Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 139
Sun. May 27, 2012
“Sweet Child O’ Mine”
“♫ She’s got a smile that
it seems to me/ reminds me of
childhood memories / where
everything/ was as fresh as
the bright blue sky […] Sweet
child o’ mine ♫”
I wasn’t a child, but I felt so young, adrift in clouds of inexperience, longing for some kinda life filled with so much more. I felt stuck in my own personal quicksand of fear. But I also had this feeling like I was on a brink of something wonderful but I didn’t know what?
I was still living in San Antonio, it was a Sunday night and we were driving back from a road trip to New Orleans while listening to the radio. Somewhere in South Texas, while I was watching the sunset and enjoying the long lazy drive home from the back seat, that’s when this incredible cover of Guns ‘n Roses “Sweet Child O’ Mine” came over the air. I remember the windows being rolled down and each of us in the car turning to face each other as I yelled out—“What is this greatness?”
That band was Luna; founded by former Galaxie 500 member Dean Wareham in New York City circa 1991. This cover of “Child” was made for their ill-fated 1999 release The Days of Our Nights—the last major label release before Luna was dropped by Warner Bros.
Did you know that originally Slash came up with that famous “Sweet Child” riff while in the midst of rehearsal jam session for Guns ‘n’ Roses? Bassist Duff McKagen told Hit Parader in 1988—
“The thing about ‘Sweet Child o’ Mine,’ it was written in five minutes. It was one of those songs, only three chords. You know that guitar lick Slash does at the beginning? It was kinda like a joke because we thought, ‘What is this song? It’s gonna be nothing, it’ll be filler on the record.’ And except that vocal-wise, it’s very sweet and sincere, Slash was just fuckin’ around when he first wrote that lick.”
Ten years later, while visiting The World Café radio show on WXPN, Dean explained how Luna came to cover G’n’R. “It was originally done as a b-side, after we finished the record—we did [“Sweet Child”] once live in New Jersey and it sounded good, testing ground in N.J. We delivered [“Sweet Child”] a month after the record was finished and it sounded good. We thought if the Label was excited about the track—that was good. and then they dropped us.”
Luckily, I got to hear the brilliance that was “Sweet Child” before Luna was dropped by Warner Bros. What is it about Luna’s cover that I adore so much?
It was the way—the splendor of the sky during sunset perfectly matched the lazy guitar laced intensity that was Luna’s cover of “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” It was as if Luna recorded their G’NR cover as a soundtrack to my moment in the car looking at the sky outside the window, is one I will never forget.
Luna’s rendition is so choice. Whether this is your first or your one-hundred and first time—get ready for beautiful greatness of Luna’s take on “Sweet Child ‘O’ Mine.