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“I was immature”: Nuno Bettencourt reflects on online spat with Richard Fortus

The guitarists – of Extreme and Guns N’ Roses, respectively – came to blows earlier this year.

[L-R] Nuno Bettencourt and Richard Fortus

Credit: Getty Images

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Earlier this year, Nuno Bettencourt and Guns N’ Roses guitarist Richard Fortus came to blows in a brief but heated online spat. 

It started when Bettencourt commented that “most guitarists could not in their lifetime” play with Rihanna, to which Fortus responded: “I have to respectfully disagree… This gig wouldn’t be a struggle for him.”

Things took a more personal turn, though, when Bettencourt then replied: “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.”

After being called out by many commenters online, Bettencourt apologised, writing: “Bottom line is, this is on me. I need to keep my f**king mouth shut.”

Now, the Extreme guitarist has reflected on the saga, reiterating his desire to get together with Fortus and have a beer to put it all in the past in a new interview with Classic Rock.

He says he regretted taking things to a personal level “the second I took my finger off the ‘send’ button”, adding: “I’m a passionate guy, I’ve had to learn to take a deep breath, step back, re-read it. I didn’t do that.

“It wasn’t actually about Slash himself, but I didn’t put it across the right way. I put up a video the next day, saying that I owe everyone an apology, that I was immature. Richard was just protecting his boy. I owe him an apology. I’d like to sit down with him and have a beer.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Bettencourt reflects on the internet hysteria that arose upon hearing his guitar solo in Extreme’s Rise, which landed earlier this year.

“My manager said, ‘What are you going for as a guitar player on this album?’ And I said, ‘I’m going for blood.’ I want to bring guitar back. Not in a technical way, but in a joyful, exciting way. All the great guitar players, there was creativity, but there was a love and passion to it.”

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