A few months ago I dropped this song into Anytune Pro with the goal of learning how to play it. When I got to the solo I could not figure out how Dave Navarro played the first few notes.
The notes are super high. At first I thought it was a Whammy Pedal. But the Whammy’s did not come out until 1989… Then I thought it has to be a slide being played over the pickups. I left it at that, and learned it by playing the first few notes with a slide. It was really awkward, and never quite sounded like the recorded version.
Dave never played the recorded solo live like the record. So even after watching a bunch live clips I was still at a loss.
There I was eating my medium rare steak, and drinking an Arnold Palmer at Swinger’s Diner in West Hollywood. Who walks in…? Who sits at the booth next to mine facing me…? My facial recognition has never been great. You add a hat, mask, and glasses to the mix, and this person could have been anyone.
Now here I am. Am I going to be that guy? I am never that guy. Is it even him??? But I thought it’s only a few notes man. A question about 3 notes I thought. If it was indeed Dave Navarro would he even remember what he played? It’s not like asking for a selfie I thought.
Dave played those few notes by pulling the high E string down off the fretboard toward the ground. The notes sounded by the high E string touching the body of the guitar. I said but the notes were in key. He said yes it was not random. But the problem he said was the E string had to be pulled so far that they would break. He said that is why he did not try to play it live.
He said he never had a guitar player ask him about that solo. He said I blew his mind, and he thanked me for making his night.
Bottom line is I still can’t play the first 3 notes of the solo, but at least I now know how he did it.