Pros and Cons stage show description

By Tom Bowers

This a complete and detailed description of the Pros and Cons stage show (or at least as detailed as I remember it). The lyrics are taken from the US CD notes and are primarily included below so that we can understand the correct reference point. Please don't flame me if this transcription does not correspond exactly with what is on the album. My comments are included in []s. Anything not in brackets and not in the lyric sheet or on the album itself is taken from the description given in the concert program. The program includes Gerald Scarfe's rough sketches for the stage show and by looking at these sketches (and his notes in the margin) I was able to sift thru my foggy memory and write a fairly accurate description of the show. It was a fascinating concert and it is the one concert (in the hundreds I've seen) that I'd MOST like to see over. Fortunately I did get to see the stage show again 8 months later (with a different backing band) so my memory of the show is reasonably solid (having spent almost a year thinking about the first performance, and paying extra attention during the second performance).

The setting is a suburban bedroom somewhere near London.

[The backdrop behind the stage shows a huge modern bedroom. There is a fifty foot wide TV on the right, a large wall-length window on the left (with a clear moonlit night visible outside the bedroom), and a night-table with flowers and a book visible in the middle.]

An Englishman is in bed with his American wife and he has fallen asleep while watching "Shane" on the television.

[The film visible on the TV from the audience's perspective, however, is NOT "Shane". Apparently the Englishman is dreaming of an incredibly violent b-grade western. Jack Palance has left his classic role in "Shane" and now appears in the western as the ringleader of a band of desperados. Shortly into the violent western film, a woman is gang raped by the desperados. The film continues for about about 15 minutes with people being killed about once every thirty seconds. The film is very difficult to to follow from a vantage point in the audience. Eventually the western movie concludes and is replaced with a late night television test pattern. The test pattern is then in turn replaced with film footage of technicians at the television station. Apparently they are shutting the TV station down until the morning's programming. Then suddenly, without warning, a small streaking fireball appears at the uppermost left of the window and streaks toward the bedroom were everything suddenly goes red, there is an earth shattering explosion (in quadrophonic sound) and the bedroom bursts into flame. From a vantage point in the audience, this effect is incredibly startling (even more so because it is entirely unexpected).]

The Englishman, struggling with this nightmare is startled by this horrible image and wakes his American wife.

[As she speaks, the room returns to normal.]

Wife: "Wake up, you're dreaming"
Man: "What?"
Wife: "You're dreaming"
Man: "We were moving away from the border"
Wife: "Uh what border?"
The man mumbles disjointedly about his dream.
His wife soothes him back to sleep.

[As the music starts, the bedroom backdrop disappears. The audience sees an eery spotlight shining on Eric Clapton from behind as he plays the opening notes to "Apparently They Were Traveling Abroad". The concert has begun.]


The man returns to his dream. He and his wife are driving through continental Europe. There is a vague feeling of threat. The European psyche still shrinks from memories of The Jackboot. Borders are dangerous places. The law is a fickle friend. They pick up two hitch-hikers, a beautiful girl and a hooded terrorist...

[The backdrop behind the band is now that of a red and white striped bar. It is a border gate. On the left, we start to see a border check point booth and the gate is lifted allowing free passage. As the songs proceeds, the border gate divides into three and "dances" as the music is played.]

Man: "We were moving away from the border
      Looking for somewhere to sleep.
      The two of us sharing the driving,
      Two hitch-hikers slumped in the back seat."
Hitchhiker: "Hello"
Man: "I sneaked a quick look in the mirror.

[The backdrop shows glance into a rear view mirror in time with the sound effect on the album.]

Man: "She gave me a smile.
      I said 'Is anyone hungry?
      Should we stop for a while?'"

Lust conquers fear, the man courts the girl.

Man: "So we pulled off into a layby.
      Her dress blew up over her head.
      I said 'Would you like to come with me?'
      She said something foreign under her breath."

