…this is my song: Don Moore



Everyone has a song or two that means the world to them. From time to time, we’ll ask one of our favorite Milwaukee musicians what their one song is, and why. This week, we talked to
Don Moore, guitarist/vocalist/backing vocalist for The Pugilists, Goat Radio, and about a thousand other bands.
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THE SONG: “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd

THE STORY: If I sit down and the play the guitar long enough, I will eventually find myself playing this song. Maybe just a hint of it, maybe the whole thing, but eventually it finds its way out. That is how this song became my choice for this write-up. I had a few hundred songs I couldn’t choose between and decided to ignore the whole thing by plugging in and playing away the rest of the night. Two minutes later I’m playing the first guitar solo from “Comfortably Numb” and I realized… I always play this song.

At the time of its release I was just young enough to be too freaked out by The Wall to give it a good listen. I mean, I was too busy trying to decide whether or not I could be a fan of both the Pretenders and Prince and still be a breakdancer, to be bothered adding depressive isolation-themed rock. But by the time I was in high school, I was starting to embrace depression and isolation (and classic rock) and finally gave The Wall a good spin. I was, without question, flattened. There are many great guitar moments in rock history, but “Comfortably Numb” arguably has the one of the greatest guitar solos in rock and roll by one of rock’s greatest guitarists. I find “Comfortably Numb” blissfully melancholy. But for all its sadness, this song doesn’t really make me feel that way. Like many, I am sucked in emotionally by certain types of music, and though I do find there is a time for a dance party, I inevitably get stung pretty quickly by the general feeing of sadness in this tune.

That being said, I really don’t become dispirited from it. The song, the solos, the lyrics, they are both heavy and light. The verse pulls you both down and in, and has almost an hypnotic quality, but when it finds its way to the bridge and chorus it becomes a floating kind of peaceful, like parasailing with Roger Waters. True, lyrically there is no hope, but this part of the song offers a bit of musical relief opposite the verse and I always find myself with a slight grin, like I am being massaged.

By the time the first solo comes in I am no longer sitting upright and almost need a bean bag chair. (In fact, when I first listened to and learned most of this whole album, I did so in an old beanbag chair in my parent’s basement.) This ebb and flow really does wonders for my psyche, but that’s nothing compared to the final guitar solo. Even though the band never really loses its cool, the song actually becomes aggressive by minute 5, when I am no longer Lovesac-bound but standing on my tiptoes, playing along arena rock-style at Wembley Stadium. From smile to rock n’ roll grimace. I am gone, just gone. I could sleep, but no time for bean bag chairs now. We’re going alphabetically, and that cover by The Scissor Sisters is… pretty damned good.

Tonight (Friday, May 02), Don will be performing at the International Pop Overthrow at Linneman’s, with both The Pugilists, and as part of the Spill reunion starting at 8pm. He’ll also be playing with Mary Karlzen at Shank Hall on Saturday, May 10th, 9pm. But for a complete update on which bands he’s playing with, and when, click here.

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