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tv   60 Minutes  CBS  May 20, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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captioning funded by cbs, and ford-- built for the road ahead. >> safer: all over america, young people are fulfilling their and their parents' dreams. but... >> we now have $1 trillion in student debt in the u.s. that trillion dollars, if you want to describe it cynically, you could say it's paid for a trillion dollars of lies about how good education is. >> what have you been up to?
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>> safer: he is a billionaire venture capitalist has paying selective students $100,000 each to drop out of the university system he says is broken. your megaphone is saying don't go to college. is that what you really mean? >> logan: everyday across america, people wake up suffering from symptoms of diseases that have never been identified. but inside the national institutes of health, dr. william gahl is the tireless force behind the undiagnosed diseases program. what defines a rare disease? >> a rare disease in the united states is one that affects fewer than 200,000 individuals out of the 350 million citizens in the united states. something that affects 200,000 people isn't all that rare to us. i mean, what we're talking about rare diseases, the disorders is between one and 50 people in the world. >> all together now. >> kroft: the hottest concert ticket around right now is to see a 68-year-old man who is not
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a household name perform an album that was first recorded on vinyl 33 years ago. ♪ the artist is roger waters, the lyricist, bass player and creative force behind the legendary rock band pink floyd. the music being performed is "the wall." has anybody tried this before? >> no, nothing even close. >> kroft: i'm steve kroft. >> stahl: i'm lesley stahl. >> safer: i'm morley safer. >> simon: i'm bob simon. >> logan: i'm lara logan. >> pelley: i'm scott pelley. those stories tonight on "60 minutes." recently, students from 31 countries took part in a science test. the top academic performers surprised some people. so did the country that came in 17th place.
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>> safer: these are the days in may when young men and women are capped and gowned, their hands clutching diplomas, their ears tuned to some wise person telling them "you are the future." for many deep in debt with few prospects, that future looks pretty bleak. its enough to make some believe the siren song of peter thiel. he's the billionaire venture capitalist who's been beseeching students to drop out of a university system he says is
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broken, churning out too many half-educated graduates seeking too few jobs. thiel puts his money where his mouth is and pays selected students $100,000 each to drop out and focus on ideas that will benefit themselves and the world at large. waiting for graduation, he says, is an expensive waste of time. >> peter thiel: we have a bubble in education like we had a bubble in housing in the last decade. everybody believed you had to have a house, and they'd pay whatever it took. today, everybody believes that we need to go to college, and people will pay whatever it takes. >> safer: you describe college administrators as the sub-prime mortgage lenders-- in other words, con men. >> thiel: not all of them, but certainly the for-profit schools, the less-good colleges are like the sub-prime lenders, where people are being... being conned into thinking that this credential is the one thing you need to do better in life. and they're actually not any better off after having gone to
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college; they typically are worse off because they've amassed all this debt. >> safer: you think, if the bubble bursts, it's a good thing? >> thiel: i don't think bubbles bursting are ever good things; i think they are inevitable things. >> safer: for thiel, success seemed inevitable-- child prodigy, chess champion, arrogantly self confident. he breezed through stanford undergrad and law schools. with his midas touch, he took the millions he made as a co- founder of paypal and turned that into billions as the first investor in facebook. and you're a billionaire before the age of 40. >> thiel: i guess that might be correct, yes. >> safer: no, it is correct. >> thiel: yes. yes, that is correct. >> ladies and gentlemen, i'm honored to present the chairman of the thiel foundation, peter thiel. ( applause ) his "20 under 20" fellowship is thiel's answer in miniature to what he calls the questionable value of higher education. >> thiel: this will be a fascinating afternoon as we
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listen to some of these incredible visions of the future. >> safer: each year, thiel will select 20 students and pay them $100,000 apiece to work on their ideas. >> i want to make complexity our new paradigm, because only by understanding how our world actually works can we hope to make it better. >> safer: these finalists are making their pitches. >> the effectiveness is inversely proportional to the time of diagnosis. >> safer: the only condition? drop out of school. your megaphone is saying, "don't go to college." is that what you really mean? >> thiel: i'm saying that people should think hard about why they're going to college. if your life plan is to be a professor or to be a doctor or some other career where you need a specific credential, you should and probably have to go to college. if your plan is to do something very different, you should think really hard about it. >> safer: the educational establishment dismissed the idea as dangerous, nasty and misguided.
