Roger Waters leaves Edmonton pool hall staff 'comfortably numb' after visit, free tickets

The staff of an Edmonton billiards hall were in disbelief after rock star Roger Waters stopped by to shoot some pool before playing two back-to-back concerts at Rogers Place.

Metro Billiards manager Leann Olinyk was working Monday night when she thought she recognized one of the pool players in their private room.

A cook confirmed that it was indeed Waters, the co-founder of Pink Floyd, who was in town for two concerts at Rogers Place.

“Star struck. I grew up listening to them. It was just unbelievable,” said Olinyk.

Her excitement didn’t end there.

‘Once-in-a-lifetime moment’

The next day, Waters’s promotions manager contacted Olinyk and offered her and her staff 28 floor tickets to his Wednesday night show.

The tickets were used to bring staff, family members and regular customers along with them to the show. 

“I just brought my family … My dad, he’s the one that introduced me to Pink Floyd,” said Olinyk. “I got to go with my dad and my auntie and to share it with a lot of customers. It was a once-in-a-lifetime moment.”

When Joe Caldarella, the pool hall’s owner, got a phone call that Waters was in the bar, he immediately drove there. He put Waters crew’s food and drinks on the house. He said he believes the free tickets were a thank-you for taking care of the musician on Monday.

‘Watching a legend like that was something else.’ – Joe Caldarella, Metro Billiards owner

“Feeling so blessed and so grateful that a rock legend just even walked in here, never mind coming in to play pool, but to give us an entire row of floor seats just tells a little bit about the person that people don’t see,” said Caldarella.

The staff gave two extra tickets to strangers who had a sign outside Rogers Place asking for tickets, Caldarella said.

“It was very emotional, believe it or not,” he said. “For the first 15 minutes of the concert I was crying. To bring this group of people together that haven’t been together, the whole story behind it, and watching a legend like that, was something else.”

Olinyk said Waters told her he tries to get a game in at pool halls along every stop of his tour when he has downtime.


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