“At some point, Slash was going to come play. Chris Robinson just said, ‘Let bud play. He could do this in a heartbeat’”: Why the Black Crowes’ Hard to Handle guitar solo was played by producer Brendan O’Brien instead of Slash

Left-Chris Robinson and Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes perform at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith on May 15, 2024 in London, England; Right-Record producer Brendan O'Brien attends the SiriusXM's "Town Hall" with AC/DC's Angus Young And Brian Johnson on November 17, 2014 in New York City
(Image credit: Left-Jo Hale/Getty Images;Right-Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Record producer, mixing engineer, and multi-instrumentalist Brendan O'Brien – who famously worked with AC/DC, Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, and Bob Dylan – has revealed how he ended up playing the guitar solo of The Black Crowes' hit Hard to Handle when he was still establishing himself in Atlanta.

“[It was] the last day we're there. And by the way, that part and the guitar solo part, they were going to get someone else to play on it. And the story was, at some point, Slash is going to come play. Someone else is going to come play on it,” recalls O'Brien in a new interview with Rick Beato

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Janelle Borg

Janelle is a staff writer at GuitarWorld.com. After a long stint in classical music, Janelle discovered the joys of playing guitar in dingy venues at the age of 13 and has never looked back. Janelle has written extensively about the intersection of music and technology, and how this is shaping the future of the music industry. She also had the pleasure of interviewing Dream Wife, K.Flay, Yīn Yīn, and Black Honey, among others. When she's not writing, you'll find her creating layers of delicious audio lasagna with her art-rock/psych-punk band ĠENN.