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>> thiel: our thought was, "this is going to be a very idiosyncratic, small program. and the fact that it was controversial was a big surprise to us, but it was because an awful lot of parents are... are quite worried about the education system. there's a great deal of anxiety beneath the surface. >> safer: with only half of recent college graduates in full-time jobs and college debt topping a trillion dollars, thiel believes college has become just another debt-fueled luxury. >> thiel: i did not realize how wrong, how screwed up the education system is. we now have $1 trillion in student debt in the u.s. that trillion dollars... if you want to describe it cynically, you can say it's paid for $1 trillion of lies about how good education is. >> safer: that's a... such a sweeping statement. you're suggesting that... that people graduate as either dunces or ne'er-do-wells. there's been a huge number of people who've contributed extraordinarily to this society
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in the last 20, 30 years. we live longer lives because of those people. >> thiel: yes, we have a society where successful people are encouraged to go to college, but it is a... it's a mistake to think that that's what makes people successful. >> safer: but what you're saying suggests a concentration on... on all of the practical things in life, but some of the impractical things in life are the most valuable. >> thiel: that's not always true. people say that. sometimes they are, sometimes they are just impractical things that are of little value. and you have to look at the cost side of the equation. it costs up to a quarter of a million dollars to go through four years of college today. unfortunately, you have to think about the practical things, and are you actually going to get a job where you can pay off this incredible debt you take on? >> safer: he may have a point about the cost. college tuition has quadrupled since 1980, but thiel says many colleges are unaccountable, bloated institutions where students are learning less than ever before.
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he says a degree has little more than snob value. >> thiel: there are all sorts of vocational careers that pay extremely well today, so the average plumber makes as much as the average doctor. >> safer: by some calculations, he's absolutely right, and in terms of successful college drop-outs, he has his legion of examples. >> thiel: mark zuckerberg from facebook didn't complete harvard. steve jobs dropped out of reed college. bill gates dropped out of harvard. when you do something entrepreneurial, the credentials are not what really matters. what matters is having the right idea at the right time, the right place. >> safer: but all of the examples you give are people who had a very serious brush with higher education, all of them pretty much at elite schools. >> thiel: it's not causal. you know, harvard does a great job at picking the winners, and therefore it should get very little credit for turning people into winners. >> safer: well, the same could be applied to your program.
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>> thiel: yes, but the difference is that my program is not... does not involve charging people a quarter of a million dollars. >> vivek wadhwa: believe it or not, the u.s. education is by far the best in the world. >> safer: vivek wadhwa has debated thiel on the value of higher education. >> wadhwa: if you don't even have a bachelor's degree, if you don't even have basic education, you are beyond hope. >> safer: he is a successful entrepreneur and professor who teaches at duke and stanford. when he heard about thiel's plan, he was appalled. >> wadhwa: how can we now be sending a message to children that they don't need to go to school? >> safer: did the idea gain any traction at all? >> wadhwa: in silicon valley, it spread like a wildfire. i was shocked. what is going on with this country? why is there such an anti- education sentiment brewing in this country? >> safer: but what's wrong with a kid who... who's got a really bright idea and feels, "why should i waste my time and money going to school?" >> wadhwa: morley, ideas are a dime a dozen. everyone has them. what makes you successful is
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being able to take that idea and turn it into an invention, and then... then turn that into a company. those skills you only gain through education. you're not born with them. there might be one mark zuckerberg out of a million entrepreneurs, but there aren't five mark zuckerbergs. >> safer: thiel's fellowship winners seem confident enough to take their chances... >> thiel: and we're going to pretend that we're at a networking event. >> safer: ...yet are geeky enough to have to take a short course in tough subjects like hand shaking and eye contact. >> hey, i'm bun. >> dan. nice to meet you. >> safer: they are skills that winners like jim danielson will need to get his idea on the road. he won his $100,000 when he electrified a junkyard porsche with a motor he says is cheaper and more efficient than what detroit has to offer. sujay tyle was an 18-year-old junior at harvard when he won a fellowship with a plan to create cheap biofuels.
