"The Spaghetti Incident?"

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"The Spaghetti Incident?"
Guns n' Roses; Spaghetti Incident? cover.jpg
Studio album of cover songs by Guns N' Roses
Released November 23, 1993
Recorded 1992–93 at A&M Studios, Record Plant Studios, Rumbo Recorders, CanAm Studios, Sound Techniques, Triad Studios, Conway Recording Studios and Ocean Way Recording[citation needed]
Genre Punk rock, hard rock[1]
Length 46:03
Label Geffen
Producer Mike Clink, Guns N' Roses, Duff McKagan, Jim Mitchell
Guns N' Roses chronology
Use Your Illusion II
"The Spaghetti Incident?"
Chinese Democracy
Singles from The Spaghetti Incident?
  1. "Ain't It Fun"
    Released: November 20, 1993 (1993-11-20)
  2. "Since I Don't Have You"
    Released: May 1994 (1994-05)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[2]
Robert Christgau A−[3]
Entertainment Weekly A−[4]
NME 7/10[5]
Q 3/5 stars[6]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[7]
Spin positive[8]

"The Spaghetti Incident?" is the fifth studio album by the American hard rock band Guns N' Roses. The album comprises covers of older punk rock and hard rock songs.[1] "The Spaghetti Incident?" is the only studio album to feature rhythm guitarist Gilby Clarke, who replaced original Guns N' Roses member Izzy Stradlin during the band's Use Your Illusion tour in 1991.


Many of the tracks were recorded with original Guns N' Roses guitarist Izzy Stradlin during the Use Your Illusion I and II sessions and then were later re-recorded with Gilby Clarke.[9] Those tracks were previously intended to be included in a combined Use Your Illusion album, consisting of three (or possibly four) discs, instead of the two separate discs they ended up being.

In 1992, the band prepared to release the leftover cover tracks as an EP, with Gilby Clarke replacing Stradlin's guitar tracks. They later decided on making the album a full release and recorded several more tracks for it.[10] Bassist Duff McKagan sings on many of the album's tracks and Hanoi Rocks frontman Michael Monroe appears on "Ain't It Fun" as a guest vocalist. This was the last Guns N' Roses album to feature lead guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan, drummer Matt Sorum, and the only album to feature Gilby Clarke. It was also the band's last studio album until 15 years later with Chinese Democracy, and its last album until the live compilation album six years later with Live Era: '87-'93.

During studio sessions the band recorded a cover of "A Beer and a Cigarette" from Hanoi Rocks but the song never came out.[11]

On the bottom of the cover art of the album, there is a code written with the Zodiac Killer's symbols, which has been deciphered as "fuck'em all".[12]

Album title[edit]

The title is an inside joke referring to a food fight between Axl Rose and Steven Adler. Much was made of this food fight during Adler's lawsuit against the band in 1993, in which Adler's attorney referred to it as "the Spaghetti Incident". The meaning was explained by drummer Matt Sorum in a 1994 interview with Much Music and confirmed by Slash in his autobiography, Slash. The title could also be referencing the 1991 comedy The Linguini Incident starring David Bowie.

During a discussion between Rose, Slash and the album's cover designer in the "Making of Estranged" video, it is made clear that the correct form of the title is within quotation marks and with a question mark.

Original release[edit]

The album was released shortly after the conclusion of the Use Your Illusion World Tour which had lasted until mid-1993. The vinyl copy of the album was released in clear plastic orange, and the CD was released with color designs and markings: black concentric rings around the outer edge, and an indigo and blood-red depiction of an evil jack-o-lantern eating spaghetti out of a hollowed-out, decollated head in the center, which would later be changed (in the 1997 reissue) to simply a plain silver colored CD.


