Why Roger Waters Cut David Gilmour’s Guitar Solo Out Of ‘Comfortably Numb,’ Jonathan Wilson Explains
Roger Waters guitarist Jonathan Wilson recently joined Ultimate Classic Rock for an interview and said that playing ‘Comfortably Numb’ without the classic guitar solo was a bold decision of Waters.
Pink Floyd’s classic song, ‘Comfortably Numb,’ arrived as a part of the band’s eleventh studio album, ‘The Wall,’ released in 1979. The group’s bassist Roger Waters wrote the lyrics, whereas the guitarist David Gilmour composed the music for the hit track. While the song has endured a position as a timeless classic, David Gilmour’s iconic guitar work contributed to its popularity since it’s among the best guitar solos of all time.
Although Roger Waters left the band long ago, the bassist still performs some Pink Floyd classics, including ‘Comfortably Numb,’ in his solo shows. Waters is currently hitting the road for his This Is Not a Drill concert tour, which started on July 6, 2022, in Pittsburgh. The tour will end on October 15, 2022, in Mexico City. ‘Comfortably Numb’ is the first song he performs on the setlist.
Amidst the dates, the rocker’s touring guitarist Jonathan Wilson responded to a question about playing the iconic song without Gilmour’s classic guitar solo in a recent interview. The guitarist explained that they did that particular version in Waters’ house as a demo. The bassist wanted them to play the song in a slower tone and then decided to make it the intro to the ongoing tour. Wilson thinks playing ‘Comfortably Numb’ without the guitar solo and putting it as the first track of the setlist was Waters’s bold decision, which excited the remaining crew members.
Jonathan Wilson speaking on Roger Waters’ decision on the song:
“We did that at his house, the demo for that particular version at that speed, in that key. It was sung by myself and Gus, as far as the verses. We did it right before the pandemic as a demo. I can’t remember why he said to do that. That was just something he said, ‘Let’s try it slow and try it down an octave,’ which we did.
We didn’t even think about it. He returned to us and said, ‘That’s the intro to the show.’ It was like, ‘Holy sh*t, that’s amazing.’ It’s definitely bold. It’s a cool bookend because that was the last thing we did on the previous tour. So to start it out that way, it’s very bold. The crowds are like, ‘Wow, what the hell is going on?’ It’s amazing.”
You can listen to the original version of ‘Comfortably Numb’ below.