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>> eden full: i'm developing a called device the sun saluter, and what it does is rotates your solar panel. >> safer: eden full was at princeton. she invented a more efficient way to capture solar energy. i'm just curious what your parents made of this decision of yours. >> sujay tyle: my parents weren't that supportive at first. >> full: both of my parents never had a chance to go to college, so having a kid graduate from an ivy league institution would have been kind of a big deal. so they were a little upset at the beginning. >> safer: did you feel that you were being fully challenged when you were at university? >> full: challenged in the wrong ways. i wasn't challenged in the things that i was interested in, and so i struggled a lot. >> tyle: i was a pre-med student at harvard, and so i was challenged. but as eden said, not in the ways i wanted to be. >> safer: alex kiselev is not a harvard man. he was at a community college when he won his fellowship with a plan to manufacture scientific instruments more cheaply.
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>> alex kiselev: looking at how my parents went through debt, it's really debilitating for the first five to ten, even maybe 15, 20 years of your life, especially if you don't find a very high paying job, as is always promised. >> thiel: close to half of the fellows have started businesses at this point. a number of them have received funding from... from outside investors. i think that, across the board, the sense is that they are progressing a lot more with their lives than had they... had they stayed in college. >> safer: easy for him to say-- he has degrees in philosophy and law. there's no question you're a very smart guy. there's no question you're a very successful one. do you think you could have done this without your educational background? >> thiel: there may have been something specific at stanford university, but i think... i think if i had gone to any of a number of other universities, it would have been actually quite bad. if i would have gone to harvard, i would have been tracked to become an investment banker, and i would never even have considered anything else.
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>> safer: instead, he chose an even more lucrative career, and now lives a predictable, pampered billionaire's life-- intensely private, demanding, uncomfortable, almost mimicking his hero, howard hughes-- the silicon valley version of a temperamental prima donna. publicly, he puts millions into some outlandish projects, like funding labs determined to extend life by centuries, and floating sea colonies-- still in the model stage-- that would be libertarian utopias where american law would not apply. >> i just really wanted to meet you. i'm a big libertarian. >> thiel: all right. thanks. >> safer: his uncompromising belief in low taxes and minimal government has made him a libertarian cult hero. professor wadhwa says thiel's billions have clouded his thinking. >> wadhwa: peter thiel has made so much money that he's out of touch with the real world. he doesn't meet common people.
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he doesn't understand their needs. he doesn't understand how important education is for the masses. you can take 24 children and make them successful by giving them on-the-job training. but that's not a lesson for the rest of america. what i worry about is a message that's getting out there to america that it's okay to drop out of school, that you don't have to get college. absolutely dead wrong. >> safer: the current crop of fellows, where do you think they'll be, say, five, ten years from now? >> wadhwa: the majority of them will fail. and they're going to regret not having completed their... their education. >> safer: already, one company started a year ago by a 19-year- old thiel fellow who had raised a million and a half in outside cash is struggling. >> thiel: so what have you been up to? >> safer: but thiel says it's still early in the process, and getting rich isn't the point. his fellows say they can always return to college if things don't work out. >> kiselev: of course we're destined to fail. that's what entrepreneurship is. that's what... when you try to do something new, the chances are you're going to fail.
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and i think that in... when we're 21 or 22, whenever all of our friends are graduating college, i think we'll be far more likely to succeed than they will be. >> safer: i think it's fair to say you're enjoying the controversy you've started, correct? >> thiel: i don't enjoy being contrarian. i think... >> safer: yes, you do. ( laughter ) >> thiel: no, i think it's much more important to be right than to be contrarian. >> safer: do some of your fellow entrepreneurs think that you're sometimes a little bit nuts for the kind of things that you... you support? >> thiel: it doesn't matter to me whether people think it's crazy or not. what... what matters is whether we're doing something to make the world a better place. >> safer: and you really feel that you are? >> thiel: if... if you could convince me that i wasn't, then i'd stop. >> safer: ( laughs ) and perhaps move to one of his utopian offshore nation-states, where only big ideas flourish and school's permanently out for everybody.
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>> cbs money watch update. >> good even, stocks will begin the week after its dow posted its worst weekly loss of the year. the s&p has gone down six straight sessions. g-8 leaders are pushing for debt-ridden greece to remain in the eurozone. and gas prices continue their tumble, down 19 cents in a month. i'm jeff glor, cbs news. teamwork.
