There may have been a guitar solo written for “Nobody Home”. If so, it was cut before the album’s release.
“Nobody Home” was one of the final songs recorded for The Wall and was written and added at the last minute. David Gilmour recalled,
“Some of the songs – I remember “Nobody Home” – came along when we well into the thing and [Roger had] gone off in a sulk the night before and come in the next day with something fantastic.”
This is one of the deep album cuts which propels the narrative forward. It was never released as a single although it was included on the Pink Floyd Off The Wall – Special Radio Construction promo disc to radio stations at the time of the album’s release.
In addition to some autobiographical references, the song is more of a pastiche of people Waters had known throughout his career. There are references to Syd Barrett, Richard Wright, and others throughout the song.
That’s album co-producer Bob Ezrin on piano for this track. David Gilmour played bass. The orchestrations were performed by members of the New York Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michael Kamen. Richard Wright played a Prophet-5 synthesiser on the album and played piano on the live version which can be heard on Is There Anybody Out There? The Wall Live 1980-81. Live, there are subtle differences between his performance and Ezrin’s on the album, most notably in the song’s intro.
Some people say that a guitar solo was written at some point for the track but was never performed by the band. It would have appeared after all of the verses and before the final two lines of the song. It is not known for certain if this solo was ever actually recorded for the album. If it were, it was most likely cut to shorten the running time of Side 3. A recording or a demo by Pink Floyd has never surfaced which casts some doubt over the accuracy of this claim.
Regardless, there really is a long version of the song out there. “Nobody Home” with the added guitar solo was performed regularly by Roger Waters and his bands in the 1980s and 90s. Eric Clapton would perform the solo while he toured with Roger Waters for the 1984 dates of The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking. For 1987’s Radio K.A.O.S. tour, it was performed by Mel Collins on saxophone. In 1990, Snowy White performed the solo for the one-off performance of The Wall – Live in Berlin. All in all, the solo and refrain added about 1 min 21 seconds to the live track. Eric Clapton’s guitar works very well with the song and is worth seeking out to hear. There was never an official release of Roger’s tours, but plenty of ROIOs of varying quality can be found. David Gilmour has never performed the solo live. The guitar solo was not performed during the Roger Waters The Wall live shows in 2010-2013.
So, whether or not the guitar solo was originally written for The Wall or whether it was added to the song afterwards by Roger for his live performances remains the big question.
The July 26, 1984 performance of “Nobody Home” at the Rosemont Horizon in Chicago with an Eric Clapton guitar solo is embedded below.
What Got Cut
- Possibly a guitar solo was cut from the track to shorten the running time of Side 3.
Pink Floyd The Wall movie (1982). The song itself is musically unchanged from the album, but different sound effects were used for the movie soundtrack. Roger’s spoken line “Oi! I’ve got a little black with me poems in!” which precedes the track on the album was cut for the movie.
The Wall – Live in Berlin (1990). A live concert performance by Roger Waters and numerous guest artists, held in Berlin on July 21, 1990 to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall. Includes the only officially released version of the track with the added guitar solo. Snowy White performs.
Last update: September 19, 2017