Stonehenge in Madrid; The Wall; and a Drowning Dog

5 Aug

Stonehenge: Madrid


Our mate Mike wanted to celebrate his fortieth at Roger Waters’ “The Wall” but the British gigs were sold out, so we piled off from Ynystawe to Madrid in March. It was cold and rainy, while Swansea basked in an unseasonably warm and dry Spring. We spent two days being culture vultures, doing El Prado and La Reine Sophia galleries gawping at Velasquez, Bosch, El Greco, Goya and Picasso. Goya’s ‘Black Paintings’ were fantastic; very dark and sinister. He’d painted them to decorate his house – not a happy bunny by the look of them. There was one called ‘Drowning Dog’ and there was a group of small children on a school trip standing round it crying, while their teacher tried to make them draw it.


The Wall was brilliant. Hard to believe that Roger Waters isn’t far off 70 – he gave an amazing performance and his voice is perfect. I’ve always loved the album but wasn’t sure how it would adapt to a 21st century stage show. He’s changed the emphasis from what was a rather introspective piece back in the 70’s to a critique of modern society. The artistry is as brilliant as the music. A lot of Ralph Steadman’s original imagery is still there alongside up-to-the-minute computer graphics. It was immensely moving and I cried all the way through. My best bit was tens of thousands of Spaniards and our little group of Brits on our feet screaming ‘RUN RUN RUN RUN’. Unforgettable.


So where does Stonehenge come in? Outside the stadium was a plaza with a huge statue of a semi-abstract man in it and towering above it was an even more huge ‘Stonehenge’ thing made from concrete. We decided that if we got split up, we’d meet back at ‘Stonehenge’. About ten thousand other people decided the same! It’s an ink drawing in my sketchbook.

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