GNR rip me off? I just thought they were on smack

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The co-author of a song that bears a similarity to a Guns N’ Roses hit has responded to suggestions that Axl Rose and co plagiarised his work.

Australian Crawl singer James Reyne says his band’s track Unpublished Critics – released in 1981 – does have similarities to GNR’s Sweet Child O’ Mine, which was issued five years later. But he doesn’t go as far as saying the US band ripped him off.

Fans have pointed out the similarities for years, but the Aussie band have never taken any action.

Reyne, 57, tells Daily Mail Australia: “I’m not about to take on the might of the Guns N’ Roses lawyers. 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.”

The vocalist adds that he was more interested in GNR’s rock and roll lifestyle than their sound when he first heard Sweet Child O’ Mine.

He says: “I didn’t think, ‘Oh my god.’ I didn’t really listen to the song, 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.”

Last year Sweet Child O’ Mine was voted the second best riff ever in a poll, which former GNR guitarist Slash laughed off, saying it was “impossible to take seriously.”

Slash this month revealed he would “never say never” to the possibility of reuniting with frontman Rose.