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Old 02-06-2020, 08:09 PM
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"The Wall" pharmacology


So the band doctor is summoned. Usually his biggest worries are making sure the shit the band members are doing is clean, helping them come down after a jag, and maybe prescribing penicillin. But this time it's really bad: the lead band member is having a full-blown psychotic break; the guy's on the verge of catatonia. But if he isn't onstage and performing in ten minutes it all goes down the toilet: contracts cancelled, millions in penalty clauses, etc.

So: what does a totally unethical doctor give someone who's this mentally ill that will at least get him functional (if hallucinating) for the next few hours; and what does this do to an already damaged psyche?
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:03 PM
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Opiates, probably morphine or heroin.
At least that's always been how I've interpreted it.
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:19 PM
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I don’t think you want an opiate to combat catatonia (stupor). A few line of coke maybe.
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elmer J. Fudd View Post
I donít think you want an opiate to combat catatonia (stupor). A few line of coke maybe.
Benzos are actually the typical treatment for it (according to a quick google search). Also, the song was inspired by an IRL event where Roger was given sedatives before a show to calm his nerves.
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:40 AM
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Quote:
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Benzos are actually the typical treatment for it (according to a quick google search). Also, the song was inspired by an IRL event where Roger was given sedatives before a show to calm his nerves.
I think that's not quite right. IIRC, he had some kind of food poisoning ("...but you may feel a little sick"). Not sure when that was supposed to have happened (or if I'm remembering correctly), but the only song written by Roger Waters on The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is "Take Up Thy Stethescope and Walk."
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Old 02-07-2020, 06:29 AM
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"The boy's an asthmatic"
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Old 02-07-2020, 07:34 AM
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I always assumed industrial strengh psychiatric medication from the song.
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Old 02-07-2020, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by jerez View Post
I think that's not quite right. IIRC, he had some kind of food poisoning ("...but you may feel a little sick").
The food poisoning you're referring to is likely the nerves I'm referring to. Everything I've read said that he had stomach cramps which that the doctor thought assumed was due to nerves/stage fright and gave him a sedative to keep him going through the show.

Quote:
Not sure when that was supposed to have happened (or if I'm remembering correctly), but the only song written by Roger Waters on The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is "Take Up Thy Stethescope and Walk."
The incident that inspired the song happened in 1977 and Comfortably Numb is on The Wall, not Piper At The Gates Of Dawn.
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Old 02-07-2020, 08:54 AM
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Yeah, I know, I'm just saying there's an earlier reference to Roger Waters' disdain for doctors. There's an interview or something in which he explains the reference in Comfortably Numb. I might have it, will post if I come across it, not that important, as you say.

Last edited by jerez; 02-07-2020 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 02-07-2020, 08:56 AM
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Risperidone for the psychotic break, adderall to counter the sedation of the risperidone.
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:27 PM
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Given the Pink Floyd boys were relatively clean, I wouldn’t be surprised if the verse was inspired by an incident where Waters felt a bit under the weather and the manager got him a nice hot cup of tea .

Last edited by Richard Pearse; 02-07-2020 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:02 AM
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I always assumed the doctor was giving him a shot of amphetamines.
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Old 02-08-2020, 01:58 AM
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Millions in penalty clauses for effing up one show??? Get a new lawyer boys.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
I always assumed the doctor was giving him a shot of amphetamines.
Amphetamines wouldn't make sense with the rest of the song. There is no pain. You are receding. Only coming through in waves. You may feel a little sick.
At least to me, that all sounds like someone on opiates.
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
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Amphetamines wouldn't make sense with the rest of the song. There is no pain. You are receding. Only coming through in waves. You may feel a little sick.
At least to me, that all sounds like someone on opiates.
Agreed. I couldn't find the interview I mentioned in my last post, and what you said is right there in the Wikipedia entry (it says "tranquillisers"). In an interview that I did find online, Waters says that it was hard for him to raise his arm to play, which doesn't sound like a stimulant.

The thing is, I remember the word botulism being used in the interview that I couldn't find, and, if that's the case, I think he wouldn't even have been able to stand, let alone finish a show. So if that word was used, it seems more likely that it was used incorrectly.

Last edited by jerez; 02-08-2020 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:22 AM
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Maybe it was a pot belge ? A little bit of this, a little bit of that. (Wiki mentions a mix of cocaine, heroin, caffeine, amphetamines, other analgesics, morphine, and strychnine.)
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Old 02-08-2020, 02:13 PM
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I always thought he had OD'd on something and they were giving him something like Narcan to clean him up before the show.
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Old 02-09-2020, 09:42 PM
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The Doctor starts with trying to communicate:

Quote:
Hello, is there anybody in there, just nod if you can hear me, is there anyone at home
That certainly suggests that Pink is uncommunicative, maybe catatonic.
The next questions then suggest depression:

Quote:
Come on now, I hear you're feeling down, I can ease your pain, get you on your feet again
It's always been unclear to me if the response from Pink is entirely internal at this point - the spaced-out feel of the chorus always makes me feel that it is, and that he is in a disassociative state ...

Quote:
There is no pain, you are receding, a distant ship-smoke on the horizon, you are only coming through in waves, your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying
Then The Doctor gives an injection

Quote:
Okay, .. little pinprick, ... be no more <Pink screams>, ... feel a little sick
Can you stand up?
... working, good. ... going through the show. ... time to go
It seems clear to me that this is an upper at this point - probably too much, inducing the authoritarian mania of the following In the Flesh reprise (which is really the performance from the beginning of the soundtrack) and leading to the panicked mental escape of Run Like Hell.

The post-upper letdown is Waiting for the Worms/The Trial


I've probably spent way too much time listening and thinking about The Wall

Last edited by si_blakely; 02-09-2020 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 02-09-2020, 10:26 PM
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Well we know it has to be something the Good Doc is comfortable injecting, does that narrow anything down?
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