Why the Black Crowes’ Hard to Handle guitar solo was played by producer Brendan O’Brien instead of Slash

why the black crowes’ hard to handle guitar solo was played by producer brendan o’brien instead of slash

Why the Black Crowes’ Hard to Handle guitar solo was played by producer Brendan O’Brien instead of Slash

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.

“And at some point, I just couldn't get him on the phone. Right. You know that it's not going to happen. I think it was Chris [Robinson] [who] just said, ‘Let bud play. He could do this in a heartbeat.’

“So I just want to say that both the guitar solo and the organ solo were played under duress of [music producer] George Drakoulias yelling at me. He's going, ‘Hurry up. Are you done? Come on.’”

Elsewhere in the interview, O'Brien clarifies the industry rumor that he played most of the instruments on the band's album Shake Your Money Maker.

“I did not. Those guys played everything. And Jeff Cease did a great job. He played all that guitar solo melody stuff on that record, and Rich [Robinson] played great. And so those are his songs. So yeah, I felt like I was helpful to those guys. But they did all that. So there's no question about that.”

The Black Crowes’ cover version of the 1968 Otis Redding single Hard to Handle was their breakthrough single. It peaked at number 45 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 45 on the UK Singles Charts.

Black Crowes brothers Chris and Rich Robinson recently reunited to record and release the band's first album in 15 years, Happiness Bastards.

In preparation for the album release, Chris and Rich Robinson dropped in on The Howard Stern Show and discussed what it was like to perform alongside Jimmy Page back in 1999.

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