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>> logan: every day across america, people wake up suffering from symptoms of diseases that have never been
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identified. there are thousands of illnesses passed from generation to generation, genetic diseases about which doctors know next to nothing. but inside the national institutes of health-- the government's premier medical research facility in bethesda, maryland-- there's a small group of scientists devoted to unraveling the mysteries of the human body and finding cures. the doctor in charge, william gahl, takes on only the hardest of the hard cases. >> dr. william gahl: there's a really significant percentage of the american population that has a rare disease. >> logan: millions of americans. >> gahl: we are talking about millions of americans. there's no question about that. >> logan: dr. william gahl is the tireless force behind the undiagnosed diseases program, investigating illnesses so rare they don't appear in any medical book. what defines a rare disease? >> gahl: a rare disease in the united states is one that
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affects fewer than 200,000 individuals out of the 350 million citizens in the united states. that would be rare by legal definition. >> logan: by your definition, because you have a different definition? >> gahl: well, something that affects 200,000 people isn't all that rare to us. ( laughs ) i mean, when we're talking about rare diseases, the disorders were affecting between one and 50 people in the world. >> christine davidson: i'm so tired. >> logan: 45-year-old christine davidson is one of those people. >> logan: she's been struggling with an undiagnosed condition for more than half her life. >> davidson: i kind of feel like my muscles are just torturing me. yeah, my spasm in my hip squeezes so hard, it just pops my... my bones. >> logan: they are torturing you. >> davidson: yeah. >> logan: whatever is wrong with christine has left her unable to walk and gradually taken over her body. >> davidson: i have, like, frozen shoulder syn... like, i
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can't really lift my arm. and i have restrictive lung disease, where the muscles are tightening so much, i only breathe, like, 50% of what a normal person would breathe. >> logan: after years of shuttling from one specialist to another, she traveled across the country from her home near seattle to see dr. gahl. >> davidson: i'm just getting to the point where i'm really at my last leg. so this chance to come here to be evaluated was really a big deal for me. >> logan: four years ago, when dr. gahl created this program to help people like christine, there was nothing of its kind in the u.s. here in his lab, scientists search for links between rare, unknown diseases and genetics. as with most of his patients, he suspects christine davidson's own genetic make-up may be at the root of her illness. >> gahl: do you have a brother, sister?
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>> davidson: yeah, i have two brothers that are totally healthy, and two sisters that do have health problems. >> gahl: but not this? so you have four siblings, and your dad, all of them are available for blood from if we need it? >> davidson: yeah. >> logan: as part of her evaluation, christine must undergo a week of intense testing here at the clinical center of the national institutes of health. dr. gahl has a small staff and a small budget, $3.5 million out of the billions the government spends on medical research here. so what's unique about what you do here? >> gahl: well, we think there are a couple of things. for one, we... we don't take insurance. and that allows us to see patients for a week at a time as in-patients, and get done within one week what will often take a year or two on the outside. but the second thing is that we're able to gather together a bunch of experts within a single room or within a single admission in... in a way that
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often can't be done in other places. >> logan: so, who pays? if a patient comes to you and you accept them, who's paying the bill? >> gahl: actually, you are. i often tell the patients it's... it's taxpayers money at work. but what price would you put on making a diagnosis for a family or a patient that has desperately sought one for years? >> logan: sometimes 20 years, 30 years. >> gahl: sometimes... yes, sometimes even decades. and what price would you put on the new discovery that one makes for a disease that now has applicability to other patients unknown, untold, not seen yet, and the possibility of allowing that diagnosis to be part of our medical armamentarium. >> logan: at the clinical center, we met another one of dr. gahl's patients, 19-year-old matthew parker. he was just beginning his week of testing. >> gahl: when was the last time you played tennis?
