How Jordan Rudess Almost Played On The Wall

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Jordan Rudess has revealed to Prog that he came tantalisingly close to appearing on Pink Floyd’s legendary 1979 album The Wall.

“Many years ago I had a friend by the slightly unusual name of Bleu Ocean,” recalls the Dream Theater keyboard maestro. “He was a very good drummer; I believe he had been one of the studio drummers for The Monkees, playing with them behind the scenes. Anyway, Bleu got the job of assembling a marching band that would appear on the song Bring The Boys Back Home.

“I was hanging out at Bleu’s home one day and he said, ‘Come on man, come to the studio and watch the recording of the track. You could even be a part of it’. Well, I wasn’t a drummer – by that point I’d have been around 18 years old and had long since decided that keyboards would be my life – but I’d played some very basic snare drum when I was in Third Grade.

“So I went with him to the session. I walked in, someone gave me a drum and some sticks. I’m playing along and having a really good time but as I’m doing so I become aware that Bob Ezrin [producer] is looking at me across the room, eyebrow slightly askew and finally he says: ‘I don’t think so’.

“After he’d picked me out I went and sat in the control room and long before anyone else we got to hear a playback of that track, though of course we had no idea of what it meant or where it would fit in the overall puzzle of Pink Floyd’s album.

“I was fine with Bob’s decision. I was a very poor drummer. But there’s a part of me that still wishes I’d been able to appear on The Wall. That would’ve been very cool indeed.”

Dream Theater’s 13th studio album, The Astonishing, is released via Roadrunner Records on January 29.