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Roger Waters Changes Controversial ‘Wall’ Video

The Anti-Defamation League had protested the juxtaposition of the Star of David and dollar signs

October 7, 2010 5:40 PM ET

After drawing criticism from the Anti-Defamation League over a video segment in his Wall tour that juxtaposed the Star of David and dollar signs, Roger Waters has tweaked his show, separating the symbols. During “Goodbye Blue Sky,” a video projection showed dropping bombs in the shape of various symbols — crucifixes, Stars of David, dollar signs, Muslim crescents, Mercedes and Shell Oil logos. As Rolling Stone first reported (in last issue’s cover story), the Stars of David were directly followed by dollar signs in the original production — but in the version of the show played at Madison Square Garden on October 6th, the Mercedes symbol now follows the stars.

Photos: 'The Wall Tour' Kickoff

In Rolling Stone’s story, Waters denied any anti-Semitic intent. ADL director Abe Foxman nevertheless took offense: “It is outrageous that Roger Waters has chosen to use the juxtaposition of a Jewish Star of David with the symbol of dollar signs,” he wrote. “While he insists that his intent was to criticize Israel's West Bank security fence, the use of such imagery in a concert setting seems to leave the message open to interpretation, and the meaning could easily be misunderstood as a comment about Jews and money.”

Photos: Backstage With Roger Waters

“Contrary to Mr Foxman's assertion, there are no hidden meanings in the order or juxtaposition of these symbols,” Waters wrote on his website five days before the MSG concert. “The point I am trying to make in the song is that the bombardment we are all subject to by conflicting religious, political, and economic ideologies only encourages us to turn against one another, and I mourn the concomitant loss of life.”

A spokesperson for Roger Waters has not responded to a request for a comment on the show’s tweak.

Video: Go behind the scenes at Roger Waters' Rolling Stone cover shoot

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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