"The Spaghetti Incident?"

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"The Spaghetti Incident?"
Guns n' Roses; Spaghetti Incident? cover.jpg
Studio album of cover songs by
ReleasedNovember 23, 1993
StudioA&M Studios, Record Plant Studios, Rumbo Recorders, CanAm Studios, Sound Techniques, Triad Studios, Conway Recording Studios, Ocean Way Recording[citation needed]
Guns N' Roses chronology
Garden of Eden: Strictly Limited Edition
"The Spaghetti Incident?"
Use Your Illusion
Guns N' Roses studio album chronology
Use Your Illusion II
"The Spaghetti Incident?"
Chinese Democracy
Singles from The Spaghetti Incident?
  1. "Ain't It Fun"
    Released: November 1993
  2. "Since I Don't Have You"
    Released: March 1994

"The Spaghetti Incident?" is the fifth studio album by the American hard rock band Guns N' Roses. The album is composed of covers of older punk rock, hard rock, and other 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, as well as the last album to feature guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Matt Sorum, following their departures in 1996 and 1997, respectively. It is also their final album to date featuring longtime producer Mike Clink.

It is the only Guns N' Roses album release not backed by a tour.[3] Although generally well received critically, it is the band's worst-selling studio album, having sold one million copies in the United States by 2018.[4]


Initially, the band planned to release an EP of covers in 1992 or 1993, but decided to record a full album.[3] Many of the tracks were recorded during the same sessions as the Illusions albums, which were originally intended to produce three or four albums.[5] Izzy Stradlin's guitar parts were reportedly re-recorded entirely by Gilby Clarke.[6][7][a] Slash described the recording as "spontaneous and unpainted",[7] and recording the songs served as "a purpose to alleviate the pressure of making the Illusions records".[6] The band wanted to increase the profile of some of their favorite bands and help them financially via royalties with the tracklist selection, and considered naming the album "Pension Fund".[4]

The album is a collection of punk and glam rock covers.[3] The album features covers of songs of punk artists such as U.K. Subs, The Damned, New York Dolls, The Stooges, Dead Boys, Misfits, Johnny Thunders, The Professionals, FEAR, as well as T. Rex, Soundgarden and The Skyliners.[3] The lead single, "Ain't It Fun" featured Hanoi Rocks singer Michael Monroe as a guest vocalist. [8]

During the studio sessions the band also recorded instrumental tracks of the song titled "Beer and a Cigarette", originally by Hanoi Rocks. The vocals were not recorded and the song was left off the record because the band did not want songwriter Andy McCoy to receive any money.[9][10] The band also did an instrumental version of the song "Down on the Street" by The Stooges which also was never released.[11]


The title references an incident Steven Adler had in 1989 while the band was temporarily staying at an apartment in Chicago. Adler stored his drugs in a refrigerator next to the band's takeout containers, which contained Italian food. McKagan explained that Adler's code word for his stash was 'spaghetti'. In his lawsuit against the band, Adler's lawyer asked the band to "tell us about the spaghetti incident," which the band found amusing and used as the title of the album.[12]


The album includes a hidden track, a cover of "Look at Your Game, Girl", originally by cult leader Charles Manson.[13] The track was kept secret and left off advance tapes sent to reviewers.[13] The inclusion of the song caused controversy, with law enforcement and victims' rights groups expressing outrage.[14][15] Rose stated "...we wanted to downplay it. We don't give any credit to Charles Manson on the album". Label president David Geffen commented: "[If] Rose had realized how offensive people would find this, he would not have ever recorded this song."[16] 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.[17][16] The band was going to remove the song before learning that royalties would be donated to the son of one of Manson's victims.[14][18] Geffen Records stated their share of royalties would be donated to the Doris Tate Crime Victims Bureau.[14]

Live performances[edit]

Although Guns N' Roses never toured in support of "The Spaghetti Incident?", some of the songs were performed live prior to its release. 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.[19] "Attitude", "Raw Power" and "New Rose" were played during the Not in This Lifetime... Tour.

Commercial performance and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Calgary HeraldB+[20]
Robert ChristgauA−[21]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[22]
Music Week[23]
Rolling Stone[26]
Classic Rock(favorable)[28]

"The Spaghetti Incident?" debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200, selling about 190,000 albums in its first week of release, significantly fewer than their previous releases.[29] The album was certified platinum by RIAA on January 26, 1994.[30]

In his retrospective 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]


Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes.[31]



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[49] Platinum 70,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[50] Gold 25,000*
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[51] Platinum 250,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[52] 3× Platinum 300,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[53] Gold 33,935[53]
France (SNEP)[54] 2× Gold 200,000*
Germany (BVMI)[55] Gold 250,000^
Italy (FIMI)[56]
since 2009
Gold 25,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[57] Platinum 200,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[58] Platinum 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[59] Platinum 15,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[60] Platinum 50,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[61] Platinum 100,000^
Sweden (GLF)[62] Platinum 100,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[63] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[64] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[65] Platinum 1,000,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Clarke later disputed the claim, stating "Izzy didn't play on a lot of them, so I got to just put my parts on songs that were recorded. So it was a little bit of both."[4]


