — it perpetuates this idea that Africa is separate.”
A Live 8 spokesperson defended the show to BBC News, saying organizers did not want to “preach to the converted” by putting together a concert for world music fans only. “Bob Geldof’s intention was to get headline-grabbing shows full of people who fill stadiums and arenas,” the spokesperson said. British rapper Ms. Dynamite, Snoop Dogg and Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour are the only black artists on the bill in London so far.
The spokesperson said a “large African event” is also in the works, but it has not yet been confirmed.
Get involved: Learn about the poverty crisis in Africa, the proposed solutions, and how you can help. Plus find all of our coverage of the international Live 8 concerts and more at our thinkMTV Live 8 hub.