Gilby Clarke Discusses the Hardest Guns N’ Roses Song to Play Live!
Speaking in a recent interview with Ultimate-Guitar, former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke spoke about the hardest Guns N’ Roses songs to play on guitar.
Interviwer said “were those songs difficult to learn?”, Gilby responded:
“The playing part no but what was tricky and challenging was if you really listen to Guns’ music, what’s unique about it is every time the solo section comes the rhythm part and the music underneath it is a complete different part of the song.
In most songs, people solo over a chorus or a verse but not in Guns, man. It’s kinda like that Aerosmith thing where it was a complete new part and there were times in my head [chuckles]—and you gotta understand I learned 50 songs in a week—there were a couple of jumbles in my computer in my head. “Is this rhythm part the one that goes to that song?”
Interviewer added, “That probably took some study” and Gilby talked again:
“My goal was to get onstage and not have any cheat sheets. The only cheat sheet I had was Izzy’s actual cheat sheet for the song “Coma,” this big 15-minute song where the changes are all different.
Izzy had a cheat sheet and I go, “Hey, can I borrow that?” I had to use his cheat sheet for “Coma,” which I probably only played once or twice in two-and-a-half years.”
He also revaled the story of his first audition for Guns N’ Roses. Here:
“I did go down and play with ‘em a couple times right before but it just kinda really worked out. Slash first called me literally at midnight and said, “Hey can you come down tomorrow and jam with us?” The Illusion records weren’t out yet. They had already done a couple live gigs but the records weren’t out yet.
So he goes, “Why don’t you just learn three songs? You just pick three songs.” So that phone call came at midnight and one o’clock the next day I was playing with ‘em. I really didn’t get a chance to sit down and learn ‘em. I basically listened to a cassette in my car on the way. One of the songs I remember was “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.”
Click here to entire interview.