Roger Waters rebuilds Pink Floyd's "The Wall"

Roger Waters, the creative force behind Pink Floyd's legendary album "The Wall," is performing the rock opera to sold-out stadiums around the world

(CBS News) Forty-two high-definition projectors beam thousands of animated images onto a wall that is nearly three stories tall and longer than the length of a football field -- that's the set for Roger Waters' rock opera "The Wall," inspired by the iconic piece he composed with Pink Floyd in the late 1970's. The show is now on the road, selling out soccer stadiums and baseball parks from Santiago, Chile, to San Francisco. It took Waters, now 68, nearly three years of planning to create this light-and-sound extravaganza, but he says "the emotional payback is enormous . . . the work is the reward."


The following script is from "Roger Waters" which originally aired on May 20, 2012. Steve Kroft is the correspondent. James Jacoby and Michael Karzis, producers.

In the music world, Madonna and Springsteen are rolling out their new worldwide tours. But one of -- if not the biggest act of this coming summer -- is a 68-year-old man who is not a household name performing a double album that was first recorded on vinyl 33 years ago.

The artist is Rogers Waters: the lyricist, bass player, and creative force behind the legendary rock band Pink Floyd. The music being performed is "The Wall," Waters' iconic master work that has proven to be one of the most interesting and durable pieces in rock and roll history. And it's being rediscovered by audiences all over the world.

For openers "The Wall" is not an ordinary rock concert -- it is an operatic spectacle that has garnered glowing reviews and has sold out soccer stadiums and baseball parks from Santiago, Chile to San Francisco.

It's has been re-imagined and re-staged by Roger Waters, the man who composed virtually all of it in 1979 when he was a member of Pink Floyd, and now he's performing it without them.

We taped this concert two months ago in Buenos Aires, where Waters performed before 400,000 people in nine-sellout performances at River Plate Stadium, breaking a record held by the Rolling Stones.

Steve Kroft: I mean this is one of the most resilient rock pieces in history.

Roger Waters: Yeah.

Steve Kroft: Why is that, do you think?

Roger Waters: I think it strikes some chords that may be just beneath surface in most of us. What it's about is the walls that exist between human beings, whether on a family level or on a global level. And I think that resonates with people.

Steve Kroft: Were you surprised at how successful it was?

Roger Waters: At the beginning, yeah. The initial response was very, very positive. The word got out very quickly that this was a very special show.

In fact it's one of the most ambitious, complicated and dazzling shows ever produced: an amalgam of music, theatre, and cinema. It requires 42 high-definition projectors to beam thousands of animated images onto various sections of a wall that is nearly three stories tall and 140 yards long, more than the length of a football field. And it all has to be synchronized with the music.

It took Waters and his tech team nearly three years to complete all the animation and figure out if all of this could be done.

Steve Kroft: Has anybody tried this before?

Roger Waters: No. Nothing even close.

They painstakingly plotted out and choreographed every song, every scene, every image at this production studio in downtown New York.

Steve Kroft: You're 68 years old. Why are you doing this? Why are you going out on the-- on the road?

Roger Waters: The emotional payback is enormous. The truth of the matter is that the work is the reward. I mean, the shows are great. Don't get me wrong. I love the shows. I love it. But I love this. I love-- I love the nature of putting the thing together, you know. I like not just the nuts and bolts, but I like the process of trying to work out how to make it better all the time.

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