For the first time since the Hurricane Sandy Relief concert in 2012, Eddie Vedder sang the chorus of Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb.” Roger Waters has been on tour all summer to promote his new album, Is This The Life We Really Want? The album is the first release from Waters in twenty five years, and this time is political. Despite the obvious suggestions from the album’s title, Waters’ politics have been on display in the news during recent months.
Waters’ signature on a letter to Radiohead’s Thom Yorke urging him not to play a concert in Tel Aviv put the Pink Floyd guitarist and songwriter’s political views on the subject into high relief. Waters, who is a staunch supporter of a cultural boycott against the state of Israel, was also in the news after Long Island officials tried to stop him from playing in Nassau County. Waters, who supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, that advocates for international economic retreat from the state of Israel, has come under legal threat over this concert fiasco. Nassau County holds the right to deny business in the country to supporters of this movement. Waters is now dealing directly with the ramifications of the law.
So Waters, who boycotts Israel, is now boycotted by Nassau County. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but two boycotts? Waters still thinks they are going to let him play.
“I don’t think, I know they are, because you would have to tear up the Constitution of the United States of America, particularly the First Amendment, and throw it into the Hudson River, or the East River if that’s closer, in order for that to happen.”
Tonight’s news is more fun than political. “Comfortably Numb” has been on Pearl Jam’s repertoire for a while now. Waters clearly knows Vedder is a fan of the song and has heard him sing it well. Something about Vedder’s unmistakable voice really lends itself to the chorus on Waters’ song. Waters in the past has had other famous voices take the part, including Van Morrison. Vedder, who has been reeling from his dear friend Chris Cornell’s death in May, has not made many public appearances since. This display is both is both a bold a moving moment for Vedder.
Photo Credit: Sharon Alagna