Dave Navarro recalls ‘very strange’ Guns N’ Roses studio session

Dave Navarro has been busy of late, returning to action alongside Foo Fighters drummer, Taylor Hawkins and bassist Chris Chaney for NHC (Navarro, Hawkins, Chaney) and offering guitar advice. But recently the Jane’s Addiction guitarist sat down for an episode of Appetite For Distortion alongside Billy Morrison, during which he recalled the story of a “very strange” Guns N’ Roses recording session.

The recording took place for the song Oh my God, which appeared on the End of Days soundtrack, and Navarro got the call from Axl Rose to play guitar on the song.

"Axl called me one day and said, ‘I’m working on this record, do you want to come and play guitar on it?" Navarro explains.

“I was like, ‘Fuck yeah, of course I do!’ So I was given a location and a time and I showed up with my gear. There were 10 people in the studio, and I was like, ‘Where's Axl?’ And they were like, ‘He's coming. But let's get started anyway.’

And what it was was Axl on speakerphone from his home listening in the whole time!

“[So I] sat down and plugged in, I said, ‘This f***ing sounds great!’ and I recorded a couple of passes, then, I shit you not, I swear, all of a sudden I hear in the background, ‘Yeah, that sounds really good. Why don't you keep that one?’ 

“And what it was was Axl on speakerphone from his home listening in the whole time! I was, like, ‘What?’ It was just Axl's voice out of nowhere.”

Axl continued to direct the guitarist through his next take over the phone, Navarro adding, “It was very strange – but I love that it was strange, you know what I mean? Because it makes the story so much juicier and more fucking just memorable and fun!”

Elsewhere in the interview, Navarro details how his battle with addiction caused him to miss his audition with the band in 1991, following the departure of Izzy Stradlin from GN'R.

"Axl really wanted me to join the band, and we talked nearly every day about ideas and the way the band could work with me in it.

“[But] I was just simply not present enough to do it. I had an audition with the band that I actually didn't show up to because I was immersed in my drug addiction…couldn't show up in that shape.

"It happened the way it happened. I went on to go and be in the Chili Peppers. And, oddly enough, Flea ended up joining Jane's Addiction for a tour, and Duff ended up joining Jane's Addiction for a tour.

“So at this age now, it's all water under the bridge and we're all part of this collective musical family and we all played together.”

Stuart Williams

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.