Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark Fitzsimmons, Feb 5, 2003.

  1. Mark Fitzsimmons

    Mark Fitzsimmons Supporting Actor

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    Can someone explain what this song is about? I really can not figure it out. I want to say it is about heroin but that sounds too obvious to be true, there has to be a deeper meaning that I am not catching.
     
  2. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    During Floyd concerts it was (is) a popular song to light one up for and get stoned to the bone. There is a definite drug connotation to the song.

    J
     
  3. Ron Etaylor

    Ron Etaylor Second Unit

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    I never understood the meaning, but I love the song. If that guitar solo doesn't kick ass, I haven't heard one that does.
     
  4. Jordan_E

    Jordan_E Cinematographer

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    In the context of THE WALL, I think the song states that 'Pink' has reached a point where everything bombarding him has left him "Comfortably Numb." And by the time the Floyd played the song at the concert I saw, I was indeed "Comfortably Numb!" [​IMG]
     
  5. Mark Fitzsimmons

    Mark Fitzsimmons Supporting Actor

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    I never really liked comfortably numb to tell you the truth. Not until I heard the live performance from pulse. Blew my mind. Spectacular.
     
  6. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    my absolute favourite Floyd song (#2 is Shine On You Crazy Diamond). mainly because of the guitar solo, which some consider to be Gilmour's best-ever work.

    AFAIK, it is simply about drugs. the movie shows Pink sitting in his hotel room, completely stoned and probably ODing, when his manager comes in to presumably haul him off to the concert he's supposed to perform. he's OD'ed, and the paramedics rush in and try to revive him and all.

    "there is no pain, you are receding..." rather says it, doesn't it?

    which "version" of that solo would you consider the best? my vote goes to the version on Pulse.
     
  7. Robert_Dufresne

    Robert_Dufresne Stunt Coordinator

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    The song is best heard when you are stoned
     
  8. Christopher P

    Christopher P Supporting Actor

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    I tend to like this song off of "Pulse" or the "Delicate Sound of Thunder" more too, a little bit more mellow and haunting duing the 2 verses, to increase the contrast between the beginning and the guitar jam during the 2nd half.

    In the context of "The Wall" Pink has been confronted with all the demons of his past, all the bricks have been laid, and it ushers in his transition to demagogic leader. He sits in his hotel room and (maybe?) becomes at peace with his fame. In the next song, he asks "I didn't mean to let them tke away my soul....is it too late?"

    Being "Comfortably Numb" may mean accepting the fate he has been given, and how the bricks of his past have been laid, and they can't be undone, just like dreams of youth often fade with the onset of middle age. "The child is grown, the dream is gone." Or maybe it's just about getting toasted....I don't know. Never figured out the point of him finding the rat in the movie, but I know that the film isn't necessarily gospel.

    Chris
     
  9. JordanS

    JordanS Second Unit

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    Justin Lane,

    No, I'm sorry; you are mistaken. It is a song about the relationship between doctor and patient. The "drug" correlation isn't the type of drug you are thinking like marijuana, cocaine, or heroin. It is something else.

    I think the best version is on ITAOT or PULSE.
     
  10. Mike Click

    Mike Click Stunt Coordinator

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    Did you know that Delicate Sound of Thunder tape is selling used $30 or new at $189. I have the tape from being naughty, the same Roger Waters in Concert in Berlin. CD I have the gold plated 2 disc set The Wall pre-record with full cover art box. DVD Roger Waters: In the Flesh. Yes I still like to get comfortably numb or stoned 'eating' Alice B. 'Toke'las recipee and other ingredients. [​IMG]
     
  11. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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  12. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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  13. Mark C.

    Mark C. Supporting Actor

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    Gee, I've seen the Floyd live five times (including three of The Wall shows) and was straight for each one. I wanted to remember every minute.

    I think the song has to do with a mentally unstable person who is too far gone to perform, but who is brought "back'' from his stupor by his manager and entourage, who will do anything to make sure their meal-ticket keeps on producing.

    BTW: I'll never forget the sight of Gilmour jamming from atop the wall during the song's ending guitar solo. A tremendously bright light shone behind him, casting his shadow over nearly the entire audience.
     
  14. andrew markworthy

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    IMHO, the drugs and the doctor-patient theory is more plausible.

    It's got to be seen in the context of The Wall album (or movie). By this stage, Pink has barracaded himself in his hotel room following a little television-bashing episode. The roadies try to get him to come out (hence the knocks on the door and the 'time to go' calls) before giving up and presumably breaking down the door. They find Pink in a disturbed state and get a doctor to give him an injection of something that will get him through the show (hence all the lyrics about 'they'll be no more Aaaah, but you may feel a little sick' and 'come on it's time to go'). This trips Pink into a series of flashbacks about childhood ('when I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse' etc) presumably of a similar state when he had a fever and was hallucinating (this bit is psychologically accurate: high fever can induce delirium - a.k.a. acute confusional state - in children pretty easily). Pink has now utterly lost contact with reality, and on the final side of the LP, he will engage in a fascist fantasy (the early songs on Side 4 are an attack on the far right political fringe groups in the UK at the time) as a consequence of feeling utterly divorced from humanity (i.e. 'comfortably numb') before coming back to his senses.

    I agree that the song has become something of a stoners' anthem, but this is only if you take a superficial view of the song (which let's face it, is the most your average pothead can manage).
     
  15. Al B. C

    Al B. C Supporting Actor

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    Dave's not here man. So let's fire one up!

    What's with the superficial crap. [​IMG]

    I'll bet that 90% or better of the people that compose these songs with "deeper meanings" than your average pothead can comprehend, are blasted out of their heads on better weed than I could ever afford.
     
  16. Christopher P

    Christopher P Supporting Actor

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    Good discussion, but we should remember that just because someone associates something with a song, it doesn't necessarily mean that was the artist's/writer's intentions. Many times people, or even worse, corporations, attach their own meanings to songs. "We Are The Champions" doesn't mean woohoo we just won the Superbowl. "Fortunate Son" isn't about cologne, or whatever the hell ad that song is attached to. Just because people associate getting stoned with "Comfortably Numb" that doesnt mean that's what the song is about. Just the opinion of one who's never gotten baked.

    Chris
     
  17. Louis C

    Louis C Supporting Actor

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    I think "just a little pin prick" and other such lines make it pretty clear this is about either (a) illicit drug use or (b) Pink's deteriorated mental condition and his need for medical attention.

    My 2 cents
     
  18. JordanS

    JordanS Second Unit

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    Which is definitely the second Louis------the lyrics actually were semi-inspired from a certain event that happened in the "Animals -77" tour where Roger needed medical attention to be able to keep performing--------that is what "Comfortably Numb" is about-------sure it is a great song to get high to though------hell, most of Pink Floyd's catalogue is great for that---
     
  19. Mike Click

    Mike Click Stunt Coordinator

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    I had Pink Floyd on from the CD I was listening to, I hit F6 HTF came on. I went to movies then music by then *I* was comfortably 'numb' listening to my number 1 group. The Beach Boys who were at times comfortably numb themselves, Brian just took off like Jim Morrison only Brian was lucky enough to live and have children.[​IMG]
     
  20. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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