people have grown to love the song,” says Thal.
However, there may be room within the context
of the show for the guitarist to introduce some
differences. “If it’s ‘Paradise City,’ you’re cer-
tainly not going to change that main hook. But
when it comes to the long solo at the end of the
song—not the part that people are humming
and singing—it’s okay to take some liberties.”
classic solos, but then each of us in the band
had our individual solos every night, so I was
able to do my whammy-bar thing.”
Interestingly enough, not one single guitarist
interviewed for this article was told to play a
certain way. When they auditioned and during
their tenure, they were largely given free reign.
During his tenure with Ozzy, Gillis found a
few opportunities during the show to stretch
out, too. “I wanted to interject a little of my
style here and there throughout the set,”
Gillis says. “I tried to stay close to Randy’s
“No, not once did Axl Rose ever tell me how
to play,” says Thal.
“I was never told what I had to play,”