By John Lynds
In most music circles Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters is considered Rock & Roll royalty. Waters’s contribution to music through such celebrated albums like ‘Wish You Were Here”, “The Dark Side of the Moon” and “The Wall” have cemented him as a progressive rock legend.
Last Thursday, Waters asked twelve youth from East Boston’s popular music program, Zumix, to join him on stage at the TD Bank Garden and help him sing ‘Another Brick in the Wall Part II’ from Pink Floyd’s 1979 ‘The Wall’ album.
Prior to the show, the twelve youths, ages 8 to 15, quickly learned the song and choreography and jumped onstage in front of a sold out 12,000 person arena. This was the 49th show of the tour and the last night in the USA as they head to Canada.
During the show the youths stood silently onstage until the song’s iconic chorus. The Zumix youths then joined in singing with Waters, ‘We don’t need no education. We don’t need no thought control. No dark sarcasm in the classroom. Teachers leave them youths alone.”
Throughout the performance the crowd went wild as the Zumix youths took off orange jumpsuits to show teeshirts that read ‘Resist” and perfumed a dance number during Waters’s guitar solo.
After the Zumix youths performed Waters told the crowd about the program. After the show he talked with the Zumix performers and posed for pictures backstage.
“Roger (Waters) and his team couldn’t have been kinder and treated our youths like absolute professionals,” said Director of Operations at Zumix Jenny Shulman. “It was a great experience all-around. ZUMIX is so grateful to have opportunities like this to be able to show the power of youth and to make their voice heard. Our youths are learning key life skills every day and applying them all the time – imagine the maturity and confidence it took to play in front of 12,000 people.”
Zumix has been getting a lot of attention lately. Two years ago a youth band was asked to back up Sting at a charity event and this past Spring another charity event backing Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder.
“They are definitely on a roll,” said Board President Steven Snyder. “What some don’t realize is that Zumix youth are learning technical, professional, and life skills every day and many are out in Boston working, getting paid, applying those skills. We want to thank Roger Waters so much – these types of events draw attention to the amazing youth development Zumix does and helps us gain support that is needed from individuals, foundations and corporations. And…our youths do need education.”