Rihanna Guitarist Names The Song Slash Could Never Play

Extreme and former Rihanna guitarist Nuno Bettencourt recently had an interview with Planet Rock, where he talked about him touring with Rihanna. The guitarist told how ‘challenging’ it actually was to accompany her onstage contrary to popular belief, and explained her ‘diverse’ performances:

“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 feel.

Nuno then mentioned how other ‘guitar heroes,’ including Slash, couldn’t have kept up with the pop megastar’s stage shows, and revealed the Rihanna song he believed Slash couldn’t properly perform live:

“I’m sorry, most of the guitar players who I admire could not in their lifetime play that gig. I mean that in the most complimentary way possible. Slash is one of the greatest rock guitar players of all time but I guarantee – and 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.”

Bettencourt also reflected on the times he had while sharing the stage with Rihanna and shared his opinion about the values a musician should have:

“I feel like I can really jump in and then be ready to play with Paul McCartney on ‘FourFiveSeconds’ at The Grammys and have that moment for me. I believe that if I wasn’t that diverse musically and accept everything I grew up on, there’s no way that I would have been in these rooms. And also being open, being an open musician in the sense of ‘up for anything.’”

Nuno first accompanied Rihanna as the lead guitarist in 2009, in her ‘Last Girl On Earth’ tour, and ever since, he has appeared on every tour of hers ( 2010’s ‘Loud,’ 2012’s ‘777’ and 2013’s ‘Diamonds World’). Their last performance together was Super Bowl LVII halftime show, where Bettencourt was a part of Rihanna’s backing band.

Extreme is on tour now. Check out the dates here.