Over the weekend, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour and Roger Waters reunited to perform four songs at an English benefit that raised money for young Palestinian refugees, marking the first time the two played in public since 2005’s Live 8 concert. Gilmour and Waters have had an acrimonious relationship since they first split up in the ’80s, but the co-organizer of the benefit, Bella Freud, tells Rolling Stone that the two were in high spirits at the show, which suggests the two might have finally buried the hatchet. “David arrived first and then Roger came on and I saw Roger give David a hug,” she says. “It was really lovely.”
While the reunion was unannounced, there were plenty of preparations going into the event. Gilmour and Waters geared up for their short set by sound checking “To Know Him Is to Love Him,” “Comfortably Numb” and “Wish You Were Here.” “There were about 30 people milling about,” Freud says. “Everyone was just stunned.” Freud also says she tried to get Gilmour and Waters to perform together at a Hoping benefit show last year, but scheduling conflicts prevented it from taking place. “There was the possibility of something happening,” she says. “David said he would do something and I asked Roger and he said, ‘I would definitely be up for it,’ but he was away.”
Gilmour and Waters were originally planning to play three songs. But one attendee, British financier Arpad Busson, was so taken with the performance, he donated £50,000 to get them to play “Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2.” “Some other people were also saying they’d give £200,000 for them to play one more song,” Freud adds. “People were crying — really! I know it sounds corny, but it was magic. David and Roger — they looked so happy up there and they made something so beautiful happen.”
As Rolling Stone previously reported, Waters has said he asked Gilmour to join 30th anniversary tour for The Wall, but Gilmour was “uninterested” in the offer.