Duff McKagan has revealed how Slash tried to sabotage Guns N’ Roses’ classic song “Sweet Child o' Mine.”

During an appearance on the Songcraft podcast, McKagan recalled how the track came together.

Izzy [Stradlin] had the three chords,” the bassist explained. “OK, well that’s… What do you do with that? Axl liked it. OK, well let’s try to make this work somehow.”

The band slowly began piecing “Sweet Child o’ Mine” together, but Slash clearly wasn’t interested in the tune.

“The intro for ‘Sweet Child o’ Mine,’ Slash just did not like the three D, C, G (note progression) thing,” McKagan recalled, adding that the guitarist told him, “We’ve got to get rid of this song somehow.”

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Slash responded by coming up with the tune’s now-famous intro, which McKagan suggested was an attempt to derail the song. “He wrote this twisted, just atonal thing.”

“And of course that part to try to get rid of the song, totally worked," the bassist continued. "It was this amazing intro to the song, and suddenly we had this ballad.”

McKagan suggested the fortuitous way “Sweet Child o’ Mine” came together was reflective of that stage of Guns N’ Roses.

“It just goes to show that everything was clicking with that band at that point,” the bassist explained.

Why Didn't Slash Like 'Sweet Child o' Mine'?

“Sweet Child o’ Mine” became a massive hit for Guns N’ Roses in 1988, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

McKagan’s recollection of how the famous intro came about doesn’t perfectly align with Slash’s previous discussions regarding the song.

READ MORE: The 10 Weirdest Guns N' Roses Songs

“I was sitting around the house where Guns used to live at one point – in ’86 I guess it was – and I just came up with this riff. It was just me messing around and putting notes together, like any riff you do,” the guitarist told Eddie Trunk in 2022. “Then Izzy started playing the chords behind it and then Axl heard it, and it started from there.”

Still, Slash has consistently admitted he didn’t think much of the song at first. "For me, at the time, it was a very sappy ballad.”

Every Guns N' Roses Song Ranked Worst to Best

Multiple narratives emerged when compiling the above list of Guns N' Roses Songs Ranked Worst to Best. All entries by Eduardo Rivadavia except where noted.

Gallery Credit: Eduardo Rivadavia

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