Man: "And the sun shone down on her lovely young limbs.
      I thought to myself 'she's much too good for him'.
      I lay down beside her with tears in my eyes
      and she said

[The letters "Y""E""S" are displayed as the three windows on a slot machine. Immediately after Roger sings the words "and she said...", the backdrop changes to that of a slot machine. The slots are spinning and they stop in sync with the beats in the music, one letter at a time (beat-"Y", beat-"E", beat-"S"). The word "YES" is briefly apparent and then the slots begin spinning again to spell out a new word (beat-"S", beat-"E", beat-"X"). The slots then begin to spin again. This time one of the slots stops on a cherry (yes!) and another slot stops on the film image of a naked woman wearing nothing but a red knapsack and red high heels (with her ass pointed at the camera). The woman is standing in front of a white backdrop and the camera pulls away showing us what appears to be a photographer shooting the front cover for Roger's album. (the infamous photo that was quickly censored with a black mark obscuring the woman's rear end). A Hells Angel, however, rides through the backdrop on a motorcycle and the naked woman climbs on board and they ride off (the Hells Angel is Jack Palance).]

His sensible family sedan metamorphosis into a mettalic green Lamborghini.
The girl is impressed.
They go for a drive.

[The backdrop fades into an image of a winding white striped line (i.e. a typical highway divider line). The winding highway divider eventually fades and the backdrop fades into that of a moonlit cemetary.]

Man: "So I stood by the roadside
      The soles of my running shoes gripping the tarmac
      Like gunmetal magnets.
      Fixed on the front of her Fassbinder face
      Was the kind of a smile
      That only a rather dull child could have drawn
      While attempting a graveyard in the moonlight.
      But she was impressed,
      You could see that she thought I looked fine.
      And when she turned sweeter,
      The reason (between you and me) was
      She's just seen my green Lamborghini."

[The backdrop changes to film footage of the hitch-hiker. She teases the camera and slowly entices us to follow her into a wooded area away from the main road. As she moves into the wooded area, she is slowly removing her clothing.]

Man: "So we went for a spin in the country,
      To feel the wind in my hair
      To feel the power of my engine
      To feel the thrill of desire".

He is about to seduce her when... Fear conquers lust.
Man: "And then in the trees I heard a twig snap,
      Warning lights flashed on my map
      I opened my eyes and to my surprise..."


Paralysed by fear, he is whisked back to suburbia and attacked in his own home by a gang of Arab Terrorists.

[The bedroom backdrop returns into our view. There are hooded terrorists visible outside of the window. We see a hand reach in and break the glass. The terrorists walk around the apartment as an alarm sounds and a siren light flashes at the audience. We see a hand turn off the alarm and the music then starts back up - there is a long pause between songs here that is not found on the album. N.B. Someone posted something about dialog in this spot that is found on some liner notes. I suspect that corresponds to words spoken by the terrorists as they invade the apartment (I don't really remember).]

Man: "...there were Arabs with knives
      at the foot of the bed.
      Right at the foot of the bed.
      Oh my God, how did they get in here?
      I thought we were safe home in England"

Hitch-hiker: "Come on now kid, it was wrong what you did.
      You've got to admit it was wrong."

[As the terrorists enter the bedroom, we first see a huge knife glisten. We then see an arm attached to that knife, and finally a hooded terrorist is seen approaching the bed. The backdrop then fades into a flesh colored pastel, only to be interuppted by an image of a knife that splits the triple-screen as it travels the entire backdrop from the very left of the stage to the very right (about the width of a hockey rink). The knife leaves a trail of blood in its wake that seeps downward as the knife slices across.]

The Englishman rages in his impotence as the Arabs rape his wife.
Man: "Oh god... Jesus
      Leave her alone...get out..out..get out of my house."

[The backdrop fades into a triple screen image of a mouth screaming "LEAVE HER ALONE" (in sync with the voice from the album). This image fades into that of a person wading in a pool of blood.]

Man: "Sleep, Sleep
      I know that I'm only dreaming.
      Through closed eyes
      I see West German skies on the ceiling.
      And I want to get back
      To the girl with the rucksack,
      To feel her flaxen hair.
      I want to be there.
      See the sun going down
      Behind Krupp's steelworks
      On the outskirts of some German Town..."

