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Waters Rocks Benefit Concert w/ Wounded Veterans Band

Roger Waters
Mike Coppola, Getty Images

As the child of a soldier who perished in World War II, Roger Waters has always had a personal understanding of the veteran’s plight, and it’s been a part of his music for years — as a member of Pink Floyd as well as a solo artist. On Thursday (Nov. 8), that commitment was reflected again in a poignant, once-in-a-lifetime performance.

Waters was on hand at New York’s Beacon Theater for the annual Stand Up for Heroes benefit show, and he contributed by performing with a group of wounded veterans he’d recently met at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Given that he and his temporary collaborators combined to create a 15-piece band, some rehearsal was obviously required, and Waters was up for the task, spending time hashing out their three-song set (which included the Floyd gem ‘Wish You Were Here’) over a number of jam sessions divided between the theater and the hospital.

Referencing his personal experience, Waters told the Boston Herald that he shares “enormous empathy with the men” and added, “I’ve been around the sense of loss and what loss from war can do to people.”

Waters went on to stress his non-partisan commitment to the cause, saying, “I never talk about the politics because it’s not relevant to me. I’m not interested in it. What I am interested in is the burdens these guys bear and would never question motive or even dream of talking about any of the politics. If any of us have a responsibility in our lives it is to tear down the walls of indifference and miscommunication between ourselves and our fellow men.”

Naturally, the never-ending question of a Pink Floyd reunion came up, and Waters took it in stride, telling the Herald that he thinks his former bandmate David Gilmour is “retired by and large.” He added, “I shouldn’t speak for him. But that’s the impression I get. Hey, whatever. All good things come to an end.”

Next: Top Pink Floyd '70s Songs

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