Here in the Raleigh Underground video you can see R.E.M. early on playing a lot of songs that they did not play for much of their later years.
Moral Kiosk, a great tune, is one of those songs.
At 13:50 you get some hand placement ideas for the Chorus:
At about 14:14, you get a look at the verse, which I think is a typical Peter Buck progression:
I realize that is not easy to see in that video–none o f it is. Hand placement is about all you get, and then I figure out what sounds most like it.
That is all that is available from that video.
Here is an incredible video from 1983 – that’s all it says:
The sound quality is poor, but it is amazing that this stuff exists. Do you remember what a cam-corder looked like in 1983? It wasn’t palm-sized. There were no iPhones. It was a monstrous thing–the one in Back to the Future was even more advanced and modern than the one that likely recorded this!! To me it is so unreal to have this older footage and such a joy to watch. We are lucky.
There are heads in the way, but the camera is filming Michael Stipe pointed towards Peter Buck. Intermittently, you get glimpses, and a picture begins to come into view:
What is this chord? It is hard to say. Many have it as an Esus4*
I don’t think that sounds right, so I play it as an open A, which is very similar.
Open D then slide the first finger down one string
E (with 4th string bend on 3rd fret, 5th string open).
Bridge to Chorus:
Open F# (PB Style)
slide up to an open Em7 (PB Style)
E (barred on 7th fret)***
B (barred on 7th fret, I’m leaving the bottom two strings open in hommage to PB–no idea what he’s doing, but it sounds right)
Playing a little snippet from Wolves, Lower:
Then Open G? then reach pinky up and hit 6th string, 15th fret , maybe?
I don’t know, best I can do on this one. There is not much other R.E.M. footage out there showing Peter Buck playing Moral Kiosk that I could find**. Looking at Mitch Easter playing it is instructive, although we won’t let that be dispositive–and judging by hand position, we have this close***:
So here is my attempt:
*The chord that Buck is wailing on has a pedigree closer to jazz than rock–an Esus4″. Murmur 33 1/3, by J. Niimi, Pgs 35-36 (Bloomsbury, 2005).
**Awesome version from the Work Tour – 1987 (I saw them that year)
**The Gallery 1984 (Manchester, England):
***Mitch Easter does not play the “bridge to chorus” with the E bar chord, he plays it by the neck, then slides up to the open B. The other guitarist in the video is barring the E up on 7.