Guns N’ Roses’ final album of their original glory run, featuring Slash, Duff McKagan, and Matt Sorum, might be viewed as bittersweet for fans. Nevertheless, “The Spaghetti Incident?” holds a special place in the band’s history, being the only all-covers album in their catalog. Duff McKagan explained in a recent interview with Classic Rock that the album was a way for the band to pay homage to their heroes:
“These were all songs we played in soundcheck or live over the years. There was no plan to start with. We recorded a few songs, and then it was like, ‘Let’s just make a record…’ We figured, if we make this record and it sells, then if nothing else some of our heroes can get some royalties.”
The album includes “New Rose,” a 1976 single by The Damned, often considered the first punk rock single. Brian James, The Damned’s writer and guitarist, revealed in the interview that neither he nor his bandmates cared about having the first punk single. However, he was pleasantly surprised to learn about Guns N’ Roses covering their song and hoped to finally earn some royalties.
Reflecting on the punk aspect of Guns N’ Roses, Duff McKagan, who had a notable presence in the punk scene, highlighted the diverse audience the band attracted back in the day:
“We would get a very mixed audience. You would see, like, old punk or guys — old, like me; guys who had started when they’re 13, and now they’re dyed-in-the-wool, long-teeth punker guys, and you see them come to our shows — John Does, and then the girls from the Valley, who would go, ‘Okay…’ But it’s great to have the whole mixture — and some hard metal guys — it was really cool.”
Despite any criticisms, “The Spaghetti Incident?” remains a unique chapter in the Guns N’ Roses story, showcasing their eclectic musical influences and the band’s desire to pay tribute to those who inspired them.