"I was deeply in love with the lady that became Duff McKagan's wife": The Dandy Warhols' Courtney Taylor-Taylor explains how Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash ended up on his band's new album, Rockmaker

Slash and The Dandy Warhols
(Image credit: Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images | Press)

The Dandy Warhols' 12th studio album, Rockmaker, is out today, March 15, and it sees the Portland, Oregon alternative rock band joined by three very special guests.

Pixies frontman Frank Black appears on the album's first single, the excellently-titled Danzig With Myself, Blondie's iconic vocalist Debbie Harry pops up to duet with frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor on the darkly romantic I Will Never Stop Loving You, and Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash lends his singular talents to the Vietnam-era acid rock of I’d Like To Help You With Your Problem.

It's fair to say that the latter collaboration definitely wasn't on anyone 2024 bingo card, but in a new interview with Q online, Taylor-Taylor reveals that his relationship with the LA hard rock giants actually goes waaaaay back - "for decades" - and arose out of a long-held crush he had on a young woman who ended up marrying Gn'R bassist Duff McKagan.

"I was very good friends with - and deeply in love with - the lady that became Duff McKagan's wife," he explains. "When she was out of town, she'd just leave the keys to her apartment in Hollywood, and I could stay in her flat there. Yeah, she was rad. I mean, she was just really rad. And just way out of my league.

"We were a new band at the time," Taylor-Taylor continues. "So that's kind of how I started meeting the Guns 'N Roses guys, and then, y'know, you just run into each other. And they all had kind of an interest in us. We were a cool guitar band and the next thing. So, yeah, it's been great knowing those guys, and for this album, we had that song, I'd Like to Help You With Your Problem, and I just really wanted that full Vietnam-era, acid-rock sound. And that's the guy you get. I don't think anyone else can do it like him anymore, really."

We should point out here that Taylor-Taylor doesn't name the young woman in question, and as such we can't be sure whether he's referring to McKagan's first wife, Mandy Brixx, the bassist's second wife, Linda Johnson, or his current wife of 25 years, Susan Holmes. Whatever, what The Dandy Warhols man lost in romantic terms, he gained in artistic terms with Slash's blinding guest spot, so everyone is a winner, pretty much. 

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.