An unadvertised cover of the Charles Manson song "Look at Your Game, Girl" was included on the album.[13] The track was kept secret, including not being on advance tapes sent out to reviewers.[13] Band manager Doug Goldstein stated "There is a bonus track on the album, but Axl wants it to speak for itself." and that "It wasn't done for the critics or anybody else. It was a bonus for the fans."[13] The inclusion of the song caused controversy, with law-enforcement and victims-rights groups expressing outrage over its inclusion.[14][15]

Rose claimed "the reason we didn't list that song on our album is we wanted to downplay it. We don't give any credit to Charles Manson on the album; it's like a hidden bonus truck."[16] The band considered removing the song from new pressings of the album, with David Geffen stating in a phone interview, "I would hope that if Axl Rose had realized how offensive people would find this, he would not have ever recorded this song in the first place. The fact that Charles Manson would be earning money based on the fame he derived committing one of the most horrific crimes of the 20th Century is unthinkable to me".[17] Slash mentioned that the song was "done with naive and innocent black humor on our part".[14] Rose stated he would donate all performance royalties from the song to a nonprofit environmental organization.[16][17] Slash stated that the group intended to remove the song, before they decided to keep it once they learned that royalties from the song would be donated to the Bartek Frykowski, the son of Wojciech Frykowski, a victim of Manson during the Tate Murders.[14][18] Geffen Records released a statement mentioning their share of royalties would be donated to the Doris Tate Crime Victims Bureau.[14] Years later, Rose said the song would be removed from new pressings of the album, claiming that critics and the media had misinterpreted his interest in Manson.[19] Rose can be seen wearing a Manson shirt in the video for "Estranged" and during a concert in Milton Keynes, England, in 1993. Rose explained wearing the shirt as "trying to make a statement" because "a lot of people enjoy playing me as the bad guy and the crazy. Sorry, I'm not that guy. I'm nothing like him."[16] Despite the statement that the track would be removed, "Look at Your Game, Girl" is still featured on pressings of the album.

Live performances[edit]

The first track, "Since I Don't Have You", was performed a few times as an intro to songs "Sweet Child o' Mine" or "Paradise City" in 1992 and 1993. "Down on the Farm" was performed once in its full length during the 1990 performance in the Farm Aid IV show. It was also played a few times during the Chinese Democracy Tour in 2006. The band performed "Hair of the Dog" once in 1988, and again in 1990, during the only known "The Gak" (band featuring members of Guns N' Roses, Metallica and Skid Row) performance. "Attitude" was performed frequently during the Use Your Illusion Tour, and Duff still plays it in Loaded and his solo career. Other songs played live by Duff McKagan are "New Rose", "You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory" and "Raw Power". The other songs were never played live by Guns N' Roses, but might have been played by some of the members' side projects, like Matt Sorum's supergroup Camp Freddy, that plays cover versions of famous songs, as well as Neurotic Outsiders, the supergroup Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum were part of. Guns N' Roses played "Attitude" and - for the first time - "Raw Power" live in Buenos Aires (Argentina) in April 2014 with Duff McKagan on vocals.[20]


"The Spaghetti Incident?" debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200, selling about 190,000 albums in its first week of release, significantly less than their previous releases.[21]

In his review for Allmusic, music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine said that, "As punk albums go, "The Spaghetti Incident?" lacks righteous anger and rage. As Guns N' Roses albums go, it's a complete delight, returning to the ferocious, hard-rocking days of Appetite for Destruction".[2]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Original artist Length
1. "Since I Don't Have You"   Joseph Rock, James Beaumont, Jackie Taylor, Janet Vogel, Joe VanScharnen, Lennie Martin, and Wally Lester The Skyliners 4:20
2. "New Rose"   Brian James The Damned 2:38
3. "Down on the Farm"   Alvin Gibbs, Charlie Harper, Nicholas Garrett U.K. Subs 3:29
4. "Human Being"   Johnny Thunders, David Johansen New York Dolls 6:48
5. "Raw Power"   Iggy Pop, James Williamson The Stooges 3:12
6. "Ain't It Fun" (featuring Michael Monroe) Cheetah Chrome, Peter Laughner The Dead Boys 5:06
7. "Buick Mackane (Big Dumb Sex)"   Marc Bolan / Chris Cornell T. Rex / Soundgarden 2:40
8. "Hair of the Dog"   Dan McCafferty, Pete Agnew, Manny Charlton, Darrell Sweet Nazareth 3:55
9. "Attitude"   Glenn Danzig Misfits 1:27
10. "Black Leather"   Steve Jones, Paul Cook The Professionals 4:09
11. "You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory"   Johnny Thunders Johnny Thunders 3:35
12. "I Don't Care About You"   Lee Ving Fear 2:07
13. "Look at Your Game, Girl" (Hidden track starting at 2:17 in "I Don't Care About You") Charles Manson Charles Manson 2:34
Total length:



