The self-proclaimed "world's best whistler" has covered the guitar solo from Sweet Child O' Mine, and even his grumpy demeanour cannot spoil the beauty

​Ralph "Whistler" Giese whistling
(Image credit: ​Ralph "Whistler" Giese)

The Guns N' Roses classic Sweet Child O' Mine is a song that's been covered more than a few times, but never so sweetly as a recent version by self-proclaimed "world's best whistler" Ralph 'Whistler' Giese. The Detroit musician has gone viral with his version of the song, and his mellifluous delivery of Slash's iconic guitar solo is completely at odds with the grumpiness of his introduction.   

"Some guy asked me to fuckin' whistle this one here a couple of days ago," explains Ralph, somewhat reluctantly. "So fuck it, I may as well just do a little bit of the fuckin' guitar solo part: Sweet Child O' Mine."

"I was a blues man when this shit came out," adds Ralph. "'Cause' rock'n'roll was so fucked up back then."

Giese's whistling is like nothing you've ever heard. It's as if a choir of birds has taken up residence in his throat, their angelic trilling adding layers of saccharine prettiness to the original melody.   

"How can you act so tough and then do some shit like that?" asks Instagram commenter franki3lee. 

"You just worry about your side of the street," responds Ralph, somewhat ominously. 

It turns out Ralph is well known for his whistling exploits. He appeared on the Johnny Carson show as a child, and in 1984 starred on the Detroit public access show Kelly & Company, sporting a Burt Reynolds-style mullet and moustache, where he completely boggling the minds of the studio audience with a version of Hoagy Carmichael's Georgia On My Mind (see second video, below).

More recently, Giese formed the band Whistlers Muthers with Brian 'Muddy' Sprung, who promise "fun-filled performance and debauchery." 

We imagine they're probably not suitable for children's parties. 

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.