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Slash Plays “Catcher in the Rye” for First Time with Guns N’ Roses

(Image credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Guns N’ Roses added the Chinese Democracy track “Catcher in the Rye” to their set at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on July 20. This marked the first time the song has been played on their Not in This Lifetime Tour, and the first time guitarist Slash performed it live.

Singer Axl Rose wrote “Catcher in the Rye” after watching a documentary about Mark David Chapman, John Lennon’s killer. After shooting Lennon in December 1980, Chapman had remained at the scene reading a copy of the J.D. Salinger novel Catcher in the Rye, a book he referred to as “my statement.”

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Christopher Scapelliti is editor-in-chief of Guitar Player (opens in new tab) magazine, the world’s longest-running guitar magazine, founded in 1967. In his extensive career, he has authored in-depth interviews with such guitarists as Pete Townshend, Slash, Billy Corgan, Jack White, Elvis Costello and Todd Rundgren, and audio professionals including Beatles engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott. He is the co-author of Guitar Aficionado: The Collections: The Most Famous, Rare, and Valuable Guitars in the World (opens in new tab), a founding editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine, and a former editor with Guitar WorldGuitar for the Practicing Musician and Maximum Guitar. Apart from guitars, he maintains a collection of more than 30 vintage analog synthesizers.