Chart (1993) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA) 1
US Billboard 200 4

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Abbott, Jim (November 26, 1993). "Here's what's new in the record racks:Guns N' Roses". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b http://www.allmusic.com/album/r188450/review
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (January 18, 1994). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice (New York). Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Review: 'The Spaghetti Incident?'". Entertainment Weekly (New York): 62–3. November 26, 1993. The Spaghetti Incident? scales everything back a notch ... Guns 'N' Roses aims to prove it doesn't need two padded CDs, a horn section and a bevy of backup singers to make a joyful racket... 
  5. ^ "Review: 'The Spaghetti Incident?'". NME (London): 31. November 27, 1993. ...a bizarre mixture of swagger, nihilism and bad attitood which is as funny as it is exhilarating... 
  6. ^ "Review: 'The Spaghetti Incident?'". Q (London): 92. February 1994. ...relatively faithful cover versions... 
  7. ^ Gold, Jonathan (9 December 1993). "Guns N' Roses: The Spaghetti Incident? Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 29 June 2011. 
  8. ^ Weisbard, Eric (February 1994). "Spins". Spin (New York): 67. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  9. ^ "GN'R Recording Sessions". Here Today... Gone To Hell!. Archived from the original on 2010-01-16. Retrieved 2010-11-11. 
  10. ^ "The Spaghetti Incident?". GnRsource. Archived from the original on 2008-08-22. Retrieved 2008-10-21. 
  11. ^ "The Spaghetti Incident? on SlashParadise". www.slashparadise.com. November 10, 2012. 
  12. ^ Axl's history of personal hints regarding a song/or concept on the next album, in the previous album. MYGNR Forum. February 3, 2013. Retrieved on February 7, 2013.
  13. ^ a b c Hochman, Steve (November 21, 1993). "It's No Illusion: Guns N' Roses Does Charles Manson". LAtimes.com. Austin Beutner. Retrieved May 7, 2015. 
  14. ^ a b c d Philips, Chuck (December 8, 1993). "Guns N' Roses to Stick With Manson Song on Album: Convict's royalties from 'Girl' will be paid to the son of one of those killed in a spree masterminded by the cult leader". LAtimes.com. Austin Beutner, Tribune Publishing. Retrieved May 7, 2015. 
  15. ^ Considine, J.D. (December 3, 1993). "Guns N' Roses under fire for Manson 'bonus' song". Baltimoresun.com. Timothy E. Ryan, Tribune Publishing. Retrieved May 7, 2015. 
  16. ^ a b c "Bring Out The Manson". Q Magazine. March 1994. Retrieved May 7, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b Philips, Chuck (December 1, 1993). "Guns N' Roses May Remove Manson Song From Album". LAtimes.com. Austin Beutner. Retrieved May 7, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Victim's Son Gets Manson Royalties". NYtimes.com. December 26, 1993. Retrieved May 7, 2015. 
  19. ^ David Wild (February 3, 2000). "Rolling Stone 833: Axl Speaks". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 23, 2015. 
  20. ^ setlist.fm "Guns N’ Roses Setlist at Estadio Ferrocarril Oeste, Buenos Aires, Argentina"
  21. ^ Hasty, Katie. "Kanye Edges GNR, Ludacris For No. 1 Debut". billboard.com. Dec 3, 2008. Archived 16 January 2010 at WebCite

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]