“I’ve ‘respectively’ never heard you play one note”: Nuno Bettencourt claps back at Richard Fortus over Slash/Rihanna comments

The Extreme guitarist said last week that most guitarists “could not in their lifetime” play with Rihanna – even Slash.

[L-R] Nuno Bettencourt, Richard Fortus and Slash

Credit: Getty Images

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Guns N’ Roses guitarist Richard Fortus has responded to Nuno Bettencourt‘s recent claims that the majority of guitarists “could not in their lifetime” play with Rihanna. The Extreme guitarist said specifically that even Fortus’s GNR bandmate Slash couldn’t handle the gig.

Bettencourt – who has toured with Rihanna since 2009 – said in an interview with Planet Rock: “When somebody like Rihanna reaches out to you to perform everybody thinks ‘Oh, that’s cute. It’s a pop artist, whatever. Let me tell you something, what I had to do night after night… put on a reggae hat [for one song] with a reggae feel, and go into R&B, then go into some punk rock and pop rock that she did, and then club tracks. All sorts of [things], all those different feels.”

He went on to namecheck Guns N’ Roses legend Slash, who he described as “one of the greatest rock guitar players of all time”, and said, “he’d be the first to tell you – that if he jumps up and he’s got to play a clean intro to Rude Boy from Rihanna, it ain’t happening.”

And taking to Instagram over the weekend, Fortus shared a screenshot of the Guitar.com article on Bettencourt’s comments, asserting that he “respectfully disagrees” with the Extreme rocker.

“Nuno Bettencourt is one of the greats, for sure. However, there is very little Slash couldn’t do on guitar (if he wanted to),” he said. “I toured with Rihanna prior to Nuno and I’ve spent a lot of time playing with Slash. This gig wouldn’t be a struggle for him.”

Shortly after, Bettencourt replied, posting a screenshot of Fortus’s comments on Instagram and writing, “You can’t be blessed and be on multiple guitar magazine covers at a shocking 56 years old, get this much attention for your playing and new album as a rock guitarist without another guitarist stirring up some shit.”

He continued: “I’m responding to this not cause I give a shit about what this guitarist thinks about me but, instead, because I’d hate to think my few words offended a hero of mine, Slash, and possibly fuck up my relationship with him.

“Richard Fortus I’ve ‘respectively’ never heard you play one note in my 56 years of being alive and only know your name from the Rihanna camp and as a replacement player in Guns.

“I’m sure you’re a decent player, but did you really need to repost a headline that made me look like I am badmouthing a fellow player, Slash. As if I’d ever think Slash isn’t capable of playing any Rihanna song in his sleep.

“Let’s get something fucking straight. To me, Slash is one of the greatest rock guitarists of my generation and of all time. Period.

“And Fortus if you knew me at all and where my heart is you’d know that what I meant in this statement was not about Slash or his capability, It was about Rock guitarists like myself or Slash switching genres and the awkwardness of playing these feels.

“No shit Slash can play these songs, thank you so much for pointing that out as if we didn’t already know that.”



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