[A sihlouette of an industrial village is shown against an orange backdrop.]

(A small Hotel overlooking the Rhine)
The man and the girl eat dinner.

[A Gerald Scarfe drawing of a fat German fellow dressed in green (with the caption "Guten tag! Miner Namen ist Fritz") serves as the backdrop for a huge paper mache puppet that pops out out of nowhere (complete with a huge mug of beer in his hand) and flits about in time with the album for about 5-10 seconds. Pretty interesting given that the puppet doesn't appear anywhere else in the show. A prime example of the excess associated with this production. I honestly think Roger was out to "top" The Wall show (and he probably did, at least in terms of the staging itself - the whole show was about 100 times more impressive than the KAOS stage show - if you can believe that.]

Fritz: "Guten Abend meiner Damen und Harren Ha Ha Ha Ha
        Wilkomemmen in Konigsburg Ha Ha Ha Ha
        Wollen zei danzen mit mir oder drinken Bier Ha Ha Ha Ha"

[The backdrops dissolves into orange and green Scarfe drawings of laughing German people.]
Man: "Thank you but......
      This yound lady and I
      Will just finish this bottle of wine
      It was kind of you...but
      I think we'll just say goodnight."

Man (thinking to himself): "Leave us alone."

Man (to Fritz): "Goodnight."

Man (to himself): "Leave us alone."

Man (to front desk clerk): "Could I have the key to 143 please?"

[The triple screen images fades to that of three doors. The center door has 143 on it.]

Front desk clerk: "There you are"

Man: "Thank you goodnight."

He takes her upstairs and orders breakfast.
Man (to room service): "Hello, yes, I'd like to order breakfast please"
      "I'd like coffee for two, and toast with marmalade

He locks the door.
He reaches out for her...


[The backdrop changes to that of moonlit mountain scenary overlooking the River Rhine, complete with a boat heading from right to left across the backdrop as it steams along the river.]

Man: "For the first time today
      I held her naked body next to mine
      In this hotel overlooking the Rhine
      I made her mine."

Reaching out in his dream he wakes his wife again.
She is not a pleased woman.
He is horny.

The bedroom backdrop returns, "Shane" is still on the TV.

[N.B. This comes from Scarfe's notes on the stage design in the program. I don't remember this as being part of the show I saw.]

Man:  "ooh babe... ooh babe
       Come with me and stay with me,
       Please stay with me."
Wife: "Uh... what is it?"
Man:  "Stay with me
       Stay with me
       Stay with me"
Wife: "No..."
Man:  "Stay with me"
She rejects him and goes back to sleep.

Wife: "Forget it"

He lies in bed, brittle and angry.
"Bloody toast crumbs"
He silently rants.

He falls asleep again.

[At this point the backdrop becomes Scarfe-animated colorful shapes that continually change their form (frequently suggesting sexual behavior - not unlike the fucking flowers found in the Wall movie.]

Man: "Hey...girl
      Take out the dagger 
      And let's have a stab at the sexual revolution.
      Hey girl
      Let freedom for all be our rallying call
      Tommorow lets make...our new resolution.
      Yeah, but tonight lie still
      While I plunder your sweet grave
      And remember
      Only the poor can be saved."

Man: "Hey girl
      As I've always said, I prefer your lips red
      Not what the good lord made
      But what he intended.
      Hey girl
      Don't point the finger at me.
      I am only a rat in a maze like you
      And only the dead go free.
      So...please hold my hand
      As we blunder through the maze
      And remember
      Nothing can grow without rain".
           (thunder and rain)

[As the thunder and rain washes over the audience in quadrophonic sound, the backdrop shows an image of a pair of red high heeled shoes walking up a stairway dripping blood in their wake (note: there is no person in the "walking shoes".]

Man: "Don't point
      Don't point your finger at me."

Man: "I awoke in a fever,
      The bedclothes were all soaked in sweat.
      She said 'You've been having a nightmare
      And it's not over yet'.
      Then she picked up the doggy in the window
      (The one with the waggly tail)
      And she put him to bed between two bits of bread.

[The backdrop fades into an image of "Reg" the dog between two slices of bread, the "ketchup" appears to be blood. Reg the dog is an interesting "Regald" Scarfe creation ("REG - or is it Rog?") Presumably it represents the Englishman in the story.]


[Reg the dog is now shown pinned up against a wall. "Home Sweet Home" is next to Reg on the wall.]

Man: "I just cowered in the corner
      My pyjama coat over my head.
      And she smiled as she finished her sandwich.
      And her cold eyes fixed me to my dark history
      As she brushed the remains
      Of our love from the bed."

The Englishman dreams of a geographical solution to his marital problems - They will return to his wife's native land and live off it.

She will be fulfilled.
They will be happy.
Man: "And when she had turned back the covers,
      When all of the prayers had been read,
      She said 
Wife: "Come one over here you silly boy
       Before you catch you're death of cold
       I was only joking.

[At this point, knives are thrown at the wall pinning Reg the dog up against it as he exclaims "I say old girl,steady on." If you listen carefully to the album you can actually hear the knives thrown at Reg at this point]

       Let's leave behind the city grime,
       Let's not compete,
       It could be fine in the country.
       Couldn't it though...come on let's go

Man: "I said 'OK'"

Wife: "Are we going to go now?"
Man:  "Where would you like to go darling?"
Wife: "Mmm...Vermont...Wyoming."
Man(nods yes): "Wyoming..."

Wife: "huh huh ...
Children(straighten up as if to say "What?"):
Wife: "We're going to Wyoming"

(in car)
Man: "Darling... Which way is Wyoming?"
Wife: "Hook a right here.
      "You're going the wrong way."
Man:  "I know that."

Man:  "I know children...
       Let's see how many...Volvos we pass
       On the way to our new life in the country.
       ...(that's) One."

Wife(turning to child in backseat): "Jade, don't do that, 
       that's really negative."

[The backdrop fades to yellow-ish Wyoming mountain scenery.]
Man: "As cars go by, I cast my mind's eye
      Over back packs on roof racks
      Beyond the horizon
      Where dream makers
      Working white plastic processors
      Invite the unwary
      To reach for the pie in the sky.
      Go fishing my boy!"

(A cabin in Wyoming)

Man:  "We set out in spring
       With a trunk full of books about everything.
       About solar devices
       And how nice natural childbirth is.
       We cut down some trees
       And we trailed our ideals
       Through the forest glade.
       We damned up the stream."

Man:  "And the kids cooled their heels
       In the fishing pool we'd made.
       We held hands and we exchanged bands
       And we practically lived off the land.
       You adopted a fox cub
       Whose mother was somebody's coat.
       You fed him by hand
       And then snuggled him down
       In the grandfather bed while I wrote.
       We grew our own maize
       And I only ocassionaly went into town
       To stock up on antibiotics
       And shells for the shotgun that I kept around.
       I told the kids stories
       While you worked your loom
       And the sun went down sooner each day."

Man:  "Chapter six, in which Eeyore has a birthday
       And gets two presents..." (pauses to light a joint)

[The backdrop changes to a triple screen image of Reg the dog smoking a joint. This fades into an image of a surprised Reg saying "Cripes! It's the wife." The wife (also a dog) replys to a floating multi-colored Reg "Reg, come down here you ridiculous clown and get on with some work."]

Children: "Daddy...come on dad!"
Man:  "Eeyore the old grey donkey stood by the side
       Of the stream and he looked at himself in the water
       'Pathetic!' he said. 'That's what it is.'
       'Good morning Eeyore' said Pooh.
       'Oh' said Pooh. He thought for a long time.

The experiment fails.  Through the trials and
tribulations of self-reliance the couple polarise.

Man:  "The leaves all fell down
       Our crops all turned brown
       It was over.
       As the first snowflakes fell,
       I realised all was not well in the camp.
       The kids caught bronchitis
       The space heater ran out of diesel.

She falls in love with a "friend from the East".

Man:  "One weekend a friend from the East,
       (Rot his soul!)
       Stole your heart.
       I said 'Fuck it then
       Take the kids back to town
       Maybe I'll see you around.'

