Axl Rose pays tribute to late Nazareth singer Dan McCafferty: "a tough pill to swallow"

Composite shot of Axl Rose and Dan McCafferty onstage
(Image credit: Axl Rose: Amy Sussman | Dan McCafferty: Ullstein Bild)

Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose has paid heartfelt tribute to Nazareth frontman Dan McCafferty, who died earlier this month at the age of 76. 

"Haven't addressed this... been a tough pill to swallow," tweeted Rose. "Very, very sad to learn of the passing of Dan McCafferty of Nazareth. I learned a day or so after, right before a show. Was in a bit of a surreal headspace on stage for several songs. 

"Went on a Nazareth binge for a few days. Thanks Dan n' all of Nazareth for all the music over the years. Their music n' Dan's voice will always have a special place in my heart. Rest in peace Dan."

Rose has always been open about McCafferty's influence on his own singing, and invited him to sing Boudleaux Bryant's ballad Love Hurts – a hit for Nazareth in 1974 – at his 1990 wedding to Don Everly’s daughter, Erin. McCafferty declined. Guns N' Roses also covered Nazareth's Hair Of The Dog on the 1993 album The Spaghetti Incident?.

"If it wasn't for Dan McCafferty and Nazareth I wouldn't be singing," Axl said in 1988. "I used to lock myself in the bathroom and try to hit those notes in Love Hurts, ya know?" 

Guns N' Roses are currently in Australia on the Antipodean leg of the We're F'N Back! Tour. The band have five more shows scheduled in Oz, before heading across the Tasman for two gigs in New Zealand.

Guns N' Roses We're F'N Back! Tour dates 2022

Nov 22: Brisbane Suncorp Stadium, Australia
Nov 24: Gold Coast Metricon Stadium, Australia
Nov 27: Sydney Stadium Australia, Australia
Nov 29: Adelaide Oval, Australia
Dec 03: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia
Dec 08: Wellington Sky Stadium, New Zealand
Dec 10: Auckland Eden Park, New Zealand

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.