Bumblefoot says he got “hundreds” of death threats after Guns N’ Roses solo mishap
Stormtrooper helmets and heavy rain do not mix, folks.
Image: Miikka Skaffari via Getty
Bumblefoot, former guitarist for Guns N’ Roses, has reflected on the time he received “hundreds” of death threats due to a mishap during his guitar solo for Welcome To The Jungle at a Brazilian festival.
At 2011’s Rock In Rio, pouring rain and misfiring pyro were already causing the band’s set to be a “crazy” one, but when Bumblefoot playfully wore a Star Wars Stormtrooper helmet mid set, fogged up vision caused some disruptions to his playing.
- READ MORE: “We don’t do this to get rich. If we did, we’d be doing something else”: Bumblefoot says musicians are “travelling T-shirt salesmen” in today’s industry
Bumblefoot, whose real name is Ron Thal, played in Guns N’ Roses from 2006 until 2014. He is currently the guitarist for the supergroup Sons of Apollo.
Speaking to Rockin’ Metal Revival (via Blabbermouth), Bumblefoot remembered “his biggest Spinal Tap moment” when trying to play his fretless guitar as his fingers were pruned by heavy rainfall.
“There was this lovely girl in the front row that had a Star Wars Stormtrooper helmet that she was holding. And I said, ‘Yeah, give me the helmet,’ and I figured I would put it on and play with it on for a bit. I put it on my head, and as soon as it touched my cheeks, it’s like it fused to it, ‘cause my skin, everything was so wet.”
He adds, “Everything just fogged up and now it’s, like, ‘All right, I have this helmet that is gonna take a little bit of effort to remove.’ And that’s not good when you’re trying to play guitar in a song. And I can’t see anything; it’s completely fogged up.
“And the iconic solo [to Welcome To The Jungle] that I had to play was about to come up and it was the opening of the show and everything, and it’s, like, ‘Oh god. This is not gonna work out well.’ If I remember right, I managed to get the helmet up at least over my eyes and keep it there. And then I nodded, like, ‘Ah, good.’ And it flopped right back down,” he recalls.
“I just had to stop playing and pull this helmet back so I could see what I was doing. And those few seconds that I stopped playing, the next day I got hundreds – hundreds – of furious emails from Brazilians, saying how I destroyed their life and death threats and all this stuff. And to this day, 12 years later, every once in a while someone will send me an email with a screenshot of me wearing that helmet, saying, ‘Ha ha ha.’”
You can check out the interview below: