Monday, November 29, 2010

Slash: Guns N Roses did not rip off Tesla

Another rock n roll feud, or just rock n roll confusion?

Hard to tell, but it started with a bit of bang, that’s for sure.

Tesla guitarist Frank Hannon accused Guns N Roses of ripping off one their early demos for use as “Patience.”

Hannon’s remarks on the November 13 episode of VH1’s “That Metal Show” were part of a discussion on whether “Patience” was a better acoustic hard rock song that Tesla’s version of “Signs.”

"Let me tell you something: 'Patience'...,” began Hannon. “We were labelmates with Guns N Roses on Geffen. There's a demo of a song that we wrote called 'Better Off Without You.' It is 'Patience' note for note . . . I don't know if they ripped us off or Tom Zutaut or Geffen or somebody passed them the tape."

Geffen A&R man Tom Zutaut was the man responsible for signing both bands to Geffen Records.

News of the accusation caught up to former GnR guitarist Slash, who didn’t take kindly to the suggestion.

"I heard that one of the guys from Tesla claimed GNR stole 'Patience' from them,” wrote Slash on Facebook. “I'm assuming he's smoking super crack. Or dreaming out loud . . . I didn't hear the actual interview so I won't jump to conclusions based on hearsay. I'll just make emotiphants!"

Hannon went into damage control, posting a clarification of his comments on Tesla’s official message board.

"The demo of 'Better Off Without You' I was talking about is an acoustic guitar version we did live at the Oasis Ballroom in 1985 that Geffen Records had on a 'live' cassette tape of a show we played. They did make some copies of it with labels on them and handed them out to people before we made our first album. If anyone can find one, that would be awesome. I was not talking about the piano version that's floating around on a bootleg.

"Also, for the record: 'Better Off Without You' is a song in 'D' and it does the 'D/F#-to-G' chord change in it. This is also the same type of change that GNR used at the end of 'Patience' and also the same change that John Lennon uses in 'Imagine'...

"I do not seriously feel that we wrote 'Patience' in ANY WAY.

"The song 'Patience' is a great song that they [GNR] wrote themselves, and it is only the end part that has any similar part to the guitar chords we used.

"I apologize for any controversy or disrespect I may have projected in my joking around with Eddie Trunk ["That Metal Show" co-host] about this."


Guns N Roses – Patience (1988)


Tesla – Signs (1990)