[At this point we see an image of Reg the dog staggering drunk. The caption says "I don't normally drink in the afternoon."]

They part.
Man:  "And so...leaving all our hopes and dreams
       To the wind and the rain
       Taking only our stash
       Left our litter and trash
       And set out on the road again.
       On the road again."

Jade: "Bye bye Daddy, Bye Daddy.
       You can bring Pearl, she's a darn nice girl
       But don't bring Liza..."

(The edge of a highway - somewhere in the States)
The man is now alone.
He is the hitch-hiker.
Man: "For the first time today
      I feel it's really over.
      You were my everyday excuse
      For playing deaf, dumb, and blind.
      Who'd have ever thought
      This is how it would end for you and me,
      To carry my own millstone
      Out of the trees.
      And I have to admit
      I don't like it a bit
      Being left here beside this lonesome road."

Wife: "Lonesome road."

Man & Wife: "Lonesome raod."

A truck pulls up.

[The backdrop for this song corresponds to film footage of a truck pulling up to the Englishman (I don't believe he was ever shown, the camera always shows us his view). The film has the trucker talking and basically follows the narative of the song (complete with "Get off the goddam road you faggot" and "not in my rig you don't.")]

Truckdriver: "Hey kid, you looking for a lift?... Get on up here.
        "How's it going good buddy?"

He climbs in and whines to the truck driver. 

Man: "I nailed ducks to the wall
      Kept my heart in dark ruins
      I built bungalows all over the hills
      Dunroamin, duncarin, dunlivin.
      Took my girl to the country
      To sleep out under the moon,
      Next thing she's going crazy..."

The truck driver, happy to join in the battle of the sexes,
commiserates for a while.

Truckdriver: "Women are like that kid
      What the hell can you do?"

Man: "...She waits for the real Mr. Right to come,
      Gently removing her heart
      With his promises of real communication..."

Truckdriver: "I saw a program about that on TV..."

Man: "Who's always picking up the tab?
      Who built a bungalow for his his mum and dad?"
Man: "Who took you out to all the shows?
      Who worked his fingers to the bone?
Man (to himself): "Me.... It was me... I did."
Man: "While you were asleep
      I kept you in buttons and bows
      (Christ! All those clothes!)
      So you could encourage this creep
      With his neat feet
      And his clean fingernails
      With his wise but twinkling eyes.
      He's a rock standing out in an ocean of doubt..."

Truckdriver(not paying attention to the man but to the road instead):
      "Get movin', get off the road ya Goddam faggot"

Man: "...And compromise.
      I'd like to go with this bit of a song
      Describing this schmuck.
      I'd like to go on, but I'm going to throw up."

Then, realising that our hero is about to vomit all over his highly polished cowboy boots, he throws him out of the rig.

Truckdriver: "Not in my rig you don't boy...get the hell out of here!"

(The Gutter)
Things go from bad to worse.

An Angel on a Harley
Pulls across to greet a fellow rolling stone.
Puts his bike up on its stand,
Leans back, and then extends
A scarred and greasy hand... he said

Hells Angel: "How ya doin' bro?...Where ya been?...Where ya goin'?

[We see film footage of Jack Palance (as a Hells Angel) extending his hand behind the band.]

Then he takes your hand
In some strange Californian handshake
And breaks the bone."

Hells Angel's Girlfriend: "Have a nice day!"

A housewife from Encino,
Whose husband's on the golf course
With his book of rules,
Breaks and makes a 'U' and idles back
To take a second look at you.
You flex your rod,
Fish takes the hook.
Sweet Vodka and tobacco in her breath,
Another number in your little black book.

[At this point there is no backdrop. For once we have nothing to look at but the band.]

Housewife from Encino: "These are the pros and cons of hitch-hiking
       "These are the pros and cons of hitch-hiking."

Man: "Oh babe, I must be dreaming.
      I'm standing on the leading edge
      The Eastern seaboard spread before my eyes.

Yoko Ono: "Jump!" 

