From its construction until its fall and even after, the Berlin Wall was a source of inspiration for artists. Some of them even helped to make it fall during concerts that became mythical.
If there is one artist inseparable from Berlin's history, it's David Bowie. In 1976, the man behind Ziggy Stardust flees Los Angeles, the celebrity and its addictions, for Berlin and Hansa studios. This is where he writes his tube Heroes after seeing two lovers kissing near the "wall of shame". It will resume ten years later, June 6, 1987, for a concert in West Berlin, before the parliament of the Reichstag then abandoned.
"Standing by the wall, And the guns shot above our heads, And we kissed it so nothing could fall, And the shame was on the other side" ("Standing near the wall, And the revolvers shooting over our heads, And we kissed as if nothing could fall, And shame was on the other side"), he sings. On the other side of the wall, that night, hundreds of people listen to the concert. The loudspeakers have intentionally been pointed towards the East. David Bowie has "helped to bring down the wall," will even write on Twitter the German Foreign Ministry after the death of the artist on January 11, 2016.
– GermanForeignOffice (@GermanyDiplo) January 11, 2016
After David Bowie's concerts or Michael Jackson in the West, socialist leaders in the East are looking for a way to satisfy a youth eager for Western music. They invite Bruce Springsteen, the first major artist to perform in the GDR. For four hours, it electrifies 300,000 people.
Before interpreting a Bob Dylan title, he addresses the crowd in German: "I am not here to support one government or another, he said. I came to play rock and roll for East Berliners. I hope that one day all the barriers will fall ".
For Eric Kirschbaum, author of the book Rocking the Wall: The Berlin concert that changed the world, this concert is even the most important of the 20th century. According to him, Bruce Springsteen would have revived the embers of discontent instead of appeasing the East German youth.
This is the image of the history books, the one that went around the world two days after the fall of the wall. That day, Russian cellist Mistlav Rostropovich sits on a chair at the foot of a remnant of the wall and plays a Bach saraband.
In 1997, in the broadcast of France 2 The midnight circle, the conductor explains that he then went to Berlin "to play in this place that (had) bothered him all his life"he had been stripped of his Russian nationality in 1978. The wall represented for him the "separation" of his two lives. When he fell, he found "the opportunity to return to his maternal home".
The day after Rostropovitch's performance, the entire Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra holds a concert only for the citizens of the GDR. Identity papers serve as entrance tickets and the queue starts at five in the morning in front of the Philharmonie then lost in the no-man's land between the two Berlin.
The concert is broadcast live on television. Viewers, spectators in the room and musicians share a moment of rare communion. As Eric Schulz tells in his documentary available in replay on Arte, so many are shedding tears of joy at the sound of Symphony No. 7 of Beethoven. With the baton, the Argentine conductor Daniel Barenboim who never stopped working for the peace.
Pink Floyd leader and bassist Roger Waters returns to Potsdamer Platz exactly where the wall was eight months earlier.
Accompanied by famous bands and singers such as Scorpions, Van Morrison, Sinead O'Connor or Cyndi Lauper and Joni Mitchell, Roger Waters delivers a monster performance of the famous concept album "The Wall". A wall that is even reconstituted on stage to rebuild it collapse in front of 350,000 galvanized people. Roger Waters will even perform this concert in Berlin in 2013.