Toby Wasserman got an early taste of the rock and roll lifestyle when Roger Waters came to town last month. He and 11 of his other classmates at School of Rock joined Waters onstage to perform Pink Floyd classic “Another Brick in the Wall (Part II).” They appeared on stage in jumpsuits and hoods. Then as the chorus hit the kids removed their masks and revealed shirts with white lettering reading “RESIST.”
“We got a call the Monday or Tuesday the week of the concert from the production company that works with them saying: ‘We need 12 kids.’ says Jesse Calhoun of School of Rock. The School was preparing for a Radiohead tribute show which was postponed. “I made a bunch of phone calls and sent out emails saying “I’ve got bad news and some really wild exciting news.”
Calhoun and his colleagues hastily arranged two practices.”There was about two minutes of choreography but really there was nothing we could do to prepare them to stand on stage in a jumpsuit and a black hood and then have to catch a cue with 15,000 screaming people with the stage people like ‘5,6,7,8 we don’t need no education!’ says Calhoun.
Toby Wasserman, age 12, has been at School of Rock for two years. He says that while he was a bit intimidated to go on stage with a hood over his head he did have the presence of mind to plan. “The thing is I knew there was going to be two lines of six. So I intentionally positioned myself to be the 6th person to be closer to Roger Waters,” Wasserman says sheepishly, a wry smile crossing his cheeks.
In some ways, the entire thing might have been more exciting for Wasserman’s father Brett. “I got an email from Jesse and it listed all the things we had to do to make sure Toby could be a part of it. I asked Toby if he was interested and he said ‘Hell yeah!’ So then I’m texting all my friends that my kid is possibly gonna be in this show. Pink Floyd is my favorite band and his (Waters’) playlist was pretty much all Pink Floyd and that was pretty awesome.”
“My dad was so excited,” says Toby meekly, he grins. “I told Roger Waters he was a huge fan.”
“He knows who I am!” Brett smiles, laughs and puts his hands in air.