Mark Fisher - MF
Q: Your introduction to Rock was designing the inflatables for Pink Floyd's American Animals tour in 1977, can you remember any major problems, and how you overcame them?
MF: I had been designing and building bits and pieces in general and inflatables in particular for shows for some years before I met Roger. So what I did in '77 for the Floyd was hardly new then, and there were no problems other than the usual one of persuading the band to spend the money. Roger wanted the inflatables to be quite small, because he had no real sense of scale. I built them larger than he wanted, because even so they were smaller than they should have been.
Q: When were you first introduced to Roger Waters and Pink Floyd?
MF: Although he would never remember it, I first met Roger Waters and Pink Floyd in 1966 when they were booked for the Christmas party of the college I was attending in London. I was one of the party planners. And I used to see them at the UFO, and at All Saints Church Hall, which was around the corner from a flat I lived in Powis Terrace. The invitation to build inflatables for them in 1976 came through a contact of mine in the theater business after I had built some inflatables for Barry Humphries.
Q: You are a trained architect, Roger Waters went to architecture school, did you find you had a lot in common with him?
MF: No. I am not mad and he is. Or is it the other way around?
Q: I saw The Wall show at Earl's Court in 1981 and enjoyed it thoroughly. Could you tell us how long from start to finish it took to design this project?
MF: I started drawing sketches for how to do The Wall in January 1978, mainly to persuade the band that it was possible. I finally got a go ahead in late September 1978 and the first shows were in February 1979.
Q: These shows were filmed for The Wall movie, did camera crews present any major problems that weren't present in the August 1980 shows at Earls Court?
Q: Have you seen the final film at Earl's Court? Do you think it will ever be released on video?
MF: Yes. No. It is very dark and horrible and boring and should be burned so people remember the show as they imagine it, rather than discovering how primitive it really was.
Q: Did you attend all The Wall shows? If so, did you have to perform any unusual tasks, such as tour carpenter, as you did for the Stevie Wonder show?
MF: In those days I was a carpenter as well as a designer. I worked the controls that collapsed the wall for every show. The controls were located backstage to stage left, and I never saw the wall fall from the front except on video.
Q: I saw The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking show at the N.E.C. Birmingham in 1984, again a brilliant show, how long did it take you to design this set?
MF: I can't remember, but not very long. It was a simple show, the real effort went into making the very expensive $400,000.00 film directed by Nick Roeg, and Gerald Scarfe etc.
Q: Technically speaking, was this show more or less complex than The Wall shows?
MF: It was a very simple show. The only technical problem was synchronizing three 35mm projectors with the SMPTE on the multi-track tape recorders. The three projectors at the end of The Wall had run wild of the sound, though in synch with each other. The Pros and Cons projectors eventually ran in synch with each other and with the multi- tracks slaved to them.
Q: Did the Radio K.A.O.S. shows present you with any unusual problems?
MF: No. All rock shows are more the same than different, even ones involving Roger Waters.
Q: This was a tour I missed, were any of these shows recorded on video or audio tape?
MF: I don't know.
Q: Were you involved in the negotiations between the Mayors of East and West Berlin for The Wall in Berlin?
Q: Was any original equipment from The Wall '80/81 shows used in the Berlin show?
MF: The original "Pink" puppets were copied facsimiles, and some of the original film was printed up from 35mm to 70mm for the circular screen. And original film was used on the wall at the end.
Q: What caused delays just after the show started?
MF: Power failure of the mains distro to the monitor desks.
Q: I watched the show live on TV in Portugal and thought the show was fantastic, were you pleased with the show?
MF: Yes and no. Yes, it was technically accomplished. No, it was a shameful waste of money in which megalomania overcame common sense.
Q: Are there any future plans to work with Roger Waters again?
MF: I rather think that my work for Pink Floyd in 1994 rules that out, but who can tell?
Q: Are there any upcoming major shows that you have been designing for scheduled for 1996 or 1997?
MF: I just finished doing shows for Tina Turner and AC/DC.
I am just finishing designs for Metallica, The Cure, and
Smashing Pumpkins (in the USA).