One of the more endearing happenstance stories in rock history might finally head to the silver screen. In 1979, while recording their masterpiece "The Wall," Pink Floyd recruited the children's choir at nearby Islington Green School to lay down the background vocals for what would become the band's Number One hit, "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2." However, the anti-authority message of the song eventually led to the school to fire its "maverick" choir teacher, Alan Renshaw. Three decades later, BBC Films and producer Andy Harries are plotting to make a film about Renshaw's life story, described to Deadline as "'Dead Poets Society' meets 'School of Rock,'" with Pink Floyd's iconic track at the heart of the film. (This will have to tide Floyd fans over until the inevitable Syd Barrett biopic.)
However, the whole premise of the film hinges on the assumption that Harries can get the rights to use "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2," something the production team has yet to acquire. This might pose a problem. While Pink Floyd spent much of their early career providing soundtracks to dated art films like Barbet Schroeder's "More" and "La Vallee" ("Obscured By Clouds" to Floyd fans) and Michelangelo Antonioni's "Zabriske Point," we can count on one hand the number of times Pink Floyd's music has been used in feature films since "The Wall" in 1980. There's a reason why you don't hear "Wish You Were Here" in every romantic comedy ever made, even though it's tailor-made for the genre: Pink Floyd are notorious for being very strict about when and where their music is featured.
It was a big deal when the Layne Staley-led supergroup Class of '99 were allowed to cover "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2" for the soundtrack of "The Faculty," as it marked a temporary easing of Floyd's unspoken boycotting of Hollywood movies. Since then, more Floyd tracks, especially songs from "The Wall," have appeared in films, most notably the use of "Hey You" in both "The Squid and the Whale" and "Due Date." However, this new "Another Brick"-themed film goes beyond merely filling out a soundtrack with Floyd tracks; the song will serve as a major plot line. Deadline says that since Roger Waters is currently touring "The Wall," he might be more amenable to giving up the goods, but if not, can there be an "Another Brick in the Wall" movie without "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2"? Even Janis Joplin sound-alike Janet Jopler couldn't sing her way out of that one.
- Pink Floyd
- Islington Green School