Brian May Recalls Recording ‘Strange Experience’ For Guns N’ Roses

Guns N’ Roses, it’s fair to say, is notorious for its compositional inconsistency. Few groups have a whole Wikipedia page devoted to their list of members after all.

When it came to making their sixth studio album Chinese democracy, still their latest record, several guitarists have been tried. Beginning with Robin Finck and Paul Tobias, Richard Fortus, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal and Buckethead also had their shot during a decade of recording.

Add to this list Brian May. Surprisingly, the legend of the queen has also been sought to appear on Chinese democracybut was dropped from the final album just weeks before its 2008 release.

In a new interview with classic rock (according to guitar world), the guitarist spoke about his difficult experience doing his parts for the album for nine years. “It was a strange experience,” he recalls. “I think it was about halfway through it all.

At that time, Axl (Rose) was pretty much a recluse. He worked in his house, and I worked in the studio down the hill with his engineer at the time, and he rarely came down. From time to time he would call and get enthusiastic and talk a lot, then he would leave. I don’t think what I played made it into the album.

Around the time it was first reported that May’s work had been removed from the final album, he expressed disappointment. “Well, that’s a shame. I put in a lot of work and I was proud of that,” he said in 2008.

It doesn’t seem that Axl Rose thinks badly of May’s talent: several years ago he hailed Queen as greatest band of all time. And yet you gave up having their guitarist on your album? Where’s the consistency, Axl?

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