Brian May recalls his “odd” experience recording on-off contributions for Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy

Brian May
(Image credit: Cole Bennetts/Getty Images)

After Guns N’ Roses electric guitar titans Slash and Gilby Clarke left the band in the mid-’90s following the release of Use Your Illusion I and II, Axl Rose and co were forced to call upon a number of stand-in six-string slingers to plug the gap.

Among those were Buckethead, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal and Richard Fortus, all of whom featured to varying degrees across the Chinese Democracy tracklist. Another axeman who appeared in a more ad-hoc role was Queen’s Brian May, though his own contributions were comparably less impactful.

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Matt Owen
Senior Staff Writer,

Matt is a Senior Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.