“Once in a while, we would start playing a Beatles song, and John would go, ‘Cut that out!’” Session guitar legend Earl Slick on fast times with John Lennon and David Bowie – and saying no to Whitesnake

Earl Slick onstage at a David Bowie tribute in 2019
(Image credit: Angel Manzano/Redferns)

Throughout the ’70s and into the ’80s, Earl Slick was living most rock ’n’ roll guitarists’ dreams. He’d logged several worldwide tours with David Bowie and played a vital musical role on albums such as Young Americans and Station to Station

As if working with one British rock legend weren’t enough, in 1980 Slick was chosen by John Lennon to play guitar on the former Beatle’s first album in five years, Double Fantasy.

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Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar World, Guitar Player, MusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.