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>> matthew parker: probably since i was 15. >> logan: matthew was once a promising tennis player. today, he can barely move, crippled by joint pain so severe it hurts to chew his food. >> gahl: anytime that we find a region like that that's deleted... >> logan: dr. gahl thinks missing genes in matthew's d.n.a. may be the cause. >> gahl: really, what you have has all the earmarks of that. >> logan: he does his best to explain a very complicated subject. >> gahl: a single nucleotide polymorphism-- if you have two million to three million in a single snip array, how far apart are they? this is a test. ( laughs ) >> logan: that gentle touch of humor is part of his bedside manner. he's also careful to lower expectations, warning that, even here, they've only been able to give a complete diagnosis to 45 out of 450 patients. >> gahl: and our chance for that, it's still only in the range of 10%, 20%. >> logan: that may not sound like much, but gahl and his team
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have solved cases that eluded elite institutions across the u.s., and they've discovered two new genetic diseases. a dozen more are under scientific review. dr. gahl's desk is stacked high with medical records and referral letters for thousands of patients applying to the program, which can only take 150 to 170 cases a year. he personally reviews every single case. and he's the one who has to make the tough choices about who gets in and who is rejected. >> gahl: that's part of the triage process, which is very heartbreaking and difficult to do. >> logan: because you know how devastating it is for someone to be turned down. >> gahl: we do. and we... we see that repeatedly when the patients come back to us saying, "you know, you are our last hope." >> logan: it's a painful part of the process for you. >> gahl: it's... it's very
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difficult. it's... i would say it's the most difficult thing that i've done in... in my life. >> logan: because genetic diseases often appear early in life, 40% of the cases he accepts are children. >> gahl: oh, there's bryce. >> logan: bryce bennett is four years old. he suffers from seizures that began soon after he was born. his parents, jerry and tara, have been on a frustrating medical journey his whole life trying to find the cause. >> gahl: and when was it first recognized that there was a neurological component to... to bryce? >> tara bennett: it was february 16 of '08 is actually when it was. >> gahl: oh, you remember it exactly. >> tara bennett: yeah, i remember. >> gahl: and why is that that you remember... >> tara bennett: because that was the first, like, time we took him to our local hospital, because i knew that it was definitely a seizure then. >> logan: while dr. gahl and his team work on finding a diagnosis, bryce and all the patients get help with new medicines, treatments and therapies.
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after 30 years at the national institutes of health, dr. gahl can call on a network of specialists who volunteer to help solve these cases, a process that could take two years or longer. when sally massagee met dr. gahl, she didn't have that much time. what can you tell me about her case? >> gahl: well, sally's referral letter is sort of interesting. it came from an endocrinologist at duke, who said, "in my 38 years of practice, i'd never seen a case like this." and so, that got my attention, and then the pictures caught my attention, too. >> logan: what did it look like to the doctors who were treating you in those days? >> sally massagee: one doctor said to me, "you look like you're on steroids." and i think that probably all of them thought that i was and that i was just lying to them. >> logan: sally massagee was a healthy woman in her 40s when her muscles began to grow out of control. she looked like a body builder. her leg muscles became so large,
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she could barely walk. her symptoms stumped more than a dozen specialists for years before she finally got a call from dr. gahl's office. what was that like when you got that phone call? >> massagee: oh, i was so excited. i was so excited. it was like... it was having the possibility of life when i had not had one. >> logan: was it your last hope, at that point? >> massagee: oh, it certainly was. i didn't have any hopes, yes. they were... all of them had been gone. i was out of things to try. there was nothing. >> logan: whatever was afflicting her was spreading from one muscle system to the next. >> gahl: this was now invading her heart muscle, as well. once it gets as far as the ventricles... >> logan: it would kill her. >> gahl: it would set... set to be fatal, right. >> logan: as the unknown disease advanced, dr. gahl's team made a dramatic discovery: she had a rare form of cancer, affecting the plasma cells of her bone marrow.
