December 14th. Are you getting excited yet? Maybe you will when you help me open todays little cardboard door on my UK Christmas Number Ones Advent Calendar. It’s a real doozie. It was number one at Christmas 1979 and stayed at the top for 5 weeks. It was the bands only official post Syd Barrett UK single as well. It was the mighty Pink Floyd with “Another Brick In the Wall – part 2” taken from the album ‘The Wall’ which was pretty close to a Roger Waters solo album, allegedly. In my opinion it is truly a brilliant album and to give the Floyd their only UK singles number one, well that is amazing!
The song is a protest song against the rigid education system, mostly from a private schools perspective. But when I was was at school in the 70s I must admit it was a very rigid system, certainly in the sense that no one really explained what my purpose was. Why did I have to sit these exams, why did I have to go to 6th form and why was I supposed to go to University? At the time I never really understood and actually left school aged 16. I was however a little lucky as I went to Grammar School, this meant that I took (and passed) my ‘O’ Levels in Maths and English a year early! But after that I dropped out and bunked off most days. I managed to fail 7 ‘O’ Levels in the 5th Form, largely because I didn’t try and didn’t attend. However I was gutted that I failed Art as I really did turn up and put a lot of work into it! Anyway it’s all done now and luckily it did me no harm.
In 1980 the apartheid regime banned the song in South Africa as it was used by people protesting against the racist education system. the Islington Green School Choir appeared on the song at the behest of producer Bob Ezrin. The school was not far from Britannia Studios where ‘The Wall’ was recorded. The song also hit the top of the US charts and was number one in many European countries as well.
As a footnote I just had to mention this. Many of you will be aware of the recent student riots in the UK in protest against University fees. Well it seems that Dave Gilmour’s son Charlie was a naughty boy during the protests. Well more of a total twat really, he swung off the flag on the Cenotaph thus denigrating the memories of millions of war dead. Charlie you twat! Anyway there was a letter to the Guardian today from a Mr Alan Cripps of London and it goes like this ‘ David Gilmour‘s son In University fees protest? Surely he don’t need no education? Top man Mr Cripps, I loved that letter. Read the Charlie Gilmour story in the Guardian by clicking here.