  1. ^ a b c Abbott, Jim (November 26, 1993). "Here's what's new in the record racks:Guns N' Roses". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on June 27, 2015. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "The Spaghetti Incident? - Guns N' Roses - Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d Jon Wiederhorn (November 28, 2020). "27 Years Ago: Guns N' Roses Release 'The Spaghetti Incident?'". Loudwire. Retrieved September 6, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d Dave Liffon (November 22, 2018). "25 Facts About Guns N' Roses' 'The Spaghetti Incident?'". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved September 6, 2021.
  5. ^ "Guns N' Roses Recording Sessions". Here Today, Gone To Hell. 2001. Archived from the original on December 31, 2009. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
  6. ^ a b Weingarten, Christopher R. (November 23, 2016). "Inside Guns N' Roses' Scrappy Covers Album 'The Spaghetti Incident?'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 6, 2021.
  7. ^ a b Tegnér, Anders (November 1993). "Guns N' Roses: Okej interview". Okej; Here Today, Gone to Hell. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved May 7, 2015.
  8. ^ "MICHAEL MONROE 'Never Wanted Any Money' For His Guest Appearances On GUNS N' ROSES Albums". Blabbermouth. October 4, 2019. Retrieved August 11, 2021.
  9. ^ "The Spaghetti Incident? on SlashParadise". www.slashparadise.com. November 10, 2012.
  10. ^ Welfare, Sue (January 28, 1999). Off the Record. Univ. of Queensland Press. ISBN 9780006513490. Retrieved January 28, 2019 – via Google Books.
  11. ^ "Recording Sessions on Here Today... Gone To Hell". heretodaygonetohell.com. April 25, 2016.
  12. ^ "Summer 1989: The Actual Spaghetti Incident". Rolling Stone. November 24, 2015.
  13. ^ a b Hochman, Steve (November 21, 1993). "It's No Illusion: Guns N' Roses Does Charles Manson". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on May 9, 2015. 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, Tribune Publishing. Archived from the original on May 9, 2015. Retrieved May 7, 2015.
  15. ^ Considine, J.D. (December 3, 1993). "Guns N' Roses under fire for Manson 'bonus' song". Baltimoresun.com, Tribune Publishing. Archived from the original on December 22, 2017. Retrieved May 7, 2015.
  16. ^ a b Philips, Chuck (December 1, 1993). "Guns N' Roses May Remove Manson Song From Album". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on May 8, 2015. Retrieved May 7, 2015.
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  18. ^ "Victim's Son Gets Manson Royalties". The New York Times. December 26, 1993. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved May 7, 2015.
  19. ^ setlist.fm "Guns N’ Roses Setlist at Estadio Ferrocarril Oeste, Buenos Aires, Argentina"
  20. ^ Muretich, James (November 28, 1993). "Recent Releases". Calgary Herald.
  21. ^ Christgau, Robert (January 18, 1994). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  22. ^ "Review: 'The Spaghetti Incident?'". Entertainment Weekly. New York. November 26, 1993. pp. 62–3. 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...
  23. ^ Martin, Andy (November 27, 1993). "Market Preview: Rock — Pick of the Week" (PDF). Music Week. p. 19. Retrieved February 3, 2023.
  24. ^ "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...
  25. ^ "Review: 'The Spaghetti Incident?'". Q. London: 92. February 1994. ...relatively faithful cover versions...
  26. ^ Gold, Jonathan (December 9, 1993). "Guns N' Roses: The Spaghetti Incident? Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  27. ^ Weisbard, Eric (February 1994). "Spins". Spin. New York: 67. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
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  29. ^ Hasty, Katie (December 3, 2008). "Kanye Edges GNR, Ludacris For No. 1 Debut". billboard.com. Archived from the original on January 22, 2010. Retrieved January 16, 2010.
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  47. ^ "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1994". hitparade.ch. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
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  51. ^ "Brazilian album certifications – Guns – Spaghetti Incident" (in Portuguese). Pro-Música Brasil. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
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  56. ^ "Italian album certifications – Guns – Spaghetti Incident" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved September 16, 2019. Select "2017" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Spaghetti Incident" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Album e Compilation" under "Sezione".
  57. ^ "Japanese album certifications – Guns – Spaghetti Incident" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved September 16, 2019. Select 1993年12月 on the drop-down menu
  58. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Guns – Spaghetti Incident" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved September 16, 2019. Enter Spaghetti Incident in the "Artiest of titel" box. Select 1994 in the drop-down menu saying "Alle statussen"
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  65. ^ "American album certifications – Guns – Spaghetti Incident". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved September 16, 2019.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]