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>> massagee: and so, i was thrilled and excited. >> logan: you're probably the first person in history to be thrilled and excited to have that disease. >> massagee: probably, probably. >> logan: and you finally knew what it was. >> massagee: right. right, right. they weren't going to figure it out at the autopsy. >> logan: her diagnosis and a stem cell bone marrow transplant saved sally massagee's life. that was almost three years ago. so, what did that feel like for you to be able to... to solve that case? >> gahl: well, it was spectacular to make the diagnosis, but it was even more spectacular to have her get through the transplant. >> logan: christine davidson's case is more typical. she's still waiting, still hoping, but in the six months we have been following her case, the results have not been encouraging. how long will you continue to search for an answer with christine? i mean, at which point do you say, you know, "we're never going to have anything for you?" >> gahl: well, in a case like
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christine's, we probably will continue for years because, as i say, another case might come along to inform this... this case. but we don't have any great clues right now to pursue. >> logan: at the moment, there are also no great clues for bryce bennett. but for matthew parker, there are some answers. dr. gahl and his team confirmed he has a rare inflammatory disorder that they're trying to treat, but they may never find a cure. >> gahl: it's... it's an incredible window into the human spirit to see people at this juncture-- in other words, with a desperate disease. again, i liken it to war. there are certain epic things in life, when you see another person die or another person give up a life for someone else. and we see that in... in the way that people conduct themselves under these very difficult circumstances. >> logan: what's that like for
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you, i mean, as a doctor and a human being? >> gahl: well, it's inspirational to me. i mean, it's what keeps us going. and it... frankly, it makes me feel more human. . >> welcome to the cbs sports update presented by follow the wings. here at the championship, jason, the final hole to win for the second time in three weeks. nba play-off action, miami defeated indiana to even their conference semifinals series two games apiece, nhl, phoenix shut out los angeles, the kings lead the western conference three games to one, for more sports news and information, go to cbs sports.com, this is jim nance reporting from irving, texas. follow the wings. ♪
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>> kroft: in the music world, madonna and springsteen are rolling out their new worldwide tours. but one of, if not the biggest act of this coming summer, is a 68-year-old man who's not a
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household name performing a double album that was first recorded on vinyl 33 years ago. the artist is rogers waters, the lyricist, bass player and creative force behind the legendary rock band pink floyd. the music being performed is "the wall," waters' iconic masterwork that has proven to be one of the most interesting and durable pieces in rock and roll history. and it's being rediscovered by audiences all over the world. ♪ ( cheers and applause ) for openers, "the wall" is not an ordinary rock concert; it's an operatic spectacle that has garnered glowing reviews and has sold out soccer stadiums and baseball parks from santiago, chile, to san francisco.
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it's been re-imagined and re- staged by roger waters, the man who composed virtually all of it in 1979 when he was a member of pink floyd, and now he's performing it without them. ♪ we don't need no education ♪ we don't need no thought control ♪ >> kroft: we taped this concert two months ago in buenos aires, where waters performed before 400,000 people in nine sellout performances at river plate stadium, breaking a record held by the rolling stones. i mean, this is one of the most resilient rock pieces in... in history. >> roger waters: yeah. >> kroft: why is that, do you think? >> waters: i think it strikes some chords that may be just beneath the surface in most of us. what it's about is that the walls that exist between human beings, whether... whether on a family level or on... on a global level.
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and i think that resonates with people. >> kroft: were you surprised at how successful it was? >> waters: at the beginning, yeah. the initial response was... was very, very positive. the word got out very quickly that this was a very special show. ♪ >> kroft: in fact, it's one of the most ambitious, complicated and dazzling shows ever produced, an amalgam of music, theater and cinema. it requires 42 high definition projectors to beam thousands of animated images onto various sections of a wall that is nearly three stories tall and 140 yards long, more than the length of a football field. and it all has to be synchronized with the music. ♪ it took waters and his tech team nearly three years to complete all the animation and figure out if all of this could be done. has anybody tried this before?
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>> waters: no. nothing even close. >> kroft: they painstakingly plotted out and choreographed every song, every scene, every image at this production studio in downtown new york. you're 68 years old. why are you doing this? why are you going out on the... on the road? >> waters: because the... the emotional, you know, payback is enormous. the truth of the matter is that the work is the reward. i mean, the shows are great, don't get me wrong. i love the shows. i love it. but i love this. i love... i love the... the nature of putting the thing together, you know. i like not just the nuts and bolts, but i like the process of trying to work out how to make it better all the time. >> kroft: waters, who studied to be an architect, is drawn to solitary pursuits. he has the bearing and the trappings of an english gentleman. ♪ he's cultured and has written