Man: "Oh no...I'm too scared and too good looking"

Yoko Ono: "Go on.
           Why don't you give it a try?
           Why prolong the agony?  All men must die"

Man: "Do you remember Dick Tracy?
      Do you remember Shane?"
      Could you see him selling tickets
      Where the buzzard circles over
      The body on the plain."

Television in the bedroom:  "Shane!"

Man: "Did you understand the music Yoko,
      Or was it all in vain?"

Television in the bedroom:  "Shane!"

Man: "The botch said something mystical
      So I stepped back on the curb again."

These are the pros and cons of hitch-hiking.

(A truckstop)
A waitress with a heart of gold sympathizes with our
hero reaffirming his basic belief in life and love.

[The film footage used here includes the waitress at the beginning and ends with soaring mountain scenary (the kind used in those movies where you sit in some room at Disneyland and they try to get you sick by showing you footage of planes soaring over cliffs, rollercoaster rides, etc. The exact same footage was used for this song on the Radio KAOS tour.]

Waitress (an older version of the hitch-hiker with the ruck-sack):
      "Hello... you wanna cup of coffee?

Another truckdriver: "Hey turn down that fucking jukebox!"

Waitress: "I'm sorry, would you like a cup of coffee?
           Ok, you take cream and sugar?"

Man: "In truck stops and hamburger joints,
      In Cadillac limosines,
      In the company of has-beens,
      And bent backs, and sleeping forms
      On pavement steps,
      In libraries and railway stations,
      In books and banks,
      In the pages of history,
      In suicidal cavalry attacks,
      I recognise...
      Myself, in every strangers eyes."

     "And in wheelchairs by monuments,
      Under tube trains and commuter accidents,
      In council care and county courts,
      At Easter fairs in sea-side resorts,
      In drawing rooms and city morgues,
      In award winning photographs
      Of life rafts in the China seas,
      In transit camps, under arc lamps,
      On unloading ramps,
      In faces blurred by rubber stamps,
      I recognise...
      Myself, in every strangers eyes.
     "And now from where I stand
      Upon this hill I plundered from the pool,
      I look around, I search the skies.
      I shade my eyes, so nearly blind,
      And I see signs of half-remembered days.
      I hear bells that chime in strange familiar ways.
      I recognise...
      The hope you kindle in your eyes."

He wakes.

[Clapton takes a masterful guitar solo]

(Back in Suburbia)
As he awakes our hero experiences a moment of clarity.
He feels at one with the world.
He has the answer?
Man: "It's oh so easy now
      As we lie here in the dark.
      Nothing interferes, it's obvious
      How to beat the tears
      That threaten to snuff out
      The spark of our love."

(The bedroom - One minute later.)
The moment fades.
Man: "And the moment of clarity
      Faded like charity does

The man is afraid.
He reaches out and touches his wife's hair.

Man: "I opened one eye
      And I put out my hand just to touch your soft hair
      To make sure in the darkness, that you were still there.
      And I have to admit,
      I was just a little afraid, oh yeah
      But then...

She is awake.

Man: "I had a little bit of luck
      You were awake
      I couldn't take another moment alone."

He loves her.

[The band returns for an encore of "Brain Damage->Eclipse" complete with the original footage used during the Dark Side Of the Moon show. This footage shows Nixon, Kissinger, Idi Amin (laughing in sync to the booming laugh from the Dark Side album), and other world leaders and ends with explosions during the "All that you touch, all that you feel, etc." part]

[This show was preceeded by the following set of old Floyd
     Set The Controls For the Heart of The Sun
     Money (using the unedited Dark Side film, the
            film used by Gilmour during the Momentary
            Lapse tour was missing the naked woman
            with the coins falling on her)
     Welcome To The Machine (with cartoon)
     Have A Cigar
     Wish You Were Here (with footage of business men in suits,
              Clapton's playing is masterful on this)
     Pigs On The Wing (with film footage of Pig at Battersea)
     In The Flesh? (with walking hammers cartoon)
     Nobody Home (with Rog watching TV in little room)
     Hey You
     The Gunner's Dream (with footage apparently prepared
           for a "Final Cut" tour that never took place)    ]

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