Extreme’s Nuno Bettencourt Recalls Bonding With Gary Cherone Over Queen
Guitarist Nuno Bettencourt recently shared how a Queen album played a crucial role in his friendship with vocalist Gary Cherone and his decision to join the band Extreme. In a recent interview with Lipps Service with Scott Lipps, Nuno recounted the story of meeting Gary and the beginning of their musical partnership.
Nuno Bettencourt was a member of the Boston-based hair metal act Sinful before he joined Extreme in 1985. His decision to leave Sinful was heavily influenced by his encounter with Gary Cherone. As Nuno recalled in the interview, the two musicians hit it off immediately, and their conversation about music led to a deep bond between them.
Speaking to Scott Lipps, Nuno revealed that their shared love for the Queen album ‘Queen II‘ was a key factor in their friendship. He and Gary discovered that they both considered ‘Queen II’ their favorite album, which solidified their connection. This shared passion for music eventually led Nuno to leave Sinful, despite the band’s success, to join Gary Cherone in Extreme.
Here is what Nuno Bettencourt recalled about meeting Gary Cherone:
“Knock on the door, [Jim Blute] lets me in. There’s another guy there with him, it’s Gary Cherone. Jim Blute went to the toilet, and me and Gary literally said, ‘What’s your favorite album?’ We both said, ‘Say it at the same time,’ and we said, ‘Queen II.’ We were like, ‘What? Did we just become best friends? Do you want to do karate in the garage? What do you want to do?’ That was it. We started talking about music, Queen, lyrics, and everything else, and it just didn’t stop.
Jim Brute was like, ‘You guys, we gotta go. We gotta get out, it’s 4 a.m.’ My phone rings the next day, and Gary’s like, ‘Listen, man, I want you to join my band.‘ I was like, ‘What?’ I just told him I was in Sinful, and I go, ‘No, you haven’t even heard me play; why are you asking me to join your band? I’m not joining your band, I got my own mesh, and you guys got something going on. Why would you want to blow that?’ He didn’t bug me, he said, ‘Man, good luck with everything.‘”
Recalling how he left Sinful, Nuno continued:
“I promise you that 10 milliseconds before I said these words, I couldn’t even block my mouth fast enough. I looked up at the guys and said, ‘Hey,’ and then they stopped what they were doing, and I said, ‘I quit.‘ I even went like, ‘What did I just say? ‘I quit?’ We’re in the middle of doing an album. The band’s been playing clubs, packing clubs as well.
I went, ‘I gotta go.’ I literally just panicked. Half an hour later, I’m walking out, there’s a massive stairwell that goes up. Gary’s up there, picking up some babe as usual. I go, ‘Hey, man!’ He goes, ‘What?’ and I go, ‘What time’s rehearsal tomorrow?‘ End scene, cut. But that’s exactly how quick and how bizarre [it was.]”
Nuno Bettencourt’s friendship with Gary Cherone and their shared love of music, especially Queen’s ‘Queen II’ album, brought them together and led to the formation of the band Extreme. Meanwhile, the band’s upcoming album, ‘Six‘, set to release on June 9, is eagerly awaited by fans.