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the music for an opera on the french revolution. he is headstrong, a little prickly, but gracious and totally committed to his work. he also has a deep personal connection to "the wall" through a father he never knew, a casualty of world war ii. >> waters: that's my dad. >> kroft: he was killed at anzio? >> waters: yeah. >> kroft: his grandfather was also killed in a war, the first world war. >> waters: it seems to have skipped my generation, thank god. not that there is a god, but you know what i mean. >> kroft: waters wrote "the wall" to be autobiographical, about the loss of a father and how it affected the son... ♪ dad... >> kroft: about alienation and isolation, war and repression. ♪ and finally redemption, all conveyed through the haunting images on the wall, and the
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beauty and power of the music. ♪ hello is there anybody in there? ♪ just nod if you can hear me is there anyone home? ♪ >> kroft: do people come to this concert to see "the wall" or come to see roger waters? >> waters: oh, i think "the wall." there are... maybe... maybe my name is being connected with it more than it ever was in the past, but i don't pink floyd and "the wall" will ever become disassociated, and neither it should be. ♪ >> kroft: waters is taking great pains to reproduce the sound of the original album and treats "the wall" as a piece of classical music. he uses several artists to recreate the sound of pink floyd's singer and guitarist, david gilmour, note for note. ♪
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>> waters: i like them. i think that was a great... i think we made a great record. >> kroft: did you think, for a moment when you were putting this thing together, you know, "why don't i get dave and nick and..." >> waters: there must have been a reason, back in 1985, why i left pink floyd, left the name, left that big umbrella of comfort, and why... there was... there was a reason for why i did, okay. and it didn't go away, certainly, in the intervening 25 years or however long it's been. >> kroft: pink floyd made a lot of great records together, but it did not end well. ♪ money... >> kroft: waters wrote or co- wrote virtually all of songs, including most of the tracks on
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"dark side of the moon," one of the most successful albums in history. ♪ taking away the moments that make up the dull day... ♪ >> kroft: it stayed on the "billboard" chart for 15 years, sold more than 50 million copies and produced an endowment that would make them all wealthy for life. ♪ but the fights, mostly over control, were epic, and, in 1985 waters walked away-- a move he says he's never regretted, but there were some trying moments. >> waters: i played a gig in cincinnati in 1987 when david and nick and rick were touring. and i played to, i think, 1,500 people in a 4,000-seat arena, when they were playing the next day in the bengals' football stadium to 70,000 people. it was character-forming to be stood in front of those 1,500 people. >> kroft: but waters left with
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the concert rights to "the wall" at a time it was about to re- enter the public consciousness. he was in discussions with a charity about performing his rock opus at huge outdoor benefit-- they hadn't decided where. then, in the fall of 1989, berliners began chipping away at the most formidable wall in the world. >> waters: boom, the wall came down. we flew to berlin, and there was already some bits missing from the wall. they'd made a little hole at the potsdamer platz. and i'll never forget. we went up and we stuck our heads, you know, through this gap, and looked at that piece of no-man's land that was.... still, nobody was on it or anything. and we went, "we got to do it here. we've got it." and from then on, it became an extraordinary adventure. ♪ >> kroft: waters and british
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producer tony hollingsworth had to get permission from the governments in east and west berlin to hold the concert, and to see that the bombs and mines that had littered the landscape were cleared away. ♪ ...in perfect isolation here behind my wall... ♪ >> kroft: it took eight months to organize, but on july 21, 1990, one of the greatest cultural events in post-war germany finally came together. how many people? >> waters: nobody knows. they opened the gates at 260,000. and they just opened everything and let everybody else in for nothing because it was getting really, really dangerous. people trying to get in and there was no... so they just opened everything. certainly, north of 300,000, but nobody will ever know how many. it was an extraordinary night. ♪ >> kroft: "the wall: live from
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berlin" was broadcast into more than 50 countries. it was performed by waters and an ad hoc cast that included a philharmonic orchestra and choir from east berlin, a soviet military band and a bevy of international stars. ♪ and i have become comfortably numb... ♪ >> waters: the people we had playing were so great. to play with, you know, van morrison and... and the band and joni mitchell and, you know, and... well, there's too many to mention everybody, but was just fabulous. >> kroft: it was the last time anyone performed "the wall" for two decades, until waters took it on the road in 2010. it was the second biggest grossing tour in america, and this year, "the wall" is headed to much bigger venues, like wrigley field, fenway park and yankee stadium.
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it's proof, waters says, that the message and the music that he wrote 35 years ago is still relevant today. at 68, roger waters is finally getting his due, and he's enjoying every minute of it. ( cheers and applause ) >> waters: people always used to say, "oh, it must be so hard. you know, you must be... god, how do you do it? you know, it must be so hard being on the road, being in a rock and roll band. it's amazing that you survived." and i would look at them like, "what are you talking about? it's the easiest job in the world." you know, somebody comes and wakes us up at about half past 12:00 in the afternoon, you know. and then you get driven to a private airport, and you climb onto, you know, whatever it might be-- in the united states, it's a 737, you know, that we've rented from the cavaliers or somebody, a great big plane and whatever. then, you get flown somewhere and you have a snack, and then you work for three hours. and then, you let the adrenaline go away, and you go back to sleep again.
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captioning funded by cbs, and ford-- built for the road ahead. captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org

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