Guns N’ Roses ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ Plagiarism Claims Laughed Off by Australian Crawl Singer
Guns N’ Roses fans don’t need to be too concerned with recent allegations that the group lifted its classic hit “Sweet Child o’ Mine” from an earlier song by Australian Crawl. After all, singer James Reyne — who founded the Crawl in 1978 and fronted the band until its 1986 breakup — doesn’t seem to take the idea all that seriously.
“I’m not about to take on the might of the Guns N’ Roses lawyers,” Reyne recently told Australia’s Daily Mail. Pointing out the potential futility of a lawsuit, he continues, “It is not inconceivable that there are similarities between the two songs. It’s also not inconceivable that they wouldn’t have been aware of certain Australian songs.”
Asked to recall the first time he heard “Sweet Child o’ Mine” — and whether he noticed any similarities between it and Australian Crawl’s song “Unpublished Critics” — Reyne says he was probably too distracted by GNR’s appearance to pay much attention to the actual music.
“I didn’t think, ‘Oh my God.’ I didn’t really listen to the song,” he insisted. “I was more looking at the video thinking, ‘Are they stoned? Or on smack?’ I was probably more interested in their drug habits. I really wasn’t that aware of Guns N’ Roses. It just didn’t cross my radar because I was listening to other things.”
Reyne, who’s maintained a successful solo career since Australian Crawl splintered in 1986, issued his comments while preparing to release a new album and embark on a greatest hits tour. Asked what advice he’d give his publishing company if their lawyers decided to pursue a claim against Guns N’ Roses, he quipped that they should “go for their lives” and mused, “As the song’s co-writer, I might stand to benefit.”
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