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The Pros and Cons of HitchHiking

In 1978 Roger Waters came to his band mates in Pink Floyd with two concept album ideas that he had been working on for the next Pink Floyd album. One: The Wall, and the other, The Pros and Cons of HitchHiking. The group liked The Wall, best, feeling the words and lyrics of Pros and Cons dealt too personally with Roger's life.

After Pink Floyd disbanded in 1983, Roger went back into the studios and back to work on what was to be his first solo album, "The Pros and Cons of HitchHiking." The album was released in 1984, and followed by two tours, with many concerts across the US and in Europe. The first tour in 1984 began in Stockholm Sweeden. Then progressed to The Netherlands, and then to England and Switzerland. The main part of the tour however, spanned mostly the eastern half of the US, as well as Canada. This tour was with Eric Clapton playing lead guitar. The second tour in 1985, went from the Eastern US, to Canada, and then back. After a thourough saturation of East and middle America, the tour progressed finally to the Western US and then to the South. For this second half of the Pros and Cons tour however, Eric Clapton was replaced by Jay Stapley, and Chris Stainton was replaced by Andy FairWeather Low. The Pros and Cons album was released first in England and then in the US. There were trivial differences in the lyrics of these versions reported as well as extra lyrics sung in concert.

As with The Wall, Gerald Scarfe created all the graphics and animation, for the album, and tour, and Fisher/Park created the stage and props again as well. Mr. Scarfe had drawn charicatures of all the band members for the tour program, and the charicature of Roger which he named Rog, seemed to have a long snout like a dog. So Gerald created a character of a Dog in the image of Rog and named him Reg. Reg became the main character of the story and stage animation of the Pros and Cons of HitchHiking tour.

The Following story is what Pros and Cons of HitchHiking is all about song by song, scene by scene in Roger Waters own words.

 4:30 AM SCENE I
 (A suburban bedroom somewhere near London)
 "Shane" plays on the TV.
 An Englishman, struggling with a nightmare wakes
 his American wife.
 She speaks.
 Wife: "Wake up, you're dreaming"
 Man: "What?"
 Wife: "You're dreaming"
 The man mumbles disjointedly about his dream.
 His wife soothes him back to sleep.

 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...
 Lust conquers fear, the man courts the girl. His
 sensible family sedan metamorphosis into a mettalic
 green Lamborghini.

The girl is impressed.
 They go for a drive.
 He is about to seduce her when... Fear conquers lust.

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

 (A small Hotel overlooking the Rhine)
 The man and the girl eat dinner.
 He takes her upstairs and orders breakfast.
 He locks the door.
 He reaches out for her...

 4:40 AM SCENE V
 Reaching out in his dream he wakes his wife again.
 She is not a pleased woman.
 He is horny.
 She rejects him and goes back to sleep.
 He lies in bed, brittle and angry.
 "Bloody toast crumbs"
 He silently rants.
 "Hey girl, take out the dagger and let's have a
 stab at the sexual revolution."
 He falls asleep again and dreams of a geographical
 solution to his marital problems - They will return
 to his wife's native land a
 nd live off it.
 She will be fulfilled.
 They will be happy.

 (A cabin in Wyoming)
 The experiment fails. Through the trials and
 tribulations of self-reliance the couple polarise.
 She falls in love with a "friend from the East".
 They part.

 (The edge of a highway - somewhere in the States)
 The man is now alone.
 He is the hitch-hiker.
 A truck pulls up.
 "Hey kid, you looking for a lift?... Get on up here."
 He climbs in and whines to the truck driver. The
 truck driver, happy to join in the battle of the sexes,
 commiserates for a while.
 Then, realising that our hero is about to vomit all over
 his highly polished cowboy boots, he throws him out
 of the rig.

 (The Gutter)
 Things go from bad to worse.

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

 5:10 AM SCENE X
 (Back in Suburbia)
 As he awakes our hero experiences a moment of clarity.
 He feels at one with the world.
 He has the answer?

 (The bedroom - One minute later.)
 The moment fades.
 The man is afraid.
 He reaches out and touches his wife's hair.
 She is awake.
 He loves her..."

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